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skenow

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Posted on: 2007/2/23 4:51
skenow
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Posts: 993
Since: 2004/11/17
#11

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 9 - Group Therapy

One of the major strengths of a Xoops-based site is the ability to create content and control access to that content by specific user groups. You can also control actions for various areas by user group. But, some thought needs to be put into this before forging ahead.

Enter the Adminstration Menu and hover over the System Admin icon - click on the Groups link in the menu that pops up. (or, click on the System Admin icon and then click on the Groups link in the main part of the page.)

The default XOOPS install contains 3 user groups - Webmasters, Registered Users, and Anonymous Users.

Anyone who visits your site and is not logged in is in the Anonymous Users group. You cannot authenticate who they are, so you want to be very careful about any rights you assign to them.

When someone registers and has their account activated, they are automatically placed in the Registered Users group. When they login, they will have whatever access has been granted to that group.

The only user automatically placed in the Webmasters group is the administrative user created when then site is installed. Webmasters have access to ALL areas of the site - content and administration. I highly recommend creating another Administrators group and using the Webmasters group for technical maintenance. The reason for this is this group receives access to everything by default. If you want to remove access for this group (sensitive or privileged information, for example), you will not be able to do that for the Webmasters group.

Think very carefully about groups that will use your web site - it is easier to add them at the beginning than to go through your site and alter permissions in all the modules if you add a group later. Also try to think in terms of permissions on actions (view, create, modify, delete, approve). You can create any number of groups to achieve the level of control you desire.

You can assign users to a group in the Groups page, or you can edit individual users and the groups assigned to them. As you are developing your site, I recommend creating a user for each group you will have and testing your site with each of those users.

--- More Information ---
Xoops Operation Guide - Groups

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/2/24 3:44
skenow
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#12

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 10 - Installing Our First Module

By now, you are probably anxious to add some content to your site - am I right? Be patient, my friend. All in due time. Building the foundation is key to a successful site and fewer administrative headaches.

There are some modules I mentioned in the early posts that you should have downloaded and made part of your XOOPS install folder. We're now going to install your first module.

Hover over the System Admin icon in the Administration Menu and click on Modules in the popup menu, or click on the icon, then click on Modules. The page will show the installed modules at the top of the page and the modules available to install at the bottom of the page. These sections are not labeled as such, but that is the structure. Following the steps outlined in this thread, you should see 1 installed module (System) and 1 module to install (Xoops DB backup and restore). Since one of the basic warnings and recommendations is to backup your site, we will install the backup and restore module now.

Across from each module to be installed, you will see 2 icons at the right of the line - one for install and one for information. Click on the install icon (the one on the left) to start the installation process. This will bring you to the first page of the installation process with 2 buttons - one to start the installation and one to cancel the installation. This gives you the opportunity to confirm which module you will be installing. Click on 'Install'. The installation script for the module will begin and the next page you will see will be the results of the installation process. If all the files were copied to the module folder correctly, then installation should have proceeded just find, and when you scroll to the bottom of the page you will see a message letting you know the installation was successful and a link back to the modules administration page.

Upon returning to the module administration page, you will now see another icon in the administration menu and the module list will show the backup module in the top portion of the page. Below each installed module you will see a text box with the default name of the module. This is the name that will display in the Main Menu in the user side of your site. Not all modules display in the user side, backup is one that does not. The 'weight' of a module determines its position in the Main Menu. Setting it to '0' hides it and does not display the module in the Main Menu.

Each module will also have a general configuration - you can access it by hovering over its icon and clicking on 'Preferences' (most use this term, others may use 'General Configuration'). Familiarize yourself with this module and its options. View the readme. Set your options and backup your database for the first time.

As you add and remove modules from your site, you will want to update the backup modules to let it know the database has changed. In the section of installed modules, you will see an icon to update the module. You will also use this whenever you are upgrading to a new version of the module (follow the module authors' instructions for upgrading, very important!)

This module does not provide user side content, but is essential in maintaining and supporting your site. The next module is a bit different because it involves adding a folder outside of the modules folder. We'll cover that next.

