Difference: InstantEnhancements (3 vs. 4)

Revision 42005-03-27 - TWikiContributor

Line: 1 to 1
 

Instant TWiki Site Enhancements

Changed:
<
<
These quick enhancements are aimed at improving TWiki's ease-of-use. New TWiki site administrators are especially encouraged to review this document for ideas before deploying a new TWikiSite. The metaphor of building a house is useful. The listed enhancements are some of the details possible when moving into a new office or home. These small changes can make a big differences for user satisfaction at your site. All modifications can be done through your Web browser, and they don't take more then in a couple of minutes. No system administration expertise is required. Some of these enhancements are also mentioned in the reference manual and other topics.
>
>
These quick enhancements are aimed at improving and customising your TWiki. New TWiki site administrators are especially encouraged to review this document for ideas before deploying a new TWikiSite. The metaphor of building a house is useful. The listed enhancements are some of the details possible when moving into a new office or home. These small changes can make a big differences for user satisfaction at your site. All modifications can be done through your Web browser, and they don't take more then in a couple of minutes. No system administration expertise is required. Some of these enhancements are also mentioned in the reference manual and other topics.
  Many of these tips are based on setting some special TWikiVariables.
Changed:
<
<
PICK We recommend implementing at least some of these enhancements right after installation, to get a taste for what is possible. Some of these tips and enhancements should be implemented before or during initial roll-out.
>
>
PICK We recommend implementing at least some of these enhancements right after installation to get a taste for what is possible. Some of these tips and enhancements should be implemented before or during initial roll-out.
 
Changed:
<
<
This may spark your imagination to really customize your site so that it's optimal for your users. Slightly more advanced customization tips are listed in TWikiAdminCookBook.
>
>
This may spark your imagination to really customize your site so that it's optimal for your users. Slightly more advanced customization tips are listed in TWiki:TWiki.TWikiAdminCookBook.
 


Tips using TWikiVariables

Changed:
<
<
You need to know what is the variable name, and in what page is/should be defined.
>
>
TWikiVariables are a great resource to customize your site. You need to know the variable name and decide where to put it.
 

Change Colors of Page Header/Footer

Line: 35 to 35
 

Set Page Background Color

Changed:
<
<
Without getting into the TWikiTemplates system yet, you can easily edit the view.tmpl (in the templates directory). In the HTML at the top, the body tag has the page background hardcoded to white bgcolor="#ffffff". You can change that color value to new variable. First, define a new preferences variable in the site-level TWikiPreferences, e.g. * Set =PAGEBGCOLOR = #d0d0d0, then edit the view.tmpl template file and change bgcolor="#ffffff" to bgcolor="%PAGEBGCOLOR%". If you want you can set the page background color individualy per web, simple add a * Set =PAGEBGCOLOR = #d0d0d0 bullet to the WebPreferences to overload the site-level preferences. (Without font color control, you'll have to stick to light colors.
>
>
Without getting into the TWikiTemplates system yet, you can easily edit the view.tmpl (in the templates directory). In the HTML at the top, the body tag has the page background hardcoded to white bgcolor="#ffffff". You can change that color value to new variable. First, define a new preferences variable in the site-level Main.TWikiPreferences, e.g. * Set =PAGEBGCOLOR = #d0d0d0, then edit the view.tmpl template file and change bgcolor="#ffffff" to bgcolor="%PAGEBGCOLOR%". If you want, you can set the page background color individually per web, simple add a * Set =PAGEBGCOLOR = #d0d0d0 bullet to the WebPreferences to overload the site-level preferences. (Without font color control, you'll have to stick to light colors.)
 
Changed:
<
<

Titles-Only Topic List - WebTopicList

>
>

Titles-Only Topic List - WebTopicList

 
Changed:
<
<
A good first navigation tool for new users, a fast-loading linked list (page titles only) of a web's topics is a quick and easy way see what's available. By default, slower, but more powerfull WebIndex is used.
>
>
WebTopicList is a good first navigation tool for new users, a fast-loading linked list (page titles only) of a web's topics is a quick and easy way see what's available. By default, slower, but more powerful WebIndex is used.
  Without explaining what WEBTOPICLIST is, just try it:
Line: 52 to 52
 

EZ Graphic Icons to Highlight Text

Changed:
<
<
Graphics in text (like this: ALERT!) is done also by defining special variables. See TWiki.TWikiPreferences. Some may prefer longer names, like HELP, WARN etc. You can also add your own images, e.g. a NEW, or a ASK to ask question.
>
>
Icons can do a lot to enhance scannability of topics. For instance, on HELP pages, most people tend to jump around looking for answers rather than reading through - icons help point out the most important bits.
 
