Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Peeking at source/verbatim...

Posted by Don Baccus on
In the ACS 3.x world, ACES provides a decent example of the kind of stuff Jerry's talking about, as it provides pre-canned classes, communities and code that creates new ones with component parts like file-storage and calendar.  And lots of portlets to do the same.

That was based on 3.4 which in some ways was a bridge between the past and ACS 4.x (it has packages and a request processor, though packaging of packages was incomplete so things are "blurry" in regard to old vs. new paradigms).  So it would be somewhat useful to someone interested in  understanding OpenACS 3.2 groups etc but you'd have to ignore a bunch of 3.4-isms.

In the OpenACS 4 world dotLRN should help out a lot as it will provide ACES functionality integrated with our latest OACS 4 release.  It will be a real world example of how to use subsites, groups etc to build a fairly complex and integrated site.  There's a fair amount of look-and-feel stuff needed for dotLRN, too, so this should serve as a decent example in that area, too.

So ... Jerry, yes you're right and fortunately dotLRN will help folks by providing a real-world example of how to hack look-and-feel and site structure using the toolkit.  Since MIT has already put up a page for dotLRN, maybe they'd be interested in hosting a dotLRN instance with sample classes and commmunities set up as a demo (they'll have a large example set up called SloanSpace but that only helps if you're going to school there!)

As far as the source to this current site goes, it could be made available but very, very little hacking/customization has been done.  Do a "view source" and you'll see that there's a stylesheet being referenced and some table stuff to control width, set the nav bar, etc.  All that's going into ad_header presumably, which is why bboards don't share that look-and-feel (because bboard has its own header proc for historical reasons).

So the source could be made available but Barry's need is probably met by telling him to 1) play around by hacking ad_header to see how that changes pages in various modules and 2) check out "view source" to see  the html used to build the index page in particular.  This site doesn't do anything fancy with groups, etc so doesn't serve as a good example in the sense Jerry's thinking of.

But ACES and (later) dotLRN do...