1. Mark Root-Wiley

    Thanks for posting this, Jeff! I just got started on a rough prototype this morning, so your timing is excellent. I look forward to hearing what other people think.


  2. donnacha

    Interesting, the next version of Joomla, currently in alpha, is introducing the same feature.


  3. Mark Root-Wiley

    @donnacha – Very interesting. Do you know where I could find more information about that?


  4. donnacha

    @Mark Root-Wiley – This Australian guy, Peter Bui, has a regular, concise podcast, called Joomla Beat, which does a good job of keeping me up-to-date with what our Joomla friends are up to. I guess you could say that Peter is their Jeffro!

    Here is the specific episode in which the new features in the upcoming 3.2 release are discussed:

    Joomla Beat Ep33 – What’s New in Joomla 3.2

    … and he is basing that on this article by Nick Antimisiaris in the Joomla Community Portal:


    If anything, inline access is even more important for Joomla than WordPress because it also solves the eternally frustrating problem of working out which module each page element belongs to – coming from WordPress, having to search through so many modules and menus is bewildering, so, being able to simply click straight through to the appropriate editing page will be a big, big deal for Joomla.


  5. Mark Root-Wiley

    @donnacha -Thanks! Very helpful. Sounds like they’re only doing it for menus and modules (the “Widget” equivalent) but those are good places to start.


  6. donnacha

    @Mark Root-Wiley – The odd way Joomla works, modules are far more central to how content is displayed than widgets are in WordPress, and menus also play a different role. Regardless of CMS, however, your insights on the importance of inline access, as opposed to front-end editing, are perceptive.


  7. Joshua Parker

    Interesting. I wonder what the die hards “don’t let anyone in the backend” would say about the differing concepts.


  8. Mark Root-Wiley

    @Joshua Parker – That’s a good question, and I’ve been a little surprised not to have heard any responses along those lines.

    However, I have a couple preemptive points:

    1) I think it would be a mistake for WordPress to create a front end interface that acts as a crutch for the back end. One concern I have about front end editing is that it creates two editing interfaces to build, maintain, and perfect. Why not focus on one and make it amazing?

    2) As I wrote in the article linked in this post, I think front end editing techniques tend to hinder the development of a solid mental model of how a site’s component parts come together to build the site in a way the back end doesn’t. Front end editing makes it easier to be a lite user and harder to be a power user.


  9. Joshua Parker

    @Mark Root-Wiley – thanks for the response.


  10. Mark Root-Wiley

    For anyone who is interested, I now have put together a functioning prototype of the plugin. It’s available both in the Plugin Repo and on GitHub. If you try it out, let me know what you think!



  11. MRWweb News, In Brief | Blog | MRW Web Design

    […] on the positive reaction I received (Polish!) to that idea, I put together a real plugin for WordPress that implements […]


  12. Mark Root-Wiley

    Hi Everyone,

    I’m back to report that the plugin development has continued to a point where it’s in great shape for testing and I’ve put together an article of lessons learned. There’s also a survey asking people for feedback to help me determine how to move forward with this project. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.



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