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Mambo User Manual – Part 4

Last updated: Author Jason Moth

Messages

A basic Private Messaging system is available to facilitate work flow events and also to send notes or messages to other Mambo Administrators. The number of unread messages you have is displayed on the right of the Infobar above the editing icons. Some Components also will use your Inbox to notify you of events such as new content being submitted.

This will display as a link to your “Inbox” when the number of unread messages is greater than zero. There are two items in this menu: Configuration and Inbox.

Messages Configuration

There are two configurable options available to your Administrator. Use the select box to choose your option: ‘Yes or No'.

Lock Inbox

This option allows you to prevent Administrators or System processes from sending you messages. If you are the only administrator or work with a small group of admins you may choose not to use the messaging feature at all. It is a good idea to leave the box open while you are adding new components as it will help you be aware of system processes.

Mail me on new Message

This option will result in an email being sent to you each time you receive a new message.

Messages Inbox

Private messaging is only supported to or between users in a group that has access to the Admin Section. The “Inbox” Icon is accessible to all 3 admin groups: Managers, Administrators, and Super Administrators. The Messages Menu is only accessible to Super Administrator.

The Inbox (menu or Icon) link takes you to an overview screen of all your received messages, displaying the message's subject, sender, date it was sent, and its status (read or unread).  Here, you can read individual messages by clicking their title, delete any unwanted ones, and compose new messages by clicking the New icon in the toolbar.

When sending a new message, you will be presented with a drop-down menu to select the user you want to message, and two fields for title and message.

NOTE: This feature is intended only for short messages.

To delete one or more messages, tick the checkbox in front of it/them, and use the “Delete” button in the toolbar.

NOTE: Registered Users may choose to disable receiving messages when they register or edit their profile.

Mass Mail

The Mass Mail page allow you to send a message by email to one or more groups of Users.

Group – Make a selection from the list. Select All User Groups to mail the message to all users. Only one selection can be made from this list.

Mail to Child Groups – Check this box if you wish to automatically include all of the child groups of the selected group.  For example, if you select the Editor group and check this box, all users in the Publisher group will also be included in the mass mail.

Subject – Type a subject for the message.

Message – Type the body of the message. When you are finished, click the “Publish” icon to mail the message or the “Cancel” icon to abort the mail.

Global Check-in and Clean Cache

Global Check-in

When a User edits a file, Mambo changes its status to “Checked Out”. In effect, the file is locked and only the User who has checked it out has permission to work with it. This is a security feature that prevents two Users from editing a document at the same time, thus preventing loss of data upon saving.

When the User clicks the ‘Save' or ‘Cancel' icon, the file should be checked back in. If there is a connection error, or the user presses the Back button in his or her browser, a file can stay checked out, meaning no one can edit it.

A file remains ‘Checked Out' until the User clicks ‘Save' or ‘Cancel', at which time the file is “Checked In”. However, if there's a connection error, the user presses the ‘Back' icon in his/her browser, or the User chooses another menu item without saving or canceling the work in progress, the file remains ‘Checked Out'.

This means no one can edit this content item but the person who “Checked Out” the item or the Super Administrator.  This is usually reported or experienced as Users being unable to edit or access items, and can be verified by looking at the column labeled “Checked Out” in the Section, Category, or Item file list.

If you wish to edit a “Checked Out” item, you will have to ask the last author who “Checked Out” the item to “Check In” the item or to ask the Super Administrator to “Check In” the item.

Mambo has a protocol, called “Global Check-in” that allows an administrator to unlock all files that are currently Checked Out.

To perform the ‘Global Check-in' select “System > Global Check In” from the Administrator menu bar.

After performing the ‘Global Check-in', Mambo returns a list showing how many items, and from which tables, were Checked back in.

Warning: Be very careful in doing this as anyone who is editing a document at that very moment can have his or her work lost.

System Info

The System Info page provides detailed information about the system that your Mambo site is deployed on.

This includes version information for the site OS, My SQL, PHP, Web server, and Mambo. It also includes the relevant PHP settings.

The information on this page is very useful to Mambo developers when they are trying to help you fix a bug with Mambo. For this reason, it is good practice to post this information along with bug reports or support requests to the Mambo forums.

