That's a very good lesson about OO and XoTCL; thank you very much for that. In my weekend studies I can see a lot about what you said, and I'll be able to use this in my future developments.
About the news storage, I agree with you it should be stored in the text. I don't think the description field is intended to do that, and it looked like a strange solution to me. If we have an item in CR, its content should be the most important attribute, not the description.
I can see your changes in HEAD, but you said something that I don't know if I understood: do you have a xowiki-import script anywhere? In Malte's script above he puts the publish date in cr_revisions. In my little understanding about it this you've changed the select queries to retrieve the publish_date from cr_revisions. Am I right? If you did this, Malte's import script will work without any changes.