Welcome to Geeklog Wednesday, June 03 2020 @ 08:07 am EDT

Geeklog Forums

Monthly Newsletter Plugin

Page navigation


mrlynn

Anonymous
I've created a Plugin that lets you to turn your geeklog site into a monthly newsletter.

It consists of:
  • an additional column in the stories table: issue_id
  • a new table: gl_issues
  • a block that lists the stories that are for "this month's issue
  • a block with a dropdown that let's you select a previous (or future issue)
  • a modification to the main index.php that restricts the stories displayed to those that are for the selected or current issue only.
  • a modification to the storyeditor to permit assignment of a story to an issue.
Each Issue works like a static page in that it contains "content" that is displayed as the frontpage.

Only one Issue can be active at any given time - the admin part of the plugin enforces this by displabling ALL issues before enabling one.

I've just finished the coding and testing and I'm going live with it tomorrow. If all goes well, I'll be further modifying it to ensure that my code changes are completely modular and in sync with the geeklog gods' coding style.

I'm wondering how much interest there may be in this type of plugin - I'll guage my packaging effort on responses.

As always - thanks to the creators of geeklog!

Mike
 Quote

Status: offline

keystone

Forum User
Chatty
Registered: 21/09/02
Posts: 50
I'm interested and look forward to seeing it in action!
 Quote

Status: offline

isol8

Forum User
Regular Poster
Registered: 14/05/02
Posts: 73
very cool feature I'd definitely use.
 Quote

Status: offline

etegration

Forum User
Full Member
Registered: 20/02/02
Posts: 179
worth giving it a try if it's launched.---http://www.etegration.com http://itcow.etegration.com
http://www.etegration.com.sg http://www.itcow.com http://www.ministryofhosting.com
 Quote

Status: offline

Creator

Forum User
Full Member
Registered: 11/07/02
Posts: 181
Location:Austin, TX
I'm interested as well!---L. Whitworth www.finiserv.com
L. Whitworth
 Quote

Status: offline

Tony

Site Admin
Admin
Registered: 17/12/01
Posts: 405
Location:Urbandale, Iowa
I would remove the issue_id from the story table. Plugin developers should not get in the habit of modifying the default DB schema as that could lead to incompatibilities with future versions of Geeklog. Instead, I would create an associative table called issue_stories that has nothing more than a story ID and an issue ID. This is good for a number of reasons: 1) you don't modify the story table ;-) 2) searches on this new table will be faster than full table scans on the stories table. My guess is that fixing this shouldn't be too much work and I would recommend you do that *before* releasing a production ready version (in fact, personally won't install it without that change...just my preference).---The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
add me to the list =)
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
What happens to the old newsletters? Do they go into an archive? Where can we see this?
 Quote

Status: offline

efarmboy

Forum User
Moderator
Registered: 26/02/02
Posts: 147
I would suggest all plugin or block developers refer to the Plugin Developers Guide.
This best practice is documented in the section How to get Started: A Development Overview.

Many other best practices and examples are provided. I don't know if this add-on uses the Geeklog Plugin API and supports the min Plugin Requirements or not.

I'd be more then willing to assist if there is any questions.

Cheers,
Blaine

 Quote

mrlynn

Anonymous
The "older" monthly issues remain in the database and are viewable from the "Newsletter Issues" block (this is a block that consists of a single drop down populated from the issues table). All stories are still viewable from the Topics menu... but only those stories that belong to the "current" newsletter issue will show on the front page (or subsequent pages of the frontpage). So for example, when I click on the General News Topic from the Topics menu, I get a listing of All Stories in that Topic - the storyblock template is modified to include Issue so that you can tell which issue each story is from.
 Quote

mrlynn

Anonymous
Excellent suggestion. I plan on implementing this before packaging v1.0. I'll also take a closer look at the API docs. Thanks for the input/feedback. Mike
 Quote

mrlynn

Anonymous
Question: I've had to add things to the themes to support the new plugin: fields on the story editor for selecting the issue id.

If the plugin is going to be truely optional, how do I control the display of these fields in the theme?

Should I make a theme specifically for this plugin? Should I make a patch for specific plugins?
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
A separate many--to-many table has the added practical advantage that a story can be included in more than one issue.
 Quote

Status: offline

Tony

Site Admin
Admin
Registered: 17/12/01
Posts: 405
Location:Urbandale, Iowa
Might be worth jotting down the requirements and posting them here. I'm sure you'll get good feedback. --Tony---The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
The reason people blame things on previous generations is that there's only one other choice.
 Quote

mrlynn

Anonymous
Here is a rough outline of the requirements I worked from to create the plugin:

The overall project objective was to create a monthly newsletter for my department (Linux/Unix Architecture and Engineering).

  • Newsletter (NL)should be distributed via email but available on our intranet. (I created an admin hack that allows me to mail an entire issue in HTML format to a specified list of BCC recipients.)
  • Primary content for NL should be technical articles and news events.
  • NL should be published Monthly and Archives of the prior months articles should be available online.
  • Each month the NL should have a different front page that addresses the general scope of this month's set of articles.
  • Readers should be able to leave comments / feedback on the articles in the NL. Readers should NOT be required to login or even create an account. (I accomplished this by simply removing the User Login and Password from the main display.)
  • Only one issue can be active at any given time. (to accomplish this, I simply change the status column for all issue table entries to 0 before changing a selected newsletter status to active (or 1))
  • Articles may be submitted by readers but should be prepared in coordination with the editor (me) and should not be accepted and displayed on NL without moderation.
  • Main page of NL should display a list of the articles specific to the current month's issue. (I created a block to accomplish this.)
  • Main page of NL should offer readers the capability of accessing prior month's issues.
  • Readers should be able to search for text in articles across issues
Screenshots Feedback welcomed.
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
Wow, this is exaclty what I am looking for. Is the Email hack part of the plugin? This would be great!
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
Very interested!.. Good luck!
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
What is the status of this plugin?
 Quote

Anonymous

Anonymous
It's still in messy, non-standard form. I've been swamped with the other part of my job. I should free up in Feb and have time to clean it up and distribute it. Sorry for the delay.
 Quote

Status: offline

alinford

Forum User
Regular Poster
Registered: 06/01/03
Posts: 96
No problem. Let me know if you need any beta help when you start working on it.
 Quote

Page navigation

All times are EDT. The time is now 08:07 am.

  • Normal Topic
  • Sticky Topic
  • Locked Topic
  • New Post
  • Sticky Topic W/ New Post
  • Locked Topic W/ New Post
  •  View Anonymous Posts
  •  Able to post
  •  Filtered HTML Allowed
  •  Censored Content