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Thread: CMS general question.

  1. #1
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    CMS general question.

    I want to build a CMS (Content Management System)...easy enough.

    However..I want to be able to make one for XML (create the XML in FLASH and export to PHP to save)

    It will need to read an exsisting XML file...and be able to either ADD or SUBTRACT nodes (and their child nodes) to the overall XML scheme.

    Im kinda at a loss as to a GUI for it...

    I was originally thinking something along the lines of:

    1.) tabs at top to pick the XML file (product type) to be load/edited

    2.) once the product file is chosen.. have the CURRENT XML layout be parsed in, into a visual representation in a TREE component.

    3.) from here...they can either:
    a.) select a product in the tree layout (which will populate some textFields so they can be edited and re-saved)
    b.) click ADD NEW PRODUCT button to add a new product (and child nodes) to the TREE by filling in the BLANK input fields and hitting the SAVE button.


    wanted to bounce the idea of you guys..see if you have any feedbakc..unforeseeable problems I might not be aware of.. or generally any links or ideas to stuff you have seen.

    Id also like to have as many TREE component tuts, links you can find.

    never used it before...nor have I ever tried to CREATE (and export) XML from within FLASH..

    Thanks..

  2. #2
    Can't Re-Member madzigian's Avatar
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    well.. whispers... you've got me!!! but i'd love to know how to do it if you ever get a REAL answer!!!! I don't even know where to begin to try to build even a simple CMS. All i really need is something can edit and save .txt files as well as fairly simple XML files.. But i'm LOST when it comes to coding languages (XML included) What i know of ActionScript I learned on these forums.. adn lost of hours of pulling my hair out trying to make things work... And can't even find one to buy that doesn't seem like a tremendous waste of money for my needs...

    Good luck.. I'll keep following along and i'll let you know if i come across anything....
    Please DO NOT PM me simply for individual help. Post in the public forums...that's what they are for, and they allow others to benefit as well. - Thx
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  3. #3
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    well...I can help with a regular CMS style (just basic PHP & AS)...the XML I am still having some trouble (sorta)...I have given up on using the TREE component (SPIT)..as part of the GUI..and am thinking about making my OWN "tree"/GUI using attachedClips and what not....and I got some of the export to XML working...(for my productManager)

    but making a CMS for text and pissobly images wouldnt be too hard....unles you wanted more options (exporting the HTML too..etc)

  4. #4
    Can't Re-Member madzigian's Avatar
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    nope.. i just need a way to add entryies to a "news" section every now and then when there is something to add.. a way to edit an XML file that contains scheduled dates/performance dates, an XML playlist for an MP3 player (and then of course an idiot-proof way to upload MP3's for the player) Problem is... when i say i need this stuff to be "idiot-proof"... 'technologically challenged' doesn't even begin to cover cover it... it literally has to be an interface so self explanatory and easy to use that my butt could use if it had eyes and a pen to type with......no.. scratch that... no eyes.. just a pen. basically the limit of the end users computer knowledge is sending email...

    Whatcha think?...
    Please DO NOT PM me simply for individual help. Post in the public forums...that's what they are for, and they allow others to benefit as well. - Thx
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    Banned NTD's Avatar
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    Last edited by NTD; 10-19-2006 at 08:32 AM.

  6. #6
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    Hi-

    same here..been playing with exporting my XML object (through PHP)....

    I have only needed to use chmod 777 "if" I was creating a new textfile that did NOT exsist before...(on the DIRECTORY permissions) if I am editing/updating I use 666 on it..(the text file)

    Madzigian- doing it with TEXT is even easier (thanks to NTD)

    And I "too" will need the upload feature for my brain dead clients.....mine will be alittle more robust..as you will use radio buttons to choose where you uploading too (shirts, hats, tanks, .....MP3's)..the radio button just inserts a differeent VAR value for the path..

    I have been super busy myself...but I'll have an example for ya soon.... actually I found a good upload example from a search here... jason somehting..LOL (owl avatar)

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    Last edited by NTD; 10-19-2006 at 08:32 AM.

  8. #8
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    DANG you NTD!!, LOL

    thats some hot stuff you got going on there..I'm a few steps behind ya.. (still working on how my GUI will work with the site(s)...

    I wish you werent so BUSY!!! I'll have to be asking you some questions again soon! since you've already paved the way before I did..

    but I'm thinking over all...exporting the XML object to PHP would be he same as exporting a varObject...no? its the manipulation inside of FLASH that builds the XML tree thats different...or is there more on the PHP I wasnt prepared for??

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Banned NTD's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Thanks. Experiment in progress. I posted it about a month ago looking for a designer to possibly partner with as my design skills lack creativity, but no one seemed to be very interested. I can create the functionality of it all, but the layout of the demo is rather unappealing in my eye, so I know it is in others. I have kept it pretty basic to make it easy to extend for someone with a more creative eye.

