WordPress, draft/private pages, and the parent hierarchy structure

pageshierarchyI’m working with a class of 250+ geology undergrads, split up into 53 groups. They’re using a WordPress site to publish online presentations as the product of a semester-long group project. I’m using the great WP-Sentry plugin to let them collaboratively author the pages without worrying about other students in the class being able to edit their work (I know – but it makes them more comfortable so it’s a good thing to add).

The premise is this – I created a Page called, creatively enough, “Winter 2009” – and each of the groups is to create a page (or set of pages) and add them to the site – and selecting “Winter 2009” as the parent page for the main page of their presentation. They are free to create as many other pages as they like, and can set those to use their first page as the parent, thereby generating a table of contents.

Works great. Except that the WP-Sentry plugin hijacks the “Private” state of pages, and the tree of Pages available in the Parent selector is based on “Published” pages.

Conflict. Confusion. Frustration.

The students could either collaborate on the pages, or organize them in the tree structure.

Of course they could create the pages and add them to the tree structure and THEN enable the WP-Sentry-managed group editing controls, but YOU try explaining that process to 250 undergrads, all stressed out about building web pages as part of a geology course.

So… I dug into the code to see what was yanking “Private” pages from the Parent list. Turns out, it’s in wp-includes/post.php, waaaay down on line 2618 (as of WPMU 2.7). All I did was remove the " AND post_status = 'publish'" bit, and it now appears to be listing all pages.

I’m quite sure I borked something else, but for now I’m leaving the Parent list wide open until the students are done publishing their presentations.

Update: Unintended consequence #242: Looks like with the tweak, Private pages show up where they’re not expected. I’m disabling the tweak for now until I can find a better way (if that’s even possible).

6 thoughts on “WordPress, draft/private pages, and the parent hierarchy structure”

  1. This is awesome! 250 STUDENTS! Crazy, I have to start playing with WP-Sentry soon, because a faculty member with 20 students wants to do something similar, and this is a nice model. Thanks for blogging this, we love you over here at UMW.

  2. yeah. it’s going to be big – but WP-Sentry isn’t working properly. I think I may have misconfigured something because members of a group aren’t able to edit their shared pages. I’ll post if I figure out wtf is wrong.

  3. WordPress, draft/private pages, and the parent hierarchy structure . . .

    Is this bug already solved ?

  4. On a related point I’ve been searching for reasons the draft pages I have don’t show up in the parent hierachy. It’s obviously because they aren’t yet published. You’ve helped me there, so thanks for sharing.

  5. Hello
    I’m working with groups of students who must write pages.
    They’re using the WordPress college site to publish online works group project. As you, i want to use WP-Sentry plugin but when i use group restriction on pages i can’t see them in the menu.
    Have you find a solution ?
    Thanks a lot

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