--- More Information ---
Module Installation Tutorial
Xoops FAQ - Modules
Xoops User Guide - Chapter 2, section 11
Xoops for Dummies - click on Modules in the menu
Xoops Module Support Forum

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/2/28 3:34
skenow
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#13

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 11 - Another Kind of Module Install

Well, the last few days went by a bit more quickly than I anticipated - but we're back at it today.

Note: when we installed the XOOPS DB backup and restore module, part of the instructions found the module's readme file include creating a folder in your /uploads folder for the backups. The module authors recommend calling the new folder /backup and have set it as the default location in the module's preferences - sorry no one caught this before. It pays to read the instructions!


A quick review - you've downloaded the latest XOOPS core and extracted it to a local folder, along with Frameworks 1.10, Xoopseditors 1.10, DB backup and restore, Protector, and XoopsInfo.

So far, I've only had you copy the Frameworks, Xoopseditors and DB backup and restore folders to your XOOPS root folder. We also downloaded a local web server (XAMPP, WAMP or Uniform Server), installed it and got our XOOPS site up and running.

Now, we're ready for a different kind of module install - one that contains folders outside of the /modules folder. XoopsInfo contains an extra folder that goes in the root folder of your XOOPS site (at the same level as /modules). There are various reasons for placing folders outside the /modules folder or even outside the root folder of your site (if you can), but the primary reason is to protect your site from outside attacks. While this currently adds a bit of complexity to the installation of a module or update, I am sure this will be addressed in the future development of the XOOPS architecture.

So, on with it! Open the folder you extracted XoopsInfo into and find the /phpsysinfo folder. You will also see /class, /kernel, /language and /modules. /class, /kernel, and /language make changes to some of the core XOOPS files, so I recommend leaving those alone and not adding them to your site just yet. Copy the /phpsysinfo and /modules folders to your root. You will get a warning about the /modules folder already existing, but you can safely copy this folder over your existing /modules folder. It will only add the /xoopsinfo folder inside the /modules folder, adding it as a module, just like you did with Xoops DB backup and restore.

After you have copied these 2 folders, go back to your web server and make sure it is running, then point your browser at your local install and log in. Go to the Administration Menu.

Hover over the System Admin icon and click on Modules. At the bottom of the list, you will now see XoopsInfo. Click on the install icon to start its installation. Once completed, you will now have 3 icons in the Administration Menu. Click on the XoopsInfo icon to see its main page. It will show you some basic information about your XOOPS install and server configuration, along with some in depth information about your server, php, MySQL and information specific to your XOOPS install - modules, editors, and templates (page layouts) that are being overridden by your selected theme. All these options will provide you with ample information about your web site and XOOPS installation should you need assistance with troubleshooting a problem with your site. Most responses to initial posts in the XOOPS forums about a problem will ask for information about your site you can gather by going to the XoopsInfo pages. Get to know your site's architecture!

Now that you've added another module, you should update the backup module and create another backup of your site and its database. To update a module, you can use the Modules page of the System Admin section, or you can now use the Modules page of XoopsInfo. We'll use XoopsInfo this time.

Click on the XoopsInfo module icon, then on the Modules Info tab. Look down the page to where the XOOPS DB backup and restore module is listed. In the Action column, you will find an update icon (the only icon in this column for this module at the moment). Click on it to start the update process. You will proceed through the update and when the update is complete, you can click on the link at the bottom of the page to go to the Modules Admin page.

Now, click on the XOOPS DB backup and restore module icon and click on Backup database link to perform your backup.

Still no module for user content, yet, but these first steps will make life easier as you build an awesome site based on Xoops

--- More Information ---
Support for XoopsInfo
- Also, click on the Help link at the top of the XoopsInfo page for tips
Xoops Operation Guide - Modules
Xoops FAQs - Modules
Xoops for Dummies - Modules

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/2 21:13
skenow
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#14

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 12 - Protector: Protecting Your Site and The New Module Architecture

We downloaded this module at the beginning, and now we are ready to install it. It introduces a completely different folder structure to better protect your site and its content. This will involve more than just copying folders to your site's folders, it will also require you to edit one of your XOOPS files

So, look in the local folder where you downloaded and extracted the Protector module (as of right now, it should be version 3.0). You will notice there are 2 primary folders in this module /html and /xoops_trust_path. Let's start with the /html folder, since that contains what all modules contain - a folder (/modules) that gets copied to the base folder of your site. Inside the /modules folder of Protector is another folder(/protector) that you expect when you install a module in Xoops.

