This is the celebrated journal of Mr. Simon Collison A.K.A Colly

Friday’s Expression Engine snippet

11th November 2006

I’ll end this week with what I think is an utter gem. I’ve been banging on about how Expression Engine isn’t just a blogging tool, it’s a full-on content management / web publishing / whatever we’re supposed to call these things this week system. Problem is, it’s missing one key, critical feature - hierarchical pages. It’s certainly something you can fudge around, using nested categories for the structure, and one weblog entry per category for the pages. But this tends to get kind of awkward to explain to the people who are going to be using the system.

But now there’s a better way. It’s not a perfect way, but for me, it goes a long, long way towards plugging one of the few gaps in EE. Head over to the Aladdin’s Cave of Expression Engine pimping, download the Pages module, and pledge eternal gratitude to the author, Mark Huot. There’s plenty more information in the related forum thread.

And while you’re at it, try out the File extension too, which is pretty-much essential. In fact, probably best to just grab them all!

Responses

# Hyun responded on 11th November 2006 with...

Sounds interesting… can you explain the concept or show an example what hierarchical pages is?

# Adam Stacoviak responded on 11th November 2006 with...

HEY! I just noticed that your Monday through Friday Expression Engine snippet posts didn’t show up in the RSS feed.

# Simon Collison responded on 13th November 2006 with...

Adam: Yeah, Mr. Rudkin’s posts don’t trigger the feeds owing to the fact he uses a “Guest” status. My fault, somehow. Or maybe EE’s fault.

Anyway, as soon as I post a regular article, all of Simon’s posts ping also. Oddness.

Rudkin: Quality post - didn’t know about some of those extensions. I wish there was a bit more (or any) readme docs with them. Very little supporting info.

There’s nothing to say exactly what the Pages extension does. The File extension seems to swallow info upon previewing a post, and is flaky when you allow more than one file to be added. Also, it just spits out the file path, so no preview of the image.

Don’t get me wrong, I hack EE like anyone, and I’m usually smart enough to work things out, but a bit more info would be useful alongside teh extensions. Still, excellent work from Mr. Huot.

I really should post a few of my own hacks. Today I cracked four major tweaks I have been working on for teh admin panel. Yippee.

# Jim Crock.er responded on 14th November 2006 with...

Nice scripts… Some of them I even will store on my site

# mike kroll responded on 14th November 2006 with...

I couldn’t agree more, Mark’s “coming” to the EE community has literally changed the way I develop EE sites. And for the better, even after about a dozen or so sites into EE.

It’s true though Mark’s docs are non-existent at this point, but the sheer level of updates and support he’s given makes up for that in my book. And here’s the thing — it’s worth figuring out what he’s contributing because it’s obvious that they’ve come out of real-world client-problem solving that we all bang up against every day.

Eternal gratitude and PayPal love have and will continue to go his way. And thanks to this series of guest posts, of course. Colly, posting your own hacks would be a treat, please do.

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