While previewing layouts at various screen and device dimension sizes is familiar to most front end developers and themers, the mechanics of this efforts may still be unknown or cumbersome to content creators and editors. For many of them, the goal of their efforts is to create great content. Anything that helps them quickly determine what this content might look like across the media that will deliver it to consumers is an improvement.
Summary of Pros and Cons raised during the debate of this issue
- Drupal 8 lacks a robust content previewing mechanism. The RP module gets us closer to that goal.
- Comments: #98, #87, #306, #355
- #87, Creating and previewing content is a core function of a CMS.
- #306, This feature is mostly for content-editors, core really lacks a sane content preview (what we have with Preview button - the old school style) So once core 8 focused on editor's experience out of box so it makes sense to include.
- #355, I think this provides a useful feature for content editors, even if it's going to be a pain to maintain.
- Shiny Drupal 8 features give us something to taut on release
- Comments: #107, #268, #298
- #268, Providing rich, user friendly, quick responsive(in speed) editorial interfaces is the way to ensure they get hooked to our Drupal platform.
- #298, The content creators or editors are invariably the decision makers when it comes to the tools they have to use.
- Many direct competitor CMSs have a similar feature. Drupal keeps parity with the RP module.
- Comments: #87
- Specific device names are easily recognized by non-techie content authors
- Comments: #132
- Objection: #133, The list of devices will change every few months.
- Objection: #136, It looks like we are promoting products in Drupal core.
- Objection: #137, Any list of devices will be missing popular devices because of space constraints.
- The device definitions that ship with Drupal 8 will be old in 6 months; using specific device names.
- Comments: #108, #109, #129, #130, #135, #158
- Remediation: #109, Use labels like Phone, Phablet and Tablet instead of specific device names.
- Remediation: Devices are configurable in the UI. New devices can be added. Devices can be deleted.
- Remediation: #155, We will add new device definitions with minor Drupal 8 core updates.
- It is has the potential of being deceptive i.e. that the previews will not match the rendering of the device indicated by the label
- Comments: #88
- It is true that the rendering engine used to produce the preview may not be the same as the one on the intended device.
- This feature is meant to give a content author a quick test of how a page might be presented on numerous devices.
- Remediation: #39, #40, The preview window is not simply sized to match the device's published pixel dimensions, it also takes resolution into account as well.
- We should not be introducing features to core at such a late stage in the development cycle.
- Comments: #85, #89
- Remediation: The RP module is a self-contained feature with no impact on other core modules.
- Remediation: Jesse Beach has volunteered to be the maintainer of the module.
- Remediation: A policy to allow late-stage feature commits is in place.
- Site builders and content creators need to stop thinking about how the site looks on a short list of specific devices because its folly
- Comments: #141
- Native browse tools exist and are getting better for responsive previewing
- Comments: #178, #282
- #282, Most major browsers ship with this facility built-in. Their solutions will not only evolve and improve much faster, they will also be much more accurate.
- Rebuttal: #286 Content authors will most likely not know about or be able to use the tools provided by browsers. These are advanced features.
- The only sure way to preview content on a specific device is to use that device.
- Comments: #285
- Rebuttal: Even the few devices represented by the RP module would cost a couple thousands dollars to purchase. Must all content authors purchase every device in order to preview their content?
Many content management and creation tools are stepping up to aid content creators in this process.
Instant preview by Magnolia CMS: http://www.magnolia-cms.com/magnolia-cms/features/mobile-cms.html
Mobile optimization by Sitecore: http://www.sitecore.net/Products/Web-Content-Management/Mobile-Web/Mobil...
Adobe CQ5 optimization: http://www.adobe.com/it/special/eseminar-enterprise/pdf/CQ5_Mobile.pdf
CQ5 Mobile provides an easy-to-use, browser-based, in-context content authoring environment that eliminates the need for custom client software or separate sites for device types.
Drupal needs to assist in improving the content creation workflow from data model up to the point of end-user consumption.
The responsive preview module proposed here is a light-weight tool for content creators to quickly determine how their pages will appear on smaller devices.
It provides preview options for several popular devices. This device list will be kept current through periodic minor releases of Drupal.
The responsive preview icon still shows up even on the iPhone sim which is obviously not wide enough to preview in anything. Clicking the icon causes it to disappear. (https://drupal.org/comment/8261301#comment-8261301)
User interface changes
A toolbar icon is added. It shows a device drop-down selection menu (devices are configurable from an admin UI) that launches a preview of the current page in a pop-up on the selected device dimensions and default orientation. Users can switch orientation from a dedicated button on the preview UI or select a different device from the toolbar device drop-down.
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