Now, a bit of background about the architecture of a web site.

When you access a web site, you type something like www.website.com in your browser's address bar. The browser sends out a request for the contents of the root folder assigned to that site. There are configuration files at that site that tell the browser which page to display when only a folder is requested. In our case, it will be index.php. From there, the site can link to other pages in the same, or different folders. You could access most of those pages directly by typing www.website.com/folder/pagename.php (or pagename.htm, or pagename.html, or ... any valid page extension recognized by that web server).

There are some pages you definitely want to protect from prying eyes - pages with passwords, pages that have information about database connections, pages that handle the input from forms. You can protect them by applying different permissions to the folders, only allowing specific users or groups to access them. But, for even better protection, you want to move them somewhere they can't be accessed by typing an address in the browser address bar.


That is the idea behind XOOPS_TRUST_PATH - create another folder parallel to (at the same level as) your root folder. In you local XAMPP (or other local web server), create a folder at the same level as /htdocs. Go ahead and do that now, but be creative when coming up with a name for that folder.

After you have created your trusted path folder, copy the contents of Protector's /xoops_root_path folder to your new folder.

Remember I told you that you would need to edit one of the files of your XOOPS installation? This doesn't happen often and you need to be very careful when you do this, especially after you have launched your site. Look in your root folder for a file called mainfile.php. Don't be alarmed about the file extension, the file itself is just a text file. You can use any text editor to open this file - something like Notepad will work just fine.

Look for the lines in mainfile.php that look like this -
Quote:
// XOOPS Physical Path
// Physical path to your main XOOPS directory WITHOUT trailing slash
// Example: define('XOOPS_ROOT_PATH', '/path/to/xoops/directory');
define('XOOPS_ROOT_PATH', 'your/path/will/be/here');

Highlight all those lines and copy them. Then place your cursor on the blank line just below those lines and paste the lines you just copied.

Now you need to modify those lines to provide the location of your trusted path folder. You will end up with something like this -
Quote:
// XOOPS Trust Path
// Physical path to your XOOPS trusted directory WITHOUT trailing slash
// Example: define('XOOPS_TRUST_PATH', '/path/to/xoops/trusted_directory');
define('XOOPS_TRUST_PATH', 'your/path/will/be/trusted_directory');


Save this file, then launch your web server and browser, go to your local url, log in and go to the Administration Menu.

Install the Protector module - it is just like any other module, now. Once you've installed the module, go back and open mainfile.php again. There are some more changes you will need to make to activate Protector on your site. You can read the complete instructions in /xoops_trust_path/modules/protector/docs/readme, but here is the excerpt
Quote:
After XOOPS Protector is installed, edit your mainfile.php like this:
define('XOOPS_GROUP_ADMIN''1');
    
define('XOOPS_GROUP_USERS''2');
    
define('XOOPS_GROUP_ANONYMOUS''3');

    [
color=ff0000]include( XOOPS_TRUST_PATH '/modules/protector/include/precheck.inc.php' ) ;[/color]
    if (!isset(
$xoopsOption['nocommon']) [color=0000ff]&& XOOPS_ROOT_PATH != ''[/color] ) {
        include 
XOOPS_ROOT_PATH."/include/common.php";
    }
    [
color=ff0000]include( XOOPS_TRUST_PATH '/modules/protector/include/postcheck.inc.php' ) ;[/color]

If the blue colored part is different from your mainfile.php, don't mind it.

Save your mainfile, then go back to the Administration Menu and click on the Protector icon. Go through the preferences and follow the remaining instructions in the readme.

On a local install, you will what to remove the 127.0.0.1 IP from the ban list.

