FREELessons: 35Length: 7.7 hours

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6.5 Update, Messaging, and RSS Feed Components

This lesson will encompass multiple components, from the relatively small update component to larger components such as messaging and news feeds. We start off with the update component, which allows us to check for any main system updates. Moving forward we have the messaging component, which allows users to monitor their mail. Finally the RSS feed component can interpret RSS feeds for generating RSS feeds.

6.5 Update, Messaging, and RSS Feed Components

Hi guys. Welcome back to a beginners guide to using Joomla. And in this lesson we wanna take a look at the Update, Messaging, and Newsfeed components. Now the first component we're gonna take a look at is the Joomla Update component. So even the updater to Joomla is classed as a component. And this is just further proof of how modular Joomla really is. So if I go here I'm able to see whether there are any updates available, and it's just one-click installs for the updates and I can see what version I'm currently on. On top of that I I can purge the cache files to make sure that this message is not appearing because I have out of date cache files. So it's recommended to purge the cache if you want to check to see if you are really updated. On top of that, we can take a look at the configurations for this component. Now it's recommended for the update source, that you leave it on Long Term Support. However, you can have Short Term Support, Testing, Custom URL, or Currently Configured, which will provide no change. So, if I was to say Custom URL, I can now provide a custom URL to an XML update source. But I'm gonna leave it as long term support and also we have the permissions of this component. Now this is actually quite important. You don't want anybody to just update your content management system. For example, some plugins may need to be updated before the content management system is updated. So it's recommend that only super users have access to this update component. And again, you get to determine who can configure the component, such as changing the update source and permissions. Who can access the component in the administration interface, who can delete, and who can edit the state. So that's the update component in a nutshell, now what I'd like to do is take a look at the Messaging component. So I'm currently in the private inbox for my account. Now from here, I can create a new message, I can select multiple messages and affect the state of those messages, such as mark them as Read, Unread or Trashed. And I can also display messages depending upon their State, Read, Unread or Trashed and search through my messages. And then also I can adapt the settings of my inbox, so I am allowed to lock my inbox which means that the inbox will stay exactly the same, I won't be able to receive any messages. And then on top of that we also have the Email New Messages setting set to Yes. This means that if I get a new email in my Joomla inbox, it will email my personal email that's associated with my account, which is We can auto-purge messages, which means delete automatically after so many days. So, after seven days, we're going to delete their messages out to keep our inbox minimal so we don't end up taking up more service space than necessary. So now I'd like to take a look at creating a new message. From here I need to select a recipient and I select that from a list of users. Then, on top of that, we can also provide a subject, and also, we can provide the message. And in the message, you can have it like normal email client where you can have images, links, and other content. Now, we also have the configurations for the Messages component, and if you take a look at this we only have the permissions of this component as it's fairly standard. So who gets to configure it, who gets to access it in the administrator interface, who gets to create messages, who gets to delete messages, and who gets to edit the state ff the messages, so Read, Unread and Trashed. So now that we have this, what we want to do is move on and take a look at the News Feeds component. So Joomla offers the ability to interpret RSS feeds. So this means it will take the raw data and interpret it into a nice graphical user interface, and desktop applications can do this, but also websites can do this as well. And this is why we have this news feed feature in Joomla. So what I'm going to do first of all, is create a new News Feed category in order for our new news feed to be associated with. So first thing, we need to provide a title and then I'm gonna provide a quick description. And also we can assign a parent, associate tags, again, we can change the status, the viewing access level. We can assign a language to this category, and apply a note that shows up on the back end, and a version note, which shows up in the back end when it comes to this particular version we're saving on this item. Then also, we have the Publishing options, the Permissions, so selecting which user group is allowed to edit or modify this item. And also, we have some more options such as choosing a different layout, which currently we only have the Default layout, and we can also associate an image with this News Feeds category. And now we can save and close the News Feeds category item, and now we can go ahead and create a new News feed. Now it's important to note, what we are doing here is not creating an RSS feed. What we are doing is rather linking to an RSS feed, and then what happens is Joomla's gonna take that RSS feed and render it in a nice HTML page. So we need to first all find an RSS feed to render, before we create the news feed. Now we're gonna flick over to the front end of our Joomla installation. And by default we have a module that automatically generates an RSS feed depending upon the page that we're on. So for example, if we're on a page that displays multiple lists of something, whether it be contacts, articles and so on and so forth, it can actually generate an RSS feed. And that's where this module shows up which we'll talk about it at later date. But I want to do is go ahead and click on that link, and that is the link that we need to paste in. And it's gonna take a look at all this code that's being generated and interpret it. Now something to bear in mind for OS X users is, if you click that link in Safari it may try to open up an application that has RSS feed reading abilities. However, as developers we don't want