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2.4 Check-In, Cache, and System Info

This lesson will cover the global check-in that allows a superuser control over access to certain files. Then we’ll cover the cache and find out about all the system information that an administrator would need.

2.4 Check-In, Cache, and System Info

Hi guys. Welcome back to a beginners guide to using Joomla. And in this lesson, we want to cover the check in, the cache and the system info. So let's start out with that check in. What is it all about? Well Joomla is a very good content management system that allows multiple users to edit articles, for example, menu items and others. Now the problem is when you have a lot of users that all start editing different aspects of the content management system. You can get overlays, where one person works on it and then another person is working on it at the same time. And then they start saving over each other's changes and things get really, really messy and complicated and bugs can arise from that. So Joomla was smart enough to say well, if we can have multiple users editing the same content, we need to come in with a check-in and check-out system. That means whilst a user is currently working on a certain aspect of the site, whether it be an article, a menu item and so on and so forth, it is locked. Until that user eventually saves or cancels, and then it will unlock. So, that way we don't get that overlapping happening. Now, the problem comes when somebody doesn't use the content management system properly, and rather uses the back button on the browser. What this does is lock the item until they unlock it. So, this can cause a major problem. And this is where the super user needs to step in and unlock or check in that particular item. So let's go ahead and create an example. So we want to go under Content and then Article Manager. Now let's say that I'm a different administrator. I'm Joe the administrator. And I click on this to edit it, and I make some changes, and I don't use these buttons at the top. I don't close or save and close, and so on and so forth. Because if you do, no problem. But, let's say I go into it, and then, I press the back button on the browser. Now you can see that we have the lock icon. Now I have the privileges to check in this particular item, cuz currently it's checked out, it's locked. But if I had another administrator who couldn't unlock this and needed to change it, and Joe's gone on holiday for a week and is a total recluse and I can't get hold of him, now we've got a problem. So the super user needs to step in and say right, we need to unlock this so the other guy can edit it. So I could quite easily just click this because I have the right to do so. But as I said, with some administrators, they will not have the right to do so. So in that case, what we can do is first of all, if we hover over it, we can see this is checked out, so when we click on it, it will check in. We can see who checked it out and at what time and at what date. Now what we need to do as the administrator is drop down the System menu and go to the global check-in. Now we can take a look at all of the tables in our MySQL database. As you can see, you can see that prefix there, joom_. And also, we can see how many items are checked out. So currently, we have one item checked out in the content table, which is where your articles are stored. So one item is checked out and is uneditable. So what we need to do is go ahead and tick on that option. So we're targeting that specific table and then we're telling it to check in. That means that this item now becomes editable. So I'm going to say okay, do that. One item checked in. Now we have zero right there. And if we go to Content and Article Manager, you'll see that it's unlocked. So that is what checking in and checking out is doing. It's making sure that if you are the super user, you can check in files so that other users can edit that specific item. So now, what we'd like to do is take a look at caching. So drop down the System menu, and if we go to Clear Cache, you can see that there are no Cache Groups. The reason being is because it's been disabled under the Global Configuration. So if we go to Global Configuration, system, and then we enable caching. I'm gonna enable Conservative Caching, and save and close that. And then when you go to the front end of your site, you'll now see that it's lot more responsive and snappy. Then what I want to do is drop down the System menu and go to Clear Cache. Now we have lot more cache groups and we can see how many files are within that cache group and the size of the cache group. So, this is okay for now. But we also have the ability to filter the Site cache groups and also the Administrator cache groups as well. Now all of these cache files are current because they've just been generated. But however, you can purge expired cache. So let's say this group gets really, really large and we want to bring the size in a little bit. So we can go to Purge Expired Cache. This means that we don't have to delete all of the cache, we delete the cache that has expired. And the current cache files are going to remain the same. So I can say Purge expired, and there we go. Now, just to note, it is resource intensive on the service, so you don't want to be doing this at peak times. But however, that wouldn't have cleared anything because these files have just been generated, so, they're still current. You can delete the entire cache by clicking right here, or you could select certain cache groups if you wanted to and just hit Delete. Now, let's take a look at the system information. So, what we can do is drop down the System menu and go to System Information. Now inside of here we can get the settings, for example, PHP is built on and it gives us the value, the database version, the PHP version, the web server such as Apache. Which version of PHP open SSL for your secure socket layer and so on and so forth. So this can actually be really good if you need to give some information to your support team in order to get your Joomla configured correctly. And it has a whole host of information to give you so just PHP Settings so is Safe Mode on, we have File Uploads, that's on. So I can upload files, such as images and so on and so forth. And we have the Session Save Path, which I know where it's going, right there, it's going into the temp directory in xm files and du da du da da. And it just has so much information to offer. Also the configuration file. So instead of having to open up the configuration.php file, I can easily go to Configuration File tab under System Information and I'm able to find out all of the settings and values. For example, is it offline? If it's 0, then it's not offline. If it's 1, then it is offline. So, for example, let's go ahead and go to Global Configuration. Let's see, Site Offline, Save and Close. Then let's go to System Information and then take a look at that. Now you can see Offline is now set to 1. We have the offline message, the editor by default is tinymce, the site name and just so much options and we can see everything right here. Then, also we have Directory Permissions. This is very important so let's say that I'm trying to install a template and it's not working. Or a module, then the best thing to do is to actually check to see if that directory is writeable. If it isn't, then you need to contact your server host and ask them to configure it correctly. Or maybe you know how to do that yourself. Normally you can change it through an FTP manager, something like that, to get read and write permissions. And if it's on your local hard drive, again, you need to look at what operating system you're running and then change the file permissions that way, through the operating system. So again, you have all of this information, this is unwritable, the configuration.php file. So I can easily debug in case I cannot upload something into a directory and so on and so forth. Also, we have the PHP information as well, so for example, again, I can see the system, I can see the build date, I can see the configure command as well. So this is real system admin stuff. And if they needed any sort of information, I could easily just quickly search through this information and give whoever it is, the support team, this information so that they can resolve the problem quickly. So, this is a really nice utility built into Joomla straight out of the box, which a lot of content management systems don't even offer you this amount of information. So thank you watching me in this lesson and please join me in the next lesson where we'll take a look at user management.

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