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Gsheets in RapidWeaver

You might guess that Gsheet stands for Google's Sheets, the spreadsheet app from their online suite of apps. I've used Google's Sheets to publish inventory lists and a members list in RW, none of which was especially attractive. Sheets does have the advantage that anyone with access to them can edit the data, which is then automatically updated on any website that it's displayed on – an extremely simplistic CMS solution.

Now, with the help of Weavium, Google Sheets has outgrown its pram (baby carriage for those across the pond) and jumped into running shoes. Gsheet is a suite of eight stacks that allow you to publish highly polished dynamic data which can be changed on the fly by editing your Google Sheet. And I have to say that after inspecting the Gsheet demo page, I'm more than just a little surprised at just what the eight stacks can do. The stacks are Box, Button, G Sheet, IF, Icon, Image, Progress and Text.

The idea is that you drop the main Gsheet stack into a Box stack which defines maximum/minimum sizes and how your content will flow. After supplying Gsheet with the URL of you spreadsheet you can then add content simply by defining row:attribute within a text or image stack. The content of said field will then be imported and displayed in RapidWeaver.
The above combination of stacks alone allows you to present your data just the way you want it. The clou, however, is the IF stack which allows simple arguments such as
IF row.content contains text [text] THEN Show [stack content].

Gsheet – Weavium

The options for IF are Is True/False; Is Empty; Is Number; Is Equal To; Is Less Than; Is Greater Than; Contains Text…
The Options for THEN are Show/Hide; Change Colours; Change Opacity; Conditional Content; Conditional CSS Classes.
There aren't any ELSE options. You define ELSE arguments by adding further IF stacks.

Gsheet transforms Google Sheets into a flexible CMS solution for simple project pages. If you wish to see just how flexible Gsheet is, take a look at the demo page.

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Quick Editor for RapidWeaver

You may remember that, last year, I composed a comparison of all the CMS systems available for RapidWeaver. Today, I should really extend that list and add 1LD's QuickEditor to it. Quick Editor is a set of two stacks that create editable content for RapidWeaver.

Quick Editor comprises an Admin and a Content Wrapper stack. Simply add the stacks to your page to automatically allow all images & text to be edited in a password protected admin area.
The Wrapper stack has four different settings: Editable Content, Non-Editable Content, Admin Only Content and Admin Hidden Content.
Why so many settings for editable content? Non-Editable Content allows you to display content on both the web page and the admin page, thus presenting a complete page in the admin area, but with restricted editability.
This may confuse some users. The confusion can be eliminated by hiding non-editable content by instead adding it to Admin-Hidden Content.
Finally with Admin Only Content, you can display messages such as user instructions in the admin area, that are not shown on the published web page.

The Quick Editor Admin stack should be inserted into each page that you wish to make editable. It adds your administration user name and password to the page and allows you to customise the login page with images, logos and/or text.

Quick Editor – One Little Designer

Once logged in, the admin page displays an Edit Icon and an Exit Icon. When the edit icon is clicked, a floating palette is displayed containing the typical editing tools that you'd expect; the end user may now edit anything on the page that you have deemed editable.
Once finished, 'the editor' may click the save symbol to save all changes, or the discard symbol to return to the original page state.

Quick Editor is possibly the simplest modern CMS solution available for RapidWeaver today. It uses a flat file system instead of a data base and set-up is non existent. Just add the stacks to the page that you wish to be editable and publish. Once you've added Quick Editor stacks to a page, it is automatically converted to a PHP page.
Quick Editor is the ideal stack for those who need to update page content often or for those who need to make changes without access to RapidWeaver.

Want to test Quick Editor before making a commitment? For a limited period, this page is editable and changes can be saved. The Username is rjh-webdesign; the Password is Gm6ZKpVPBw3fTahNMm.
I have not set up a cron-script to refresh the page and therefore request only respectful edits!

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Go Back to RapidWeaver

You may have noticed that just before Black Friday, Nick Cates retired a number of his brilliant stacks. The relatively new suite of Go stacks disappeared along with AB Switch, Production and others. You may remember that Go was a simple-to-use CMS system and it was disappointing to see it disappear after such a short time on the market.

Go adopters will be pleased to hear that Go has resurfaced. Not on the Nick Cates site, but on Mike Yrabedra's YabDab site! And there's more good news: instead of a single licence being necessary for each published site, Go is now tagged with the moniker Go CMS Unlimited; a single purchase (albeit rather more expensive than the original release) allows you to add Go CMS Unlimited to as many sites as you please AND for a [very] limited period Go CMS Unlimited is available at half price!

And, in case you forgot, Go CMS [Unlimited] is a suite of four stacks. Go Base, Blog, Content and Lock. Deployment of Go is simple, as is the editing of the published pages.

If you require a simple-to-use CMS system that includes blogging possibilities, be sure to. check out Mikes pages – quickly!

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Poster for RapidWeaver - an upgrade

In February of 2017, I reviewed the Poster stack from In Stacks. At the time of the review, I mentioned that this was a soft release and that Jannis was still working on the stack.

Poster has just received an important update. It is now possible to add posts outside of RapidWeaver!
Yes, you read correctly; if you are building a client site, it is now possible for your client to edit the Poster page and add, or delete content.

So how does this work? Poster can load markdown files. This means, of course, that

  • Your client will need to learn markdown (which is actually very simple) and
  • Your client will need an FTP solution

The FTP solution would be above most client's heads, but wait! Jannis has a solution for that too. Remember that I also tested InStack's Repository Stack? With Repository, you can very easily add a (hidden) page to your client's site that will allow him to drag in new files – in this case, the new markdown files that should be loaded via Poster. Nothing could be simpler!

You can see a simple test post here: https://rw-ninja.news/Poster-blog. I haven't played around with the formatting, so this is 'out of the box'.

And there's more to come – Poster is still a work in progress; it will take some time, but Jannis plans to add an online editor, making things even simpler.

Last year, Poster was already highly recommended as a replacement for the inflexible RW Blog page, today, I can only endorse Poster as the ideal replacement for a blog page; in fact, once I can work out how to transfer my Armadillo posts to Poster, I'll be moving on.
Why? Because Poster is now much more flexible; the stack will finally allow me to design my pages the way that I want them.

Stay tuned; in the near future the RapidWeaver Ninja News page will hopefully look very different!

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Journal for RapidWeaver

Jochen Abitz has released yet another Total CMS project – Journal. Once again, the project displays dynamic content from the Total Blog stack and once again the project is well executed and the ideal starting point for your next CMS project.

If you take a look at the Journal demo pages – Photography, Travel and eJournal, you'll find that the Photography and the Travel Journal categories may be navigated via the large slider images (JW's Moving Box) at the top of the page, whilst the simpler eJournal demo displays a list of articles with the slider toggled to 'off'.
The About page displays an info panel with a single image and there is a Contact and a Disclaimer page. Each page has a search button above the menu bar with which the content can be explored.

As with previous Rapidpages projects, Journal's contemporary design is down-to-earth, focusing on content rather than flashy presentation, making the project ideal for displaying a portfolio, or a travel blog without distractions.

Journal – Rapidpages
The blog content is divided into Categories, e.g. Paris, or Architecture and subcategories, e.g. Day One, Day Two; or Buildings, Interior. The admin pages (five in all) are clearly layed out and Jochen has thoughtfully provided explanations for their usage. Each admin page has a sidebar menu that allows you to move from one page to the next and the slider and images may be toggled on or off when not needed.

Journal is another great starting point for Total CMS newbies (setting up the blog can be confusing), but it's also an ideal solution, if you're looking to build a client site.

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