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Customizing Squishdot (Part 4)
Posted by Butch Landingin on Friday July 16, 05:09AM, 1999
from the you-gotta-concentrate-extra-hard dept.
This is part 4 on customizing Squishdot. This one discusses the configuration tables and some related folders which control the navigational links to other parts of Squishdot as well as the semi-static information displayed on the squishboxes.

The Configuration Tables

There are three (3) tables control what navigational links and boxes are displayed on the left, right and bottom parts of the Squishdot pages. These are instances of the TinyTable product that are not part of the basic Zope distribution and must be downloaded separately. They are available from the Contributed Products page at the Zope website.
  • the bottom_items table - controls the links that show up along the bottom part of the page. It consists of the following fields:
    • name - the title displayed for the link
    • urlname - the url's href parameter for this link
    • relurl - if set to blank means that the urlname given is an absolute url, otherwise the urlname given is relative to the value of topic_url (i.e. the url of the Squishdot folder)
  • the leftbox_items table - controls the links that show on the left part of the squishdot pages. On the "readmore" pages, additional links show up that display links to get back to the main page or main article -- these are hardcoded links that show up automatically and are not part of the list of items. The table itself consists of the same fields as the bottom_items table and play the same roles.
  • the rightbox_items table, in conjunction with the rightbox_methods folder, control what squishboxes are displayed on the right hand part of the main Squishdot page. Unlike the other options, these boxes do not show up on the other Squishdot pages. The righbox_items table is composed of the following fields:
    • box_title - the title of squishbox
    • box_contents - the id of the dtml method which should be located in the rightbox_methods folder from which the squishbox will get its contents from.
    • box_url - if the title of the squishbox has an attached link, then this field contains the url of that link. Otherwise, if the title has no link, then it will be blank (i.e. "").
    • rel_url - if the squishbox title has a box_url, this flag determines whether the url given is an absolute url (value = zero) or (value = 1) it is relative to the topic_url (i.e. the url of the Squishdot folder)
    We are also currently working on an example squishbox that incorporates a survey, so that you can run different surveys on your website by just updating the rightbox_items table.

The rightbox_methods and misc_methods folder

These folders contain the DTML methods that are incorporated into the Squishdot pages. For example, the rightbox_methods folder contains those DTML methods that are listed in the rightbox_items table (discussed above) that show up as squishboxes on the right hand part of the main page. The misc_methods folder holds those various misc_methods such as advertising (which controls what advertising banner is displayed at the top of the Squishdot pages). You can easily turnoff the Squishdot by taking out the html that displays the image in the advertising DTML method. You can also change the quote displayed on all the Squishdot by updating it in the quotation DTML method.Note: We are currently working on a product that will randomly generate quotes from a fortune cookie database, so that the quotations can updated automatically -- one less thing you have to administer.

You can add your own rightbox_methods and/or update and/or delete the current ones in the folder -- just make sure you update the entries in the rightbox_items to match the DTML methods.

This concludes the series of articles on customizing Squishdot.

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