Forum OpenACS Q&A: Re: I don't get it - new to acs

Posted by Andrew Piskorski on
If you're serious about wanting to understand how "the engine" works before actually getting into using OpenACS, you'll probably want to read:
  • About AOLserver, as the APIs it provides are rather central to everything Philip's old Introduction to AOLserver articles are probably still good choices here. There are likely others.
  • About SQL and Tcl, of course. Again Philip's old tutorials (SQL and Tcl for Web Nerds) are probably adequate to give you a feel.
  • Some of the principles and ideas that lead to OpenACS. Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing is probably still good background here.
  • Much of the OpenACS docs. In particular, probably the requirements and design docs for the ACS Kernel, the request processor, and the Templating System.
  • Probably the core data model. The data model is the single most important part of the system, but I don't have a tutorial link handy to give you, sorry.

I just came up with the list above off the cuff, so I wouldn't necessarily call it complete or ideal list, but it seems like a pretty good place to start to me, given what I understand of your goals.

Still though, Bob, you'd be better off explaining to us just what it is you're trying to accomplish. That you "want to understand the engine" is awfully vague. Are you trying to evaluate whether you want to use OpenACS? Looking for ideas on how to improve some other system? Writing an article comparing OpenACS to other tools? What?