[opencms-dev] Beginner completely lost

Paul-Inge Flakstad flakstad at npolar.no
Tue Sep 1 17:38:24 CEST 2009

Just some notes on your specific issues here:

I don't use projects other than the standard Online and Offline one. I almost never use the Online project for anything (I prefer having another browser window open, where I'm not logged into OpenCms.) I'm sure there exists a need for projects, but I have yet to encounter that need. What I do when creating a site, is I add it in a few simple steps. Those steps are described around the web, but basically it goes like this:

(Below I'm assuming you're using Tomcat and Apache. I'm also assuming that you've stripped away :8080 and /opencms/opencms from the OpenCms' URI - if you need info on how to do that, please see http://tinyurl.com/mdtedg)

1.) Create a "site-folder" under /sites/:
Select "/" from the "Site" dropdown, and then create a new folder inside the "/sites/" folder, so that it has the URI "/sites/mysite/".

2.) Edit the opencms-system.xml to map your domain name to the new folder (or: add a "site" to OpenCms):
	<site server="http://www.mysite.com" uri="/sites/mysite/"/><!-- LINE ADDED IN THIS STEP -->

3.) Add the site name as an alias in the relevant VirtualHost section of Apache's config file:
ServerAlias www.mysite.com

4.) Make sure your DNS has the correct mapping of the domain name.

5.) Restart Tomcat and Apache.

6.) Check that your new site is now present in the "Site" dropdown in OpenCms' workplace explorer, and that you're able to access files in your new site folder by using the domain name you entered.

About the fiddling-around-with-xml-config-files issue: yes, this is a downside to OpenCms. It most definitively is. And it is a bit overwhelming at first glance - I remember that part vividly. However, you'll typically be editing only very limited parts of these files. This means you'll become familiar with them (or at least their relevant sections) pretty fast. Hopefully, somebody will write a tool that allows for a more user-friendly way of editing the settings in these files, but until that happens, don't be alarmed by the fact that you'll have to edit them manually. There's really no need to. ;-)

So, the short version of my advice is: forget about projects other than Offline/Online, stick to creating new sites instead of new projects. And don't worry about having to edit xml files manually.

Good luck with OpenCms! :D


> -----Original Message-----
> From: opencms-dev-bounces at opencms.org 
> [mailto:opencms-dev-bounces at opencms.org] On Behalf Of Gregor Schneider
> Sent: 1. september 2009 16:57
> To: The OpenCms mailing list
> Subject: Re: [opencms-dev] Beginner completely lost
> Hash: SHA1
> Shi,
> On Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 3:10 PM, Shi Yusen<shiys at langhua.cn> wrote:
> > I remembered there was a PPT on OpenCms's struture which 
> made OpenCms
> > quite easy to understand. The main concept is something like this:
> >
> > 1. an HTTP request to servlet container such as Tomcat;
> > 2. The servlet container forwards the request to OpenCms;
> > 3. In OpenCms servlet, enter org.opencms.main.OpenCms first;
> > 4. org.opencms.main.OpenCms produces an CmsObject instance;
> > 5. The CmsObject instance contains the resource to visit 
> and security
> > who visits;
> > 6. If the user has permissions to visit, using the loader of the
> > resource to load it to the response; if not, error in response.
> > 7. You can extend resource, loader, user, group, permission.
> >
> What you've pointed out above is almost common to any CMS, and this is
> not the point why I'm completely lost.
> What's really puzzling me is:
> - - Project:
> Offline / Online - so far understood. However, if I create a website
> from scratch, first thought would be to create a new project. But I
> couldn't find any source how this could be achieved. In one of the
> more helpfull tutorials, the editor writes
> <quote>
>      Projects - Like I said above, is either Online, Offline, or some
> subset of Offline.  Basically, as far as I can tell, these are a way
>      to organize folders in the VFS that you use for different
> purposes.  For a website, you might define a project containing all
> the
>      relevant directories from the VFS.  Then, if you choose that
> project, you will see just those folders and files.
> </quote>
> So does that mean, a new project is always part of the 
> Offline-Project?
> And when I create a new project, all files from the Offline-project
> are shown in the explorer - are they part of the new project or not?
> I rather feel that what I'm understanding as a "project", in OpenCMS
> it's more what they call a "Module" - strange way of thinking,
> though..
> Not to menation that this tutorial is referring to version 6, meaning
> it's quite outdated.
> Next, quoting from "OpenCms 7 Development":
> <quote>
>     Registering the Content Type
>     To register the schema file with OpenCms, we need to add an entry
> into the module database. Modules are defined in an XML
>     configuration database maintained by OpenCms. For most items, we
> want to let OpenCms manage the contents of this file by
>     using the Administrative interface, as no interface has been
> provided for adding new content types. We thus have to edit the
>     OpenCms module database file directly. The module database file
> can be found at:
>     <opencms_install>/WEB-INF/config/opencms-modules.xml
>     Let's edit this file and....
> </quote>
> Meaning, I'll have to fiddle around with xml- and property-files on
> the serverside each time I'm creating a new module which I personally
> feel a bit anachronistic.
> Anyway, today I've sent a mail to Alkacon asking for the
> 1-day-inhouse-evaluation-workshop ASAP from which I hope to get some
> insights and hopefully a simple site with a new template up & running.
> As you can see, I'm not to ditch OpenCMS since I like the 
> following points:
> - - it's Java
> - - it's OpenSource
> But what I really, really recommend to the OpenCMS-developers is to
> create a tutorial form dummies "How to setup a website from scratch".
> I figure that other companies which are not willing / able to spend
> money for an Evaluation Workshop but having time / budget-pressure,
> might ditch OpenCMS instantly and might move to some PHP-solution
> which might give quick results but less security.
> To all the guys contributing to this thread:
> Thanks for all your recommendations and hints, I really appreciate
> Cheers!
> Gregor
> - --
> just because your paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you...
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