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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Q&A : OpenACS Installed! Now what???

Forum OpenACS Q&A: OpenACS Installed! Now what???

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Posted by dave manginelli on
I have successfully installed the OpenACS version of the toolkit
along with AOLServer, qmail, and PostgreSQL. Everything seems to be
working and I am greeted with the default ACS login screen when I
connect to my web server.

What I need now is some direction on how all the wonderful ACS
modules are supposed to be tied together to form a cohesive site! I
understand TCL and SQL but I wish I had a "birds-eye" view of the ACS
and how it all fits together. Would the problem sets help here? Can
anyone give me some direction?


Posted by Roberto Mello on
Take a look at the /doc directory through your browser. There are lots of documentation available. On /doc/openacs there's also a "Getting Started Guide" with some tips.

The OpenACS 3.x "modules" are not truly modular, but the by browsing through the documentation you'll see which ones are available and how you can use them to build the websites you want.

Posted by Lachlan Myers on
Roberto's documentation is a great starting point, but I expereinced a similar disorientation when first confronted by the richness of the OpenACS system. So many modules - so much capability!

Would it be possible to get examples of code and other people's design ideas? Maybe a new forum?

I know I compulsively check any new OpenACS site for good ideas. But, of course, the clever implementation details are buried in the (unseeable) Tcl. This is a good thing, in many cases, but I'd appreciate some way of appreciating the sheer artistry of some of your implmentations.

Posted by Edmund Lian on
Given the lack of true modularity with OpenACS, can anybody offer advice about how they went about using wrapping their own code around just a few OpenACS modules?

E.g., if I only need to use modules x, y, and z, is there any easy way to figure out what needs to be blown away in an OpenACS installation? If not, what security measures should I take to disable the unused modules?

Posted by Roberto Mello on
Basically you have to either move the Tcl files of the modules you don't want out of your Tcl library or change their names to something else other than .tcl. I usually move them to a directory "notused" one level above the Tcl library.

Then move the www directories of the modules you're not using away from the www dir.

Somethings are annoying though. Some calls to functions from modules are tangled in several places. For example, I am not using the intranet module, but calls to im_user_is_employee (or something like that) are in "Your Workspace" for example.

This is where ACS4 is really a big improvement. There's true modularity.

Posted by Edmund Lian on
>>This is where ACS4 is really a big improvement. There's true modularity.<<

Yes, this is true. I'm hoping to use ACS4 instead. The code for versions prior to this were not especially impressive in terms of design and forethought. This is why I've always avoided using ACS until now. But ACS4 is a different story...

Posted by dave manginelli on
Thanks for the thoughts/opinions.

It appears that the Docs for the ACS 4.x series are much superior.  I think I'll study the AD version in anticipation of the OpenACS port and hold off on serious development until that's available.  Maybe if I learn it well enough I can help migrate some modules...