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News extension for Silva 3

Project description is an extension to Silva 3 to allow authors to add news articles and agenda items in Silva.

For older versions of Silva, please use an older version of Products.SilvaNews.

Using Silva News

The first thing to do is add subjects and target audiences to the service_news object in the Silva root in the ZMI. This object is used only to manage those lists (subjects and target audiences), these will function as criteria for the newsfilters (more on these later in this document) to search on. It would be best to add as much subjects and target audiences as currently available to the service when setting up News, since the lists are the basis of the filtering system and one has to dive into the ZMI to add items (therefore it requires appropriate rights to edit stuff in the ZMI). Managing these lists is quite straightforward: you can add an item by filling in a string into one of the textfields and pressing on the corresponding ‘add’ button, and remove them by checking the checkbox in front of an item and clicking the corresponding ‘remove’ button.

Adding a News Publication

Newsitems can only be added to newspublication. To add one, go to the SMI and choose ‘Silva News Publication’ from the menu of addables (upper left corner of the edit tab in folders, publications and the Silva root). Enter an id and a title and choose ‘Add and edit’, you will then be taken to the edit tab of the newspublication. This tab looks a lot like the edit tab of other containers (folders, publications) in Silva, except it doesn’t have a default document or view and can not contain anything other then news items (articles and agenda items), folders and publications (thus allowing a more structured setup of the newspublication).You can add newsitems by choosing a specific type from the addables menu in this tab.

Properties tab

In the properties tab of newspublication there is a checkbox called ‘restrict access’. When this is checked, the folder can only be found by news- and agendafilters in the same folder the folder is on and each subfolder of that folder. This can be used to make the newspublication ‘private’, making it available only to for example 1 department.

Adding news items

Now authors can add newsitems. As stated before, there are two types of newsitems: articles and agendaitems. The main differences are that agendaitems must contain a date/time on which the event described in them takes place, and contain a location on which the event takes place. The start date/time is necessary to show the items in agendaviewers, since they show the items for a particular period (e.g. a month). Therefore agendaviewers can show only agendaitems. Newsviewers are capable of showing both articles and agendaitems. Other datafields required for the system to work correctly are ‘subjects’ and ‘target audiences’, which the author can use to classify the newsitem. These fields will later be used by the newsfilters as criteria for routing the items to newsviewers. When editing an article or agenda item, keep in mind that the first heading placed in the content editor is considered to be the subheader of the newsitem, and the first paragraph as the lead (both will show up in the preview on the viewers).

Adding news filters

The next thing to do to make the system work is adding one or more news- and agendafilters. These are objects used by editors or chief- editors to filter a stream of newsitems. The items can be filtered on subject and target audience (so for instance a newsfilter can route only newsitems with a specific subject or meant for a specific target audience to the viewers) and/or individually (per newsitem). Another feature of the filters is the ability to ‘stick to the current path’, when set this makes the filters pick up items only if they’re in a subdirectory of the filter’s container.

The Filters’ edit tab

The contents tab of a newsfilter shows a list of all available newspublications (excluding the ones made private by checking the ‘restrict access’ checkbox that are not in the same folder or a parentfolder of the newsfilter). To route newsitems of a newspublication to newsviewers (more about those later) make sure the checkbox in front of the newspublication is checked and click the ‘update sources’ button. All (published) newsitems that conform to the criteria of the newsfilter will then be routed to the newsviewers that use this filter. These criteria can be set in the ‘Properties’ tab of the newsfilter: you see the lists of subjects and target audiences of service_news again, and in newsfilters also a couple of radiobuttons to select whether the filter should route agendaitems as well as articles. These criteria can be used to distribute articles and agendaitems in different ways across the Silva instance to newsviewers.

For example: a number of different newspublications can contain both articles and agendaitems of different subjects and targeting different audiences, and the newsfilters filter and distribute specific items to viewers. Please note that this means that filters must be sensibly set up for the site to allow all newsitems to be shown somewhere: it is very easy to set up the system in a way that articles and agendaitems with a specific subject or target audience are filtered out by all newsfilters, and therefore be excluded from all viewers.

The Items tab

The ‘Items’ tab can be used to filter out specific items, to allow editors and chiefeditors to disallow specific articles and agendaitems to be routed by a filter. To filter out a specific item, uncheck the checkbox in front of it and choose ‘update’.

Now the news- and agendaviewers can be placed. The viewers are the objects responsible for showing the articles and agendaitems to the public. An author can place viewers where he wants news to be shown. The viewers show a list of items routed by the filters.

The Viewer’s Edit tab

The viewers are quite easy to set up: the only tab that matters is the first one (edit), where you can set the number of days the viewer will look back (for newsviewers) or ahead (for agendaviewers) to get items. In the case of newsviewers there is also a switch to choose a number of items to be shown. Also there is a list of available filters. All filters chosen here are used for retrieving news. When placed, the viewers will be available to the public and show articles and/or agendaitems, together with an archive (that allows showing items for a particular month) and a search option.

Appending /rss to the URL of a NewsViewer will show the RSS 1.0 (RDF compliant) view of the items in this viewer.

The RSSAggregator

The RSSAggregator replaces the old (and now removed) RSSViewer. In the edit screen you’ll see a textbox called ‘RSS feeds’ where you can enter the complete URLs for the feeds you want to have merged by this aggregator instance.

All the other functionality is the same as for News Viewers.

Code repository

You can find the code of this extension in Git:


3.0.4 (2013/12/19)

  • Change how the dates are displayed in agenda and news items: no longer properly translate them using the local setting. Display the recurrence information.

  • Validate and prevent bugs while using subjects and target audiences that have been removed or renamed in the service.

  • Improve tests.

3.0.3 (2013/10/09)

  • An agenda filter can only used by an agenda viewer. Agenda viewer API have been cleaned.

  • Extend API usuable by inline news viewer code sources.

  • You can now import and export using JSON files subjects and target audiences inside the news service.

  • Javascripts widgets have been updated.

  • Improve tests.

3.0.2 (2013/05/27)

  • Force date index to use a 64-bit BTree to store its value.

3.0.1 (2013/03/06)

  • Update Silva XML import and export API.

  • Fix tree widget.

  • Improve XML import and export tests.

3.0 (2012/12/11)

  • A news publication can be used directly by the code source inline news viewers.

  • Fix various little bugs in news views when invalid parameters are provided to them (invalid date ranges).

3.0c1 (2012/09/25)

  • Update API to Silva 3.0c1.

  • Various usability improvements.

  • Fix bugs.

  • Improve tests.

3.0b1 (2011/11/11)

  • Initial version as a fork of SilvaNews, based on instead of Products.SilvaDocument, and using silva.ui.

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