Article comments

Reader comments can be switched on and off for a whole publication, for a particular article type, or for each individual article. You can also take advantage of Newscoop's management features to moderate (or bypass moderation for) comments from subscribers, or members of the general public.

Comment settings in the Publication List

To set the default comment setting at the publication level, go to Content on the main navigation menu, and then click Publications. In the Comments enabled column of the Publication List page which appears, publications in which readers can post comments are shown with a green light icon. Click on the Configure icon for the publication you wish to enable or disable comments for.


This action opens the Configure publication page. In the Comments section, there is a checkbox labeled Comments enabled? and a variety of options which enable you to fine-tune comment settings.


Comment settings for article types

Perhaps you want to enable comments for all articles of a particular type, for example review_article, but not enable them for another type, such as news_article. Click Configure in the main navigation menu, and then click Article Types from the submenu. On the Article Types page which appears, clicking the red or green light icon in the Comments enabled? column toggles the setting for each article type.


After you click on a green light icon, you will be asked if you are sure you want to deactivate comments for that article type.


Comment settings for individual articles

Comments can be enabled or disabled for a number of individual articles at once, using the Article List page. Click Content on the main navigation menu, then use the submenus to navigate to the publication, issue and section that you require. In the Article List page that appears, use the checkboxes in the left side column to select the articles you want to enable or disable comments for. Then use the drop-down Actions menu and click on Toggle: 'Comments'.

If the publication or article type that the articles belong to have comments disabled, then enabling comments for those individual articles will have no effect.

Article types

Article Types specify the information that Newscoop will require from the journalists adding a particular kind of article to your publication. For example, a feature story is likely to require more elements than a brief news item. By default, Newscoop has one Article Type set up, which is News Article, but you can create as many as you need. To create or manage your Article Types, select Configure, then Article Types from the main navigation menu.

 

This action opens the Article Types page. Article Types consist of a sequence of fields, with each field holding a certain kind of data. Currently, there are six kinds of fields available:

Newscoop makes a distinction between the Template Name and Display Name for each Article Type and field. The Template Name is limited to letters, numbers, and underscores (no spaces) and is used internally by your Newscoop template. The Display Name is the part that the journalist will see, and can be translated into other languages.

Adding a new Article Type

Click the Add new article type link at the top left of the Article Types page.


The Add new article type page will appear. The first step is to enter the Template Type Name of the Article Type you wish to create. In this example, we'll create an Article Type with the template type name review_article - note that it has an underscore, instead of a space, between the words review and article.


After you click the Save button, you will be prompted to enter the Template Field Name of the first field in the new Article Type. Select one of the six field Types available from the drop-down menu, for example Topic. For this particular field type, we'll also have to select a top level element, such as Entertainment / Review.


If you add a Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG field, you have the option to mark the field as content, using a checkbox. This means that each time this particular field is served by Newscoop, it counts as a page read for statistical purposes.


After clicking the Save button, the Article type fields page is shown. The Article Type that you are currently working on is shown in the breadcrumb trail beneath the main navigation menu.


Click on the Show display names link to add a Display Name for this new field. Select the language you require from the Add translation drop-down menu, and enter the display name for the new field in this language. Then click the blue Translate button.


The Article type fields page will now show the Display Name for the field, together with a language code (in brackets) to indicate its translation. Note that the Display Name can contain spaces, or be capitalized differently from the Template Field Name.


Continue to add new fields to this Article Type, until you have all that you need. Then click the link Back to Article Types List, next to the blue arrowhead icon. This action will return you to the Article Types page.

Editing Article Types

You can add translated Display Names for your new Article Type after clicking on the Show display names link in the Article Types List.


Article Types are not set in stone; they can evolve as your publication evolves. For example, you can hide old Article Types that are no longer in use. Toggle whether a type is shown by clicking on the colored light icon in the Show/Hide column - green for shown, red for hidden. A pop-up dialog will ask you if you are sure about this action.


Hiding a type is less dangerous than deleting it; the latter action will remove the associated content from the server. The delete button is a white cross in a red square icon, over on the right side of the page. Use this button with caution!


