Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A bit more on BlogSphere (and some disappointments)

Continuing with my implementation of BlogSphere, I feel sadly let down, not by the product, which seems to be very good but by the documentation - sorry, lack of documentation.

At any rate, pressing on...

Configuring BlogSphere
You can't configure blogsphere without the ACL being set correctly. As far as I can tell, you can only be a member of one role (ie: not in multiple groups with multiple roles). This could be completely wrong but so far it's working for me. I put myself directly into the ACL with Manager rights and the [UI-Admin] role. Logging out and then back in gave me access to the configuration options.

Configuration can be selected by clicking the BlogSphere config button in the top left hand corner of the Navigator.

Side Blocks
The initial web view of BlogSphere V3 is much better than V2, cleaner and nicer. That said, I'm sure you'll want to add some content to the sides.

In this example, I'm going to do a calendar because that one works - I haven't figured out the other types of side blocks yet but they're not easy from what I can tell.

In the outline navigator on the Configuration menu, select Side Blocks.

Click the button marked New Side Block and a new form will appear.

Choose a type (eg: Calendar) and an alignment, position and class. The position is just a number (1 for top).

Save your side block and then go back to the web version of your blog and hit refresh. Yay! the calendar appears.

Attaching Documents
Now what I really want to do is attach a document for discussion but my time seems to be running out. I've spent pretty much the entire day trying to figure this out but alas, there's no way BlogSphere is going to challenge Blogger for sheer usability and I haven't been able to find any documentation that describes this process.

For the time being at least, I'll be posting in a different database and linking to it from BlogSphere.

BTW: I'm trying not to be critical of BlogSphere, it's very impressive and these guys are doing it for free but they need to assign someone to the documentation in order to improve take-up. Actually, the whole of OpenNTF suffers from this - I'm yet to see one screen shot in the field for screenshots. If I manage to figure this out, I'd be happy to donate any documentation I have (if they'll accept it).


Qtzar said...

Please feel free to email me at dlynch at qtzar dot com and I'll help you with your blogsphere setup.

Attachments are fairly easy, just attach the file to the 'Read more' section and then make sure the page layout contains the <$BS_Attachments$> tag and they will appear on the web.

Yes, I know that documentation is very sparse, there is a wiki but it needs a lot of work.

Gavin Bollard said...

Thanks I'll probably take you up on that as I start to come to grips with BlogSphere.

I'm determine to make it work this year.