if you have the time and inclination to explain why and how it falls short, that might help us to improve the product
I absolutely will do. In fact one last question springs to mind immediately as far as functionality is concerned...
In addition to being able to accept user generated articles and review them before publication (which I now know Pro_News offers) the other thing I'd like to be able to do is display titles, snippets and a small thumbnail of approved articles on relevant, already existing pages. From what I've read I believe the functionality to show the title/snippet/thumbnail already exists so I suppose I'm asking more about the second part of the process.
To give a quick example, let's say I have an existing page (either the index.php page of a module or a page generated using the original Content module) and this page is all about blue widgets. I then set up Pro_News so that users can submit articles about blue widgets. What I 'd like to be able to do then is somehow display a box with the 3 most recent (approved) user submitted article titles/snippets/thumbnails on a section of this existing page (note: only on a section of this page, the idea is that it would fit in next to other content already there).
If that functionality already exists then I'll be taking a very close look at Pro_News, if it doesn't then I can already tell you that it would be at the top of my list of feature requests.
That would certainly work with our current set up which employs individual modules to display these individual "category overview" pages.
That said, a better solution (from my perspective) would be to have more flexibility about how and where the article snippets are displayed (e.g. some code which I could add to anywhere on any page where the dimensions and contents of the box are specified somehow, along the lines of "a 300x250 pixel box with the latest 3 blue widget snippets").
I understand from the above that this probably isn't a feature of Pro_News at the moment but does it sound like it might be a feasible addition in the future? If it's not something which strikes you as being commercially sensible to pursue for its own sake (i.e. something other people would appreciate and be willing to pay for) are you open to taking on projects like this on a paid basis for individual clients?
If you're asking for snippets of Pro_News code to be executed when another module is executing, then as far as I know the only way is through blocks. Only 1 module runs at a time. Hence my solution above.
If Pro_News was the executing module (not "the original Content module") then more options might evolve. But the straightforward approach would most likely still want to operate via blocks. But Pro_News blocks use callbacks to Pro_News itself so they could use context somewhat - but remember that blocks are prepped for display before the module output is sent, so there is a limitation there.
Creating your "snippets" when Pro_News is the module would just (!?!) mean additional output to the template system and more additions to the template, but I'd need a much clear understanding of the exact feature set to divine a real solution.
Yes to both of your last questions, but unless the money is significant, it also makes a difference if I feel that I can use it commercially to make my own sites better - because donations and fees for templates are important to cover my annual operating costs to provide this module to everyone, but to date they have not generated funds of even a $1/hr
But I'm not precluding anything at this point. Have you seen the fund raiser/kickstart style output that I have an image of here? The significant point is that there is no code additions to the Pro_News module, it's all done in the template! Even allows individual to input their pledges and keeps a running account of the actual donations (through Treasury).
OK, thanks for the quick and detailed replies to all my previous questions, I think we may well be able to use Pro_News and I look forward to testing it later in the month.