As usual when carrying out an action that will have an impact on your publication, Newscoop will ask you if you are sure.


In the Article Types List there is also a Comments enabled? column, which toggles readers comments on and off for a specific Article Type. For example, you might wish to disable reader comments for all entertainment reviews, but leave them enabled for news articles.

Article types can be renamed, simply by clicking on the Template Type Name in the Article Types page. Remember that if you change a Template Type Name, you cannot put spaces into it.


Editing Article Type Fields

On the Article Type Fields page, fields can be renamed, given Display Names, hidden or deleted, just like Article Types. When you have more than one Article Type field, you can re-arrange the order in which the fields show up on the Edit article page by clicking the blue up and down arrows.


To change a field type, for example, from Single-line Text to Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG, click on the corresponding link for that row in the Type column. The Reassign a field type page will open, on which you can select the new type from a drop-down menu. Then click the Save button to return to the Article type fields page.


After editing article type fields, you could create a new article to test that the updated fields are displayed as expected.


Merging Article Types

Newscoop enables you to merge two different Article Types so that content in fields from one type (the Source Article Type) is migrated to another (the Destination Article Type). This is a useful process to go through after adding or editing an Article Type, so that all previously written copy matches the new Article Type fields.

On the Article Types page, click the Merge types link. This opens the Merge article type page. Select the source and destination Article Types you wish to merge from the drop-down menus.


Next, choose the fields of the source which you'd like to merge into fields of the destination. Note that you cannot merge a larger source field, such as 'Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG', into a smaller destination field, such as 'Single-line Text'. If this merge was allowed, then content from the larger field could be lost.


The next screen displays the result of the potential merge. Any source fields which have not been mapped to destination fields are shown in a red font. You may need to create additional fields in the destination Article Type before attempting the merge again.

You can cycle through all the articles which will be merged, and preview the changes. Optionally, check the box to Delete the source article type. When you're ready, click the Merge button.


If there are no articles left belonging to the Source Article Type, Newscoop will display a warning message at the first step of the proposed merge.


Automated installation

Ready made packages of Newscoop are available for Debian and Ubuntu GNU/Linux via secure apt. This is the recommended installation method for Newscoop, because it offers automatic updates and resolution of package dependencies. This guide assumes that you have sudo or root powers on the target server - if not, you need to ask your system administrator to install Newscoop for you.

Installing MySQL

Two components of the MySQL database management system are needed by Newscoop:

Depending on your requirements, you may prefer to run the MySQL database server on a separate machine from the MySQL client. The MySQL client must be installed on the same machine as Newscoop. On Debian/Ubuntu, installing the mysql-server metapackage will install the latest versions of both the server and client packages.

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server
During the installation of MySQL, you should be prompted to set a root password for the MySQL server, which is an important security feature. Make a note of this password and keep it in a secure place, as you will need it shortly.

Note that the MySQL root user is different from the system root user, and should have a different password.

Setting up the database user and password

An existing Newscoop installation should have a named database already set up on a MySQL server, with access protected by a username and password. For a new installation of Newscoop, you will need to tell the installer to create a database to store your content in. This means you will need a MySQL user account with database creation privileges set up in advance. If you don't already have an account, you can set up a database username and password for the Newscoop installer to use with the following steps.

1. Connect to the database management system using the root account and the password that you set during the MySQL installation.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 34
Server version: 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.8 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
2. The shell prompt will change to a mysql> prompt, which requires a semicolon at the end of each command. Create a user account for Newscoop to connect to the database, limiting it to connecting from the localhost if Newscoop and MySQL are to be installed on the same server. Otherwise, specify the server that Newscoop will be connecting to MySQL from. Make a note of the username (newscoop_user in the example below) and password (newscoop_user_password in the example) that you set, in a secure place. You will need these details during the Newscoop installation.
mysql> CREATE USER 'newscoop_user'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'newscoop_user_password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)

3. Grant access privileges to the user you just created. In this example, newscoop.* means all tables of a database called newscoop, which has not yet been created. You will need to provide this database name to the Newscoop installer, so that it can create the database later.

