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News Articles module ready to use
Oct 26, 2007
By John Weible
Today I'm announcing the general availability of a new document type within the CMS called "News
Article." This document type is actually suitable for just about any type of serialized
announcements, regardless of topic or newsworthiness. For example, a Library unit or
committee can easily use these to create a blog, to announce events, publish meeting minutes, or
log service changes. You can even generate an RSS feed from your news directory
Editing Differences from standard Webpages
- The Title field is limited to 35 characters to help make sure the page titles will display
sensibly in narrow column summaries.
- The Release_Date and Expiry_Date fields are editable within the regular edit screen.
These dates automatically control the public availability of any document published in the CMS, but
they are much more likely to be used in News Articles than generic web pages, so they're placed
- The Release_Date field gets automatically set to the date when the file is created rather than
being empty by default. You can change the date but not remove it.
- The Release_Date (but not time of day) displays within the article itself as the dateline.
- There is an optional Author field. The field can be inserted any number of times to
represent all the authors.
- The "Featured" field affects the priority of the article compared to others whenever a list of
articles is produced (see below).
- The Image Thumbnail is optional. If used, it should link to an image that is 160x80
pixels in size.
- The Summary field is a required synopsys of the whole article. Typically this will be one
or two sentences.
- The Content field permits XHTML and works just like the Content fields in a CMS Webpage
Features Specific to News Articles
When used on its own, a news article document works and appears very similar to the generic
"Webpage" document type. The power of using News Articles becomes apparent when a "news
module" is defined to show a list or summary of articles on any number of pages. News
articles can be created in any CMS folder, but in practice, they should be organized into one or
more folders designated for news of some type. The reason for this is that you'll then be
able to configure web pages to automatically produce a sorted list of news articles from each
- Until we upgrade to OpenCms version 7.0.2, the Release_Date field won't actually affect the
publication availability feature. It does properly affect article list sorting and show in
the dateline. If you really want to schedule an article to only become the available in the
future, you can use the file context menu's "Advanced | Availability" to set the release date
- Thumbnail images don't yet display.