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News, Articles and Comments

The Zine Module is an application for creating and managing (e-)Zines. A Zine is simply a collection of articles, and an article is a piece of text with a certain set of attributes, including at the very least, an author and a title. For example:

  • a magazine article
  • a book chapter
  • a comment or letter from a reader
  • and so on...

There are four fundamental classes of article:

  1. zine - an article collection that follows a consistent set of indexing rules
  2. article - a normal article, which is associated with a zine
  3. comment - a note or comment added by a reader, and is associated with an article (or sometimes directly with a zine, such as a forum)
  4. attachment - a photo, figure or other attachment that is associated with a zine, article, or comment.

In a very general sense, all of these are treated as "articles" at a low level.

Types of Zines

Before you can create articles, you must have some zines to place them in. The zine type determines the basic rules of zine behaviour, such as how indexes are displayed, whether you can add comments, and so on.

  • e-Zine
    This is a generic e-zine. It accepts articles from a variety of authors, and displays them most recent first. Older articles are expired into the archives.
  • Book
    Books are assumed to collect a series of articles from a single author. They are presented in a specific order (eg. as a series of chapters), and do not expire.
  • Blog
    Blogs accept articles from a single author, much like a magazine column. They are presented most recent first, and eventually expire into the archives. They usually accept comments from readers.
  • PhotoBlog
    PhotoBlogs are similar to regular blogs, but they highlight the picture, rather than the text of the article.
  • Forum
    Forums dispense with regular articles, and cut straight to comments from site readers.
  • PhotoForum
    PhotoForums are like PhotoBlogs, except that any site reader may post a photo, and receive comments.
  • Wiki
    Wikis are cross-linked collections of articles, which any site reader may add to.

Managing Zines

Managing your zines typically consists of adding articles, deleting or disabling comments, and occasionally adding or reconfiguring your zines. There are two ways to access your zines as an administrator:

  1. Go to the Zine icon in the ExSite web top. This gives you access to all administration and configuration functions.
  2. View a dynamic web page that is displaying the zine you want to work on. (If the page is normally published statically, you should preview the page in your favourite CMS plug-in.) This lets you add new articles, if the policy allows posts from somewhere other than the administrator control panel.

Administration functions are described below. Two icons are shown, a simple GIF and a full-colour PNG. Which one you see will depend on system configuration:

Add a new article.

Edit an existing article. This includes changing the article status so that it is not displayed (eg. moderation).

Reconfigure an article. This includes changing some of the special configuration rules noted above.

Delete an article.

Note that you will have these options for every zine, article, and comment in the system. To add a new article to a zine, be sure to click the icon under the zine; if you click the icon under an existing article, you will be creating a new article nested underneath the existing article (ie. a subindex).

You may also see the the public/user-level functions, namely:

Add a comment.

Reply to another comment.

Enter or exit the archives.

Get an RSS feed of this zine.

Users who have recently added a comment may also have the option to edit their comments. The option to edit comments only exists for a few minutes before the comment is frozen; this is so that comments do not get out of sync with their replies.

Editing Articles

When creating, editing, and configuring articles, you will be able to enter data for many of the following fields. (Which fields you see will depend on the zine or article type.)

AuthorThe author of an article, if different from the owner.
NameA simple browser-friendly version of the article title, used in URLs. This field will be set automatically if it is left blank, but you can set it manually if you want more control.
TitleThe full, human-friendly title of the zine or article. For comments, this is the subject line.
SubtitleOptional subtitle, for articles that require more complicated title structures.
SummaryAn optional outline or abstract for the article. A summary will be automatically generated if you do not provide one. (The automatic summary consists of the first 50 words or so of the article.)
ArticleThe full body of the article or comment. For normal articles and zines, it will default to a rich-text HTML editor, but can be switched to a plain-text input box. For comments, it will default to a plain text input box.
Content-typeSets whether to treat the article contents as HTML (no further markup required) or text (will require some extra markup for display in browsers).
FootnotesOptional; displayed at the bottom of the article. Can be used for footnotes, attributions, copyright notices, etc.
SortkeyFor sorted indexes, the articles will be sorted based on this sortkey.
PictureAn optional image can be uploaded, and will be displayed at the top of the article (float right, if there appears to be room). This is also the primary content of photoblogs and photoforums.
ThumbnailThumbnailed version of the picture, above. The thumbnail is usually generated automatically.
CaptionA caption for the picture.
SiteFor zines, this sets which site owns (and therefore may display) the zine. If no site is set, it may be displayed by all sites.
OwnerThis sets which user owns the zine and may access the administration functions. If not set, the site adminsitrator is the owner.

Note that you will see many of these fields for the zine itself, as well as for the articles that go into the zine. In the case of the zine itself, the values will be used to format a "preamble" for the zine index. For example, you could have an e-zine with the following values:

FootnotesAll news stories are © 2007 by Acme Corp.

This information would be placed at the head of all indexes into this zine, as if it was an article without any body text. For example:


All news stories are © 2007 by Acme Corp.

News Article #1
This is the article summary. This is the article summary. This is the article summary.

News Article #2
This is the article summary. This is the article summary. This is the article summary.


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