mysql> GRANT ALL ON newscoop.*
    -> TO 'newscoop_user'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) 

4. Exit from the database management system and return to the shell prompt.

mysql> quit;
Bye
$

Setting up the secure apt repository

To add the repository that contains the Newscoop software, open the sources.list file in the nano editor with:

$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list


Type your password, and the sources.list file will open. For Ubuntu Lucid LTS, scroll to the end of this document and add the following line:

deb http://apt.64studio.com/backports/ lucid-backports main

For Ubuntu Maverick, substitute maverick-backports in place of lucid-backports. For Debian Squeeze, substitute squeeze-backports in place of lucid-backports.


Press Ctrl+O to write out the sources.list file, and Ctrl-X to quit the nano editor.

You now need to update your sources. Type:

$ sudo apt-get update

You will probably see an error message about a missing public key.


To fix this, you need to install the 64studio-apt package, which contains the package signing key:

$ sudo apt-get install 64studio-apt


Update your sources again, to confirm that you are now using a trusted software repository:

$ sudo apt-get update

You should no longer see the error message about the public key.

Installing the Newscoop package

After confirming that the secure apt repository is set up, you can install the Newscoop package:

$ sudo apt-get install newscoop

This command will install all of the Newscoop components, plus any other packages that Newscoop requires in order to run.


The package installer will ask you a few questions about the kind of server you want to set up, such as the Apache configuration that you require.

Optionally, install XCache for optimum Newscoop performance:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-xcache

Configuration options for XCache are covered in the Manual installation chapter.

Finally, check that Newscoop is running. Open a web browser with the URL of the web server that you have installed, such as http://www.example.com. For a test installation accessed from the same machine, this URL might be:

http://localhost/

If you see the Newscoop installer page, and you do not wish to adjust the default XCache settings, you can now skip the chapter Manual installation and proceed to the chapter Installation steps.

Backup and upgrade

Before upgrading a running server to the latest version of Newscoop, it is strongly recommended that you back up your publication database, templates, images, file attachments and configuration files. First, log in to the administration interface (see the Getting started chapter in this manual for details). Click on Actions in the main navigation menu. At the lower end of this menu, click Backup/Restore.

On the Backup/Restore page which opens, click the Make new backup link next to the green plus sign icon.

A dialog box will ask you if you are sure you want to make the backup.

 

Click the OK button, and a pop-up window will display the progress of the backup. Once the window reports Backup saved to file: you can click the Close link to return to the Newscoop administration interface.

On the Backup/Restore page, the backup you just made should be listed, together with any previous backups.

Click on the disk icon in the Download column to save the gzipped backup tarball (with the .tar.gz file extension) from your Newscoop server to your desktop computer.

To restore a previous backup into a running Newscoop system, click the Upload backup file link, and then select the backup from your desktop computer's file system.

Command line backup

Newscoop includes two scripts that can be used for backup and restore on the command line of your server. They are found in the bin/ subdirectory of your Newscoop installation, such as /var/www/newscoop/bin/ or a similar location. Because these scripts require access to your Newscoop configuration files, they must be run as the root user (with sudo on Ubuntu).

You can create backup archives using the following command:

$ sudo /path/to/newscoop/bin/newscoop-backup [--silent] [--default-dir] [--help]

The optional arguments to the newscoop-backup command are:

The output of the command should resemble the following example:

$ sudo /var/www/newscoop/bin/newscoop-backup --default-dir

Newscoop Backup Utility
-----------------------
Backup script version: 3.5.3 "Bea"
Backing up newscoop
 * Backing up the database...done.
 * Backing up the templates...done.
 * Backing up images...done.
 * Backing up file attachments...done.
 * Backing up configuration files...done.
 * Creating tarball...done.
 * Cleaning up...done.

