Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom installs

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Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom installs

Postby Dale Ray » Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:48 pm

Discussion of being able to distribute custom distributions of Coranto with included styles, profiles, etc. has occurred elsewhere. I think that this could be accomplished with an addon that would import and export settings. This way the custom settings could be added to an existing install of Coranto. The user would only have to download a file and use the addon to 'import' the settings.

I will look at this and see what I can come up with. Post ideas and suggestions here. If someone else wants to tackle this or has been working on something similar post here. I am not the best coder and if someone else who has more perl skills wants to run with this you are welcome to it.

Export

An interface that asks for:

1) static files that should be included (browse and select them)
2) styles to be included (from a drop-down list)
3) profiles to be included (from a drop-down list)
4)
5) Other Coranto settings to be included (date format, etc.) from a selectable list
6) Addons to include, this solves dependency issues
7) the Coranto version exported from can also be included

All of the files/info would be gathered by the addon and then zipped (or otherwise compressed) into a single file for download the the local computer.

The ability for the exporter to add comments/suggestions for each step should also be included.

Import

an interface that asks where the

1) static files should go (directory)
2) checks that the styles to be imported don't exist and asks the user if they want to rename the old style. the new style/ or abort.
3) checks if the profiles to be imported exist and ask the same as above if they do. Gives the user the chance to designate the directory for the files created.
4) checks for conflicts with existing template files
5) Lets the user confirm the changes to the Coranto settings
6) Checks is the included addons exist and checks the version of the addon. If there is a conflict ask if the user wants to keep the new or old version
7) Checks the Coranto version number and displays a message if the file came from a different version.

After all of the checks are done, present a list of what will happen and give the user a chance to change, accept, or abort before any changes are made.

This would give designers a way to implement designs across multiple sites with no changes to Coranto itself.

Now that I look at the list of what has to be done I am a bit intimidated, but I will still look into it.

This is just me thinking out loud - so jump in with suggestions, comments, and derision.
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Postby Lumberjack » Fri Jan 12, 2007 10:59 pm

To make this as simple as possible, have coranto try to determine suitable install locations for each step based on the coranto settings. Or, just omit those user prompts and just use coranto's settings for templates, where to write files etc, as this will work as most users expect. Remember that they can simply edit the profile/style/template after 'installing' the package.
To start with, I think its best to ask for static files from a path relative to coranto core, rather than doing a browse and select. Unless browse happens to be really easy, I don't know..
Also, this should be developed based on the dev release as otherwise it wil likely have to be changed quite a bit to get it to work.
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Postby Dale Ray » Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:32 am

Lumberjack wrote:To make this as simple as possible, have coranto try to determine suitable install locations for each step based on the coranto settings.


The coranto settings would be used for templates, etc., but each profile can be set separately, so offering the default news location, but allowing the user to change would be the way to go, I think.

Lumberjack wrote: Remember that they can simply edit the profile/style/template after 'installing' the package.


I would think that limiting the amonut of editing after the addon does the import would be important to keep things simple.

Lumberjack wrote:To start with, I think its best to ask for static files from a path relative to coranto core, rather than doing a browse and select. Unless browse happens to be really easy, I don't know.


It will be important to be able to include static files. and the placement of some of those files will be outside of Coranto's normal directories. For example, you want to have the site index in the root directory. This could be a file that uses SSI, PHP, or even javascript to present the 'base' index. It also will allow the inclusion of external CCS files into the package. Browsing seems to be the simplest way to find and include these.

Lumberjack wrote:Also, this should be developed based on the dev release as otherwise it wil likely have to be changed quite a bit to get it to work.


The installed base of the current version and earlier versions has to far outnumber the installations of the newest version, so for the most people to get use from it it needs to work with V 1.24. It should also work with the development version, and I don;t think that it would take a whole lot of changes to make it do both.

Since not one bit of code has been written and it is probably beyond me anyway we are just brainstorming here. Of course at one point I didn't think I would ever write an addon. :D
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Postby Bluetooth » Sat Jan 13, 2007 8:52 am

This addon/attachment should trigger a setup and cannot be added as an addon. The script can be coded in any language as it only rewrites text files and distribute them.

Not really an addon but a package script.

I like the outline though. The script should maybe be two separate scripts so that any end user don´t get confused.

The script should also rewrite any include parts of shtml files

If we achieve the goal of setting everything correctly there could be an option of setting the prefered categories too (with automatic attach ed profiles).

One thing that comes to mind is a Linux distro called Slax.
This is a live distro with a folder for you to put addons in.
Any addon in this folder is loaded at startup and you can save this as an iso image.

The addons may be programs, services or libraries for Linux.

This is a nice setup to make your personal prefered setup for a live distro.

They also provide some examples like the Kill Bill edition (my favorite) that contains the Wine lib´s (a compatibillity layer to run Windows apps).

Just a paralell, we need a script on top of that.
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Postby Dale Ray » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:18 am

Bluetooth wrote:This addon/attachment should trigger a setup and cannot be added as an addon.

While I haven't dug into the details yet I don't see why this can't be coded as an addon.

There are hooks in the Coranto code to create styles, profiles, and templates. You would do the checks conflicts with existing items and then let the Coranto core code create the needed items using the hooks that exist in the code.

Also it doesn't have to trigger a setup. There isn't any setting value that can not be changed while Coranto is in use, so as long as you use existing hooks you should be able to change settings such as time/date format, etc.

Bluetooth wrote:The script should also rewrite any include parts of shtml files

Yes it should, if the user is given the option of changing the output file name or it's location.

Bluetooth wrote:If we achieve the goal of setting everything correctly there could be an option of setting the prefered categories too

Thanks for mentioning categories, I had forgotten them. One step would be to prompt the user to import the categories included in the import file or to select categories that already exist in the install where the import is taking place.

Bluetooth wrote:The script should maybe be two separate scripts so that any end user don´t get confused.

This could be developed as two separate addons, one for end users to import and one for developers to export. They would have to be closely tied together. Also it could make maintenance easier because one part could be changed (user interface changes for example) without having to alter the other part.
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Postby Lumberjack » Sat Jan 13, 2007 1:05 pm

Dale wrote:I would think that limiting the amonut of editing after the addon does the import would be important to keep things simple.


I'm saying the opposite is true, as I think that many users will use coranto in its default state, especially if the default state includes a package that can get them set up to do what they want. In my opinion, it would be simpler for the user if the package was set up to default settings, with a message on completion that they should check file paths etc if they need to adjust them.

EDIT: oh, and this addon should be fairly simple I guess. Apart from the browse, is there a coranto sub for that?
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Re: Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom inst

Postby Parahead » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:22 pm

Dale wrote:If someone else wants to tackle this or has been working on something similar post here.
Since the Moveit! addon was a rather important addon but maintained by cerberos76 I did start making a replacement addon for it which would do what you talk about, I called it MungeMover. I can provide you with it "AS IS" if you want to continue working on it?
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Re: Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom inst

Postby Dale Ray » Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:26 pm

Parahead wrote:Since the Moveit! addon was a rather important addon but maintained by cerberos76 I did start making a replacement addon for it which would do what you talk about, I called it MungeMover. I can provide you with it "AS IS" if you want to continue working on it?


Parahead,

Thanks - you can e-mail that to me if you want.
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Postby Abbeyvet » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:12 pm

The script should also rewrite any include parts of shtml files


Not sure it is relevant here, but I would not like to see any distribution being tied to using SSI as distinct from PHP.

All of the sites I use Cortanto on, it writes PHP pages or uses PHP includes - and the pages often have extensive PHP stuff going on around the content.

PHP is very popular, I would say more so now than SSI, though that wasn't the case in the Newspro days. When people take a look at Coranto for the first time it needs to be clear to them that although the script is written in Perl it can readily be used to manage the content on a site that uses PHP for other things - or even to interact with Coranto.

For example I have a lot of PHP in news styles - with Coranto fields within the PHP code. The two work beautifully together.
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Re: Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom inst

Postby Parahead » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:07 pm

Dale wrote:
Parahead wrote:Since the Moveit! addon was a rather important addon but maintained by cerberos76 I did start making a replacement addon for it which would do what you talk about, I called it MungeMover. I can provide you with it "AS IS" if you want to continue working on it?
Parahead,

Thanks - you can e-mail that to me if you want.
I hope you got my mail with the addon? Otherwise, it can be downloaded from here. Please remember, it is *not* a complete working addon but rather a work in progress provided AS IS so that someone with more time can finish it up...
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Re: Suggestion -Export/Import addon for building custom inst

Postby Dale Ray » Sun Jan 21, 2007 9:52 pm

Parahead wrote:I hope you got my mail with the addon? Otherwise, it can be downloaded from here. Please remember, it is *not* a complete working addon but rather a work in progress provided AS IS so that someone with more time can finish it up...


Parahead,

Yes I got your e-mail with the file attached.

I have not had a chance to look at it. My free time has been used up updating the docs wiki and making sure that the addons are available for download.

If anyone else wants to tackle moving this forward go right ahead.
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