The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

Administering the CMS Plugins

All of the CMS plugins present exactly the same user interface for administration. There may be slight differences in styling, but the behavior and basic interface is identical between plugins. This page will describe what each of the various parts of the plugin administrative interface do.

Some of the images below are “thumbnails.” Smaller images, that, when clicked, will open up larger images.

The Main Dialog

The Full MontyThe administration page is a fairly large screen that uses up pretty much all of the page. Unless you have a massive computer monitor, you’ll probably have to scroll to see the whole thing. You can click on the image to the left, and it will open a larger version of the screen.

Success Message
The very top of the screen will have a white bar. This bar is a “fader.” It will display a success or failure message when you save the settings. The message fades after a few seconds. If the operation succeeds, you get a green “success” message, as shown by the image to the right. This message will fade in a few seconds, leaving the bar white and blank.

If the operation fails, a red message, similar to the one on the right, will be displayed, and will take longer to fade than the green success message.

Multiple Settings

An extremely powerful feature of the new 2.1 (and greater) series of plugins, is the ability to have multiple “settings.” Each setting can point to a different root server, have a different color theme, a different map setup a different time offset…you get the picture. They can also show different “views” of the same root server. An example of that is the Greater New York Region site. If you go to the main meeting search, you will see a fairly general map that shows the entire Region. However, it is also possible to go to “focused” searches for each of the member ASCs of the Region, such as the Eastern Long Island Area, or the New York City Area, or the Lower Hudson Valley Area. Each of these searches is established by a separate setting, with the only difference being the map center and zoom. They all point to the same root server.

A more extreme example can be observed in the demos shown on this site. There is one that uses the Greater New York Region root server, and another that uses a test server for UKNA. They can all be shown on the same site.

When you first access the settings page, you will see only two buttons above the map:

Two Buttons Shown

The “Save” button is disabled. This will become enabled if there is a change in the settings. If you click on the green button (“Add A New Setting”), the top, which before, showed only a title for the setting:

Single Setting Has Only A Title

now has a popup menu:

The popup menu will allow you to switch the screen between the settings:

Whichever setting is chosen will set up the values in the screen.

You will also see that there are now three buttons:

The new button allows you to delete the current setting. You cannot delete the only setting, so the delete button is not shown if there is only one setting available.

Just below the popup, you will see a string that tells you the setting ID. This ID is unique to each setting, and is used to associate a displayed BMLT instance to the setting. We’ll get into exactly how that works, later.

Settings ID String

Below that, are some text inputs. The first, allows you to specify a descriptive name for this setting:

After you save the settings, this name will be used for this setting.

Once something changes in the screen, the Add and Delete buttons will be disabled, and the “Save Changes” button will become enabled.

Save Button Enabled

NOTE: This will save ALL changes, in ALL settings, even ones that you can’t see, because they are not selected. This means that the save button may be enabled when there are no visible changes to the current settings. If you try to close the browser or navigate away without saving the changes, you will be presented with a dialog that will ask if you want to leave the page (lose the changes), or stay (keep the changes).

The URLs

Below the Settings Name text input, are two more text inputs. These are used to enter two URLs.

These are the URL Inputs

The Root Server URL is where you enter the URL to the main_server directory of the desired root server. The “Test” button will allow you to check to make sure that the URL points to a valid root server. If the root server is valid, you will get a green circle and the server version will be displayed. If the URL is not valid, you will get a red “X”, and there will be a message, informing you that the URL is not valid.

NOTE: The server version should be 1.8.1 or above to be considered “valid.” Versions less than this may work, but not all functions will be supported.

NOTE: As of Satellite version 3.3.0, the “New Search URL” is no longer supplied. This was basically an “anachronism,” that went back to the earlier versions of the BMLT, and no longer applies. It just confused things, so we removed it.

The New Search URL is a URL to the page that will display the first search screen for this setting. Previously, the plugin would automatically calculate this URL, but we don’t do that anymore. You need to specifically add the New Search URL here, or the “New Search” link will not be shown. You should also take care when having multiple pages share one setting. In this case, you probably shouldn’t have a New Search URL specified, because all the pages’ “New Search” links will go to the same page. In this case (as was the case for the Greater New York examples, above), you should have a separate setting for each page, even if the only difference is the New Search URL.

The Themes

Theme Popup Below the URL text inputs, is a popup menu that allows you to select a color and style “theme.” At the time of this writing, there are 5 available, but this number is expected to grow. They mostly affect the “classic” interactive search, but will also be used in future implementations.

Additional CSS

This is fairly self-explanatory. You can actually type/paste in CSS styles that will be inserted into the <head> section of the page containing the BMLT instance. This allows you to add custom style and behavior to the BMLT instance that is not provided by the selected theme.

CSS Styles Input

NOTE: Only enter “pure” CSS (rules and properties only). The <style>…</style> element will be provided by the plugin. Remember that you can “break” the page with bad CSS.

Mobile Properties

Another exciting new feature of the 2.1 series plugin, is the addition of an integrated “fast mobile” functionality. If you enter the correct shortcode, a page can be turned into a redirector for mobile devices. The visitor is taken to a page with a simple search functionality that can also use GPS in location-aware smartphones. The properties in the box under the style input affect this simple search.

Distance Units

The mobile search can tell you how far (as the crow flies) a meeting is from the search location (or the visitor’s GPS location). This popup menu allows you to select whether the distance will be expressed as kilometers or miles.

Close-Up of the Distance Units Popup

NOTE: This will only affect some displays in the mobile search (and newer capabilities). It will have no effect on the “classic” interactive search, which is controlled by the root server.

Grace Period

When you do a mobile search for “meetings later today”, the search will not return meetings that have already passed. This is the period of time after a meeting begins, where it will still be listed. This way, you might be a bit late, but you can still find the meeting.

Close-Up of the Grace Period Popup

Time Offset

Time Offset Popup In some cases, the server time may not be set to the same time zone as the visitor using the mobile search. This allows you to specify the time offset from the server time, in hours.

Time Offset Popup Close-Up

Classic Interactive Search Properties

The group of items below the mobile properties are for the “classic” interactive search. If you wil not be presenting the “classic” search, then it won’t be necessary to mess with these.

Google Maps API Key

This is no longer necessary.

Initial Search Type

The Initial Search Type PopupWhen the interactive search is displayed, it will come up in a manner specified by this popup. The choices are:

Close-Up of Search Type Popup
Root Server Decides
The root server is able to choose whether the initial screen will be Basic Text Search or Basic Map Search.
Always come up as Basic Map.
Always come up as Basic Text.
Advanced (Server Decides)
The root server is able to choose whether the initial screen will be Advanced Text Search or Advanced Map Search (If the server is set to Basic Map, then this turns into Advanced Map, and so on)..
Advanced Map
Always come up as Advanced Map.
Advanced Text
Always come up as Advanced Text.

The Map

The map at the bottom of the page is a standard Google Map. It allows you to select a center point for the map, as well as a zoom. You do this by moving the black marker (you can grab it and drag it, or simply click somewhere on the map). You adjust the zoom by using the tool in the upper left corner of the map.