Backup saved to file:

  /var/www/newscoop/backup/backup-newscoop-2011-06-22-16-21-12.tar.gz

The archive file name is backup-newscoop-[date_time].tar.gz and this tarball contains the whole Newscoop instance: the database, templates, images, attached files and configuration files. You can find the size of the backup archive with the ls -lh command, for example:

$ ls -lh /var/www/newscoop/backup
total 26M
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 26M 2011-06-22 16:21 backup-newscoop-2011-06-22-16-21-12.tar.gz

To restore from a specific backup archive, use the command:

$ sudo newscoop-restore -b backup_file [-t destination_database_name] [-e] [-c charset] [-s] [-l] [-f] [-h]

The -b backup_file argument is used to provide the full or relative path to the tarball previously created by the newscoop-backup script. For example:

$ sudo /var/www/newscoop/bin/newscoop-restore -b /var/www/newscoop/backup/backup-newscoop-2011-06-22-16-21-12.tar.gz

Newscoop Restore Utility
------------------------
 * Initializing...
   * Temp directory: backup-newscoop-2011-06-22-16-21-12
   * Initialization done.
 * Extracting files into temp directory...done.
 * Backup database name is 'newscoop'.
 * Destination database name (to be replaced) is 'newscoop'.

 All files in the following directories will be deleted.
 (The backup files will be copied to these locations)
    /var/www/newscoop/templates
    /var/www/newscoop/images
    /var/www/newscoop/files
    /var/www/newscoop/templates_cache
 Are you sure you want to continue? (y/N) y
 * Removing files in /var/www/newscoop/templates...done.
 * Removing files in /var/www/newscoop/images...done.
 * Removing files in /var/www/newscoop/files...done.
 * Removing files in /var/www/newscoop/templates_cache...done.
 * Restoring templates...done.
 * Restoring images...done.
 * Restoring file attachments...done.
done.
 * Upgrading templates...done.
 * Restoring the database newscoop...done.
 * Upgrading (if necessary)...
    * Upgrading the database from version 3.5.x...done.
 * Updating plugins (if necessary)...   done.
 * Cleaning up...done.

IMPORTANT!
You must restart the apache server for the changes to take effect!

The optional arguments to the newscoop-restore script are:

The newscoop-restore script will replace all existing data with the contents of the backup archive. You must run the script from a directory that you have write access to, because this script needs to create a temporary directory. Note that your backup database and files will automatically be upgraded if they are older than the currently installed version of Newscoop.

Finally, restart Apache as suggested by the message from the newscoop-restore script.

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
 * Restarting web server apache2
 ... waiting                                                  [ OK ]

With multiple installations of Newscoop on a single server, you must run the newscoop-restore script from the installation where you want to restore the matching data. For example, you may have installed Newscoop in two locations, /var/www/newscoop1 and /var/www/newscoop2. To restore the data for the newscoop1 installation, you must run /var/www/newscoop1/bin/newscoop-restore rather than the /var/www/newscoop2/bin/newscoop-restore script.

Running the upgrade script

After you have completed the backup successfully, update your Newscoop installation using either the automated or manual methods described in the following chapters. Then run the upgrade.php script in your web browser, for example:

http://www.example.com/upgrade.php

Feature list

This list of features is provided as a guide to help you decide if Newscoop is the right content management system for your publication.

Multi-lingual content

All of the content that you create in Newscoop can be translated:

The Newscoop administration interface has been translated into the following languages (in alphabetical order):

  1. Arabic
  2. Belarusian
  3. Chinese (Simplified)
  4. Chinese (Traditional)
  5. Croatian
  6. Czech
  7. Dutch
  8. English
  9. French
  10. Georgian
  11. German
  12. Korean
  13. Polish
  14. Portuguese
  15. Romanian
  16. Russian
  17. Serbian (Cyrillic)
  18. Serbo-Croatian (Latin)
  19. Spanish
  20. Swedish

Further translations can be added using a tool built into Newscoop called the "Localizer".