Changed:
<
<
TIP Using graphic icons to highlight important text right from the start can seriously improve how well new users take to a TWiki site. A minimum set of two or three icons can make content much easier to follow, eye-catching, EXCITING. Research says, people tend not to read pages through, but scan them first - and graphics (used sparringly wink of course) can help them. On HELP pages, most people tend to jump around looking for answers rather than reading through - icons help point out the most important bits.
>
>
TWikiDocGraphics has a whole collection of ready icon images. You can use these images in any topic by referring to their name. For example, TWikiDocGraphics has an image attachment called days.gif. To show this image in a topic, write %ICON{"days"}% to get Days, Calendar.
 
Changed:
<
<
How to create your own set of icons:
>
>
Creating image variables
 
Changed:
<
<
  1. Go to the Preferences topic: TWikiPreferences for site-wide use, or WebPreferences for use in one web only.
  2. Attach a graphic (the ones on this page are 16x16 pixels), then define a Preference Variable with a short but recognizable name.
  • Example: Enter %TEST% to get %TEST% - see how it's done.
  • TIP Ideas for quick icons: NEW; UPDATE; a STAR or other bullet; key symbols relating to your site content.
  • For documentation and help, this TWiki web uses three main icons: HELP for HELP, TIP for TIP, ALERT! for IMPORTANT.
  • Related: There are other approaches for creating more extensive TWiki icon libraries. This is a simply and quick way to get started. See TWikiDocGraphics for more info.
>
>
You may find it easier to write shorthand graphic notation. You can create your own image variables by defining them in a preference topic (most likely Main.TWikiPreferences.)

A variable name may be one letter, like Y, or may be longer like HELP, WARN etc. You can also add your own images, e.g. a NEW, or a ASK to ask question.

For instance, if we want to write %DOWN% instead of %ICON{"arrowbdown"}%, define the new variable like this:

   * Set DOWN = %ICON{"arrowbdown"}%
Or if you have a custom image to use, attach this to Main.TWikiPreferences and write:
   * Set DOWN = <img src="%ATTACHURL%/my_image.gif" border="0" alt="DOWN" width="16" height="16" />

Most images in TWikiDocGraphics are 16 x 16 pixels.

  • Related: There are other approaches for creating more extensive TWiki icon libraries. This is a simply and quick way to get started. See TWikiDocGraphics for more info.
 

Use TOC variable to create table of content

TOC is Table-Of-Content, generated automagically from headers (defined like that: ---++ , see TWikiShorthand).

Changed:
<
<
For example, you may want to put all your custom variables in TWikiPreferences right on top of the page, and generate table of contens, like:
>
>
For example, you may want to put all your custom variables in Main.TWikiPreferences right on top of the page, and generate table of contents, like:
 
  • Preferences for easy creating nice pages
    • Graphics icons in text
Line: 86 to 96
 

Personal Productivity - Tools and Tips for Working Faster

Changed:
<
<
Although this area applies to all TWiki set-ups, the initial focus is on TWiki site managers working on a Linux/Apache TWiki site, from a Windows local PC. The assumption being: if you're working with Linux as your desktop, you're probably a programmer or system admin and have these basics handled!
>
>
Although this area applies to all TWiki setups, the initial focus is on TWiki site managers working on a Linux/Apache TWiki site, from a Windows local PC. The assumption being: if you're working with Linux as your desktop, you're probably a programmer or system admin and have these basics handled!
 

Use your favorite text editor for major edits

Line: 98 to 108
  Browser Integration: Some web browsers can be configured to automatically use an external editor. See your browser documentation for details. Such a configuration and a small tool for Linux is described in an example on TWiki.org. TWiki:Codev/EditDaemonWithGVimIntegration
Changed:
<
<
Alternate Browser: While your main browser might not have the features for TWikic topic editing, another one might.
>
>
Alternate Browser: While your main browser might not have the features for TWiki topic editing, another one might.
 
