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Help ID: How to use this site 


Chris Toolz - User Guide

This page explains how to use this intranet site and what you can or what you cannot do.

Index:
The Goal
What it offers
How to use the site
Links, howto
Searches, howto
Pages, howto

The goal

The goal of this intranet site is to have a start up page in the browser that gives you quickest access to commonly used websites and searches as well as utilities used internally. Page load time for this tool is critical, hence the entire thing is entirely text based with no images (apart from the "favicon"-s used for the links. (not to mention the nerdy look of a page with done entirely in Courier font)

What it offers

It offers you the following:

  • Links
    • Links are short cuts to other web pages, also known as favorites
  • Searches
    • Searches are basically forms that simulate a search on a different web page, for example it offers you a facility to search google or bing or ebay etc without going there first
  • Pages
    • Pages are, well, pages. You can create a page for various reasons, they can be a simple article (like this user guide) or they can be a dynamic page (like the table-ids page) - basically a page is a piece of content that needs to go onto this site without creating too much fuzz on creating/uploading and integrating it. And a HOME page that combines all three of them to give you quickest access to the most commonly used items in each of these categories.

How to use the site

By default, there are a bunch of links, searches and pages already in the system, accessible to everyone, meaning, people logged in and not logged in. Upon logging in (after creating an account) a user can then add their own links, searches and pages (which are available to them only).

NOTE: an option to create public content is on the road map

Then, when using the links, searches or pages, their hit counters increase, moving these items higher to the top and thus making the most commonly used items more easily accessible.

Links, how to

Links can be used by clicking on them on either the home page or clicking "view" on the links page.
To create a new link, you have to be logged in. When logged in, there'll be a "add" link next to the "Links" heading on either the home page or the "links" page (see the tab). To add, you have to fill in a few fields which are described further below. To edit a link, the link has to be created by yourself. In order to edit, navigate to the links section (using the tab) and then click "edit" in the line of your link.

Here's a list of the fields and what they're for (* means required):

  • Category * - A plain text field - specifies the category the link belongs to - this is used for grouping purposes. Example would be "Tools". To utilise existing categories you just have to type their name as they exist - otherwise a new one will appear (i.e. this field is not a relational field)
  • Label * - A plain text field that allows you to specify the name of the link (i.e. the text you'r clicking on)
  • Url * - A plain text field that holds the URI of the page you're going to when clicking the link.
  • Icon - A plain text field that allows you to specify a URL for the ‘favicon' to be used. If you leave this empty, the page attempts to display the default favicon of the page you're linking to

Searches, How to

Searches can be used from the home page by typing text into the text box and then pressing the button that corresponds to the search provider that you want to use. I.e. to search google for "Pamela Anderson" you'd type "Pamela Anderson" into the text box and click the "Google" button. Alternatively, you can go to the Searches section using the tabs where you find text boxes for each search that exists.

To create a new search, you have to be logged in. When logged in, there'll be a "add" link next to the "Searches" heading on either the home page or the "Searches" page (see the tab). To add, you have to fill in a few fields which are described further below.

To edit a search, the search has to be created by yourself. In order to edit, navigate to the searches section (using the tab) and then click "edit" in the line of your search.

Below is a list of fields that you have to fill in when editing or adding searches, required fields are marked with a *:

  • Code * - This is a plaintext field - it's the identifier of the search and used in the "ID" attributes of the various form elements, values should be alpha-numeric only.
  • Action * - This field contains the URL of the search providers form handler, i.e. the page that the form posts to. (aka the value of the form's action attribute)
  • Method * - This represents the forms ‘method' attribute, in most cases you'd want to use GET (i.e. like google) but in some cases a post might be preferable.
  • Label * - the name of the search, on the Home page this appears on the button and on the searches page this appears in front of the button. It's recommended to use HTML to highlight the access-key (see below) using or tags
  • Page * - This is a field that allows you to specify the URL of the home page of the search provider, i.e. if you want to go there before searching you can click the link. The link is displayed on the "Searches" page (i.e. click the "label")
  • Short cut key * - Here a "letter" can be specified that allows to run the search by pressing a short-cut key. I.e. for the google search, the letter G is the short-cut. Firefox represents short-cut keys by pressing ALT+SHIFT+, Internet Explorer does it using CTRL+SHIFT
  • Search button label * - This field specifies the label on the search button (displayed in the searches section only, the home page displays the label on the button) - the default is "Search"
  • New-Window label * - This field allows you to specify some alternative text for the "in new window" text that appears next to the search box in the "searches" section only - primarily for non-english users. Default is "in new window"
  • Search Field Name * - This field specifies the name of the form field representing the search box of the search provider. See below for instructions on finding out that one.
  • Hidden Parms - This field allows you to specify additional parameters of the search provider that would normally be hidden. See instructions below for finding out that one.

Finding out the Search Field name and the Hidden Parms

To find out what the "Search Field Name" and the "Hidden Parms" are called, simply go to your desired search provider, in this example google and perform a search. When you run a search on google for the text "testing123", you will be redirected to the search results page.

On that search results page, you can see the URL having all the parameters as :

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=testing123&btnG=Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=

The "action" here is highlighted red.

The "Search Field Name" is highlighted in green, as the "testing123" bit that you've searched for is the value of the "q" parameter, so the "Search Field Name" would be "q" in this case.

The rest of the URL (in blue) would be what forms your "Hidden Parms" (which in case of google don't matter too much and are optional) - however, when creating/editing a search you have to specify them differently:

hl=en,btnG=Search,meta=,aq=f,oq=

Meaning, you don't put in the ? and all of the & characters will need to become commas.

Pages, how to

To create or edit a page, you have to be logged in. You can only edit pages that you have created yourself.

To create a page, you can click the "Add" link next to the pages heading on either the home page or the "pages" page (see tabs)

To edit a page, you have to go to the "pages" page (tabs) and click the "Edit" link next to the page that you want to edit.

Below is a list of fields that you have to specify when creating pages, required fields are marked with a *:

  • Name * - The name of the page you're creating
  • Description * - a description of what the page does or what its for
  • Public * - Yes/No - this determines whether only you or anybody can view this page.
  • User * - readonly field with current user, this field represents the "Owner" of the page
  • Content * - this field contains the content of the page. This can be a complete HTML document including JavaScript or it can be a PHP/HTML/JS script. PHP is being parsed and $_REQUEST variables are available so you can create forms that post to itself.

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