Why "container" instead of "parent"? The former is another name for folder, the latter describes a document-only hierachy IMO.
Interesting discussion... this is something I thought about a lot when I started to use MODx, but haven’t really revisited since then. Each time I introduce a new client to the system I do have to explain it, however. And I usually have to go over it more than once, since the folder metaphor isn’t entirely accurate (as Ryan pointed out), and people don’t initially realize that folders ARE documents and can be viewed as such.
Usually this means that I end up either deleting extra documents that people make because they thought the folder needed an "index" page as well, or just creating the whole structure for them and then explaining it to them.
But then the question is, "how can we make it more clear?"
I definitely agree that the "Create Folder" menu item should go. There’s no more point to that then in having a "Create Published Document" menu item. I think that the more streamlined the menus are, the quicker people will get the hang of it.
Personally I would lose the folder checkbox as well, since it doesn’t seem necessary at all. Got documents under it? It’s a "folder". No? It’s not. And if we’re going to shift from the "folder" metaphor anyway, then this checkbox will actually be a detriment ("Is Parent?" seems a bit obtuse to me). I don’t know of any reason that it might be necessary to create or view "folders" that are empty, but perhaps other folks do.
So I guess I also would advocate for the "sitemap" indented method of displaying "folders", and I’d also completely remove all references to them (including the Is Folder checkbox). Simpler is better, in my opinion. The fewer options and checkboxes that a new user has to take in, the better (especially if they serve no necessary purpose).
Next step: Can’t we combine weblinks and documents as well?
Yes, if a document has children added to it then it automatically becomes a parent, otherwise it isn’t a parent.
You can actually do some things with the isFolder checkbox in snippets. I’ve used it before to create category menus and things like that, so it is a beneficial bit of metadata. It could also be used (if sticking with empty folder icons) to denote an area which needs additional content, but it’s not quite ready from a client. A "section placeholder" so to speak.
Likewise, isParent isn’t accurate either. A parent by definition has children. A container can be empty (as can a folder).
, MODX Co-Founder
Follow me on Twitter at @rthrash or catch my occasional unofficial thoughts at thrash.me
Section placeholders is what I was trying to set up when I found them reverting to documents. I didn’t mention it because I wasn’t sure it was a valid argument.
Weblinks are another animal altogether; they never get parsed; their content just gets sent to the sendRedirect function. (or the makeURL function then the sendRedirect function if it uses doc ID for its content).
I have read the topic on "Folders vs Documents" and I understand the reasoning, but aren’t we making it more difficult to grasp the concept with descriptions like this:
$_lang["document_opt_folder_help"] = ’Check this to make the document also act as a container for other documents. A "container" is like a folder, only it can also have content.’;
But folders also have content, don’t they? It’s what you put in them.
Personally I don’t see the need to change the terminology. What is the difference? A container contains "stuff". A folder contains documents and other folders. Since we are dealing with documents the folder analogy is appropriate and easy to understand. The difference to, for example the OS’s folders, is our folders can also be written upon. Like in real life. It’s not harder than that. And quite easy to explain and grasp. Changing to "Container" doesn’t add anything new in my view. It just muddies the waters. I think we are making it more difficult than it is. And if we are to change the behaviour in the coming versions, shouldn’t we keep the changes to a minimum for now? This way we are forcing people to adjust more times than should be necessary.
(maybe this is the wrong thread, but I’m seeing this from the translators view... with some extra thoughts on the changes)