If you can read this through your browser, then this means that you have already completed more than 90 percent of the installation tasks. Squishdot would have come up with a default configuration along with a set of topic subjects, images and articles. This article focuses on the minimum set of tasks to clean up the default configuration and prepare the site for initial use.

This article was originally written as part of the list of articles that come up when Squishdot is installed… If you’re reading this through the website, then *_obviously_*, you still have 99% of the installation work to do (i.e. d/l Zope & Squishdot, installing them, etc…) — Butch.

Step 1 : Set the options and properties, and clean up the default configuration

The first thing you need to do is to set the options in the Options tab of the management panel and set the moderation option, expiration days (if any), mail host, and maximum main page posts. Then you can also go to the Properties tab and set the site name, color scheme, etc. Next, you can go to the Postings and Subjects tabs and delete the postings and the subject topics. Now you have everything cleaned up and ready to go.

Step 2 : Set up the topic subjects

You may choose to use Squishdot without any subject categories. However, doing so imposes an additional burden to people posting articles because they need to discipline themselves when specifying a topic subject — because when no topics have been specified, the topic subject becomes an enterable field, not a dropdown list — so that it remains a usable criteria for searching. Building a specific set of topics makes things easier for the article posters, because they merely have to choose from a predefined set of topics.

Step 3 : Set up the topic images

You can also choose to use or not use topic images to associate with your subject topics. The default configuration will work without images, although some functionality will be taken away (namely, the anchor links associated with the line of topic images at the top of the main page, as well as the link associated with each article that leads to a search of all articles belonging to the subject topic).

Step 4 : Set user access and controls

Last, you need to give or restrict access (especially if you have the moderation options turned on) to those people moderating the article postings and/or comments by defining roles and assigning roles to particular users using the normal Zope access controls (i.e. user folders).

Note: Make sure you set up the security privileges for both the TinyTable and the Squishdot products to match your particular user access requirements. For example, for Anonymous users to access Squishdot (in fancy demo mode), you might need to set the “Query TinyTable data” and “Access contents information” security privileges for the Anonymous role either at the root (i.e. topmost) folder or the Squishdot folder. If you wish Anonymous users to post articles and replies, you also might need to set the “Add postings” privilege in security tab as well.

That’s about it. If you wish to learn more about customizing Squishdot, you can read a bunch of articles devoted specifically to this topic. There are also other articles about the DTML/HTML used in Squishdot, as well as the classes, methods and variables that are available to manipulate it.