Terminology

Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the following terms and concepts, used by the software and throughout this guide:

clip
This is the fundamental content provider in zoglair. It takes your text or any other piece of information you may store in the program's database, wraps it up with HTML and outputs it in the browser. In other words, it creates a formatted version of raw data. For example, the text you are reading right now, was output by a clip. Another clip was used for the tree on your left, the top menu, the breadcrumb navigation and so on...
document root
This is the folder (directory) on your server that holds your web pages. The actual name varies among servers. Common alternatives are: htdocs, httpdocs, html, public_html, web, www.
domain
As you may already know, a domain name (or simply a domain) is a name which identifies a resource - such as a web site - on the Internet. For example, the domain of this site is zoglair.org.
This term, however, is also used by zoglair to denote a specific instance of user data and preferences, as a result of a multi-domain setup. To put it simply, this setup allows you to have and control more than one web site with a single zoglair installation. Each site may look and feel differently, and be completely separated from the others. The codebase is common but the data are not.
So, talking about zoglair, there are two uses of the word “domain”. To differentiate between them and minimize the risk of confusion, the phrases “web domain” and “zoglair domain” will be used accordingly, unless it is clear from the context which is what.
frontend / backend
Traditionally, CMSs have two distinct user interfaces:
  • the frontend that is accessible from all visitors and it is actually what we call a “site”, and
  • the backend that has restricted access and is used for managing the content displayed in the frontend
In zoglair, the backend is called ACP.
grids & forms
These are the two fundamental user interface elements, zoglair uses for working with its Database. There are quite a lot of them but - due to their similarity - as soon as you learn one of each kind, it will be like knowing them all.
» Grid example (Upload table)
» Form example (Sitemap table)
host
Given a web URL, the host name (or simply the host) is the part between “http://” and the first “/” (slash). For example, the host of this site is www.zoglair.org. In many web sites, the host is the same as the domain. In all other cases, the host is the domain prefixed by a subdomain and a dot. The most common subdomain is www.
For example, in “http://www.example.com/”, the domain is “example.com”, the subdomain “www” and the host “www.example.com”.
http://<host>/[<zoglair>/]
This is a generic way to specify the URL of your particular zoglair installation. You have to replace <host> with your actual host and the optional <zoglair> path with the name of the directory where zoglair is installed, unless you have install it on your document root.
For example, on a local server it could be “http://localhost/zoglair/”, assuming that zoglair is inside “zoglair” directory. If you have it installed on your document root instead, then “http://localhost/” is the correct URL.
node
This is a fundamental data and identifier type, used a lot in zoglair. Wherever it is written that something (or its type) is a node, it means that it has an alphanumeric value with the following properties:
  • a length between 3 and 16 characters long (inclusive)
  • the only allowable characters are a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and _ (underscore)
  • it must start with a-z or A-Z (not 0-9 or _)
For example, page and user names are nodes.
skin / layout / style
A skin is a set of files responsible for displaying your site's content in a certain way. Every skin has one layout and at least one style:
  • A skin's layout has to do with how various elements and content areas are joined together, structurally, to form a web page, independent of color and decorative graphics. It is like the concrete frame of a building, the columns and beams that surround its walls. There is a 1-1 relation between a skin and its layout. This means that it is not currently possible for a skin to offer a layout choice. It is, however, possible for the designer to program the skin in such a way that a different layout (than the main one) is automatically applied to certain pages (eg: the home page).
  • A skin's style is about how that layout is presented, in terms of color and decoration. There is no limit to how many styles a skin/layout can have.
A fundamental layout property is its width. It can be fixed, fluid or both (fluid up to a certain width, fixed beyond that):
  • A fixed-width layout is independent of screen resolution. It retains its width among the different display monitors and mobile devices that your visitors use to browse your site. Everywhere looks the same horizontally. This translates to a concise and controllable design. That is good. What is bad, however, is that users with big resolution monitors (bigger than your layout's width) will see empty and unused space, while users with smaller resolution devices will see a part of your page at a time and they will need to scroll for the rest.
  • A fluid layout has a variable width that adjusts itself automatically to fill up the visitor's screen area. That is good. What is bad, however, is that users with big resolution monitors will need to continuously move their eyes from left to right in order to read your text. This can be solved by specifying a maximum layout width, so that it is fluid up to a certain resolution and fixed above that. No matter what, a non specific width makes it very hard (if not impossible) to design attractive and consistent printed-magazine-like pages.
A skin alone does not make a full web page. If it did, then all pages would be the same! As the frame of a building provides space for walls, doors, windows and other construction elements, so does a skin provides the space for zoglair's own construction elements that are called clips (see above).
(C) Nick B. Cassos - All Rights Reserved
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