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How to Get Started?

How to Get Started?

Thursday 01 May 2003 4:22:09 pm - 16 replies

One of the most discouraging things a user can experience is having a 'killer app' he can't do anything with. This is what I'm experiencing right now with eZ systems.

I attempted to get instructive feedback over in the installation section of this forum, but suddenly folks stopped responding to me.

My position is that this application is really not user friendly. The tutorials and "how-tos" require a PhD in physics to follow. New users certainly don't want to go into ini files before they even try the product and the product online manual is a not very good at all.

In truth, I'm amazed wizards weren't provided to get things going. The application installed beautifully. Apache is running like a champ, and yet when I attempt to go into the modules I get the error message "object not available."

How on earth am I supposed to know what that means? Then when I go to the tutorials all I see is instruction on how to set-up access, etc. In other words, whole chapters are missing from the beginning of eZ setup book. This is insane. It's like getting your first computer and being told to figure out things on your own.

This is also unforgivable. Today, thousands of applications use the same tried and true method of teaching people their product. The "Dummy" series books show this method well. The method is simply this: Begin at the Beginning.

For example, besides not knowing what "objection not available" means, I haven't the slighest idea how to test php scripts with eZ. Why isn't this explained somewhere?

Also, nothing I've seen yet explains exactly how to deploy each module for external access. And speaking of "access" the tutorials I've seen on this topic so far are impossible. In one of them, six new terms were introduced in one paragraph. That's insane. You don't do that. You don't assume the new user knows what "regexp" etc means. Also, you really shouldn't require the new user to start fooling around in directories before he's even got the product up and running. That's not user friendly.

In short, I'm sure there are many people who hear great things about this application, download it, then drop it like a hot potatoe once they discover the manual is impossible to follow.

Anyway, I'm willing to help change this if you folks will work with me. I write pretty good. Step me through this product and I'll provide a tutorial that even a dummy like me can follow.

First question: Now that I've successfully installed the application, what do I do next?

Ric

Thursday 01 May 2003 5:59:23 pm

Hi there !

I really understand what you're going through...I got lost to when I first started out. I've found an article that I think will help much more than any article on EzPublish's own site...hope that it will answer some of your questions..

http://ezwiki.blanko.info/index.php/3XPS_UserSite

With regards
Ole
Norway

Thursday 01 May 2003 7:21:06 pm

My experience has been exactly the same as yours - I installed EZ publish 3 but now I have absolute no idea what to do next.
I guess we're requried to take one of those 1800$ courses in Norway to get started.

Thursday 01 May 2003 7:44:11 pm

Re: How to Get Started?
My experience has been exactly the same as yours - I installed EZ publish 3 but now I have absolute no idea what to do next.
I guess we're requried to take one of those 1800$ courses in Norway to get started.

********************************************************************

If so, these fellows are really missing the boat. This really *is* the killer app the world has been waiting for.

Ric

Thursday 01 May 2003 7:46:03 pm

Ok, here we go. happy.gif Emoticon

There is a user web site and and admin web site. The user site is what the visitors will see, the admin site is where you create your articles, forums, user groups etc. A third place you will have to visit are the files in the directory, because the look of you site can not be edited via the web.

Everything clear up to now?

I strongly recommend that you install the demo data, if you want a chance to learn how to use ez publish.

Now, depending on whether you installed a virtual host name for ez publish or you didn't, the admin site and the demo site can be reached with different addresses. A virtual host name is a domain name (http://www.domain.com) or a sub domain name (http://sub.domain.com) that points to a specific directory / file on your server.

In the documention and in this post, when the virtual host set up is mentioned, it means that you have set up two different (sub) domains that are both rewritten to /directory/where/you/installed/ezpublish/index.php, one for the admin and one for the user site. The result of this is that the URL for both of your sites do NOT look like http://www.domain.com/index.php/content/view/full/... but rather like http://www.domain.com/content/view/full (i.e. without the index.php).

THEREFORE, happy.gif Emoticon to continue where I started the excursion to virtual hosts, if you do not have set up virtual hosts (which I will presume now), you can reach the admin site by going to
http://www.domain.com/index.php/admin
or if you left standard configuration by going to
http://www.domain.com
(I think the admin site is the default, right?)

