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3.3 Notes and Categories

User notes associate miscellaneous data with a user either being good, bad or indifferent. The first focus is on items in Joomla and their settings: we start by creating user note categories for our notes to go inside. This will help us understand a lot more about Joomla and how components work.

3.3 Notes and Categories

Hi guys, welcome back to A Beginner's Guide to Using Joomla!. And in this lesson we wanna take a look at user notes and also, more importantly, the user note categories, giving us a more in-depth look at items in Joomla!. So notes are very good for associating data with particular users, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent. So to add a note, you can drop down the Users menu and go to the User Manager. And with each user, you can see there's an Add a note button to associate a note with that user. On top of that you also have the User Notes. So this will allow you to view all of the user notes themselves, and also you have the User Note Categories. This allows you to categorize your notes. So before I start creating the notes what I'd like to do is create the categories for my notes to go inside of. So let's create a new category, provide a title, so I'm gonna say Bad Notes. We can also provide an Alias, this is for a nice SEO friendly URL. But, however, that depends on upon your SEO settings under Global Configuration. Also you don't wanna be using special characters in here or spaces. Ideally you just want to leave it fairly simple. So bad-notes, something like that. Now if you don't provide an alias, an alias will be automatically generated from the title. Now on top of that you also have the Description. Now this category is actually viewable on the front end. Think of it a lot like WordPress, where you can have category pages, well it's the same thing here with Joomla and user notes. So with this category page, you know, you can have a nice little description inside of there with images and all sorts. Now on top of that we can set the Parent to this category. So first of all we have no Parent, so it sits at the top level. But I could set this category to be a child category of the category Uncategorized. So let's go ahead and do that. We also have Tags. Now Tags allow us to group together associated information. For example, you can have articles with tags, you can have contacts with tags, and so on and so forth. Now we will cover Tags extensively in a later lesson within this course, but right now we're just going to leave alone for now. Then also we have the Status. So for example, as soon as I Save this particular article it will change to the Status selected here. So just published, meaning viewable enabled. Unpublished, disabled, it's only editable and viewable in the back end but not the front end. On top of that we can put it in Archived and also Trashed as well. Now on top of that we can also set the access. Remember the viewing access which only affects viewing on the front end. So at the moment I'll leave it as Public. So the public is able to view this user category notes. We can also assign a language. Which again does not translate or convert the content, but rather it just tells Joomla what language the content is in. On top of that, we can attach a quick note that won't be visible to the front end. But however, it's just there for us in the back end so we can view it real quick. And also we can set the Version Note. Now we'll come back to that in just a second. Now the next thing we have is Publishing. So I can see the date that this category was created, but because it hasn't been created yet, that's blank. I can say created by, now this is a read only field, but however that mean the value doesn't have to stay the same. It can be changed because we have a button here and this will allow us to select an user. So instead of having typos and things like that what we can do is click on the button and we can take a look at the list of users. And we can select the user who created the category, which was myself. Also, it's important to note that you have some really nice sorting options right here with the table columns and so on and so forth. So I'm gonna select myself. We can see the Modified Date. We can also see who it was modified by last, but again, it's not even been created so it can't possibly be modified. Zero hits on that page and also it doesn't have an assigned ID until it's created. On top of that we also have the Meta Description of the page. So we can give the search engine a little bit more information about it. Also we have the Meta Keywords and also you can have key phrases as well. But with all of your keywords and key phrases you need to separate them out with commas. Now on top of that we have the Author meta data, and also Robots as well, saying to the search engine, well index this page, but don't follow the links on the page. Also we can set the permissions. Now we'll play around with this in just a second, but it's important to note that these permissions are targeting this specific piece of content, not the component. The users component, and all the rest of it is controlled under the system. But the permissions for the particular piece of content, I can set here. Now on top of that, we also have some options available to us as well, such as Alternative Layout. Now at the moment it's only using the global, cuz that's the only one available, and it would default to the global layout. But if you had more than one layout that you could choose from, then you could select that layout and have a little bit of a different looking category page. On top of that, we can associate an image with this category. So, let's go ahead, and go ahead and say Select. Now you can see here, that this is again a read only field, but we can change it's value by going to Select. Now from here, you'll go to the Media Manager. With the Media Manager you can choose a file from your hard drive and upload it. You can see the Image URL down here. You can see which directory you're in, and you can see any previously uploaded images. So let's go into the headers directory. And actually it's gone right there and then I can select an image. I'm going to select windows.jpg, and I'm going to i nsert that image into the Image field right here. Once I have that, we can then go ahead and say Save & Close. Now that we've done that, you can see that Bad Notes has a little dash next to it, indicating that Uncategorized is the parent category. So you can have this wonderful hierarchy. So now what I'm going to do is create another category and just pause the video. So you can see here that I created the Good Notes category and that is a child of Uncategorized. We also have some nice search tools for our tubular data. And if we drop down Search tools, we can take a look at the filtering. So, we have the ability to filter the levels. So we can say, show all categories on level one, which is the root level, so only Uncategorized is showing. And then also, we can say, okay, well show level two and above. So now that will show the child categories and above. And then if you had children inside of children and so on and so forth you can keep going down the levels, all the way down to the tenth level. So that is an incredible hierarchy that you can have with your categories. Now on top of that you can say filter by Status, Access, Language. Don't forget you can set a language for each one of your categories. And also you can filter the