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eXtropia ADT Documentation

Introduction to eXtropia Applications


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Overview

This is a guide to how eXtropia applications are installed, configured, and customized including issues related to web application security.

Since all the eXtropia applications follow a similar architecture, we thought it would be best to make a general guide and then reference that guide from all the application-specific guides (eg Guide to WebGuestBook) so that when you become familiar with the ``eXtropia Way'' of installing applications, you don't have to keep reading the same documentation over and over and over again.

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Acknowledgements, Incentives, and Credits

eXtropia applications are open source applications ( http://www.extropia.com/open_source_case_study.html). As such, the applications we've written are not just the result of a single group of people at eXtropia -- rather we rely on the entire open source community for feedback on both the code and the documentation.

The Further References chapter at the end of this guide acknowledges some of the people who have helped make this guide and the software that it describes possible. Right off the bat, we simply have to acknowledge Stas Bekman's Documentation Creation generator for creating the HTML and PDF version of this documentation from a simple set of POD files!

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How To Read This Guide

There's a lot to this guide. It's over 100 pages long in its PDF form. As such, we don't necessarily expect you to wade through the entire thing.

Basically, we wrote the guide in the most verbose manner possible so that all the information you need could be provided in one place. However, with that in mind, here are the various ways we would expect you to read this documentation based on your profile. Note that you may actually fall into more than one profile, so we'll leave it up to your best judgement.

  • Beginner at CGI and at eXtropia Scripts

    Read the whole thing! :)

    Actually, we suggest you read the Installation section thoroughly. Then, give yourself a well-deserved break.

    At this point, attempt installing the application. Try to get it working. If it does not work, then go on to read the Debugging section.

    Then, once the application is up and running, you will be ready for customization. So read the customization section. Don't worry if you don't understand it all. Few people need to change more than a few items in the application configuration to run the script successfully.

    If you want to change the look-and-feel of the application after it is working the way you want it to, read the look-and-feel chapter. In addition, the Configuration-By-Example chapter contains specific scenarios of common changes that you may wish to make to the eXtropia application that you are configuring.

    Finally, before making the application live, read the security chapter. Web applications are open to ANYONE on the internet. Therefore you should be aware of the security ramifications of opening up your data in this manner.

  • Beginner at eXtropia but Intermediate at CGI

    In this case, follow the beginner's guide we just talked about, but feel free to skim the other stuff. The only thing we would ask you not to skim is the security chapter. Although you know CGI, there may be some things in the security section that you may not have learned yet-- especially as concerns eXtropia applications.

    Better safe than sorry... always read the security section.

  • Intermediate at eXtropia and Expert in CGI

    You don't really need to read this guide at all! Well, actually, we suggest you at least read the changes section of the guide in the Further References appendix to see if there are any new security issues or configuration enhancements that have been addressed since the last time you read this.

  • Expert at Everything

    You should have helped us out by writing this guide!

    Actually, this brings up a very good point. If you do find something wrong with the guide or can help us improve the writing or clarity of a section, feel free to let us know at info@extropia.com. We'll also include your name in the Acknowledgements section of the Further References chapter.

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Master Copy URL: http://www.extropia.com/support/docs/adt/
Copyright © 2000-2001 Extropia. All rights reserved.
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Written by eXtropia.
Last Modified at 09/20/2001