Welcome to the enhancedAggregator tool code tour. The visit will take you to all the components of a typical Usertalk tool for Radio Userland, and will provide you with scenic views of Radio's beautiful news aggregator and its unique driver architecture.
It reminded me of my own experience, about 2 years ago, when I first tried turning activeRenderer into a full blown tool and kept pestering Simone Bettini and Andre Radke with questions.
So I tried to deliver in Journey Inside a Tool the kind of information I would have liked to have readily available when I started studying Usertalk tool writing.
I hope it will help anyone planning to write a Radio/Frontier tool, whether it involves the News Aggregator or not.
[image] Gwénaël Le Dréan demonstrates the first level of localisation achieved in activeRenderer version 2.1 and later (as well he should since he's behind a large part of our common effort towards a fully localised tool :-).
Even if you don't speak French, you will notice his outline carries correctly accented vowels like é è à. Gwénaël also localised the output of the activeRendererFunctions macro with its latest parameters, to display the French mentions 'tout déplier', 'tout replier' instead of the default 'expand all', 'collapse all' in the right side bar.
This version features a new twist in weblog outlining: you can now select outlined styles for each weblog category that has HTML rendering turned on in its settings, separately from the style given to the main home page.
Category selection comes handy when publishing several web sites from the same Radio installation. For instance, I'm publishing s l a m as the 'main' site of my Radio installation, with no outlined style at all, whereas activeRenderer News is publihed from the 'activeRenderer' category with both day headers and post titles outlined.
To turn categories on, check Radio's categories preferences. Click category names in Radio's categories page to turn HTML rendering on or off. Check out the updated preferences page to experiment with weblog outlining.
I've also fixed a number of bugs in the tool's uninstallation code, and upgraded it to my latest understanding of Frontier's tools suite.
When you uncheck activeRenderer from Radio's Tools page, if you had the activeMenu or any of the weblog outlining preferences checked, all original templates are restored, so that the Radio's desktop website menu no longer includes the 'Browser' option, and the next publishing session will occur without applying any outlined style. Rechecking activeRenderer in the Tools page will restore it, complete with its preferences, to the state it was at the time of its last de-activation.
When you remove activeRenderer.root from Radio's Tools folder and restart Radio, all components of activeRenderer, including its serial number and preferences, are removed from Radio's object database, leaving no trace behind.
The 'activeRenderer', 'opml' and 'outlines' folders created by activeRenderer in Radio's www file structure are left in place though, since removing them has consequences on the public sites contents. Think twice before removing them manually.
activeRenderer modifies Radio templates. The 'activeMenu' option (checked by default) modifies '#desktopWebsiteTemplate.txt' and '#template.txt' in the www folder. Weblog outlining modifies '#homeTemplate.txt', "#dayTemplate.txt', and '#itemTemplate.txt', either in the www folder or in all relevant subfolders of the www/categories folder.
Before making any modification, activeRenderer backups the original files in 'activeRenderer/local/backup'. Before restoring any original template, it copies all modified versions to 'activeRenderer/local/custom'. 'activeRenderer' folders can be found in www and in each category folder for which an outlined style was selected. In the unlikely event something goes wrong, you should always be able to restore the proper templates from the 'backup' or 'custom' subfolders.
To update your version, click on the update link in the activeRenderer section of the status center in Radio's desktop website home page, or select the Tools / activeRenderer / Update... Menu in the Radio application.
You may also choose to set your activeRenderer preferences to auto update the tool every time you launch Radio: this is the way to ensure you are running the latest available code.
I'm now switching to other projects (replacing the registration service for one), while Gwénaël tries to keep up with the localization effort.
I've run into unexpected problems when readying the next 2.1.1 minor update of activeRenderer: I'm overhauling the installation / uninstallation process to go along with the newly implemented outlining styles for weblog categories, and it's an even worse nightmare than I thought it would be :-)
I should have finished the testing by Friday though, Murphy willing...
[image] [image] This week's featured publisher, Gerald Gleason, doesn't use Radio Userland to publish his weblog. He doesn't use Movable Type either. Yet, look at the navigation lighthouse that forms the left side of the page: you'll recognize a familiar outline structure, with a nautical twist :-)
[image] With his authorisation, I'll soon include those picts as part of a 'nautical' style for outline wedges. Alternate sets of wedges with specific styles are scheduled to show up in the next 2.2 version of activeRenderer.
There are currently 3 mailing lists / Yahoo groups devoted to the activeRenderer Radio tool, quite a lot really :-)
I didn't realize until Monday that Gwénaël - can't think of a worst firstname to type into an HTML editor, Gwénaël :-), went through the trouble of translating all of activeRenderer's documentation into French.
Wow, that certainly took some work, I'm really grateful, and so should all French, Canadian and Belgian activeUsers. I didn't find any Swiss in activeRenderer's registration database :-)
Auf Deutsch Übersetzer herzlich willkommen... Apply within.