1.3 Beta release: Login link missing from Admin Options?

Sep 1, 2010 at 5:40 AM

First, let me say I'm quite excited to see Graffiti released, congrats to all who deserve it!

I set up a clean install with little to no problem, but after changing from the default theme, I found that I couldn't sign back in from the sidebar.  It's been a while with Graffiti for me, and I'm much more of a webmaster than a dev (which is why I've waited for a released version)

Anyway, I figured out how to login from /site/login, and then went back to the default theme and found the chalk for login and put it in a chalk box and dropped it in the sidebar (kinda fun to get back into Graffiti and chalk)

But I think a login button needs to be added into Admin Options.


Sep 1, 2010 at 12:19 PM

I take it you are referring to the "Admin Options" widget? That widget only renders if a user is logged in, so it wouldn't make much since to provide a login link.

Using the URL chalk extension either within your theme or using the Chalk Widget to to provide the login link like so: $url.Login is probably the best approach.

Sep 1, 2010 at 3:14 PM

What makes sense is to rework the Admin Options widget to include a way to log in if you're logged out.  Don't know that I've ever seen an app of any type which requires login that doesn't provide a way to do so.

For a casual first time user, the experience now is to setup (logged in via the setup routine), poke around, create a user, change the theme, and log out.  From there as it stands now there is no way with what's presented onscreen to log back in again, and this is a basic and serious omission, it seems to me.

Sep 1, 2010 at 3:41 PM

I'm actually pretty sure that this was an intentional design decision. A clean clean content based site shouldn't really show an admin login link on the site itself. The reason? Your users. If a user sees a login link, then they will think there is a reason to log in to the site. Call it "Admin Login" you say? Do you think that's a good experience to show a user? I don't think so.

Take a look at this site I built: http://citygalmagazine.com/. It would look really bad to put a log in link on this site because there is no reason that a user would need to log in, so why would you show that link to them. But I DO want to show the admin box on the various pages if an author is logged in, so they can manage their posts and whatnot.

madkidd's solution is the best solution because if you really want to put a link to log in on your site proper, the ability is there for you to do it. Putting it into the admin options box is not a good way to do it.

I disagree with you completely regarding this sentence: "Don't know that I've ever seen an app of any type which requires login that doesn't provide a way to do so."

First of all, this app DOES provide you with a means to log in. You can add the link like madkidd suggested if you really need a link on a page and can't remember "/graffiti-admin". Also, I can't think of a single CMS that by default DOES show the link to log in on any of its content pages. Why would they?

Sep 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM

I could see adding the chalk code to draw the login link to the "default" theme for the platform, because that would address what appears to be your specific issue here - the first-time user.

Sep 1, 2010 at 3:53 PM

The user experience for a new user is to initially make changes in the theme, add in some widgets etc, add users if it's some kind of collaboration, and generally go back and forth between the site and the control panel frequently.  I don't think that an experience of trying out a new theme, probably one of the first if not the first cp change, should throw new users into a tizzy.

I of course do see your point of eventually not needing or wanting the login, although with a site with multiple contributors this is rarely going to be the case.

I just "built" a quick little Login Chalk widget that allows login via the sidebar.  I suggest that this would be very helpful to the new user as a default added widget along with the Admin Options.

BTW the default theme does include a login in layout.view, which makes it even more of a surprise to find it missing when you switch themes.

Sep 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM
jkipk wrote:

BTW the default theme does include a login in layout.view, which makes it even more of a surprise to find it missing when you switch themes.

This isn't a surprise at all. The default theme is the "playground" - where you learn about the platform. The other provided themes are more like "real" themes that you might actually want to use for a site. I maintain that any real site, even one with multiple contributors (like you mention) would want that link on the site. Remember, what is the UI of your site for, the consumers of your content or the creators? If you think it's the creators, you are looking at a CMS completely wrong.

Just go ask the user experience expert and/or website designer for any site you work on and see if they would mind adding in a link to an admin-only page on the site right on the home page or in the header. At the very best, you're going to get a flat "no" and nothing more. More likely, they'll give you several reasons why that is a bad idea, including the reasons that I've already given.