    Sending data to a PHP script with an XML object is almost identical to using a LoadVars object. The only thing to be wary of is special characters such as the backslash \ used to escape quotation marks. The backslash is not a special character to PHP and will write to a file like a normal character. This can cause problems with XML formatting as well as text field formatting.

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    Can't Re-Member madzigian's Avatar
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    I would be willing to give the creative side a shot for you... When I have some time, i'll play around a bit and see what i can come up with. With that said (and since you seem to know what you're doing) is there a way (well, i know there's a way, but DO YOU KNOW HOW) to take what you're done even further so, for example links are created automatically (like here on the boards) and new info can be entered by site owners/clients who wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do with html tags and wouldn't know the difference between HTML and XML?... I need something that's kinda idiot proof for a friend of mine to update the site I built him. Something almost as simple as this (which i VERY quickly threw together for display purposes...i hate components): http://artofficialintel.com/flash_testing/CMS_IDEA.html

    the top ten list has to generate an xml file as does the schedule section. it would also be cool if the mp3's could be uploaded when the xml list is created...

    any thoughts on whether this would be possible??
    Please DO NOT PM me simply for individual help. Post in the public forums...that's what they are for, and they allow others to benefit as well. - Thx
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  11. #11
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    I didnt see that post!!?? (I dont think?) LOL...

    well I hope my version is "pretty"....LOL.. I have the GUI sorta sketched out already..would have been further along myself (at least to the point of hounding you with questions) had I not wasted days with the TREE component... (SPIT) LOL

    Im hoping to have some time away form the faily this weekend to pound out an example myself... (so take me off BLOCK on IM)

  12. #12
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madzigian
    I would be willing to give the creative side a shot for you... When I have some time, i'll play around a bit and see what i can come up with. With that said (and since you seem to know what you're doing) is there a way (well, i know there's a way, but DO YOU KNOW HOW) to take what you're done even further so, for example links are created automatically (like here on the boards) and new info can be entered by site owners/clients who wouldn't have the slightest clue what to do with html tags and wouldn't know the difference between HTML and XML?... I need something that's kinda idiot proof for a friend of mine to update the site I built him. Something almost as simple as this (which i VERY quickly threw together for display purposes...i hate components): http://artofficialintel.com/flash_testing/CMS_IDEA.html

    the top ten list has to generate an xml file as does the schedule section. it would also be cool if the mp3's could be uploaded when the xml list is created...

    any thoughts on whether this would be possible??
    on the FLIP side of this questions....as I dont knwo how to auto-parse something as a link? (maybe looking for "seperators" or something?) but how about trying to make a sorta "text editor" wher they type what they type.. and SELECT the text to add formating to it? like they select www.nike.com in the textField they just typed into..and click the LINK button or the "B" (BOLD) button...and it passes along the "added tags" to the PHP script?

  13. #13
    Can't Re-Member madzigian's Avatar
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    make a sorta "text editor"
    ...that's a good idea whispers. You wanna tackle that for me?... Because with my current coding skills, maybe around the time Flash 26 is released I'll be able to handle that!!

    Oh yea.. and what i posted was FAR FROM PRETTY!!! It was just the quickest way to illustrate what i need to somehow come up with... (just had to whip it up as fast as possible because i was already supposed to be showered and dressed to go out to dinner.... oopps.. whatever.. she waited lol!!!)

    Oh, and who are you talking about blocking you on IM?.. not me right?... I didn't think I had anyone blocked.....
    Please DO NOT PM me simply for individual help. Post in the public forums...that's what they are for, and they allow others to benefit as well. - Thx
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  14. #14
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    HAHAH..no I was teasing NTD about blocking me on IM (which he has NOT..was a joke)...just cause I have bothered him with questions before...LOL

    Im not sure how difficult that would be...I see MANY "text editors" that do this type of stuff all made in FLASH (I think Subway wrote one of the first ones I saw..posted here)
    not sure about exporting it...

    Im sure you'd be able to figure it out...(your more skilled than I am)

    I have run into a LOGIC problem on my XML Product CMS...

    I have it so far where the product manage calls up the specified XML file (shirts, hats, tanks, hoodies..whatever)...and attaches small "entrys" (movieClips) that you can scroll through... if you click on any of these "entrys" (which represent the products for that catagory...with a matching ICON & name lable)..it will populate the textFields to the right with that products data...you can then change the data...and hit SAVE (edit textFields and save)..

    HOWEVER...I havent been able to come up with a way to let the user add (or view even,...yet) the COLORS available (or given) to that product....how they can add MORE sizes..or QTY yet...