You reach the actual demo site by going to http://www.domain.com/index.php/demo/

If you haven't done browsed either site, please do so now and compare how they look.

This was what the link Ole gave to you talked about.

To be continued in my next post...

P.S.: Ric, please don't go on for ages about how this thing is too complicated for you, and now one replies to your enquiries. Let me repeat that this is a free product and it DOES require some knowledge about scripts, domains, configurations files, etc. And even if you paid the tens of thousands of dollars that the commerical products costs, you would still have to learn the same things. As far as not answering the posts is concerned, everyone here has a job and lots of other things to do. It might take a couple of days until you get an answer, ok?

Modified on Thursday 01 May 2003 7:50:49 pm by Karsten Jennissen

Thursday 01 May 2003 8:12:12 pm

Now that you know how the demo site looks to users, go to the admin site and try to find out, how it is constructed.

If you call up the admin site an log in, you will be presented with the primary modules as menu points in the top (content, shop, users) followed by set-up and personal. Below you will see the first page of the sitemap, which is a hierarchical structure of the pages on your site.

To make it a little less complicated, click on frontpage on the left hand side and you will only see the top folders. You see the name, the class ("folder"blunk.gif Emoticon, the site section (as a number), the priority, as well as edit, copy and remove links.

Before you go on, please learn the basic terminology that is applied throughout the product at
http://ez.no/developer/ez_publish.../datatypes_classes_objects_and_nodes

I'll quickly explain what the entries in the top menu mean and then you should after some exploring be set to read in the manual and try out for yourself.

Content:
This is the main module, where you create the content of your site. You can fill your site with folders, articles, forums, images, files, etc.

Shop:
The ecommerce module. Don't know much about this, so I'll leave that to others

Users:
Here you define user groups (any group of users that belong together, independent of what they can or cannot do on your site) and user roles (what people can or cannot do, grouped and described in "roles"blunk.gif Emoticon as well as single users. You can assign users and or user groups to roles.

Set-up
Here is the more basic stuff, like site sections, translations management and workflows and such.

Personal
Your "My" Page. Notifications, tasks and such.

You want to start with the content section. The way the content is depicted in the admin site is not necessarily the same as on the user site. The idea is that the content on the admin site basically is a collection of fields in a form that you fill out for each object you create. After you have entered the fields (for example one field is article title, one is article body, etc.), the values you have entered are shown one by one. On the demo site, you create templates in the files directory to control how the fields are actually shown.

Now it's your turn. Try out and read up here: http://ez.no/manual/user/everyday

Good luck!

Karsten

Friday 02 May 2003 6:58:00 pm

Re: How to Get Started?
Ok, here we go.

There is a user web site and and admin web site. The user site is what the visitors will see, the admin site is where you create your articles, forums, user groups etc. A third place you will have to visit are the files in the directory, because the look of you site can not be edited via the web.
******************************
Fine,
***********************************8
Everything clear up to now?

Yes
**********************
I strongly recommend that you install the demo data, if you want a chance to learn how to use ez publish.
***************************************
I think that happened automatically with the install -- but then it disappeared when I reopened the application. How do I get the modules to display again? Right now all I'm getting for each module is the error message "This object not available" What did I do to cause this to happen?

****************************************************************

Now, depending on whether you installed a virtual host name for ez publish or you didn't, the admin site and the demo site can be reached with different addresses. A virtual host name is a domain name (http://www.domain.com) or a sub domain name (http://sub.domain.com) that points to a specific directory / file on your server.

How do you install a virtual host name? Is this a local host? Wait a minute, "virtual host" _is_ a local host, that's why it's called "virtual" right?

Assuming this is true, what's the diference between the default host eZ generates and this virtual host? In other words I have no idea what you mean by "virtual host."

*********************************************************************

In the documention and in this post, when the virtual host set up is mentioned, it means that you have set up two different (sub) domains that are both rewritten to /directory/where/you/installed/ezpublish/index.php, one for the admin and one for the user site. The result of this is that the URL for both of your sites do NOT look like http://www.domain.com/index.php/content/view/full/... but rather like http://www.domain.com/content/view/full (i.e. without the index.php).

********************************************
Sorry, I don't follow any of this.

*****************************************************

THEREFORE, to continue where I started the excursion to virtual hosts, if you do not have set up virtual hosts (which I will presume now), you can reach the admin site by going to
http://www.domain.com/index.php/admin
or if you left standard configuration by going to
http://www.domain.com
(I think the admin site is the default, right?)

