What’s up with Page Linking?

As you may know, SDL Tridion Sites Product Management is planning to “pick some low-hanging fruit” to be incorporated in the future SDL Tridion Sites 9.1 release.

So, the idea (pun intended [:)]) is that we look for popular ideas (measured by number of votes) which don’t seem to be very costly to implement.  The first part makes it (tasty) fruit, the second part makes it low-hanging. Because the fruit hangs low, we should be able to pick quite a few pieces. Now, let’s hope the owner of the orchard doesn’t mind. [;)]

We’re targeting to have, say, the top 10 popular ideas in the product; see the SDL Tridion Sites Ideas list.  Interestingly, a significant part of those top 10 ideas actually qualifies as “low-hanging fruit”, so life’s good!

But, there’s something that’s bothering me…  One of the ideas is about “Page Linking”, that is: the ability to directly link to Pages in Content Manager rather than indirectly through Component Links. I’m not sure why, but somehow this idea draws my attention. Maybe because it is so obvious that such functionality is desirable, maybe because it is one of the first Enhancement Requests I have seen when I started working at this company called Tridion in 2001.

I’m bothered by three questions:

  1. Is this tasty fruit?
  2. Is this low-hanging?
  3. Why does the SDL Community Ideas site not seem to help me with those questions?

Is this tasty fruit?

The Idea is currently not in the top 10, despite an earlier campaign to draw attention to it.  Well, maybe it’s just in the top 10 given it has the same number of votes as quite a few others; let’s call it a tie for the 10th place. 

So, not impressively tasty according to these measures.  But somehow I still don’t believe this… 

Is this low-hanging?

It initially seems so, but the more you think about it, the more complex it becomes.

The point is: given how BluePrinting is typically used, you will quickly end up with a need to link a Page which does not exist in your context Publication, but in Publication(s) lower in the BluePrint. That makes it quite tricky and much more complex than just allowing users to link to a Page.

Would a Page Linking Feature still have value if we don’t immediately address this cross-Publication linking requirement too?

Why does the SDL Community Ideas site not seem to help me with those questions?

Okay, it gives me an objective popularity measure, but my gut feeling says it is not correct.

We have posted some questions to get more clarity on the requirements, but there is no response from the Community on those questions whatsoever. 

We were expecting that it would take some time for good ideas to collect the number of votes they deserve and for the Community to provide feedback on our questions to clarify and elicit more detailed requirements.  Tasty fruit requires some time to ripen, after all. 

The amount of feedback we’re getting so far is a bit disappointing, though.  Apparently there’s still more work needed to promote this channel so it starts functioning in the way we were hoping.

The bottom line

If this Idea is really only on a shared 10th place and we will have to address cross-Publication Linking in scope of the solution, it doesn’t seem to qualify as “low-hanging fruit” and thus we won’t implement it in SDL Tridion Sites 9.1.

But, as said, it feels like something is wrong. I’m hoping we will be able to get a better picture of the popularity, requirements and scope: what is the “Minimum Viable Product”?

So, please help me out with providing your feedback and voting! SDL Tridion Sites PM is committed to taking this ideation process seriously, but we need your help.