.communities Walkthrough

The database is configured to show a default community when first run, this community contains a single page (the Section List), which displays child sections as they are added in the Administration pages. In this walkthrough we will outline the initial setup options for your community, create an Articles section and add a new article and comment.

Step 1: Setting Up the Community
When .communities is first run the following page will be displayed in the browser:
1_firstrun_page.jpg
This page is called a Section List Page , this the simplest module type in .communities and used to display child sections.

To adjust the settings for .communities we will first need to login - clicking on the Login link and entering the user name admin with the password admin (the default settings for the admin user) allows you to access the Administration Site from the Admin link:
2_firstrun_adminpage.jpg

Once you have entered the Administration Site you will be presented with a number of options. Our first task will be to setup e-mail so that notifications are sent using your SMTP e-mail account. Choose the Configuration link followed by the Site Settings link to edit the settings for your community site (you will also need to click the drop-down button to display the SMTP settings):
3_admin_smtpsettings.jpg
You will need to setup .communities to access an SMTP Server - SMTP Servers are used to relay e-mails such as Notifications to users mailboxes (your ISP will provide this information as part of your hosting account).

Finally, you will need to change the default e-mail address for the admin user so that .communities will send e-mails to your own e-mail account. You can list all registered users by clicking the Users menu option, the admin user can then be edited by selecting the associated edit button in the list:
4_admin_useremail.jpg

Step 2: Adding An Article Section
To add a new section, select the Sections link to display a list of all the sections of your community, add a new section by selecting the Add New Section link:
5_admin_addarticlesection.jpg
Name the new section Articles and remember to change the selection from Section List to Article List in the Section Type box. A section also contains other settings that can be accessed by selecting the appropriate tab.

Once a new section has been added, it will appear in the section list:
6_admin_articlesection.jpg
At this point, if you would like the home page of your community to contain a list of articles rather than child sections, click on the Home icon for the Articles section to make this your new home page. You can then delete the original section if it is no longer required.

Step 3: Managing Article Content
The Articles section can now be accessed by selecting the appropriate link in the section list or by navigating to the page on the community site itself. You can now add a new article by selecting the Add New Article link:
7_articles_addarticle.jpg
The section settings from the administration pages can be used alter how the content is displayed. There are options for adding Ratings and Comments to section content as well as the ability to associate Categories to content.

Categories can be listed from the administration site by selecting the Content menu link, followed by the Edit Categories link. To add a category select the Add New Category link:
8_admin_addcategory.jpg
Once you have added a new category and ensured that the required section settings include the option to enable categories, you can now edit the article that you have added and associate the new category to this content item:
9_articles_editarticle.jpg
You can now navigate to the new category via the Category Menu or the category administration page. The category page will now show the edited article in the list of associated content items:
10_categories_favoritearticles.jpg

At this point, you may wish to add more articles to the section as well as adding new categories for those articles. If a section is Syndicated, these articles will also be published as an RSS Feed. This feed will be available via your browsers Feeds button and once two or more articles have been added to the page the RSS Rotator control will appear which also contains a link to your feed:
11_articles_articlelist.jpg

Step 4: Managing Comments
Each item of content in .communities can have the option of being commented on by other users. The Advanced tab of the section settings page allows you to enable the comments for each section as well as the ability to assign specific users the ability to add comments with their associated user roles. Comments can also be modified or deleted from their associated content by selecting the appropriate Edit or Delete icon on the content page.

Comments can also be nested within other comments, allowing for users to reply to specific comments as well as commenting on the article content itself. Users can select how they would prefer to display comments using the drop-down list and (if enabled in the section settings) can also rate individual comments:
12_articles_nestedcomments.jpg

Next Steps
This walkthrough has outlined some of the basic principles to help you get started with .communities. For more information about the features of .communities, visit our website:
http://www.DotCommunities.org

Last edited Jun 14, 2007 at 12:19 AM by CSharpEd, version 8

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