DESIGN question: We do not need damned publishers


#1

Here is the actual design of my CMS :

each Item is secured by 3 (+1) elements:

readers group
writers group
publishers group
owner

readers = people who can find the item in the database and … read it.
writers = people who can add new content (create new versions or
sub-pages) without making their changes visible (they can propose
content).
publishers = people who can change what readers read = validate proposed
content + move/delete…
owner = can read/write if page is private

My question is : why the hell should a CMS need publishers ? (I added
them after an advice saying “Bosses want to keep in control. There
should be a validation process.”)

I think validation can come latter… You give people the right to add
content, then so be it. If they mess up putting silly, ill-formed stuff,
then … you cleanup the mess and they cannot write anymore.

So the design should be :
readers = can read
writers = can add/modify/delete/move (version based modifications =
rollback possible)
owner = can destroy (no turning back)

What do you think ?


#2

Gazoduc wrote:

Here is the actual design of my CMS :

each Item is secured by 3 (+1) elements:

readers group
writers group
publishers group
owner

readers = people who can find the item in the database and … read it.
writers = people who can add new content (create new versions or
sub-pages) without making their changes visible (they can propose
content).
publishers = people who can change what readers read = validate proposed
content + move/delete…
owner = can read/write if page is private

My question is : why the hell should a CMS need publishers ? (I added
them after an advice saying “Bosses want to keep in control. There
should be a validation process.”)

I think validation can come latter… You give people the right to add
content, then so be it. If they mess up putting silly, ill-formed stuff,
then … you cleanup the mess and they cannot write anymore.

So the design should be :
readers = can read
writers = can add/modify/delete/move (version based modifications =
rollback possible)
owner = can destroy (no turning back)

What do you think ?

It just depends on the model you want to use for your system. A lot of
online publishing separates those who write the content from those who
administrate and/or moderate the content on the site. Your blog or
article or review or copy writers might not want the responsibility of
moderating comment threads, proofreading or copy editing, and handling
things like publishing deadlines, pushing content live on the
appropriate dates, and so on.

Depending on the size and model of your organization, it could make
perfect sense to give those roles to the writers’ group, but it’s also
perfectly valid not to.

Jeff C.man


#3

Jeff C.man wrote:

Depending on the size and model of your organization, it could make
perfect sense to give those roles to the writers’ group, but it’s also
perfectly valid not to.

Jeff C.man

So I could just leave my design as it is, use clever defaults… (access
rights are inherited, so they are not set that often).

I started to create this CMS basically for my own needs : culture with
different partners (tech people from the theaters), participants
(musicians, actors, etc), different languages (french, german, english).
In this mess, I would never need publishers.

I know there should be people needing publishers, but who ? Could anyone
give me some examples ? School, with students proposing articles ? Small
company ?


#4

Jeff C.man wrote:

You give good examples yourself, a school organization or a small online
magazine that has content posted by users might want a moderator or two,
to free the writers of those responsibilities.

Jeff

You have convinced me : an administrative layer effectively frees the
low level users from the fear of doing bad things. It is important that
the upgrade from simple reader to writer be as easy as possible. If
there is no moderator, the jump from reader to publisher could be too
big for the users themselves (not talking about people breaking things
on purpose).


#5

Gazoduc wrote:

Jeff C.man wrote:

Depending on the size and model of your organization, it could make
perfect sense to give those roles to the writers’ group, but it’s also
perfectly valid not to.

Jeff C.man

So I could just leave my design as it is, use clever defaults… (access
rights are inherited, so they are not set that often).

I started to create this CMS basically for my own needs : culture with
different partners (tech people from the theaters), participants
(musicians, actors, etc), different languages (french, german, english).
In this mess, I would never need publishers.

I know there should be people needing publishers, but who ? Could anyone
give me some examples ? School, with students proposing articles ? Small
company ?

I’m not necessarily advocating having another layer of administrative
permissions that you don’t feel you need, but it’s often the case with
an online community or content site that the people who write the
content either don’t want to or can’t be relied upon to moderate
themselves and/or others.

If you’re talking about a small system with a few reliable writers, then
it could make sense to do away with the abstraction of an
administrator/publisher level. But unless your writers’ pool is heavily
filtered and demonstrably reliable, you could end up with people posting
invalid, inflammatory or inappropriate content and not have an easy way
to deal with it.

The latest A List Apart has an article on this subject:
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/identitymatters

You give good examples yourself, a school organization or a small online
magazine that has content posted by users might want a moderator or two,
to free the writers of those responsibilities.

Jeff


#6

Gazoduc wrote:

Jeff C.man wrote:

You give good examples yourself, a school organization or a small online
magazine that has content posted by users might want a moderator or two,
to free the writers of those responsibilities.

Jeff

You have convinced me : an administrative layer effectively frees the
low level users from the fear of doing bad things. It is important that
the upgrade from simple reader to writer be as easy as possible. If
there is no moderator, the jump from reader to publisher could be too
big for the users themselves (not talking about people breaking things
on purpose).

That’s a good point, you don’t want to overburden your writers with
administrative details when all they want to do is write!

Good luck with your project!

Jeff


#7

Jeff C.man wrote:

Good luck with your project!

Jeff

Thanks for the good advices.


#8

Julian ‘Julik’ Tarkhanov wrote:

On 8-apr-2006, at 21:50, Gazoduc wrote:

Here is the actual design of my CMS :

each Item is secured by 3 (+1) elements:

readers group
writers group
publishers group
owner

The less prohibitive cruft you can put in our app, the better.
I am not a native english speaker, what does “prohibitive cruft” mean ?

Keep most users and especially low level users away from the worries of
setting complex authorizations ?


#9

On 8-apr-2006, at 21:50, Gazoduc wrote:

Here is the actual design of my CMS :

each Item is secured by 3 (+1) elements:

readers group
writers group
publishers group
owner

The less prohibitive cruft you can put in our app, the better.


#10

It’s about whether you want to make mistakes/vandalisms easy to make
and easy to correct (no publishers), or difficult to make and a little
more difficult to correct (with publishers). If you look at Wikipedia,
they demonstrate a model which follows the former philosophy, but
there are plenty of successful examples of the latter too.
-Nathan