The system information can be reached by selecting ‘Help' from the Administration Menu, then ‘System Information' in the Index displayed.

Parameters

A parameter is a function that allows an administrator the ability to alter/modify script variables within the administration panel area. This allows changes to be performed without the need to open and manually edit PHP scripts or configuration files.

This “on-the-fly” approach is a simple and effective way to perform a change in value within a particular module, mambot, or configuration setting. By applying changes via a parameter, you save time, effort, and eliminate the need for opening a script file, searching for the variable that needs to be changed, making the alteration, and then uploading the script to the server.

Parameters also eliminate the possibility of manual editing errors and brings a solution to those who lack the ability to manually alter PHP code.

The parameter section(s) within the various configuration and content areas are an important aspect in the overall configuration and administration of your Mambo site. Through such variable parameter configuration, we unleash the true power and ease-of-use of the Mambo CMS.

Parameters Tab

The parameters tab is located in various configuration areas in your mambo administration panel including but not limited to the following:

Mambot

  • Site Module
  • Administrator Module
  • Components
  • Menu Managers
  • Other Managers

While some modules, components, mambots, and configuration areas have a parameters tab or the ability to alter a scripts function, others do not. The programmer in each instance must program the module to handle this option for it to be available.

Parameter Examples

Below we have two examples. Example A outlines content parameters and Example B outlines component parameters associated with the syndicate component.

A: Content Example

/ com_content / edit

Modifications can be made to the following:

Parameters Tab:

com_syndicate

Modifications can be made to the following:

Parameter Control:

  • Page Class Suffix:

This parameter allows for individual page styling. By giving a class to this parameter and altering your CSS with the changes you make here, you can have a different look and feel for individual pages.

  • Back Button:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the back button that allows the return to a previous page. The back button is usually located at the bottom of your pages depending upon the template design used.

  • Page Title:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the Items title.

  • Linked Titles:

This parameter allows you to make your items title linkable if the above Page Title parameter is set to show such.

  • Intro Text:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the intro text.

  • Section Name:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the section the item belongs to.

  • Section Name Linkable:

This parameter allows you to make the section text a link to the actual section page.

  • Category Name:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the category the item belongs to.

  • Category Name Linkable:

This parameter allows you to make the category text a link to the actual category page.

  • Item Rating:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item rating. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • Author Names:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item's author. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • Created Date and Time:

Show or hide the creation date. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • Modified Date and Time:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item modification date. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • PDF Icon:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item PDF button. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • Print Icon:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item print button. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

  • Email Icon:

This parameter allows you to show or hide the item email button. The selection is not a global site alteration, but allows for the changes to be made to this individual page only.

B: Component Example

  • Cache:

This parameter allows you to cache feed files.

  • Cache Time:

This parameter allows you to set the cache so that it will refresh every X seconds.

  • #Items:

This parameter allows you to set the number of items to syndicate.

  • Term

Definition of term

  • Title:

This parameter allows you to alter the title of the syndication.

  • Description:

This parameter allows you to alter the syndication description area.

  • Image:

This parameter allows an image to be included in the feed.

  • Image Alt:

This parameter allows alternate image text to be displayed.

  • Limit Text:

This parameter allows you to limit the article text to the value indicated below.

  • Text Length:

This parameter allows you to alter the word length of the article text.

The above content and component examples show variable changes that can be made to both the function and display of your Mambo site. Using the above parameters allow for changes to be made without the manual alteration of the back-end PHP scripting.

Parameter Modification

In the case of the two examples shown above, you will have a hover information button located to the right of most of the administrative parameter values. Reference to the description for details about the parameter value is available by hovering over this button. Properties selection for each parameter can be altered to fit the needs of your Mambo site for each of the parameter values.

For parameters that offer no selective choice, you will most likely find a blank input box. For this parameter type variable setting you will want to view the associated readme file belonging to the module, component, etc. for an explanation of the options available for such.

Conclusion

In one of the previous chapters we have taken a very brief look at how Mambo uses parameters and variable settings to better accomplish the task of altering the inner workings of your site. This use of parameter variable settings help the administrator accomplish the task of managing the site with a point and click approach. Once we have all the options set, we can save our preferences and verify the operation. If our configuration settings appear to work as we need, no further changes should be warranted.

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