I'm trying to package up some tools I've written, and I've come across one bit that is proving tricky with CMF. I will try and explain.

My tool allows users to rate content in a site, and stores information about their responses in a list. So ratings can apply to any content at all, the tool decorates the object with the data about the responses, and deals with that side of things. However, I want to be able to make this work with the catalog, so I can store some information about the last rating, when it was, the average etc and search against it.

I could use more attributes to store these calculations whenever a new rating is added, but I was thinking of following the same approach as for workflow variables - my tool provides some catalog variables that are fed into the indexing wrapper. Also I can add new calculations much more easily this way.

To avoid creating my own catalog tool tied to my new tool, I was toying with the idea of extending the catalog tool so it had a list of tools that could provide catalog variables. Similar (well okay virtually identical) to the way the actions tool has a list of action providers that it consults. Is this something that would be useful as a patch for the CMF? It seemed to me that having the catalog tool know about the workflow tool at a code level is not quite right anyhow.

Any opinions?

--paul t

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