**************************************************

I assume when you say "by going to http://www..., you mean typing the url into the browser address box? Please tell me these things. I hate to make assumptions like that.

I also assume you're saying I should have eZ up and running when I do this...?

*********************************************************************

You reach the actual demo site by going to http://www.domain.com/index.php/demo/

**************************************************

I tried this and got the message "Object unavailable..."

**************************************************************

If you haven't done browsed either site, please do so now and compare how they look.

**************************************************

Can't access demo site

******************************************************

This was what the link Ole gave to you talked about.

*******************************************
Oh.

******************************************************
To be continued in my next post...

P.S.: Ric, please don't go on for ages about how this thing is too complicated for you, and now one replies to your enquiries. Let me repeat that this is a free product and it DOES require some knowledge about scripts, domains, configurations files, etc. And even if you paid the tens of thousands of dollars that the commerical products costs, you would still have to learn the same things. As far as not answering the posts is concerned, everyone here has a job and lots of other things to do. It might take a couple of days until you get an answer, ok?

*******************************************

Yeah, sure, just help me make sense of this application.

Ric

Friday 02 May 2003 7:13:14 pm

The title of this post is actually a misnomer. I have made no progress with this application so far. Here are the facts:

Since I have no idea what a "virtual host" is or how to instal on (or why I would want to install one) I'm awaiting more instruction on this.

In the meantime, here's what happens when I log-in to the admin page:

While on the "content tabbed Page" although all the demo modules are listed, I can't access any of them. If I try to create a new article, I get a new page that says "fatal error: call to a member function on an object in C:\programfiles\ezsystem\ezpublish\kernel\content\browse.php

Debug below ...

But no debug below.

When I go back to the admin frontpage and try and edit one of the demo articles listed I'm sent to a page with several buttons but no article (buttons are; add location, send for publishing, site draft)

On the side of this page are buttons that read 'manage' and 'preview' . When I select 'preview' I get another page with buttons but no article.

I have no idea what any of this means.

Also, I would like to get the demo site working again.

Ric

Friday 02 May 2003 7:38:46 pm

Is there anybody out there?

When I startup the index.php page each of the classes listed across the top return the same error message:
"Unavailable: The object is not available."

Also, for some reason the 'demo edition' class is grayed out. However, the demo worked fine the first time I ran the application..

How can I get it to run again?

Friday 02 May 2003 10:18:24 pm

This looks like a pretty cool program, but I have to agree with the others. The documentation doesn't give you much idea of where to start after you've done the install.

I've got most things working: the admin and demo sections are working great. The user section is giving me the famous 'Module not Found' error whenever I click on one of the menu options.

Some of my many questions:

1. what is the relationship between the admin section and user sections? My guess: you use the admin sections to define content and save it in the database; you use templates in the user sections to pull out and display content. So you can use the admin tool to define content in the abstract, and could actually display the content in several different user sections, if you wanted to.

2. when I view the user pages (index.php/user) I get a 'plain deisgn' page with a menu down the left side (none of the links work -- they all display the 'Module Not found' error), and a content tree in the main section of the page. You can navigate down the tree to add content, etc. In other words, this is yet another admin page? I don't quite see the point of this, but that may be because the menu links don't work. What is the point of this user section?

3. I'm guessing that the best way to figure out how to 'get started' is to read through the demo files and try to understand how they work. I have no problem with this, but just a want to ask first: Is there a better way that I'm missing?

4. has anyone (besides the developers) actually built a site using this program? Any links?

My advice to Ric and other non-programmers would be to take a quick look at phpWebSite. Much easier to set up and probably more like what you are looking for.

Thanks for any answers to the above questions,

-- John

Friday 02 May 2003 10:42:37 pm

First, much thanks to karstin for pitching in and helping to ask some of my questions. But where are the eZ system gurus?

This product is wonderful but intuitive it is not. Others are posting articles asking the same questions I ask -- how do you get started?

These questions are not being answered by staff. I have painstakenly listed the problems I'm having. How can you expect me to purchase anything if I've not yet figured how to use this application?

