Extreme WYSIWYG - Web Content Editor in TNG

Most open source CMS systems only deal with Web Content, while Sense/Net Portal Engine TNG is an Enterprise Content Management platform. But on the other hand, most ECM software do not deal with Web Content at all, or to a limited extent. We have experience with the WCM features of MOSS, and they aren't the best.

For years, our customers demanded total WYSIWYG web based content editor. When designing TNG, we had two equally important goals concerning the CMS system.

  • To create a truly scalable and robust, but at the same time open source Enterprise Content Management System
  • To make this ECMS capable of handling Web Content in an extremely friendly way

What you see (and soon will get) is a screenshot from out test system, where the Portal Remote Control is visible, and the page is in WCMS edit mode, so all the tools for WYSIWYG content editing are open. In the bottom-left corner, the Content Properties window is open, where you can edit the non-visible fields of the content. The small window in the bottom is the Actions windows, with buttons to Save or Publish your changes. The one on the right side, with the green caption is the Rich Text Editor toolbox, which appears only when the cursor is in a Rich Text field. This one will also be black and transparent, I just did not have the patience to wait with this post, until it is finished. All windows are draggable, so you can place them out of your way when editing. The content appears right where it should be within the page, and the controls do not change the layout of the page, as they float over the page.

We need some usability testing and lots of debugging, but this thing seems to work. Transparency, especially in IE is a little bit of a pain in the neck, because it is too slow, so we are thinking to ship an alternative CSS as well. Just like in the Windows OS, animated menus look cool, but its better to switch them off after a while. We will need to optimize how windows appear and disappear, so they are not confusing users.

Note, that the look and feel of the PRC and the WCMS editor can be customized, since all parts (such as the CSS and images) are stored in the PFS, under /system/pfs folder, just like this:

I will post more shots, when the testing is over.

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