Revenue generation

  1. Control access to your content via:
    • User's IP Address (for corporate accounts)
    • Login/password (for individual users)
  2. Control the content your subscribers have access to:
    • The entire issue
    • Specific sections in each issue
    • Specific sections in a particular language
  3. Support for a trial subscription period, for instant access while payment is made
  4. Set your own pay periods (the time between each payment made by a subscriber)
  5. Geolocation and mapping features, enabling location-based services

Editorial features

  1. Online WYSIWYG editor for article editing:
    • Typical style formatting: bold, italic, etc.
    • Special support for linking to existing (internal) articles
    • Ability to split articles into multiple pages
    • Insert images into your articles
    • Copy & Paste clean text from Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org (while preserving bold and italics)
    • Insert subtitles, which can be used for breaking up the article (pagination)
  2. Built with multiple simultaneous users in mind
    • While a journalist is editing an article, it is "locked". A warning will be displayed if anyone else tries to edit the article at the same time. This prevents one journalist from deleting the work of another
  3. Group articles into sections
  4. Group sections into an issue
  5. Release an issue all at once
  6. Allow subscribers to access only certain issues
  7. Scheduled Publishing: automatically publish articles or issues at some time in the future. For articles, you can schedule the following actions:
    • publish
    • unpublish
    • show the article on the front page
    • remove the article from front page
    • show the article on the section page
    • remove the article from the section page
  8. Topics: Categorize your content
    • Define however many topics you like
    • Associate any number of topics to an article
    • Topic can have subtopics, subtopics can have sub-subtopics, etc.
    • Topics can be translated
  9. Dynamic, Flexible Article Types
    • "Article Types" allow you to define your own article format - you aren't limited to just "Introduction" and "Body" fields, for instance. An Article Type consists of a series of data fields
    • You can define any number and combination of the following field types:
      • date field
      • single-line text field
      • multiple-line text field with WYSIWYG editor
      • drop-down selection containing a list of topics
    • Reorder how the fields are displayed in the admin interface
    • Hide fields that are no longer in use
    • Translate the field names
    • Change the data type for a field
  10. Image Manager
    • View/search all of the images in the system
    • Edit image metadata
    • Scale images any way you want on the fly. Scaled versions are cached
  11. File Attachments
    • Attach files to articles
    • Files can have descriptions
    • You can specify whether the file should be displayed in the browser or popup a download window
  12. Comments
    • Readers can make comments to articles
    • Comments can be linked to a forum
    • Flexible implementation: allow anyone to comment, just subscribers, logged in
    • Comments can be moderated
    • Built-in CAPTCHA for spam prevention
  13. Works with SSL on both the front-end and back-end

Site Design

Newscoop has its own template language specifically made for online newspapers and magazines. It allows you to customize your site however you want.

Administration

  1. Fine-grained access control, you can create different user types such as:
    • journalists
    • editors
    • photographers
    • photo editors
    • subscriber managers
    • site administrators
  2. Multiple author support with contact information, biographies and article tracking
  3. All administration actions are logged
  4. Security
    • Login page secured against automated scripting attacks with a CAPTCHA
    • Login password is encrypted when sent to the server
  5. Backup
    • Command-line "backup" and "restore" scripts make it easy to backup your entire site and restore it with one command
    • You can also easily transfer your site from one server to another using these scripts
  6. Automated Feedback and Bug Reporting
    • If something goes wrong in the administration interface, a special screen will appear which allows you to submit the problem back to the Newscoop team
    • You can also submit feedback directly in the administration interface, such as suggestions or feature requests

Developers

Full commercial support

Getting started

Newscoop enables you to host multiple, multi-lingual publications on the same web server. The process of setting up a new on-line publication with Newscoop can be divided into three steps:

  1. Configuring the publication, and specifying the templates to be used
  2. Establishing the structure of your publication, with issues and sections
  3. Adding content, managing content, and publishing it

This part of the Newscoop manual is aimed at editors and journalists working their way through these three steps. It assumes that the web server you will use is already up and running with Newscoop, and that templates have been designed for your publication. If you chose to install the sample templates when following the Installation Steps chapter, you can use these templates to learn about Newscoop in advance of having your own templates designed. 

If you are a system administrator setting up a Newscoop server for production use, you should also read the administration chapters, later in this manual, before you begin work on the server. 