Ric

Friday 02 May 2003 11:28:32 pm

Ric,

I need some more information to help you. Where and how did you install ez publish? Did you use the full installer, or just the source files? Is it Windows or Linux?

John,

please try to clear the cache, i.e. delete all files in /var/cache. The site /index.php/user is basically a blank site. The actual user site is index.php/demo. What you are saying about the admin and the demo site is true. The admin site is to administer your user site.

If you have absolutely no experience with CMSs then maybe ez publish has a too big learning curve. PHPNuke/Postnuke/Xoops are alternatives as are many other open source CMSs, a list of which you can find on
http://www.opensourcecms.com/

I actually started with postnuke, learned some PHP and then made several attempts with ez publish 2.2 before moving on to version 3.

Karsten

Friday 02 May 2003 11:30:12 pm

Hi Ric,

just my 2 pence:
I agree with some of the things, that you said. There is no "Dummies"-Documentation for ez3 available.
Maybe someone should/could write one.
I say "maybe", because i'm not sure, if ezPublish is a system, that is targeted to a dummie user. This is a content management system... at least! Since ez3, it's an application framework.
How did you find ezPublish? What do you want to do with it? If someone wants to install a web CMS, he needs to have some knowledge about browsers, domains, web servers.

For example:
"Go to www.domain.com" should be clear to everybody, that wants to set up a CMS. I _can_ assume, that this is understood.

I'm sure, that there are other CMS'es out there, that may be easier to install. But do they have the functions AND the architecture, that you need?

When we first saw ezPublish, it had Version 1.05. We were very happy about the architecture. When we first installed, we used 2.0. Later, we did an upgrade to 2.1 and another to 2.2.4.
Now, I see ez3. The development of the system is impressive, the concepts are really good!

And you will get all this for free, as long as you don't need the commercial licence!

What response time do you expect from the ezSystem guys here in a user forum?

Today, I don't have the time (and motivation) to answer your specific questions. Maybe I will check them again on the weekend.

Saturday 03 May 2003 2:29:21 am

Re: How to Get Started?
Ric,

I need some more information to help you. Where and how did you install ez publish? Did you use the full installer, or just the source files? Is it Windows or Linux?

John,
********************************************************************
I used the installer. Everything went fine. I even got the demo working. Then when I closed and restarted the program, no demo. Instead the demo button was grayed out and all the classes displayed "Object unavailable" when I invoked their pages.

I'm using Windows me

Ric

**********************************************************************
please try to clear the cache, i.e. delete all files in /var/cache. The site /index.php/user is basically a blank site. The actual user site is index.php/demo. What you are saying about the admin and the demo site is true. The admin site is to administer your user site.

****************************************************************
Just checked the cache, nothing in it. But I was able to get the demo running before when I first started the program, so I don't understand why I can't get it running now. By the way, one line in the Apache console is telling me this: Cannot find file msql\bin\msqld.exe

What's the significance of this? Could this be the reason why the demo disappeared? However, when I first start up Apache, the msql screen flashes on for an instant.

**************************************************************8

If you have absolutely no experience with CMSs then maybe ez publish has a too big learning curve. PHPNuke/Postnuke/Xoops are alternatives as are many other open source CMSs, a list of which you can find on
http://www.opensourcecms.com/
**************************************************************
I think the problem is lack of documentation. I could build an atom bomb with the proper documentation, but with this product there is none. And I've just come back from looking at the other products you mention but they all seem cheesy.
******************************************************

I actually started with postnuke, learned some PHP and then made several attempts with ez publish 2.2 before moving on to version 3.

Karsten
******************************************************************

By the way, I'm writing some php driven forms. Exactly where do I save these forms on my hard drive? I haven't a clue. I'm also confused about the Apache server. How do I test php forms via eZ with it? I've seen nothing that discusses this. Finally, if I write a php form to test locally and it needs a 'referrer' url, what exactly to I give it-- the local host address? And also, what's all this static DNS business all about?

Thanks lots,
Ric

Saturday 03 May 2003 2:55:38 am

Re: How to Get Started?
Hi Ric,

just my 2 pence:
I agree with some of the things, that you said. There is no "Dummies"-Documentation for ez3 available.
Maybe someone should/could write one.
*****************************************************
Absolutely. I will if I ever figure things out.

