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Feature Request

A CityDesk feature request: article auditing.

By this I mean that I want to be able to see previous versions of articles. Or at least have the knowledge that an audit trail is stored in the database.

The reason I request this...

My company invested considerable time and effort into building a content management system, browser-based and all the rest. Although we have decided not to continue its development, we do have a small user base, and have done the marketing thing to a number of businesses in Melbourne, Australia. A request that came up over and over is for the ability to see old versions of articles, who changed them, and when. It seems this is important to certain types of small and medium-sized businesses.

Steve McLeod
Tuesday, December 25, 2001

I've asked for much the same, although without the storage of the older version of the article itself - just an audit trail of who, when, and a note for why. I would also have the system insert it's own lines in the trail when you create the document the first time, and every time you publish it (although perhaps those are the only lines you'd want?).

My personal use of the feature would be different than most, I would use it primarily as a "what's new" system that I don't have to maintain. Currently I do this by putting dates in the "extra" fields, but this is sub-optimal and all too easy to forget.

With my normal site I simply use HTML files and WinCVS for an audit trail. However this isn't very useful with CD because it's all one file.

Maury Markowitz
Wednesday, December 26, 2001

You could create a file publish location, and check that directory into CVS. Then you could set up the web server itself to get its files from a CVS checkout.

Then you'd actually have a pretty decent audit trail (although not a secure one, because malicious users could manipulate the cvs repository).

Joel Spolsky
Wednesday, December 26, 2001

That's not a bad idea actually. I'm not sure that's within the abilities of most users though. Then again, I'm not sure most users would want this feature, but it seems like it would fit nicely into that big grey area on the Properties tab... :-)

Maury Markowitz
Friday, December 28, 2001

You could write a short DOS batch file that basically did two things: cvs commit and "ssh <remoteserver> cvs update"

Configure it as a "custom browser" called "GO LIVE" in the publish dialog. Then teach users that after they publish they still have to press the GO LIVE button.

It's not SUPER slick, and we're going to find better solutions for 2.0, but it may do the job with CityDesk 1.0.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, December 28, 2001

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