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Customizing Squishdot (Part 2)
Posted by Butch Landingin on Friday July 16, 05:09AM, 1999
from the you-gotta-concentrate-really-hard dept.
This is part 2 on customizing Squishdot. This one discusses the Topic Subjects Tab and the Image/TopicImage folders.

The Topics Subject Tab

The Topic Subjects Tab is the third tab on the management panel for the Squishdot site. It controls what subject categories are available for selection when adding or searching for articles. If not specified, the topic subject field becomes a required input field when adding an article.

You can associate an image url with each topic subject. This means you can locate your topic images outside of the Squishdot folder although in the default setup, the images are placed inside the Squishdot folder grouped under the TopicImages folder and the url is entered as such. It is recommended that for each topic subject, a different image be used so that as users become familiar with the icons, they can readily decode the topic subject from the graphic icon.

You can also choose not to use any images. Although the site would work, some elements such as the topic subject menu bar that displays the associated image icons that runs across the top part would not be displayed, as well as the graphic icon that appears on the right part of the article summary on the main page would also not be present.

The Images and TopicImages Folder

The Images folder contain those images that are used to display the rounded edges and dropshadows that characterize the look and feel of Slashdot. They will need to be modified if you plan to use color schemes which have don't use white/black as the main backgrounds of the web pages.

If you don't plan to use dropshadows or rounded edges, then the images will not be used. Otherwise, we have attached the images for the dropshadow and rounded edges in a file attachment (images.zip) attached to this article. These images are stored as XCF (GIMP) formats so you can modify the background colors to match your color scheme.

Other images in Image folder include the advertisement banner, the title image (squishdot) and the blue/green dots that are used in the line at the bottom of the pages.

The TopicImages folder contain the images used in subject topic. This is merely a convenient place to put them. The recommended size of the images are 50x50 pixels and should have names which end in .gif or .jpg extension(depending on the type). This is to avoid a known bug in IE4.0 which causes downloading of images to fail when it can't figure out the type of image from the file extension.

The next part will discuss the Properties page.

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