************************************************************

I say "maybe", because i'm not sure, if ezPublish is a system, that is targeted to a dummie user. This is a content management system... at least! Since ez3, it's an application framework.
*************************************************************
It has no organized, systematic, easy to follow documentation. It's not at all intutive, and that's ok, but at least give people a map. With a map I can figure anything out. With a map I'd have had this thing figured out in one night. As it is, I've spent a week trying to figure it out and am no closer than when I started.

*******************************************************************8

How did you find ezPublish? What do you want to do with it? If someone wants to install a web CMS, he needs to have some knowledge about browsers, domains, web servers.
*******************************************************
I do. I build websites. People love my work.

****************************************************

For example:
"Go to www.domain.com" should be clear to everybody, that wants to set up a CMS. I _can_ assume, that this is understood.

********************************************************
It's clear to me, setting up "siteaccess" isn't when six different new concepts are presented in one-paragraph as in the manual on this section
********************************************************

I'm sure, that there are other CMS'es out there, that may be easier to install. But do they have the functions AND the architecture, that you need?

__________________________________________

I've looked at the other cms'es they seem like junk.

***************************************************************

What response time do you expect from the ezSystem guys here in a user forum?
************************************************************

From the staff, immediate. I feel like I'm testing the software for all the other dummies out there. I'm prepared to work hard to learn this app if they provide me with the feedback I need.

******************************************************
Today, I don't have the time (and motivation) to answer your specific questions. Maybe I will check them again on the weekend.
**************************************************************
Thanks, here they go:

1. One of the things I want to do is test php scripts. If I write one, where exactly must I put it to run it on Apache properly? I'll be using eZ. This confuses me. I don't know where the local host resides or exactly how to run php programs/scripts on it. On my isp's servers it's easy. I just upload them. Locally, it's not so clear to me.

2. What's the 'root directory' and path to the server(Apache)? Assuming it was intalled along with eZ.

3. My Apache consol is running fine, but one of the lines on the screen reads it couldn't find mysql.

4. Can't load the demo. It loaded when I first started the program but not since. I was able to play with all the modules then, not so now. Now, all I get is "object not available" error kernel (3).

Thanks,

Marco Zinn
Friday 02 May 2003 11:30:12 pm

 

Wednesday 07 May 2003 11:40:27 pm

"In the documention and in this post, when the virtual host set up is mentioned, it means that you have set up two different (sub) domains that are both rewritten to /directory/where/you/installed/ezpublish/index.php, one for the admin and one for the user site. The result of this is that the URL for both of your sites do NOT look like http://www.domain.com/index.php/content/view/full/... but rather like http://www.domain.com/content/view/full (i.e. without the index.php). "

That is not a good example of virtual domains.
A virtual domain is, as mentioned above, an address which looks like a domain. example.com, www.example.com, ezsite.example.com, and ezadmin.example.com are all domain names. There are two parts to this: the "DNS Server" has to give a "numeric" IP address for all such addresses which are used (several names can use the same IP address), and there has to be a web server which will reply to those addresses.

Some web servers, such as Apache, can handle several domain addresses on a single computer. If that one computer has several IP addresses, the web server can identify each and give different information for each. If that one computer has one IP address, most web browsers can tell the server the name being accessed (such as ezsite.example.com) and the "virtual server" configuration tells the web server what information to offer for that name.

A separate feature, URL rewriting, allows the web server to translate a browser's URL to an internal address. EzPublish can use a URL like http://www.example.com/ezsite/index.php/view/content/1, but URL rewriting allows a browser to access the same information with a URL like http://ezsite.example.com/view/content/1 (or http://ezsite.example.com/home if a special rule is defined for "home"blunk.gif Emoticon.

At least with Apache, both virtual server and URL rewrite have to be configured in the system web browser files (the DNS server also needs to support such names). EzPublish is not itself aware of this, except that in site.ini can be told that ezsite.example.com is to use a view such as "user" or "demo", while ezadmin.example.com is for "admin" access.

Modified on Wednesday 07 May 2003 11:44:07 pm by Scot Wilcoxon

Thursday 08 May 2003 10:01:50 am

Absolutely true. Just wanted to draw the attention to the fact that whenever virtual host is mentioned in the docs, it rather means virtual host + URL rewrite.

Anyhow, maybe you want to help writing the newbie guide? See User docs -> Basics -> ... for newbies

Karsten

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