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Advanced Content Editing with the eZ Publish Administration Interface

Wednesday 25 July 2007 3:00:00 pm

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Recall from the second article in this series that a content class is made up of attributes, and that a datatype describes the type of value that is allowed in these attributes. When working with text, there are three relevant datatypes: the Text line stores a single line of unformatted text, the Text block stores multiple lines of unformatted text, and the XML block validates and stores multiple lines of formatted text.

Text line / block datatype - plain text format

The only difference between the Text line and Text block datatypes is that the former contains only a single line, whereas the latter can contain multiple lines. Neither allow formatting. The Title field (in the previous screenshot of the Object Edit Interface) represents a Text line attribute. Text blocks are used as is (although the overall formatting of each attribute can be defined in the templates). Therefore, this kind of content is often referred to as plain text.

XML block datatype - rich text format

In contrast, the XML block datatype allows you to add formatting. This can be as simple as marking a word to be shown in bold or italics, or more advanced like tables, lists, inline graphics, links and so on. This kind of content is often referred to as rich text. Formatting is achieved by using eZ XML (Extensible Markup Language) - a feature-rich and highly portable format for defining complex documents and data structures. In the previous illustration, the Summary and Body fields use the XML block datatype. The Online Editor and associated toolbar are enabled by default for editing rich text content.

Browse for file upload

Some content types include external resources like illustration images, files and so on. You can upload a new resource or replace an existing one using the Browse button. For images, the Alternative image text attribute is used in HTML markup for web accessibility reasons. Other special purpose input fields may be present for other resources such as multimedia objects.

Image attribute

Special features

The Enable comments checkbox allows site visitors to add comments to the object, and the Show children checkbox makes it possible to show the sub items of the object.

Enable comments checkbox

Show children checkbox

Content such as feedback forms and quizzes, which involve user interaction, have some input fields that are marked as "information collector" when displayed in edit mode. Editors do not have to provide input here except if it is desired to supply default values. In contrast, for input fields that are marked "required", valid content has to be entered before the object is stored in the system.

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