If you do not yet have your own Newscoop server running, you can follow the steps in this manual using the Newscoop demonstration server and sample templates provided by Sourcefabric.


Logging in

The first step begins with logging in to the administration interface of your Newscoop server. This is a special interface which is only available to the staff of your publication. Readers who subscribe to your online publication will log in using the home page of your website instead.

By default, the URL you should enter into your web browser for the administration interface is the name of your website, followed by 'admin'. For example:

http://www.example.com/admin/

If you installed Newscoop yourself, you would have set a password for the 'admin' user during the installation steps. If not, your system administrator should already have provided you with a login account name and password. Below the Account name and Password fields, click the drop-down menu to select an interface language other than the default of English, if you wish. Then click the Login button.


Alternatively, the administration interface of the Newscoop demonstration server can be found at:

http://newscoop-demo.sourcefabric.org/admin/

Please remember that the demonstration server is a public site, so don't enter any private information there. A variety of guest login accounts are set up on this system, and the passwords for these accounts are shown on the login page.

The Dashboard

After logging into the administration interface for the first time, you'll see a page which Newscoop calls the Dashboard. This an area into which you can add widgets for the administration functions that you use most often. In this way, you can customize the administration interface to suit your needs. Click the Add more widgets link to open a page where you can select from more than a dozen potential widgets.

 

On the Widgets page, click the Add to dashboard link for each widget that you would like to start with. You can refine your choice of widgets later, as you get to know the Newscoop administration interface and its functions.

 

After all the widgets that you require have been added to the Dashboard, they change from black to green text to show that they are active. Click the Go to dashboard link to return to the Dashboard page.

 

Each widget has three small blue icons in the upper right corner. From left to right, these icons maximize the widget to the full width of your browser window, provide general information about the widget, or close it. When a widget is maximized, clicking the close icon returns the widget to normal size.

 

Some widgets have a blue spanner icon in the upper right corner, which enables you to adjust a setting for that particular widget. For example, the Map search widget enables setting of the default map location using the spanner icon.


How permissions change the interface

The appearance of the Newscoop administration interface changes, depending on the permissions that a particular staff member has. Each user sees only the options that he or she has the authority to use. A typical staff user (a section editor or journalist) will only see some of the options available to a fully authorized administrator (such as the publisher, or senior manager).

When you log into the Newscoop administration interface, across the top of the page you will see the main navigation menu, containing the options available to you. Here is how two typical users would see the main menu differently. Firstly, here's how the Actions sub-menu looks when an administrator is logged in:

And this is how the same Actions sub-menu looks when a journalist is logged in:

Main menu

The main Newscoop menu contains a link to the Dashboard page and up to five sub-menus, depending on the permissions of the user who is logged in. These sub-menus are Content, Actions, Configure, Users, and Plugins. The menus shown below are for an administrator user, who has access to all sub-menu options.

Content

Here you can find the Publications on the server, reader Comments, the Media Archive, and the Search page for all of the articles in the Newscoop database. For each available publication, there are quick links to the latest three issues, and a full list of sections within each issue. In the screen shot below, a sample publication called 'the Custodian' has been set up, with two issues in both English and Spanish.

Actions

This menu provides quick access to the most commonly used functions, including 'Add new article' and 'Change your password'.

Configure

Here you can configure the System Preferences for your publication, and a number of other functions. Templates are the files which determine how Newscoop displays content to readers and subscribers. Article Types describe the format of your articles, while Topics allow you to categorize your articles. The Languages option specifies the languages that journalists have to choose from when creating articles. Countries enables you to specify the name of a country in the local language for each territory. The Localizer allows you to translate the administration interface. Clicking Logs will show you the recent activity of all staff users, including the IP address that they have logged in from.

Users

Here you can add and edit Staff users, and manage Subscribers. You can also define Staff User Types, or Synchronize Newscoop and Phorum users, integrating this web forum system with your publication's site. The Manage Authors page enables you to maintain contact and biography information for each of your publication's contributors, as well as track the articles that they have worked on.

