In a nutshell you can't see changes to an article in Joomla in a live context without publishing those changes.
Previewing Joomla articles gives you pretty much the same view of your content as the WYSIWYG editor - it just pops up in a window. Existing components do exist to enhance Joomla preview but they still take take you to the live version of the article - you might not want everyone to see your edits straight away. Wouldn't it be good if you could see your changes to an article before it was live?
Well now you can edit articles and preview them in real time with full template and module support. Not only that you can have draft versions too.
By creating draft versions you can have real previews before they go live. We're interested in version control for Joomla articles becuase we can see our work before it goes live - we are not currently interested in versiosn for comparison functionality. This has a place but it is not our focus right now. Very expensive enterprise CMS's will have staging areas where a whole site can be previewed before being pushed to live. Well that's nice but a big amount of work for Joomla to handle. So instead of staging and comparing your whole site we have focussed on making real previews a reality for article editing in Joomla CMS. Simple versions means real-time preview of draft articles. Hence we made 'Real Preview'.
Making publish a task rather than a save option
When thinking about this preview version business some more it seemed to make sense to adjust the editing interface in Joomla. The more I kept staring at the buttons on the top right the more I couldn't understand why 'Publish' wasn't up there.
If I am trying to explain Joomla to clients or strangers then I often describe the area top right in the interface as the 'action buttons' zone. These buttons perform actions on the content of the lower panel, e.g., New (Create), Move, etc.
It seemed a logical extension to swap the publish action into a button and replace it with version information. Then we just have to find a way to display version in the interface where they can be loaded for editing, saving and publishing.
What's next for Real Preview?
Joomla 1.7 is now out - depending upon feedback we will start on K2 - our favourite extension (getk2.org). Try the demo to see how revolutionary editing Joomla articles can be.
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