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Zine

The ZineMachine is a multi-faceted plug-in that handles all aspects of an article-handling subsystem.  Articles are a common content format that includes (at a minimum):
  • title
  • body
  • author
  • date
They can also include many other details such as abstracts, images and attachments, footnotes, etc.

Articles are related to other articles in a heirarchical structure.  There are a wide variety of ways that articles can be combined, but the ZineMachine includes a few standard configurations ("zines") that are popular:
  • Blog - a sequence of articles from a single author, like a magazine column.
  • Book - a fixed set of articles on a particular topic.
  • E-Zine - similar to a blog, but articles may come from multiple authors or sources.
  • Forum - a collection of comments from site readers.
  • PhotoForum - like a forum, but readers share their photos, not just written comments.
  • Wiki - a knowledge base of cross-linked articles that users can add to.
To begin, you must create one or more zines of the above types to contain your articles.  Then you can enter each zine, and add articles to them.

Zines can be configured to allow reader comments.  They can even be configured to allow readers to contibute whole articles.  Configuration details are included in the ZineMachine documentation.

Articles will automatically be included in search engine indexes if the Zine plug-in has a service page on the site.

Displaying Zines

Insert the Zine plug-in into a page, and select the zine you want to highlight.  This will generate an index of the Zine, and allow the reader to browse into any of that Zine's articles.  They will also be presented with links to the archives (if any articles have expired), and to RSS feeds if they want to subscribe.

If you choose the "show all zines" option when inserting the Zine plug-in into a page, you will get a high-level index of all the zines available to read on this site.  The reader then chooses a particular zine to get its index of articles.

More advanced usages require that you use plaintext update mode, and enter the plug-in tag directly:

To get an index of all zines of a particular type, eg. all forums, use:
<!--&Zine(zine=zinedex;type=forum)-->
To get a preview of new articles across all zines, use:
<!--&Zine(zine=newarticles)-->
To get a preview of recent comments posted by readers, use:
<!--&Zine(zine=newcomments)-->

Clean URLs

By default, Zines are referenced using a zine command and article ID, which appear as query parameters in the URL.  To use cleaner path-style URLs, set the following configuration parameter in your Zine configuration file:
link_style = path
You probably also want to use clean URLs for your regular CMS links, which involves the following configuration setting in your main configuration file:
page.dyn_url_type = path
Taken together, this will eliminate query strings from simple dynamic views of your pages and articles.  For example, the unclean URL
http://mywebsite.com/cgi/page.cgi?_id=123&aid=456&zine=show
becomes
http://mywebsite.com/cgi/page.cgi/articles.html/blog/Article_Title
You can then use Apache's mod_rewrite module to simplify this URL further, if you wish.


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