  • An example on the Linux platform is the w3m pager/browser for Linux. This is a text based version similar to lynx but it includes text editor features and a configurable command set to act like lynx if you are more accustomed to it.

Ready to use SEARCH

Line: 128 to 138
 The SEARCH variable has many more formatting options, see TWikiVariables.

Recently changed pages

Changed:
<
<
Here, last 15 is formatted into neat table.
>
>
Here are the last 15 changed pages, formatted into a neat table.
 
<table>
Line: 142 to 152
 When you're creating main gateway pages, you may want to temporarily (or permanently) restrict editing to yourself or a limited group of people. You can do this with a Preference setting that includes one or more users and groups. Only auhorized users will be able to use Edit.
  • Example: Set ALLOWTOPICCHANGE = Main.UserName, Main.GroupName
  • TIP To hide the setting: Use HTML comment tags - put <!-- on the line _above the setting, and --> on the line below.
Deleted:
<
<
  • This is in the regular help files but worth highlighting.
 
Changed:
<
<

Change the Default Site Logo

>
>

Change the Default Logo

If you want to change the logo per TWiki web, simply attach a new logo.gif to the web's WebPreferences, and change the logo's filename by overriding the name using WEBLOGONAME in WebPreferences:

  • Set WEBLOGONAME = filename.gif
 
Changed:
<
<
If you want to change the default TWiki logo, attach a new graphic to a topic of choice and change the WIKILOGOIMG variable in the TWikiPreferences, e.g.
  • Set WIKILOGOIMG = %PUBURL%/TWiki/MyLogo/mylogo.gif
>
>
Other cusomtisations are possible using WEBLOGOIMG, WEBLOGOURL, and WEBLOGOALT (they mirror the WIKILOGO* TWiki variables, but are applied to each web, rather than to the %WIKITOOLNAME%-based references)

If you'd like to have the same customised logo for all the webs, make these changes in TWikiPreferences instead of each web's WebPreferences, e.g.,

  • Set WEBLOGOIMG = %PUBURLPATH%/TWiki/WebPreferences/mylogo.gif
 

Customize Topic Classification Forms

Changed:
<
<
With a simple one or two-line default topic form available for every topic - in Edit mode, click the [Add] button, and select the form if it isn't alredy enabled. Then, click the title to get to the actual form, [Edit], and carefully change values, probably basic page classifications. You'll get some increased value, and hands-on experience with TWikiForms, without having to read up about them first. ALERT! (add the corresponding search per category - copy a default and change)
>
>
With a simple one or two-line default topic form available for every topic - in Edit mode, click the [Add] button, and select the form if it isn't already enabled. Then, click the title to get to the actual form, [Edit], and carefully change values, probably basic page classifications. You'll get some increased value, and hands-on experience with TWikiForms, without having to read up about them first. ALERT! (add the corresponding search per category - copy a default and change)
 


Line: 165 to 179
  ALERT! Depending on what you load up, you may change the overall cross-browser compatibility - however be careful that your site does not look beat up in various other browsers. The scripts you choose will determine compatibility.
Changed:
<
<

>
>

Customize The Left Navigation Bar

Customize the contents of the WebLeftBar for each web to include important topics for that web, or to link to an important topic for the overall site. Each web has its own WebLeftBar page. (This is specific to the PatternSkin.)

 
Added:
>
>

 TIP NOTE: Feel free to add your own tips to TWiki:TWiki.InstantEnhancements as quick notes at the end of the list, following the existing format!
Changed:
<
<
Contributors: TWiki:Main.GrantBow, TWiki:Main.LynnwoodBrown, TWiki:Main.MikeMannix, TWiki:Main.PeterMasiar, TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MattWilkie
>
>
Related Topics: AdminDocumentationCategory
 
Added:
>
>
-- Contributors: TWiki:Main.GrantBow, TWiki:Main.LynnwoodBrown, TWiki:Main.MikeMannix, TWiki:Main.PeterMasiar, TWiki:Main.PeterThoeny, TWiki:Main.MattWilkie, TWiki:Main.AmandaSmith
 
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 1999-2019 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding URCS? Send feedback
Note: Please contribute updates to this topic on TWiki.org at TWiki:TWiki.InstantEnhancements.