Blogs / Sebastiaan van der Vliet / The need for an eZcommunity extension

The need for an eZcommunity extension

Monday 21 March 2011 5:55:12 am

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By : Sebastiaan van der Vliet

Over the past few years, community and web 2.0 functionality in eZ publish has been slow to develop, both as part of the eZ publish kernel and as extensions contributed by the community. However, the pace seems to have picked up considerably. Is it time to revive the eZ community extension project?

I have been developing community functionality in eZ publish since 2005. Together with clients (Hivos, LabforCulture) and my former colleagues and partners at Contactivity we have developed two extensions, the ‘personal’ and ‘community’ extension. The personal extension offers a lot of the standard functionality in eZ publish, such as notification settings, bookmarks, latest content and changing the password. In addition, it also provides a personal homepage, a profile page that can be hidden, an overview of all content created by the user (pending, published, drafts, etc.) and a personal blog. The ‘community’ extension provides a community homepage, a user directory, personal messaging, creating networks between users, community blogs, user import and invitations, and several other functionalities. All functionality has been developed on the distinction between the content class ‘user’, and the content class ‘profile’, with the aim to keep the community functionality separated from the ‘profile’ content class definition. Profile objects are published as a child under the user object. The profile object itself is a container as well, which can hold blog entries, links, images, etc.

Looking at the available functionality in the eZ Community Portal and the extensions on, the pace seems to have picked up considerably. The Community Portal offers essential community functionality such as comments, ratings, profiles, etc. The ezteamroom extension provides a good showcase of what is possible in eZ publish in terms of community collaboration. Unfortunately the extension is far too complicated for many end-users/moderators and difficult to set-up and customize (from my experience). In addition, there are several extensions that provide API functionality to link eZ publish to social networks and web 2.0 applications, e.g. Social Media Fetch, Janrain Auth, Dapp Social and others.


In my opinion these web 2.0 extensions should be integrated into a single community extension that can be installed on top of the standard eZ publish installation. This makes it possible to avoid code duplication, improves the quality of the code, etc, etc. The eZ community extension could be a bit like Drupal Common, as is suggested in the introduction to the Dapp Social Network extension. So let’s revive the eZ Community extension that is mentioned on the homepage. Why should we wait for open funding for this to happen!?

Looking forward to your comments,