If you are editing mainfile.php and then uploading to a live site, be sure to remove the read-only attribute of the file so it will get overwritten! Change it back when you are finished.

Remember - you just installed a new module, so the Backup module needs to be updated. Update it, then do another backup of your database

--- More Information ---
XOOPS_TRUST_PATH Forum Topic
Protector 3.0 Forum Topic
XOOPS_TRUST_PATH Article at Xoops-Tips
Protector Web site

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/7 1:49
skenow
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Home away from home
Posts: 993
Since: 2004/11/17
#15

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 13 - How Does It Look?

With a most of the foundation built, it is time to turn our attention to how your web site will look. This will mean getting a good understanding of the building blocks of your content and the style, or theme, of your site.

There are a few more administrative tools we could add to the 'backend' of your site, but I'm sure you're ready to build some of the more visible parts.

We have already talked about how modules can add functionality to your site - each module has a specific type of content it provides. Within each module, you will get several blocks with various pieces of information specific to that module. For example, with the News module, you get the main content portion of the module, a recent news block, a random news block, a topic index, a top news block, a Big Story block, a navigation block and a moderators' block.

Before we get too far into specifics about blocks, let's take a look at the layout of the pages on your site. In the default layout (theme), there are 8 zones that can hold information blocks, a main zone for content, and the header and footer of the page.

Now, start your local web server and open your browser to your main page. Log in, then go to the Administration Menu. Click on the System Admin icon and click on the Blocks link in the System Configuration area (Or hover over the System Admin icon and click on the Blocks link in the menu that pops up).

You will see the area that allows you to assign blocks to different positions on the page, set their visibility, set their weight (their order) and assign groups that can view the blocks. You can set these options for many blocks all at once from this page, or you can edit the individual block by clicking the Edit link in the right column for a particular block. When you do click on the Edit link, you will see that many blocks have other options you can also set for that individual block.

With the modules we have installed so far, the only one that has blocks visible in the user side of your site is the System module. That contains the Login block, the Main Menu, User Menu, Theme selection, Search, Notifications, Site Info, Top Posters, Recent Comments, New Members, Who's Online and Waiting Contents.

The system blocks that are visible by default are there for a reason - the login block allows you to login without knowing the url for your login page (www.yoursite.com/user.php), the Main Menu allows you to navigate your site. The User Menu allows you to view and edit your profile (user information). Take those away, or hide them from specific groups and you will have some user issues. For usability, I always put the login block and user block in the same position, with the same weight. Another practice is to put the search block near the Main Menu, or somewhere easy to get to on every page.

By using, or not using, certain positions, you can create site layouts with the basic theme that vary from 1 column designs all the way to a 4 column design.

As you position content blocks on your page, be deliberate about placing the important stuff 'above the fold'. You don't want your visitors having to scroll down every page to get to the interesting information. The primary navigation should also be above the fold, along with a few images (people are drawn to pictures). Don't overload your pages with images and make them slow to load!

In addition to the provided blocks, you have the option of addition custom blocks - but that is an entire topic by itself. Just know that it exists, for now.

Start visualizing your site layout and the content you want on your pages - the top center blocks will be above the module content and the bottom center blocks will be below the content.

Click for a view of the default theme block positions
Resized Image

--- More Information ---
Xoops User Guide - Blocks
Xoops for Dummies - Blocks

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/9 3:48
skenow
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#16

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 14 - Dress It Up!Resized Image



Where things go on your pages is one thing to consider as you develop the viewable portion of your web site. Also important is the visual theme of your site - graphics, colors, fonts and link styles are just some of the visual aspects of your site

You will most definitely want your site to look unique - to match the content and personality of the site owners/maintainers. One of the most important aspects of your site is how it looks when people do visit. There are hundreds of options for themes you can download and use on your site. Or, if you are so inclined, you can modify one of the existing themes or create one of your own to use on your site.

Themes are like suits of clothing - different themes for different occasions. You may have several different themes available for people to choose from when they visit.

We need to talk about how to add themes to your site and make them visible.

