User restrictions: HTML?

Because of the hot weather, lots of ideas, opinions and experiences, aren’t able to leave my mind in a normal way. What’s normal? Figure it out how to do some stuff, create a dev-environment, start Visual Studio and SQL Server: Let’s get ready to rumble! 🙂 For some reason, I’m not able to do it at the moemnt. So I’ll just share it. Maybe you guys, readers of my blog, can pick it up.

Just released version 1 of a big Intranet, our test-team is no working on it and I’m waiting for their reports. It would be nice to see a fully filled website, with nonsense-news-bulletins from their hands…
Even before the test-tea has started testing, I had to show to 2 employees of our customer, how Sitecore is going to work for them. They were pretty excited. Easy, nice, cool, etc.
The first message they did post was soemthing like ‘Board Appointment start 15 minutes later’. They actually put this text inside an Introtext-field… The Introtext-field is an HTML-field. This because of I wanted to give them the functionality to make something bold, and use the italic button… What I didn’t want them todo was color and uppersize the text…

This actually opened my eyes. Later that day, I was talking to one of our designers. That guy, which acts to an engineer always a little strange, started the conversation to me about what kind of possibilities you should provide to the user.
For example:
– Title of an item, it used in menu’s and on it’s own page. Should it be possible for the user to make it bold? Does it affect the individual page or all menu’s?
– General content fields. Do you want to allow a user to use tables to show their data or should they use an image of a link to an Excel-sheet?
– What about copy and pasting content from Word, Powerpoint, Excel, etc?

Users can actuallt screw up the full site. The only option left is to use only text- and memo-fields. You are definitelly restricting users to much…. Or maybe? An option would be(this comes up whiel writing this posts):
– Extend the System Field-template with a field ‘Allowed Tags’
– Fill while creating zan HTML-field, what kind of tags are allowed.
– On save or maybe on retrieve, tidy the field…, creating a customised field in code is one of the best options, I guess?

Hmmzzz…. You even can look at multible configurations of the stuff above. On page X you want to do this, on page Y you want to do that…

Does anyone of you guys have the same problem? This is not only Sitecore related. This is something which comes up whenever you pprovide users access to a system… 🙂 Hope to see some reactions.

3 thoughts on “User restrictions: HTML?”

  1. Hey Alex,

    Why not create different HTML editor profiles, where one of them is limited to specific styles only? E.g. an abstract field that uses a profile “abstract” that only allows editors to use classes (e.g. a class called ‘csbold’ could do it).

    Then simply style the output (through css).

  2. And on top of what Lars suggests, you might want to look into the publishing workflow, add a few cleanup routines and such there. It would be possible to filter out unwanted markup, even if it would probably be RegEx hell to make 😉

  3. Hi Mark,

    Sitecore has some HTML-Tidy methods. Will post a blog item about that later today.
    We don’t implement workflow so often. Goodone to write another post why not and a way to stimulate it :).


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