Tag, which we'll look at later. But right now, let's take a look at the Status first of all. So you may notice this with articles and other items that you create in Joomla, where you can set the status to Trashed. So what does that mean? Well, it's a lot like when you have your trashcan on your computer. So you have the trashed items and then you empty the trashcan. And only when you empty the trashcan does it become permanently deleted from your system. Well, it's the same with Joomla!. So for example, I can go ahead and say, right, I'm gonna take Good Notes right here, this category. And I'm going to change its status to go the trash can effectively. So I'm going say trash. So now you'll notice that it's disappeared. But it hasn't been deleted. There's still a record in the database of the Good Notes category, but how do we gain access to the trashcan in Joomla? Well, you need to go to Search tools and then say Trashed. This will show you all of the trashed items right here, so in our case Good Notes. And what we can do is go ahead and click there to restore it, so we can republish the item. Or if I was to take it and say Empty trash, at this point you can see with that cross right there, that means that this is going to be permanently deleted from the system. So I'm just going to click right here to republish it. So yes, Joomla does have a trashcan that you can use. On top of that, you also have the status of Archived. So, what does this mean? We'll lets go ahead and tick this Good Notes category, and tell its status to change to Archived. So, what does that mean? Well, this goes into the archive. But that doesn't mean that it's been deleted or unpublished. So, for example lets go ahead and take a look at this. In Archived right here, we can see Good Notes. Now if we go ahead and click on this, it will unpublish the item. So the item is still published, it's still viewable, but however it's just in the archive. It's sort of moved out of our main view. So when we come onto this, we don't see it straight away. This is good for keeping information in your table relevant. But make no mistake, it's not deleting it. It's just sticking it in the archives so sticking it in a dusty drawer so you can forget about it. But I'm going to tick that and then say publish again, so then we change its status to Published, like so. Also you have batch processing where I can select multiple items in the table, and for example, I can set the language of the selected categories. I can set the access levels of the selected categories, add a tag to the selected categories, and also, what I can do is go ahead and set the parent. So, for example, even though the parent isn't categorized, I can say right here, Uncategorized, and I can move all of the selected categories into that category, as a child. Also I can say copy, so all of the selected categories will stay the same, and what will happen is they will be duplicated and then their parent will be set to whatever category you've set right here. So that's batch processing, and then finally you have Rebuild. So let's say these two items right here were corrupted and you weren't getting the right information or the current information. Well, then you can say Rebuild and what that will do is rebuild the data that's being inserted into the tables so that you can see the correct information, not some corrupted information. But very, very rarely will you need to rebuild certain items. So very quickly with checking in and checking out, you'll notice that if I'm the administrator, and I go ahead and modify the Bad Notes category. And then I log in as a test manager in Google Chrome, and then I take a look at this and refresh. You'll notice that we have a lock icon and we can no longer go into it and edit it because, unfortunately, the administrator currently has control over this item. Until we say Close, Save & Close. Again, you don't want to go to the back button. Otherwise it needs to be unlocked again for other users. So that's important to note there, with the checking in and checking out of items. Now also you can set the permissions of certain items. So let's have a look at the user note categories from a test manager's perspective. So I'm logged in as the test manager, we have the Bad Notes. I click on that specific item and I have all the permissions, I can Save, Save & Close, so I can edit this item. I can say Save & New and I can also duplicate this item as well. So now that we know what permissions we have, let's start affecting those permissions and see how this affects the way the item works with a particular user. So if I take a look at the Bad Notes category, and I start changing the permissions for lets say the Test Manager user group, for my test manager account. We can see here that the settings are currently allowed because it says Inherited all the way down, and it's inheriting from the parent, which is the Manager user group. And in here, all of these actions are allowed. Now, also please do note with the Calculated Settings, it's saying Allowed, but it's also in brackets saying Super User. So it's actually showing us that this is allowed for myself, as I am a super user. But that doesn't mean that if we set something to Denied, that it hasn't worked, it's still allowed. That's just for us. So what I'm gonna do is leave it on Inherited and say Save & Close. And if we take a look at the Bad Notes right here, we have access to it, we can say Save, Save & Close, so we can edit the item, Save & New, and Save as Copy, and so on and so forth. So now let's take a look at modifying the permissions of this item. So go into Bad Notes, Permissions, target the Test Manager user group, and now we want to say Create. And that action is going to be denied. Save & Close and then go back into Google Chrome. And now if we go into Bad Notes, you'll notice we have two buttons missing, which is Save & New and Save as Copy. So we can't create from that item. Now you'll notice it's only affected that specific item, not the other items. So not the other categories in this case. So an item in Joomla could be an article, it could be a menu item, it could be a menu itself. They're all classed as items, but different types of items. So in my case, we want to now start denying some more permissions. So with Bad Notes we can then go to Permissions and now we can say, well we're not going to allow this user to delete the particular item. So I'm going to say Save & Close, and then, we can now hit refresh. Go to Bad Notes, right here, tick it, and now we can say Trash. Now that worked, but don't forget when you trash something you only put it in the trashcan. So now lets go to Search tools and show all the trashed items, tick on that item, and now when we say Empty trash we're actually deleting the item. I go ahead and do that, it says the deleting was not permitted. So, on top of that, we can also then, just very quickly, republish that item. Let's take a look at denying a few more permissions. So with the Test Manager user group I am now going to deny editing, so I can say Save & Close. And when I do that, you'll notice we don't have a link anymore right here with Bad Notes that we do with the other categories. And also even if I was to tick on this and say Edit, we don't have the ability to save our changes. So thank you for watching me in this lesson. And please join me in the next lesson, where we'll carry on learning about permissions and other aspects of the Users component.

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