First, understand where XOOPS knows which themes are available on your site. Go to the folder where your local XOOPS files are and look at the folder structure. Just like the modules folder, there is a /themes folder. In that folder are folders for each of the various themes available for you to use on your site. The default installation comes with 3 themes - default, phpkaox and x2t.

Browse through the Theme news section, the various theme sites, or search using a major search engine for 'Xoops Themes' to find one to your liking. Download it to your computer and extract it to a folder (it most likely will be a compressed archive - a .zip or .tar.gz file). Once you have extracted it, look at its folder structure. You will want to copy the folder that contains theme.html to your themes folder. For example, if you download the morphogenesis theme for your site, you will need to copy the /morphogenesis folder to your themes folder

After you have copied those files/folders to your local XOOPS install, start your web server and browser. Sign in to your site and go to the Administration Menu. You'll be going to the System Admin area and to the Site Preferences.

Click on the edit link for General Preferences and go down to the Default Theme option. The selection box will show all the themes available on your site. There is also a selection box for themes users can select using the Themes block, if it is enabled for their group.

Once you go back to the user side of your site, you will need to log out to view the new look of your selected theme. One of the important things to look at as you view your site with the new theme is the title the browser displays.

For best positioning in search engine results, the title should specific to the page and contain the name of your site. Notice the order the various elements take in the title. Also note if your site name is contained as text within the header. Do you need to change the graphic/header supplied with the theme to match your site? There are several things you can do with your theme to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO) - I suggest starting by reading this article at Xoops-Tips and this
article at My Webmaster Resources
. You will definitely want a 'compliant' theme (xHTML, CSS, W3C and accessibility).

Visit some of the theme demo sites and preview lots of themes. Download ones you like and install them on your site and see how they work for you.

--- More Information ---
Xoops FAQs - Themes and Templates
Theme Tutorial at WarPigW2
Xoops Docs - Theme - doesn't talk about the new block positions introduced in 2.0.14
New Theme.html

--- More Resources and Theme Showcases ---
morphogenesis theme

There are lots of great examples of XOOPS Themes available, just check out some of them...
Xoops Theme Library
News - XOOPS Themes
Xoops Showcase
Xoops Theme Demos
XoopsDesign
XoopsFactory Theme Demos
Bassman Themes
Xoops - Kris
Mr Themes

The above is by no means a complete list of the great theme contributors for Xoops.

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/10 1:38
skenow
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Since: 2004/11/17
#17

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Resized Image
Day 15 - Finally, Some Content!

You've been very patient - thank you! Your patience will be rewarded with a well-built foundation for your site and your biggest worries will be about finding the time to devote to your visitors. In this entry, we'll look at the different types of content and devise a good approach to building your content and your traffic.

Content is King and it is up to you to provide it. Module selection can be a bit overwhelming to some, but there are some good rules to follow as you start. Where I recommend you start is by identifying the types of content you want on your site and determine how often it will be updated.

The simplest web sites are pretty static - a few pages about you and your site, maybe some contact information and a few photos. You may even have an old site you have decided to move to XOOPS and you want an easier way to update the pages once in a while. Every site will have some of this type of content and there are a few options for this. Since we have not rushed into anything in this series, I am not about to break with tradition - start simple and with the content that won't require a lot of maintenance, then move on to more labor-intensive content.

As you examine the content you will be adding to your site, think about the ongoing effort needed to maintain it. If you start with a module that is very interactive and you get swamped with it, the other stuff just won't get done. Best to get some of the other things done first.

Also look at how one section might feed another - if, for example, you plan on having a lot of photos and select an album module, you will want to use your photos in other areas of your site pretty easily.

When evaluating modules, read this FAQ - it offers some great advice about selecting modules that are still being actively developed and supported, something important to the future of your content.

Static (and Borrowed) Content
Wiki
HTML Content Wrapper
News Aggregator
Contact Form(s)

Some Activity Required
Articles
Downloads
Links
Albums
Audio/Video files

More Activity Required
News
RSS Feeds (of your content)
Calendar
FAQs

Lots of Activity (and Maintenance)
Forums
Chat
Blogs

This is not an exhaustive list of content types, but these are the most common. You could have a site with all these modules and more, but I have sites with as few as 2 modules.

