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Running Weblogs with Slash by David Krieger, Brian Aker, Chromatic

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Chapter 10. Advanced Customization

Straight out of the box, Slash performs a lot like Slashdot and Slashcode. There’s no reason your site has to do the same. Each new site will occupy its own ecological niche and has the potential to do something a little different. Perhaps it will cover different Topics. It may go as far as introducing a new interface, or even completely new behavior. Slash makes this possible.

This chapter explores the kinds of changes that Slash allows. It starts by discussing visual changes--site colors, blocks, and basic templates. Things get more complex by adding a banner ad package. Next, it walks through installing themes (new looks) and plugins (new actions) created by other users, before delving into an example plugin. From there, it explores changes to the Slash code itself. Finally, it describes the internationalization and localization features that allow Slash to serve the world community.

Changing the Look

Straight out of the tarball, Slash is readily modifiable by administrators without the ability or inclination to dig into thousands of lines of Perl code or arcane configuration files. Most of the appropriate options on the Admin menu have been covered earlier but are mentioned here for the sake of completeness. All serious site administrators will perform the following basic customizations.

Slash configuration variables control much of the site’s internal behavior. These range from site directories to moderation controls and include toggles ...

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