Private Categories
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Steven HeynderickxSteven Heynderickx wrote on 10 Nov 2009 15:52

Originally suggested by pieterhpieterh on 13 October 2009.

This is a design sketch for private categories on public wikis.

The goal of this design is to make the simplest possible working solution: we can improve and extend that over time.

Goals and use-cases

The reason for making this feature is to allow a single group of users (members of a site) to work privately and publicly without needing two structures. Today we typically create a private wiki to act as the work area for the public one. This causes extra work, and extra complexity for users. In many cases it causes the private wiki to become abandoned.


Private categories are configured in the site manager as an extra row in the Permissions table:

Pages are visible to:  [_] Anonymous  [_] Registered users [_]  Site members

Note: Private categories are not available for the _default category.

If none are checked, then only mods and admins can see pages in the category. It is valid to give users the right to create pages in a category but not view the results.

By convention in the Iron Giant templates we would create a category 'private:' with this option.

How it works

  • When a non-member tries to see any page (existing or not) in this category, they are shown a pop-up error ("Login and/or join this site to access this category"), and redirected to the site's start page.
  • Files attached to pages in private categories cannot be accessed by non-members.
  • Notifications on pages in private categories go to site members only.
  • The Search module will not show private pages to non-members.
  • The Clone module would not copy private categories but the Site Manager clone function would.
  • In the initial version, there is no further security.
  • In a further version, modules that show or link to pages create a boundary between public and private categories as follows: if they are used on a public page, they never show private pages. If they are used on a private page, they can show all pages. This affects these modules:

Other use cases

Data forms can be used instead of the MailForm module, and submissions can be commented on by those with access to the private category, as well as using the existing 'watch this category' notifications structure to let people know about a new page creation.

Start a new sub-thread

Per-user private pages By pieterh 3 Comments 03 Feb 2010 11:43
Proposal for better private category UI By Steven Heynderickx 5 Comments 03 Feb 2010 08:22
Very useable use case! By Steven Heynderickx 2 Comments 31 Jan 2010 09:56
Pages are visible to: page creator/owner By leiger 0 Comments 13 Jan 2010 23:59
Assign users to private categories By Gustavo Olivares 1 Comments 30 Nov 2009 23:11
Private categories ready to test (closed) By pieterh 15 Comments 12 Jan 2010 13:03

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