--- More Information and Resources ---
Xoops Module Repository
Xoops Module Development
Xoops FAQs - Modules

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/11 22:44
skenow
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#18

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Resized ImageDay 16 - Content (Wiki) Modules

Every site will have some content that doesn't change much - privacy policies, terms of use, introduction pages, etc - and the easiest way to create these pages in XOOPS is to add a content module.

In the FAQ about selecting modules, you are advised to find modules that are by active XOOPS members, still show signs of further development and work with the current version of Xoops. Of the wiki modules currently available, there are 3 that fit these criteria - Wiwimod, DokuWiki and MediaWiki. Your choices for content modules include TinyD and pico, both by GIJOE, who is planning on focusing his efforts on pico. Personally, I find Wiwimod to have the shortest learning curve and it supports the xoopseditors, giving the users WYSIWYG editors. Wikis have their own special syntax and usually do not have much in the way of WYSIWYG editing. But, if you are used to the syntax, it is not so much of an issue.

My disclaimer: these are my opinions and you should download and test modules for yourself! I'm looking forward to the new Module test site and the revamped repository to help identify modules I will further test for my own use.

Wiwimod comes with an initial default home page for you to edit and it has an online manual to help with some of the special syntaxes it uses for creating new pages and pagebreaks. Wiwimod also has additional blocks to use in your site - Recently Modified Pages, a Table of Contents, and 'SideContent' (related content), and a block to show any Wiwi page.

One thing to be aware of, and this is for any module that uses WYSIWYG editors - most current browsers block some scripts by default. So, you will find that trying to paste something from the clipboard will only work with keyboard commands, not mouse actions. You may think the editor is not working, but it is actually the browser that is preventing the function from working at all. Firefox has an extension to enable clipboard functions - it is well worth installing.

Well - what are you waiting for? Start adding pages to your web site!

From an administrative standpoint, uninstall any modules you elected not to keep and delete the folders from your web folder. Update the DB backup module and backup your database again.

--- More Information ---
Wiwimod Site
DokuWiki and MediaWiki Site
TinyD and pico site - the site does support English, just click on the flag.
Firefox AllowClipboard Helper

skenow

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Posted on: 2007/3/13 2:41
skenow
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Home away from home
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Since: 2004/11/17
#19

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 17 - Picture This!

No doubt, as you started creating your pages, you were wondering 'How can I add pictures to my pages?' I am going to give you one of my favorite answers - That depends!' Today, we'll examine some of the options available, and hopefully, you'll be able to make some determinations on what will work best for your site and it's users.

Including images in your pages moves you from the text-based pages of the early Internet to the image-laden pages of the World Wide Web. There are lots of considerations you need to address from an administrator's vantage point and from a user's standpoint. Do the images add to the message? Do they slow down your web page? Do they match the content? Do you have copyright issues to worry about? What about privacy issues? What about storage space and bandwidth on your server?

The simplest use of images on your site will be to enhance and complement the brilliant writing on your site. XOOPS core has a built-in ImageManager in the Administration menu. Log in as the administrator for your site, click on the Administration Menu, then click on the System Admin icon, then click on the Image Manager link (or hover over it and click on the Images link). The system imagemanager allows you to create categories for your images, set limits on dimensions and filesizes for the images, and also set permissions on which groups can use the images and which groups can upload images. When you create a category, you can also set to add the images to the database or to save them as files - I find saving them as files works very well.

Create your first category - 'General' is a good name - and set the preferences for that category. You will need to give this some thought as you go forward so you can easily find the image you want to use. Once you have created your first category, upload a few images to it so you have some to work with. Part of your job will to create some 'how-to' pages with instructions, so start collecting some screenshots of various parts of your site to use. Another tip for online images - save them with a resolution of 72dpi (dots per inch) before uploading them. That will make the files smaller, load faster, and most displays can't render any better resolution with any appreciable improvement in quality. Higher resolutions are for printing, not viewing.

