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Getting Started

Getting Started

This documentation describes how to get started with SocialEngine 4.


Requirements

Minimum

Optional

Optional Requirements for Video Plugin

Optional Requirements for Chat Plugin

How do I check if my host is compatible with SocialEngine4?

Most modern hosting providers are compatible with SocialEngine4 but if in doubt you can contact them directly and refer them to this page.


Installing SocialEngine

Video

Instructions

  1. In order to install SocialEngine4, you need four pieces of information. If you don't have any of these, please contact your hosting provider and ask them for assistance.
    • MySQL Server Address (often "localhost", "127.0.0.1", or the server IP address)
    • MySQL Database Name
    • MySQL Username
    • MySQL Password
  2. Download the SocialEngine4 ZIP file and extract it to your computer.
  3. Upload all of the files to your hosting account (it can exist either in the root HTML directory, or a subdirectory).
    • If you are using a Unix server (or Unix variant, like Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, etc.) you must set the permissions (CHMOD) of the following directories and files to 777:
      • /install/config/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this must also be changed)
      • /temporary/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this must also be changed)
      • /public/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this must also be changed)
      • /application/themes/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this should also be changed)
      • /application/packages/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this should also be changed)
      • /application/languages/ (recursively; all directories and files contained within this must also be changed)
      • /application/settings/ (recursively; all files contained within this must also be changed)
  4. Access the SocialEngine installer by accessing your website; the installer wizard will automatically begin.

Signing In

Member and Admin accounts are unified in SocialEngine, so you as the site owner can use the same username and password to access the website. A user account with super-admin privileges is created for you during the installation process. Additional user accounts can be created via the signup process, and specific privileges can be assigned by you, the admin, after the account has been created.


Plugin Installation

Plugin installation will function very similarly to the SocialEngine upgrade process.

Video

Instructions

  1. Download each of the plugin TAR files you wish to install.
  2. Log into your SocialEngine 4 site and access the Admin area.
  3. Access the Manage menu and click on Packages & Plugins.
  4. Click on the Install New Packages link, then on the Add Packages link.
  5. Select the TAR files you download in step 1
  6. Follow the step-by-step wizard to complete the installation of the plugin files.

Upgrading SocialEngine

SocialEngine 4 supports upgrades via our package manager.

Video

Instructions

  1. Download the latest Core available from your SocialEngine Clients area.
  2. Log into your SocialEngine 4 site and access the Admin area.
  3. Access the Manage menu and click on Packages & Plugins.
  4. Click on the Install New Packages link, then on the Add Packages link.
  5. Select the Core file you download in step 1. After the file is uploaded, a Continue button will appear at the bototm of the page.
    Note: if you have trouble uploading the files using the uploader tool, you can also upload the TAR file manually over FTP to the /temporary/package/archive/ directory.
  6. Follow the step-by-step wizard to complete the installation of the Core.

Developers Guide

Tools

While the following are not necessary for modifying SocialEngine 4, we recommend the following tools for your development environment.

Structure

SocialEngine4 is based on the Zend Framework, and is built in an MVC (Model-View-Controller) structure. It is also built with modularity in mind.

The directory structure is as follows:

Plugins

/application/modules/*

Most of SocialEngine's functionality resides here. Each module contains within it the MVC structure, where the "Model", "views", and "controllers" directories correspond to the MVC paths. Please see our included skeleton module "HelloWorld" for more information on this.

Languages

/application/languages/*

Each language gets its own two-letter (or 5-character with localization support) directory in this sub-directory. The language files are in multiple CSV files, though they are concatenated into one large CSV file (in no particular order, except that "custom.csv" is the last). One important point to keep in mind is that duplicate keys override previously defined keys. So, for example, if you have a key "Turtles are fast!" in both core.csv and custom.csv, since custom.csv is loaded last, the value set to "Turtles run fast!" in custom.csv will be the one used.

The CSV files have several requirements:

Themes

/application/themes/*

We utilize a framework called "CSS Scaffold" which makes editing your community's theme a simple process. Each theme is stored in its own directory within /applications/themes/. A default theme is automatically loaded when you first install SocialEngine. Each theme contains two files: constants.css and theme.css.

At the top of constants.css, you'll find a series of global CSS settings (called "constants"). You can edit these to adjust the colors, fonts, and other styles throughout your entire community.

The other file, theme.css, contains more specific styles that are used throughout your community. Many of these styles inherit values from constants.css. If you want to override any of the default styles on your community, you can edit them here. If they aren't present in theme.css (and are being loaded from outside the theme itself), you can override them by adding new styles to the bottom of theme.css.

More information about how to work with CSS Scaffold is available here: http://github.com/sunny/csscaffold or Google for CSScaffold for videos and tutorials.