    I have name, price and description ready to go..

    heres an UGLY visual of where Im going.. (VERY UGLY)

    still havent worked out all the logic in my head...once I do I will adapt the layout to work better... (still havent decided on how/where to add the UPLOAD button (maybe the SAVE does it all? havent decided)

    but Im open to suggestions on how you think I can let the "user"

    a.) VIEW multiple choses of data per product (colors, sizes)
    b.) how to let them CHANGE it..

    open to suggestions...

    these two DEMOS will go together once complete..
    heres the admin: (the attachment)

    and the XML store/shopping cart
    1.) the "cart" part will NOT just pop-up in the final product...it will be another link/button to actuall REVIEW yoru cart..this is JUST for testing
    2.) the BLUE square is the checkout button (goes to paypal) for product break down..

    VERY ugly...and just proof of concept and DEMO's... LOLO

    www.dmstudios.net/cart
    Attached Files Attached Files

  15. #15
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    ahhh.. I just looked at your link...

    and doing something like that for a TEXT file..probably wouldnt be that hard (but Im just average...and putting it to practical use I may run into some problems here & there)..
    what & where it goes after that is different..and will come into play on how it is designed.

    Is the text ADDED to?..or replaced?..etc but dump the TEXT to a text file with the &var=text..text..text format through PHP and you can read the whole file and place the VARS where you need them to be.

  16. #16
    Can't Re-Member madzigian's Avatar
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    huh?... you lost me?....

    I tried NTD's "intro to CMS" file where you could write over a text file on your server.. but i am apparently retarded and never could make it work properly....

    Sorry i went MIA for a few.. DAMN COMCAST and MY FRIGGIN CONNECTION!!! If there was another broadband provider here i would switch in a second.. Or even better.. if i were independently wealthy.. I'd have T3!!! (ahhhhh.... i can dream can't i??)

    anyway.. back to the point... Have you seen this: http://cms.beaver82.com/ I'm pretty sure he's not working on it anymore, but it may be something you can build upon. He certainly put a lot of work into (or it looks that way to me)

    As far as XML goes.. I'm pretty much clueless... much like PHP and MySQL.. It may as well be SWAHILI, cuz i don' understand a bit of it. I can take something that has been done, and alter and adapt it to meet my needs, but that's my limit!!..

    Check out Beaver82's CMS though.. I'm gonna go make a cocktail.. be back in a few
    Please DO NOT PM me simply for individual help. Post in the public forums...that's what they are for, and they allow others to benefit as well. - Thx
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  17. #17
    Banned NTD's Avatar
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    Last edited by NTD; 10-19-2006 at 08:33 AM.

  18. #18
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    I can talk to whoever on AOL, MSN, ICQ, YAHOO (Trillian)

    still looking for an IDEA on how to display & let them alter the QTY, COLORS, & SIZES for my project...since there will be more than one option for them to be able to add..

    (look at my demo and you'll see)

    NTD-

    I didnt think you REALLY blocked..I was joking.. Stinks you lost your HD..I had that happen once..it REALLY SUCKS...

    I dont save ANYTHING to my C: drive anymore..

    anyways..keep the conversation going.... I need ideas..and motivation!! LOL

    (off to worrk now)

  19. #19
    Banned NTD's Avatar
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    Hi,

    It appears we all have our own versions or ideas of a Flash CMS. Trying to construct multiple projects at the same time seems problematic to me. Whispers project is going to cover lots of data and Madzigans project can use the basic methods I have incorporated into my project. The methods involved in mine will work for both, but for ease of construction and writing a tutorial that an average Flash user can understand, I think we would need to stick with a single project. Everyone seems interested in adapting this for thier own needs but havn't considered developing a platform that can easily be incorporated into any project, not just your current one.

  20. #20
    Moderator whispers's Avatar
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    well... I guess thats true (and a fair assesment)

    I "DO" want to move forward on my own project...why I was asking for ideas and suggestions on how to tackle the multiple items a customer/user can add/have for a product.

    I didnt mean it to "trump" any other project..just trying to get some conversation going about it..maybe some ideas that you have that I didnt think of.

    It would pretty hard to make one that is adaptable to ALL scenarios IMHO..

    as I think some content has different requirements.. as sstated above..any type of CMS for a store or products is diffrent than a CMS for egualr content (text/graphics)

    Also thinking...I guess simple text files would be a better GOAL for what I am calling here "regular" CMS.. I dont see how XML makes a difference (or has a need) in updating text & graphics really.

    I see XML a strong point when you need to LOOP through nodes and get multiples of data..

    but for now.. should we try to set some ground rules/requirements for a "regular" CMS? Im game..

    I like NTD's "GUI" idea of have a representation of what the page is CURRENTLY like..

    pros:
    easy to navigate I assume
    visual representation of what it will look like
    WYSWIG type of updating

    cons:
    (as it stands) I think currently takes up to much realestate (maybe a smaller representation)
    reminds me of those old FREE websites you could get back in 2000

    .................

    maybe the ADMIN page has a nav (radio, tabbed..whatever) so you can "load" each page to update it...

    I think having an BROWSE/UPLOAD button is a MUST if we truly trying to make this as easy as we can for the end user to update..

    thoughts guys??

    I'll pop on in a few and post any more ideas/thoughts I get.

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