The ecojournalism.org site that we're building for Eco J-Hub will be one of the first production sites to use Newscoop 4. This is very exciting. It's been the best part of a year since the last major Newscoop release came out. Significant refactoring has gone on with the invisible code that frontenders like me never see, but there's a whole raft of features that I'm excited about already.
Soon to be renamed (Playlists? Of articles? What?), this is a great little drag and drop element that allows you to quickly rearrange the order of articles in a certain section or page. For ecojournalism.org, we'll be utilising this on the front play to allow us to curate the series of blogposts, news articles and investigative longforms that we hope will appear during the workshop in March.
Upload one image and head over to the wysiwyg image placer, which allows you to crop and define how that image will appear on any part of the site. On ecojournalism.org, each image has five possible uses (and therefore sizes) ranging from the front end to thumbnails to the huge article image. Image renditions allow you to define which part will be displayed for each of these uses, so no need to upload 5 different images or make do with odd automatic resizing. Great stuff.
Article Edit Screen
The article edit screen is much improved now. Huge clear text boxes to craft our masterpieces, really intuitive mapping tools to add locations to our articles, nice wysiwyg author lists, clean comment editing and approving... can't wait to get the site into the public domain.
Meanwhile, of course, we're encountering a whole bunch of bugs. This is a Good Thing. Newscoop 4 is not due out till April and so this is a vital step in preparing it for full on public consumption. As we work, we file tickets for improvements and errors that the Sourcefabric team back in Prague fix as soon as they can.
It can be a little frustrating to break your workflow to push a bug report sometimes, but then you remind yourself that this is one of the great outcomes of a project like this. We try and help journalists work better, smarter and quicker with new tools and they help our new tools do the same with direct feedback on the experiences. The end product? Everyone gets tools they are happy with - journalists and developers alike benefit.