Introducing Slot Machine ... soon!
I've been working with Marco Carbone of Advomatic on a powerful content scheduling module. Marco originally built Slot Machine for FastCompany.com and it proved such a powerful tool for organising content display it was obvious that contributing it to the community was the next step. As its name suggests, the module allows you to 'slot' content into different queues according to topics, which come from a particular vocabulary, and define the update frequency for each slot in each topic. So, for example, you could have an 'Entertainment' page with a 'Latest Buzz' slot that updates every 4 hours, a 'Daily Image' slot that updates daily at 6am, a 'Latest Video' slot that updates every two days, etc... And then you could have a 'Technology' page with the same slots but different frequencies (maybe the technology 'buzz' isn't quite as fast and furious as celebrity scandals and the like...) Anyway, you get the picture.
So at Raincity I've been working on generalising this wonderful functionality into something that can be used on any D5 site - removing dependencies on other modules, adding an admin interface for creating your own feature types etc., and adding a simple system for displaying the slotted content. One of the more difficult tasks has been the generalisation of a feature which allows content to automatically get bumped down to a lower priority slot after it is removed from its original slot. Originally the slots in question were hard-coded into the module and so converting that into a scenario where you're saying "Let any content type that can reside in more than one slot rotate along them in order of priority" has been a challenge. But I think we're nearly there.
Anyway, it has been a great learning experience for me to work on this (thanks to NextScreen for sponsoring the work) and I look forward to us getting the first release out. Here's the project page: