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  • okie
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    newbie confusion Link to this post

    Ok, I got Silverstripe installed and already fell in love with the admin interface of silverstripe 2.2.1. But...

    Here are the problems that I ran into right away. Upon successful installation I had checked the blackcandy theme. It would have been nice if the installation instructions talked about the consequences of not choosing the blank theme.

    1. By choosing blackcandy this meant that the links described in the tutorial don't work as stated in the beginner instructions to open the page tutorial/templates/Page.ss. Also the tutorial seems out of date by more than one version. There are lots of pictures that don't look familiar that are only described in the version fixes.

    2. The beginning tutorial instructions to "Open tutorial/templates/Page.ss." should mention whether the file is to be opened in a browser, text editor or the admin panel. I assumed that it was for a text editor, but still have lingering doubts about whether I was able to open it in the admin interface and see syntax highlighting or some other surprise.

    The solution to getting my admin to work, which seems obvious now, but was completely baffling at the time, is to edit Page.ss in the blackcandy templates folder. I finally found this in a user post, but it was hard to find.

    3. Perhaps there could be something in the installation instructions indicating whether new users wishing to try the tutorial should just reinstall and choose blank template ready for the tutorial, or instead move whatever files and folders are necessary to access tutorials with the blackcandy theme. At this point I have no idea how difficult or easy this would be to do and would be happy to reinstall if that is recommended.

    4. The answer to how to do this and some other beginner things came from a brief user post to the Silverfrost forum. It wasn't described in the Common Problems and I am still looking for the FAQs. It seems that the Common Problems site could be more like a FAQ and could include answers to this question (how to edit page.ss).

    5. In post after post and prominently in the common problems link, the solution to everything seems to be to append ?flush=1 to the url. This is pretty geeky for a site that boasts its humanity. I suspect that flush functionality can be enabled in the Publish button in the admin interface somehow, and would like to know if this is possible.

    6. Is there someway to make the visited links in the forums change color or sort by date? Without those improvements browsing for help in the forums is tedious and one is better off resorting to google to find the answers to persistent questions.

    7. Right now Silverstripe is running fine under xampp on localhost, while I learn how to use it. I think that the Download site could have mentioned that for use on a local machine, xampp users (and probably lamp and wamp users also) can use the php installer fine under windows, followed by copying the extracted silverstripe folder to their localhost root folder (and possibly renaming it to a short name prior to running the install script. I was afraid to try the windows installer because I have had poor luck in the past with windows and xampp not communicating very well, so pardon me if this is my own fault for being scared of my windows computer. I am retarded about computers.

    Thanks again for making such an intuitive interface and giving it care and feeding. I would love to get past these newbie things in due time and become an active supporter.

  • quicked
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    32 Posts

    Re: newbie confusion Link to this post

    I had some similar experiences.

    1. I overlooked the 'No template' line. I think it would be good to put a comment in the the configure file how to change to 'No template'. I just moved the tutorial folder into themes and changed 'blackcandy' to 'tutorial' in useTheme in mysite/_configure.php

    7. I think the instructions do say that you do not want to use the windows installer in you already have a webserver installed that you intend to use.

  • sonicparke
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    74 Posts

    Re: newbie confusion Link to this post

    This is a little off topic but does the name "Okie" mean you are in Oklahoma?

  • simon_w
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    471 Posts

    Re: newbie confusion Link to this post

    I'll try my best to answer these.

    1a. To change to the the tutorial, open mysite/_config.php in a text editor and remove or comment out SSViewer::set_theme('blackcandy');
    Then change project = 'mysite'; to project = 'tutorial';
    Finally save and move the file into the tutorial/ directory.

    1b. The tutorial was written for 2.0.x, so some of the images and instructions are a little bit old.

    2,3 and 4 seem to be about documentation. The documentation is in the process of being improved.

    5. ?flush=1 flushes the backend cache, and really only needs to be done when editing a .ss or .php file. Thus publishing doesn't need to cause the cache to be flushed.

    6. Assuming that that is about this forum, it would require SS to edit their CSS file.

    7. This is stated in the download description alread. "If you aren't running Windows, or you already have a web server set up".

  • Ingo
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    801 Posts

    Re: newbie confusion Link to this post

    hey there, thanks for your detailed response, its sometimes hard for us to get insight in the problems silverstripe-beginners have (when having worked with the system for quite a while).

    > Also the tutorial seems out of date by more than one version. There are lots of pictures that don't look familiar that are only described in the version fixes.

    you're right, we're outpacing ourselves here we'll create a task for a highschool student to fix this soon (we're mentoring in Google Highly Open Participation Programme, see http://silverstripe.com/google-contest-already-producing-great-results/)

    > 4. The answer to how to do this and some other beginner things came from a brief user post to the Silverfrost forum. It wasn't described in the Common Problems and I am still looking for the FAQs. It seems that the Common Problems site could be more like a FAQ and could include answers to this question (how to edit page.ss).

    in our experience with documenation, we didn't find FAQs particularily helpful (there's just too much diversity and too much ground to cover) - your frequent questions might totally differ from the next silverstripe beginner. instead, we're working on improving the structure and coherence of existing documentation to guide beginners.

    > 5. In post after post and prominently in the common problems link, the solution to everything seems to be to append ?flush=1 to the url. This is pretty geeky for a site that boasts its humanity. I suspect that flush functionality can be enabled in the Publish button in the admin interface somehow, and would like to know if this is possible.

    as a website-developer, you're expected to have a certain technical knowledge, even (or especially) for silverstripe. end-users will never have to worry about this flag.

  • okie
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    Community Member
    2 Posts

    Re: newbie confusion Link to this post

    Thanks for all your answers and insight on SilverStripe. This morning I managed to get a live Silverstripe site on the web, but still without content. Finding time for this was not easy, because we got about 18 inches of snow last night and we already had two feet on the ground over the last couple of weeks. This involved a bit of shoveling. Lucky the power hasn't gone down yet.

    So the installation took about 4 hours! All of the problems this time were due to my server (a fairly large outfit out of California called Bluehost). I will have to write the whole ordeal up on my site as an initial post, although I did enjoy the anticipation of clicking the install button and hoping for the alerts to change from red to green and finally blue at the Congratulations welcome screen. The hints are really very useful, and not something other CMS installations offer.

    My host, bluehost, is in the process of upgrading to php5 system wide. Php5 has been optional for a while, but now they are flooded with broken wordpress plugin help requests, so my little question about how to enable php.ini took a long time to get heard. Usually they are pretty prompt, so I suspect the CMS public must be going through a total catharsis over this php5 thing.

    I needed to up the php memory to complete the Silverstripe installation (it choked at around 32K). But bluehost does not give access to the Apache conf folder. The solution (which was somewhat of a brute force attack) involving getting a suitable php.ini file, setting memory in php.ini up to 64 MB, and putting the file into all directories where scripts are run. After the third upload of php.ini into likely directories within the incipient Silverstripe site, the install finally succeeded.

    I asked the tech at bluehost, why not just comment out the default line
    "memory_limit = 20M"
    instead of changing it to 64. He said go ahead and see what happens. Any thoughts on what could happen?

    BTW, I noticed that Silverstripe had a patch to reduce memory load. I don't know the pros and cons of reducing memory needs versus granting more memory, but it seems like larger memory requirements are going to become stardard soon - at least to 64 MB. Other CMSs are also setting it higher.

    While looking for help on the net, I was struck by the huge number of other hapless victims of bluehost migration to php5. But for $100 a year, Bluehost gives you 3 GB space and they are always pleasantly chatty on the phone (even at queue 16 behind all the other php questions). So I am not inclined to switch. There is no replacement for a live human.

    No, I am not from Oklahoma, but I used to live in Okinawa, and I am now from Okanogan County (an American Indian place name and tribe name in Washington state, and overlapping into Canada). So Okie fits me and most other folks around this valley. Others in the US will probably assume I am from Oklahoma and get this mental image of the hillbilly "Okie from Muskogee" from the song of that name. Which also suits me even if not exactly true.

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