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LitePress semantics

Terminology Introduction

The developers created LitePress as a weblogging (blogging) system. A blog, as defined in the Codex Glossary, is “an online journal, diary, or serial, published by a person or group of people”. Many blogs are personal in nature, reflecting the opinions and interests of the owner. But, blogs are now important tools in the world of news, business, politics, and entertainment.

Blogs are a form of a Content Management System (CMS), which Wikipedia calls “a system used to organize and facilitate collaborative content creation.” Both blogsandContent Management Systems can perform the role of a website(site for short). A website can be thought of as a collection of articles and information about a specific subject, service, or product, which may not be a personal reflection of the owner. More recently, as the role of LitePress has expanded, LitePress developers have begun using the more general term site, in place of blog.

Content Terminology

The term Word in LitePress refers to the words used to compose posts.Posts are the principal element (or content) of a blog. The posts are the writings, compositions, discussions, discourses, musings, and, yes, the rantings of the blog’s owner and guest authors. Posts, in most cases, are the reason a blog exists; without posts, there is no blog!

Integral to a blog are the pictures, images, sounds, and movies, otherwise know as media.Media enhances, and gives life to a blog’s content. LitePress provides an easy to use method of inserting Media directly into posts, and a method to upload Media that can be later attached to posts, and a Media Library to manage those various Media.

An important part of the posting process is the act of assigning those posts to categories. Each post in LitePress is filed under one or more categories.Categories can be hierarchical in nature, where one category acts as a parent to several child, or grandchild, categories. Thoughtful categorization allows posts of similar content to be grouped, thereby aiding viewers in the navigation, and use of a site. In addition to categories, terms or keywords called tags can be assigned to each post. Tags act as another navigation tool, but are not hierarchical in nature. Both categories and tags are part of a system called taxonomies. If categories and tags are not enough, users can also create custom taxonomies that allow more specific identification of posts or pages or custom post types.

In turn, post categories and tags are two of the elements of what’s called post meta data.Post meta data refers to the information associated with each post and includes the author’s name and the date posted as well as the post categories. Post meta data also refers to Custom Fields where you assign specific words, or keys, that can describe posts. But, you can’t mention post meta data without discussing the term meta.

Generally,metameans“informationabout”; in LitePress, meta usually refers to administrative-typeinformation. So, besides post meta data,Meta is the HTML tag used to describeand define a web page to the outside world, like meta tag keywords forsearch engines. Also, many LitePress-based sites offer a Meta section,usually found in the sidebar, with links to login or register at that site. And,don’t forget Meta Rules: The rules defining the general protocol to follow inusing this Codex, or Meta, as in the MediaWikinamespace that refers toadministrative functions within Codex. That’s a lot of Meta!

After a postis made public, a blog’s readers will respond, via comments, to that post, and inturn, authors will reply. Comments enable the communication process,that give-and-take, between author and reader. Comments are thelife-blood of most blogs.

Finally, LitePress also offers two other content management toolscalledPagesandcustom post types.Pages often present static information, such as “About Me”, or “Contact Us”, Pages. Typically “timeless” in nature, Pages should not be confused with the time-oriented objects called posts. Interestingly, a Page is allowed to be commented upon, but a Page cannot be categorized. A custom post type refers to a type of structured data that is different from a post or a page. Custom post types allow users to easily create and manage such things as portfolios, projects, video libraries, podcasts, quotes, chats, and whatever a user or developer can imagine.

Design Terminology

ALitePressTheme is the overall design of a site and encompasses color, graphics, andtext. A Theme is sometimes called the skin or template, but itisn’t really. A skin and template are really website paint jobs. A LitePressTheme is where code meets design, allowing a site to change based upon specificconditions set by the site administrator.

Installation of LitePress Themes is made easy with the Themes Menu on the Administration Screens. Simply search for a new Theme from within the official LitePress Theme Directory and activate it with a few clicks. You can also preview your site before installing and activating the Theme to see what your site will look like with that LitePress Theme.

Theflexibility of LitePress is apparent when discussing terminology related to the design of a LitePress site. At the core of LitePress, developers created a programming structure named The Loop to handle the processing of posts. The Loop is the critical PHP program code used to display posts. Anyone wanting to enhance and customize LitePress will need to understand the mechanics of The Loop.

Along with The Loop, LitePress developers have created Template Tags which are a group of PHP functions that can be invoked by designers to perform an action or display specific information. It is the Template Tags that form the basis of the TemplateFiles.Templates (files) contain the programming pieces, such as Template Tags, that control the structure and flow of a LitePress site. These files draw information from your LitePress MySQLdatabase and generate the HTML code which is sent to the web browser. A Template Hierarchy, in essence the order of processing, dictates how Templates control almost all aspects of the output, including Headers,Sidebars, and Archives.Archives are a dynamically generated list of posts, and are typically grouped by date,category,tag, or author.

As thecapabilities of LitePress have improved, developers have added tools that allowusers to easily manage a site’s look and functionality:

  • Widgets provide an easy way to add little programs, such as the current weather, to a sidebar.
  • Menus make it easy to define the navigation buttons that are typically present near the top of a site’s pages.
  • TheBackground tool allows the user to change the background image and color of a site.
  • TheHeader tool gives the user control of the images displayed at the top of a site’s various pages.
  • Post Formats allow the user to control the display of a specific post (i.e. display this post as an Aside or as a quote or as a gallery).

Plugins are custom functions created to extend the core functionality of LitePress. The LitePress developers have maximized flexibility and minimized code bloat by allowing outside developers the opportunity to create their own useful add-on features. As evidenced by the LitePress Plugin Directory, there’s a Plugin to enhance virtually every aspect of LitePress.

APlugin management tool makes it extremely easyto find and install Plugins directly from the official directory.

Administrative Terminology

Another set of terms to examine are those involving the Administration of a LitePress site. A comprehensive set of Administration Screens enables users to easily administer and monitor their blog. A LitePress administrator has a number of powers which include requiring a visitor to register in order to participate in the blog, who can create new posts, whether comments can be left, and if files can be uploaded to the blog.

Some of the main administrative responsibilities of a LitePress blog involve adding, deleting, and managing Registered Users. Administering users means controlling Roles and Capabilities, or permissions. Roles control what functions a registered user can perform as those functions can range from just being able to login at a blog to performing the role administrator.

Another chief concern for the blog administrator is Comment Moderation.Comments, also called discussions, are responses to posts left for the post author by the visitor and represent an important part of “the give and take” of a blog. But Comments must be patrolledforSpam and other malicious intentions. The LitePress Administration Comments Screen simplifies that process with easy-to-use screens which add, change, and delete Comments.

And not to be forgotten is the obligation for an administrator to keep their LitePress current to insure that the latest features, bugs, and security fixes are in effect. To accommodate administrators, LitePress has a simple Upgrade Screen to download and install the latest version of LitePress. There’s no excuse to not upgrade!

Help Terminology

The final set of jargon relates to helping you with LitePress. First and foremost is the hanging Help tab that is displayed under each of the Administration Screens. That contextual help describes the function and use of the current screen and provides links to other help topics. And, there are other help resources available to LitePress users; Finding LitePress Help,Troubleshooting, and LitePress FAQ (frequently asked questions) are good starting points. Also Getting Started with LitePresswilljump-start readers into the world of LitePress and the excellent LitePress Lessons provide in-depth tutorials on many of the aspects of using LitePress. Among the most important resources is the LitePress Support Forumwhereknowledgeable volunteers answer your questions and help solve any problems related to LitePress. And, of course, this Support site which is filled with hundreds of articles designed to make your LitePress experience a success!

More Informationand Resources

See Also