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Improvement: Asset Management and Usage should be User-Friendly

The current Asset management is extremely limited, just "create one" and "delete one". The title cannot even be changed through the UI. The title cannot use non-ASCII characters (because of a bug in Cocoon with multi-part forms.) Assets are assigned to Documents, implying the Asset needs to be re-added for every document (because no user will figure out the URL required for an Asset attached to a different document.)

It is very difficult to explain to users how to link to Assets with the current system: go to this other screen and create the Asset, then return to editing, highlight some text, and enter the name of the document without the language, and a slash, and the filename. Whoever designed that has never met a user.

Suggestions that Assets should be associated with Publications rather than Documents seem well-received, but I have not noticed any work on it. I filed a bugzilla.



Hopefully someday:

Separate Assets screen disassociated from Documents. That screen should allow choosing multiple Assets for removal or exporting. It should have a "Import Multiple Files" function that auto-assign the Titles, and an auto-replace option that forces revisions if the filenames matched. The Title would be the filename, or "filename (date)" if the file already existed and auto-replace was not selected. It would be nice to sort the assets by creation date or last revision date, and be able to show only Assets used by certain Documents, or the ones not used on any Document.

Each Asset contains file, title, comment, creation info (who, when), which documents use it, and history. "Replace file" creates revisions. "Remove file" records who/when, and removes (comments) links from all Documents. (Commenting the link allows the Asset to be reactivated by Lenya.) "Edit Asset" allows changing Title and Comment. The History would show :
20050403 16:40 Created by paul
20050403 16:43 Added to /jobs_en
20050415 14:03 Added to /hr_en
20050516 11:12 Replaced by vic
20050723 13:21 Removed from /jobs_en

Security on Assets (so only an Admin can remove the logo and other graphics used on the homepage. This is currently handled by hiding files used by XSL in the file system so they cannot be modified by the GUI. This is a step towards making eveything available through the GUI.)

The Document editors (Kupu...) should add "Link Asset" to choose from list of Asset to insert a link to the AssetTitle. (Should the link text be editable? Change after creation? Or should it change when the Asset Title is changed?) They should also have "New Asset" for easy creation of an Asset while editing a Document, which should also automatically insert the link (because they would not be creating one if they were not about to use it.)

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Paul Ercolino