The site I mentioned before IS a site with multiple contributors. Well over a dozen actually. And there is no way that we would even consider putting a link to the admin section of the site on the site proper - that would be horrible for the target audience of the site. They don't need to see a link that provides them with absolutely zero value.

Sep 1, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Obviously two different viewpoints, and happy to agree to disagree.

My point is that I see Graffiti as decidedly NOT geared towared "user experience experts", or developers working on sites for others.  It's supposed to be a "CMS for the rest of us", so to speak, of which I count myself firmly in that category.  Here's what I know.  As a user, I found the installation to be easy.  I also found the default theme to be quite undesirable, and so almost the first thing I did was change it.  I know enough to create a user account and not create content with the admin account (if for no other reason that it posts as "admin").  Adding those up, in the first 5 minutes of using Graffiti, I found myself "locked out".

Sure, I found the /login page, and within a few minutes I was able to create a chalk widget to be able to log in while I continued to set up the site.  I'm not arguing that a permanent login link is desirable or necessary, I concede that redoing Admin Options would be overkill.  However adding in a default chalk widget with a login link, easily removed when the time comes, seems like a reasonable thing to do to prevent the type of poor first use experience I had.


Sep 1, 2010 at 7:00 PM
jkipk wrote:

My point is that I see Graffiti as decidedly NOT geared towared "user experience experts", or developers working on sites for others.  It's supposed to be a "CMS for the rest of us", so to speak, of which I count myself firmly in that category. 

I never said that the platform is geared towards experts in any way. I said that they would show you that putting a link to an admin section on a site for users is not a good idea. Even "the rest of us" would want to build a good site for the target audience of their site, right? And having a link show up on the site that is only valid for admins is not a good experience for the target audience. The point is that the front-end of a CMS (outside of the admin areas) is not designed for the owners of the site, nor should it be. The front end of the CMS is for the audience and the audience alone.

As for your belief that Graffiti is supposed to be a "CMS for the rest of us", I'm not really sure where you get that from. I don't agree or disagree with the point, but still not sure where you get it from. And if you want to use that as a reason to do something, why don't we take a look at another CMS designed to be used by the general public - Wordpress. At least 99% of the Wordpress themes I've seen do not show admin links in their themes anywhere - again, for the same reasons I've repeated here many times before.

Maybe explicitly stating in the documentation how to get to the admin/login page is needed. I know it was there back when I first set up a Graffiti site, but maybe it got removed with the various changes to the platform. Adding something to the documentation here stating exactly what madkidd provided wouldn't hurt either, but I still do not feel that adding a widget like that to the site install by default is necessary or even a good idea. In fact, the admin options box isn't actually included on the site by default, is it?

Sep 2, 2010 at 3:52 AM

The Admin Options widget is loaded by default in a new install, yes.

Graffiti was originally "Content Made Simple" (CMS, get it?).  Here's a link to the original press release, touting Graffiti for "a personal blog, a family Web site, or a primary Web presence for a small business, Graffiti software is the solution for customers who want content made simple".  Not quite "...for the rest of us", but you get the idea.

Wordpress by default does include a login, here's a link to an image of the very familiar default page.  I won't link to the many many themes that do include logins by default, agreed that many sites take them out, but doubt that many just disappear without a user generated change.

Graffiti makes it drop dead simple to add Chalk in widgets, and it would be drop dead simple to include (along with the included by default Admin Options) a login widget.  Want to take it out?  One click and it's gone.  Why not use the power of Graffiti to provide the best of both worlds?

Another point on Graffiti login is that with chalk, most of the work done in theming etc. isn't going to be done in VS or some other IDE, but on the site itself, in the admin panel.  Again I'm not advocating leaving the login in long term, we're arguing apples and oranges here.  I'm saying that I think that Graffiti out of the box, given that it is so drop dead simple (and such a good instructional use of widgets), should encourage experimentation without pain.  Yes I agree a login box in a fully built production site is bad.  I also maintain that a disappearing login box (and the login is content - not decoration) just by changing a theme is also just as bad, if not more so.

I think we've both made our points, and again happy to agree to disagree.  I'll stop now ;)