This document has thirteen chapters. Relax, you don't have to read all of them!
Installation, the editor's guide, the designer's guide and the developer's guide are intended to be read consecutively by those who intend to do it all on their own. Naturally you might divide these tasks among your team, but the editor's and designer's material should be understood first before tackling the developer's section.
The blog plugin is used to manage news and events and also to present timely content in other parts of the site. The Internationalization guide is an optional extra for those who need to support content in multiple languages or present clients with an editing interface in a language other than English.
Those who wish to migrate content from an existing CMS system will want to read the import & migration guide.
The installation section is intended for developers and system administrators with some knowledge of PHP and command line tasks. The upgrade section is appropriate for a similar audience and also includes important notes for designers and developers who are affected by changes impacting custom slots and CSS.
The editor's guide is suitable for end users who will have administrative responsibilities on the site, such as editing and managing content. No programming skills required.
The designer's guide addresses the needs of front-end developers, discussing how to edit and manage stylesheets, page templates and page layouts.
Finally, the developer's guide explores how to extend Apostrophe with new content slots that go beyond our provided rich text and media features and new "engines" that extend the CMS with full-page content that doesn't always fit neatly into the page metaphor. Most readers will never need to refer to this section.
See the end of this document for information about community and professional support, the Apostrophe community and how to participate in further development.
Apostrophe is a content management system. Apostrophe is open source, and built upon the great work of other open source projects. That's why our apostrophePlugin is a plugin for the Symfony web application framework.
The philosophy of Apostrophe is that editing should be done "in context" as much as possible, keeping confusing modal interfaces to a minimum and always emphasizing good design principles and an intuitive user experience. When we are forced to choose between ease of use and a rarely used feature, we choose ease of use, or make it possible to discover that feature when you truly need it.
Before we decided to write our own CMS, we used sfSimpleCMSPlugin, and although our system is quite different you can see its influence in Apostrophe. We'd like to acknowledge that.
Right now Apostrophe is best suited to PHP developers who want to make an intuitive content management system available to their clients. Apostrophe is very easy for your clients to edit, administer and maintain once it is set up. Right now, though, Apostrophe installations does call for some command line skills and a willingness to learn about Symfony. We are working to reduce the learning curve.
Front-end developers who do not yet have PHP and Symfony skills but wish to set up an Apostrophe site by themselves should consider tackling the Symfony tutorial to get up to speed. It's not necessary to complete the entire tutorial, but it helps to have at least a passing familiarity with Symfony.
And of course we at P'unk Avenue are available to develop complete Apostrophe sites for those who see the value in a truly intuitive CMS and do not have the development resources in-house to implement it.
Standard features of Apostrophe include version control for all content slots, locking down pages for authenticated users only, and in-context addition, deletion, reorganization and retitling of pages. When a user is logged in with appropriate privileges intuitive editing tools are added to the usual navigation, neatly extending the metaphors already present rather than requiring a second interface solely for editing purposes.
Apostrophe also introduces "areas," or vertical columns, which users with editing privileges are able to create more than one slot. This makes it easy to interleave text with multimedia and other custom slot types without the need to develop a custom PHP template for every page.
Content "slots" include plaintext, rich text, RSS feeds, photos, slideshows, videos, PDFs and raw HTML slots.
Apostrophe includes support for media management, including a built-in media library that allows you to manage locally stored photos and remotely hosted videos. When media are embedded in pages they are automatically sized to cooperate with the page templates created by the designer.
Rich text editing, of course, is standard equipment. And unlike most systems, Apostrophe intelligently filters content pasted from Word and other programs to ensure there are no design-busting markup conflicts.
Editing works 100% in Firefox 2+, Safari 4+, Chrome and Internet Explorer 7+. Editing is expressly not supported in Internet Explorer 6. Of course, browsing the site as a user works just fine in Internet Explorer 6. Although IE 6 cannot support our full editing experience, we recognize the need to support legacy browser use by the general public when visiting the site.
Please see the Installation Guide for a list of Apostrophe's system requirements. A servercheck.php page is provided with the sandbox. This page can be accessed to verify that your site meets the requirements.
Please be sure to join the apostrophenow Google group. This is the right place to obtain community support.
Bug tracking, subversion access and a community Wiki are all available at trac.apostrophenow.org.
Professional support for Apostrophe is available from our team here at P'unk Avenue.
Also be sure to follow our Twitter account.
For bleeding-edge development news, subscribe Google Reader or your feed reader of choice to our svn commit notes:
And of course, be sure to visit the Apostrophe Now site.
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