this, so I've gone with Google Chrome, and when you click the link in Google Chrome you actually get to see the feed. So now I have that link. I now am gonna go back and create that news feed. We need to provide a title for the feed, we need to paste the link in for the feed. Next I'll provide a description for the feed. Then, I can assign a category which will be our newly created category that I'll assign this feed to. Then we have the typical options for most items within Joomla. So, for example, assigning tags, changing the status, changing the viewing access level, assigning a language to the item, and you can also provide a version note for each version you save of this particular item. Then, we can start to assign images to this news feed. For both the first image and the second image, you can define the Image Float, the Alt attribute text and also a caption for the image. So I am gonna go ahead and assign a first and a secondary image to this news feed. Then we have the typical publishing options available to us where such as when we would like to start publishing. Publishing this item, so enable it on the front end. When we would like to finish publishing this item and disable it on the front end, then we can also define the created date and time, also we can define who created this item, and provide an alias. So instead of showing the full usernames, such as Lawrence Anthony Turn, we could provide an alias such as laws. And also we have other informational fields such as modified date, modified by, how many revisions, how many saves and versions has there been since this item was created. The ID of this particular item, the meta description, keywords, external references, robots and content rights are all to do with the SEO part to the publishing side of this particular item. Then we also have some display options which we won't go over right now but we will cover later on. But right now I wanna Save and Close and go ahead and start to get this to show up on the front end. So, in order for the content within the News Feeds component to be rendered on the front end, we need to create a few specific menu item types in order for this content to be rendered. So, I'm going to go to the test menu and delete out all of the previous menu items and go ahead and start to add in a new menu item and the first menu item is going to link to a single news feed. So we're gonna drop down the news feed section And that will give us all of the menu item types associated with the news feeds component. And then we're gonna say Single News Feed, then it's gonna give us the option to select from a list of all of the current news feeds that we have in the Joomla installation. o I'm gonna select my newly created news feed, then save and close. Then we're gonna create a new menu item type. This menu item type is going to display a single news feed category. So now we're gonna select the menu item type, drop down the news feed section and then we want to say List News Feeds in a Category. So now when we click on this, it's going to ask us to select a category that we'd like to list the feeds associated with, so in my case, that is the newly created news feed category. So now I'm gonna go ahead and create a new menu item type again and this one is going to list multiple news feed categories. So when we select the Menu Item Type we go to the news feed section and say List All News Feed Categories. Now when we do this, it's gonna ask us to select a top level category. This is where we start rendering the category list. I'm going to leave it on Root, but what you can do is select a category and it will start rendering the category list from that top level category you've selected. So we now have all of our different menu item types. Now what I'd like to do is go to the front end and preview the content that's being rendered by each one of these menu item types. So now we're on the front end of the Joomla installation. We can see the Test Menu that's been updated, and right here we have the first link which links directly to the blog News Feed. And so what it's doing is it's taking that raw data and interpreting it and showing it in a nice, clean fashion. We get the title, we get the first and secondary image and on top of that it shows the description associated with the news feed. And right here, we can see that it's interpreting the data. It's not only doing that, it's recognizing that it's a link, so now it's actually linking the title, and then we have a nice little description of each article. And again, we could take any type of RSS feed, and Joomla will be able to interpret it for us. So this really nice, and then we have the News Feed category that we can display. So this is displaying all the feeds associated with a particular category. So I have the title of the category, I have the image associated with the category. I have a little description of the category, a nice search field filter. I have the ability to go to the blog News Feed page, a lot like what we have here with this first menu item. And also, it gives me a link directly to the RSS feed itself. And we can choose how many feeds we'd like to show on a single page and then we have some pagination at the bottom, but we only have one feed in here, so it's not a big deal. Then we have List All News Feed Categories. If we take a look at this, you'll notice Uncategorized isn't showing up because by default Joomla doesn't like to show empty categories, which is fair enough. We have the News Feed Main that shows us how many associated news feeds are there with this particular category. And also we have a nice little description and then on top of that we have all of the different options and display settings for this particular menu item type. Now hopefully you'll see a growing trend throughout all of this course, which is extremely modular and the way that these Joomla components work is very similar. So the layouts for the categories and also the List All Categories page and even the feed page as well have a lot of similarity with other components such as contacts and contact categories and listing out all the contact categories, and articles and article categories and listing out all article categories, and so on and so forth. So there will be a consistent trend with the different components that display similar types of content. So thank you for watching me in this lesson and please join me in the next lesson where we'll continue learning about the news feeds component.

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