Archived letters

Yet Another Community System

Sent on Mar. 15 2005 to "all"


Welcome to the newsletter from Yet Another Community System. This mailing lists the most recent articles that have been published or updated. As always please visit the web site at: for more details and up to the minute technical information.

In the Manual:

*** How to podcast with YACS?
How to publish files? You have two methods to upload .mp3 files.Firstly, you can attach one or several files to any article, as shown here.Or you may prefer to click on the 'Share a file' link in your user menu, and to upload directly. In both cases public files are ... (250 words)

*** How to create polls with YACS
This article will explain the step by step process of setting up a poll using the YACS CMS and also if you are interested, how to use polls for blog entries. (417 words) (timster) 02/21/05

*** How to prepare an event with future publications?
As you may know, Patrick and Viviane Zaniroli are organizing car events. And they also are running a YACS server to share on these on the Internet, at a race starts, everybody is in the fields (actually, on the road ), and there is almost no time to create complex ... (358 words)

*** How to use Flash to animate the home page?
Did you know that PHP is able to generate Flash objects, through the Ming extension? To develop YACS we have reused sample code provided with some Ming tutorial, and have linked this to the table of articles in the database.The result is a nice animation that outlines most recent published articles.And each time a new article will be added to ... (243 words)

*** How to order sections?
Usually sections are ranked by edition date, with the most recent section coming first. You can change this 'natural' order by modifying the value of the rank field. (121 words)

*** How to manage options for sections?
The options field is a convenient place to save attributes for any section without extending the database schema. As sections are commonly used to anchor some pages, their options can also be checked through the has_option() member function of the Anchor interface. Check shared/anchor.php for more information. This means that some options are used within the context of ... (724 words)

*** How to manage options for articles?
The options field is a convenient place to save attributes for any article without extending the database schema. As articles are commonly used to anchor some pages, their options can be also checked through the has_option() member function of the Anchor interface. Check shared/anchor.php for more information. This means that some options are used within the context of ... (613 words)

*** What is a skin?
A skin is a set of files used by YACS to generate the text that is sent to the end-user.Any skin should provide a complete set of files with at least:- skin.php - the library of functions used to build items (titles, blocks, etc.)- template.php - the main template used for the final rendering- manifest.php ... (108 words)

*** How to select a skin?
You have two different ways of changing the skin of your server: From the Control Panel, select the module for skins, then visually select your preferred skin by clicking on its preview image. Or, from the Control Panel, select the first configuration panel. A list of available skins is displayed. You can select one of them and ... (31 words)

*** How to achieve incremental upgrades of a YACS server?
Life is constantly requiring us to adapt, and software is no exception to this rule. Imagine the situation: you have discovered YACS, installed it, played a while with a number of interesting features. Then you have started to push some content, to structure your work, to tune a skin. Some weeks later, a brand new version of the software has been made ... (433 words)

*** How to manually upgrade a YACS server?
If you cannot benefit from the semi-automated upgrade facility, you will have to do it by hand. It is not so complicated, however, if you take care of some important things. (309 words)

*** How to backup and restore the database?
With a simple click you can create a backup version of the database contents. Without another click you can restore data when necessary.To do that visit the Control Panel and hit the Backup/restore link in the menu below the title. Of course, you have to be an authenticated associate to do that. Returned backup data are files containing standard SQL-queries, that ... (311 words)

Special pages on server monitoring in The Manual:

*** List recent events
YACS traces a lot of events in a text file for further analysis. When configuration parameters are changed, when a new article is submitted, or when an error occured, a record is created to remember it.From time to time I had a look at it, seeking for any error such as page not found (the infamous 404 code), or for other misconfiguration messages....

*** Feed your newsreader with events
YACS is able to format logged events as a secured RSS feed. To use it I have added the feed URL to RSS Bandit, and have provided a valid username and password.This setting is explained at How to monitor a YACS server using RSS?.As a result, when my laptop is running and connected to ... (63 words)

*** Be informed by e-mail
Another way of staying tuned to your server is to receive messages from it. Add your e-mail address to the main configuration panel and YACS will use it to signal new article submissions and new user queries. As depicted in the image above, we have added one valid e-mail address to catch most important events at this server.... (133 words)

*** Plug your messenger into your server
Ultimately I have created an e-mail account at Yahoo! and installed Yahoo! Messenger.Suppose you submit a nasty question in the forum. Within minutes the messenger will pop up to signal a new message. Usually it takes me only two or three mouse clicks to review a new page and one click more to publish or to comment it.First of all, ... (106 words)

New Releases:

*** March-13 User profiles, geographical syndication, and more
With this new release we have implemented several suggestions from YACS users, as usual.Also, we have enhanced the capability of YACS to support contacts among registered users, through Skype and common instant messaging platforms. By the way ids from AIM, MSN, ICQ, IRC, Jabber and Yahoo are supported. New attributes have been added to user profiles to support originating labels (you can achieve 'From the ... (772 words)

*** Feb-16 XHTML validation, time zones, FOAF, session security, content management
YACS now parses articles and comments, and rejects input that is not compliant with XHTML specification. Actually the input is submitted to a XML PHP parser, and any error is reported. This simple feature is very efficient to spot unbalanced tags. However, it is not aiming to enforce any XML grammar. YACS now automatically adds to any user profile some RDF meta-information. As a starting point ... (1483 words)

Feature, Features!

*** YACS takes care of your time
Most time-related information saved in the database is local. Here, local means that YACS just uses basic system calls (date(), time() and strftime) to get the time.This simple design is good enough if surfers are not located too far away from servers.Actually, time rendering is an issue when people and servers are in different time zones.... (343 words)

*** YACS adds on session security
Some friendly hackers have shown me different ways to hack PHP sessions. As a result YACS now adds many checks on the basic PHP system. We are committing to preserve session security as much as possible. (236 words)

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