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Using the Content Management Sytem
First article written entirely in the CMS | Posted by Brent on Jul 12th 05 08:37 AM
So, I have been working on this CMS for seemingly ages and have given most of you glimpses of how it works from time to time. Time now for the full tut'r'l kids, o'en yer ears good 'n wide!

Our content management system has only been tested on Javascript enabled IE 6.0, and Firefox 0.9.3 and up. You definately need javascript, and I beleive IE5.0 will work, and there is even more of a chance that earlier Firefox versions will work.


Content - Articles, Reviews, Images, Downloads, etc. An example of such is this article itself.
CMS - Content Management System, what you are learning about.
Hard Coded Links - A link; more on this later.


The central point of this entire website is going to become what I have named at the lack of no better term, "Resources." A resource is information about something. So in the website there will be a Half-Life 2 resource, a VALVe resource, a Citizen-132 resource, etc. What is the point? Well not only to have an overview of the specific resource, but so we can relate other content to it.

What do you mean "relate" content?
The second thing I would like to point out is that we will not be using hard coded links within the content any longer. We now use a system which allows us to link content to other content. An example of such use would be if you add an article titled "The Effects of Half-Life 2 on my Grandmother", it probably has something to do with Half-Life 2 so you would relate the Half-Life 2 resource to the content.

Now that you have the basics I am going to introduce types. They are related to content in the same manner that you relate content to other content. Some examples of types are "Action", "Adventure", and "First Person Shooter" for Resource content, and another set of examples is "Network News", "Site News", and "Mod News" for News content.

Now because I can obviously not figure out every type we will need, you will be most likely provided write access to the types system so you may add new types when they come to your mind. Criteria for adding a new type is simple, make sure it is not to specific, and make sure could not be qualified as a Resource.

It gets a little confusing deciding between a Resource or a Type, but it all comes down to a simple matter of adjectives(types) and nouns(resources). Resources are nouns because they are a person, place, thing, or idea. Types are adjectives because they are not an object themselves but are used to describe.

Permissions System
You will probably not have to deal with this ever but I thought I would explain that we have a LOT of control over actions people can take within the CMS. If you have worked with the previous systems you will be very happy about this CMS, we can permit individually to add individual content types and what sites they will be viewed upon. We can even require review of content by someone who has permission to avoid review (it's as simple as 2 clicks for those reviewing content). Just as an example of the precision of the permissions, we can allow "Harry" to create and modify his own news content and only place it on HL2Central, on top of that his information must be reviewed before it is released publicly. There is also an option to add permissions by forums user group. This occurs by making the ID number when adding a permission (normally for the user) a negative of the user group number.

This concludes the overview.

Walkthrough Tour

The process of managing content  is slightly difficult, but once you understand what all of the functions you will be dealing with do, it is much easier to work with. I'd say the learning curve is 15 minutes of solid playing around with everything to see what it does, which I am scared about, but still reccommend.

Open up the content manager, click the CMS link found at the top right of the forums, or by accessing the address directly at

You are greeted by a page that outlines broken content, content that needs to be reviewed, and quick links (ex. to add news).

Click "content" on the top right corner of the page. You are now viewing the management page for News as noted by the menu next to the word "manage" that serves a dual purpose of a menu for changing what content you are managing and a title.

From the menu select Resource, you should see at least 5 resource items. You will notice that rolling your mouse over them changes the color of the row to a highlighted color. Clicking the row will select it in a darker highlight. This will come in handy later when you are working with multiple content items. These selections you make are saved via cookies. Note that on the furthest left part of the list are the ID numbers of the content.

Edit Content
Click edit upon one of the resource content items and a window will popup showing you the information about the content allowing you to modify it, do not modify anything. In the middle you will notice the WYSIWYG editor, which works much like modern word processing applications such as MSWord.

Without editing anything click edit and watch what happens. You are given a confirmation and a choice of either closing the window, or continuing on to edit the relationships the content has with other content and types. Click yes and continue on to the relationship manager.

Relationship Manager
This is the area where you will link other content to the content you just edited. You should see two main areas. "Content<->Content" and "Content<->Type", fairly self-explainitory. Under content-content you will find an input box. This is for content id numbers. If you do not know the ID number of the content you wish to relate, click the "Find ID#" link to the right of the "add" button. Yet another window will popup allowing you to browse or search the content upon this loverly website. Clicking any of the names of the content you are browsing will automatically relate it to the content we edited.

Relate something, and remember what it was. The window closes and you are now shown what you added under the content-content section. Now that you understand how this works, delete what you added by clicking "remove" next to the name of what you added.

Down in the content-type section is where you will find types, and what website this content will be shown on. Without proper access you cannot relate one of the websites to the content. Without relating any of our websites to the list, the content will not be listed anywhere on the network but in the CMS unless people outside of the CMS  have direct links to the content. Close the relationship manager.

New Content
  Click the "Create New" button under the "Manage Resource" title. A window pops up strikingly similar to the edit page. Fill in something random for the title as there are going to be a few of you doing this and no two things can have the same title. Whatever you want for the description. Play with the WYSIWYG editor for the body. Now for release time, you have to speak to it like it were human; you tell it "next week" it releases it next week, you tell it tomorrow, it does tomorrow, you tell it May 31st, 2006; you get it. Now for approve, if you have access it allows you to choose between Yes (show it immediately) or No (only show it in the CMS). Otherwise it tells you that you do not have access and gives you no choice.

Click add, it tells you that you need to setup the relationships. Click go. Now we are back at the relationship manager. If this were real content you would think of any similar content (such as if this were a follow up you would relate the thing you were following up, or if it were a mods news you would relate the mod to the news). You would also set up types such as mod news for mod news, etc.

If you think of a new type you want to add, in the future you will be able to click "add type" but for now you must go to the window where you initially clicked edit (or the content manager main, if you arent following this full tutorial) where you will click the "types" link at the top left corner. Click new type. You are brought a window with 3 fields. The first is the name of this new type, easy. The second is the content type that should have this subtype (if it was a subtype "mod news" you were adding you would select "news");note that this field is simply a timesaver and you can add this type to more than one other content types. And the third which you will most likely leave alone is the type, type. Yes I know it's redundant, just ignore it and dont change the third setting unless you are me.

I beleive that is it. It's 5:24AM, good night. Email me, if you have any more questions.

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