I was looking over yesterday’s sidebar work and noticed two shortcomings:

  1. While it’s really easy to add new sidebar plugins (just drop the files into place and it’ll pick them up and make them available for use), that only works if sidebar items don’t need any configuration options. If the sidebar needs to ask the user for configuration, then you need to patch app/models/configuration.rb and app/views/admin/general/index.rhtml, which can be kind of non-trivial.
  2. This whole model limits users to only displaying each sidebar type once. Take a look at poocs.net and notice that he has two Tada lists. That’s not really possible with my new sidebar model, short of cloning the tada plugin to create a tada2 plugin, which is ugly.

So, I’m reworking things. I’m allowing users to add individual sidebar items multiple times, and I’m moving the sidebar config data into the sidebar itself, out of Typo’s main configuration system. I’m currently able to create multiple Flickr entries in the database using the new admin UI, but there’s still quite a bit of work left to do.

When this is all done, we should have a really deeply cool drag-and-drop sidebar configuration system that is better then the current system in every way, except perhaps for a bit of complexity. Hopefully it’ll be acceptable to the Typo maintainers.

Update: A screenshot is available.