All this is pretty straightforward. Now comes a bit of the tricky part. Unless you are a seasoned veteran of the standard XOOPS editor and can visualize how your page will look without the images and other formatting, you have probably chosen to use one of the WYSIWYG editors. None of the WYSIWYG editors use the built-in XOOPS Imagemanager without some modifications. The Koivi editor is the only one I know of that provides the necessary files and instructions for using the XOOPS Imagemanager. You simply replace a system file with the one from Koivi. The other editors make use of their own image managers, which makes those images unavailable to the other editors.

You also have the option to provide a url for an image in all the editors, so that image does not necessarily need to reside on your server - it just needs to be accessible from the Internet. Be cautious of this option because you have no control over that image. The image may get deleted, moved, or replaced with a different image (and have the same name and location as the image you link to).

If you also plan to have a gallery of images, use that criteria when selecting which gallery module to use - but that is another discussion. Remember - That depends!

Things to keep in mind as best practices when using images on your web site:
* Your images should have 'alt' tags
* Your images should also specify 'height' and 'width' - and it should match the actual dimensions. Don't use these tags to resize your images on the page.
* Images can also have 'title' tags, this is used differently by each browser and depends on whether the image is also a link
* Don't use images in place of text
*Make the filenames of the images meaningful - better for the search engines and easier to sort out when you are looking at a list of files

There's a lot of stuff about images, without any images!

--- More Information ---
Xoops Docs - Image Manager
Xoops FAQ - Imagemanager
Xoops FAQ - Image Types
Xoops FAQ - Inserting images from the Imagemanager

skenow

Home away from home
Posted on: 2007/3/17 2:55
skenow
skenow (Show more)
Home away from home
Posts: 993
Since: 2004/11/17
#20

Re: Starting a new Xoops site

Day 18 - Images, Revisited

The Web is, after all, primarily text and images. You may want to do more than just insert pictures into your pages, you may want to have a gallery of images for people to browse. If that is the case, it is time to find and install a gallery module.

I have a variety of web sites I am involved in maintaining and they each have different requirements for using images. In a site where the majority of the content is text (articles, news, wikis), using the built-in imagemanager will probably be sufficient. If you want WYSIWYG editing, Koivi editor (included in the xoopseditors) provides a way to do that by replacing the system_imagemanager.html file provided by XOOPS with a special one modified for used with Koivi.

On the Design n Bloom site, the majority of the content is the images, with some images used in the various pages describing the business. The primary concern there is the ability to easily add and categorize images, provide a clean presentation of the photos, highlight recent photos, a slide show feature is nice, but not necessary, and integrating the images into the text pages isn't a high a priority as with other sites, because there are only a few pages. One big feature is having the ability to send e-cards to clients. After looking at these requirements, I settled on xcGallery.

Another site makes extensive use of images for events and activities, so the above requirements all apply, plus the need to integrate the images into news articles and static pages is much higher. This narrows the field considerably, since you also have to match the gallery with an editor. If you want to be able to select photos, like you do with the system imagemanager, by selecting your category and then browsing through images to select which to add to your content, MyAlbum-P by GIJOE provides instructions for modifying the system files to make this work. You can import the imagemanager images into MyAlbum-P albums so you don't have to add them manually.

If you want a highly flexible set of group permissions for images and albums, eXtGallery is strongest in this area. For user-specific permissions for each album, XoopsGallery comes out on top.

After you set your criteria and determine which are most important, also look at the system requirements for each of the modules - image processing on your web server will affect the results you get and the features that will work with that module. Netpbm and ImageMagick are separate image processors that can be installed on your server. GD1 and GD2 are PHP extensions that are also available. These components are used to generate thumbnails and intermediate-sized images when you upload them.

At one point, XoopsGallery only worked when register_globals was ON, just something else to watch.

This isn't as much how-to in this article, but it does show you some of the choices you have and how to approach them as you are building your site. First, list the features and functions you need, then prioritize them. Then start comparing the available modules based on those features. You may even end up installing more than one for specific uses on your site.

--- More Information ---
eXtGallery Release Information
eXtGalley Developer's Site
MyAlbum-P Release and Download
xcGallery Developer Page
XoopsGallery