Plugins

This sub-menu provides access to additional functionality for Newscoop, including Blogs, Interviews and Polls plugins.

Help and Logout

Up in the top right corner of the administration interface are two additional links, to the right of the full name associated with your login account. Help links you to the on-line version of this manual, via the Sourcefabric website. Logout ends your session and returns you to the administration login page.

Creating a publication

Newscoop content is organized in a hierarchical structure, which conforms to the tradition of newspapers and magazines: Publications, Issues, Sections and Articles. Each publication is made up of issues; each issue is in turn made up of sections, which are comprised of articles. A 'breadcrumb trail' of links is present on every screen, which enables quick navigation between different levels of the publishing hierarchy.

For example, after creating a publication named the "The Custodian", by clicking on "The Custodian" in Newscoop's list of publications, you enter the list of issues for that newspaper. By clicking the name or number of a particular issue, you enter its list of sections. By clicking the name of a section you enter the article list. By clicking the article title in that list, you can edit the article.

To create a new publication, click Content on the main navigation menu, and then click 'Publications' from the sub-menu. On the Publication List page that appears, click on 'Add new publication'.

If your login account does not have administrator rights, you will not be able to see the 'Add new publication' option. You may need to ask your system administrator to enhance your access rights. Bear in mind, however, that a good administrator would be reluctant to hand over those rights to more than a handful of people. If you are not among those select few, your Publications List will only contain the publications already hosted on your Newscoop server.

The Add new publication window has three sections; General attributes and Comments on the left, and Subscription defaults on the right. There's a Save button beneath these sections.

The fields in the General attributes section are:

The fields in the Comments section are:

Subscription Defaults

The rest of the fields are related to subscriptions, which you can adjust later if you wish. First, you have to select a time unit for your subscriptions; which could be days, months, weeks or years.

You can set two types of subscriptions: paid and trial. Paid subscriptions have the following properties:

After clicking the Save button, Newscoop will confirm that the new publication has been created.

On the right hand side under the Subscription defaults fields, there will now be a link Set subscription settings by country which will enable you specify different default time periods for individual countries.

 

This link opens the Subscription Settings by Country page, which has a link Set subscription settings for a country.

If you follow this link, it opens a page with a drop-down menu for selecting the country in question, plus fields for the default trial and paid subscription lengths. Clicking the Save button returns you to the "Subscription Settings by Country" page, which should now show the setting you have just made.

Creating an issue

Once you have successfully created your publication, click on its name in the Publication List (e.g. "The Prague Times"). This will lead you to the Issue List, which will be empty to begin with.

Click on the 'Add new issue' link. If you are creating the very first issue, you will see a page with fields for basic information which you will need to enter.

The Name is the name of the issue in the particular Language you specify in the drop-down box underneath. The Number is a unique identifier for this issue. If this is the first issue you've ever published, then number "1" would be appropriate. The issue number cannot be changed once it is specified.

If you are planning to add older issues of your publication at a later stage to the same Newscoop server, you may consider continuing the series. For example, if you just published issue 154 of the "The Prague Times" before moving to Newscoop, you should assign number 155 to the first issue you are creating with Newscoop.

The URL Name field is only useful if you specified the "URL type: short names" option when you created your publication. This name will show up in the reader's browser address bar. For example, if you enter "2011_1" here, the address for the issue might look like this:

http://www.example.com/2011_1

Clicking the Save button takes you to the Change issue details page, where various options for the issue are set. On the left hand side, there are settings for the default templates for the front page, sections and articles. If you do not have your own templates yet, you can select templates from the 'classic' demonstration set that are provided with Newscoop. Reader polls can also be set up and edited on this side of the page.

On the right hand side of the Change issue details page are boxes which enable you to set the publishing schedule for the issue. An issue can be set to be published at a specific date and time, and unpublished at another date and time.

Copying a previous issue

If this is not the first issue you've created, you will see a different page after clicking the Add new issue link in the Issue List:

"Use the structure of the previous issue" will be the usual option to choose once you are ready to publish additional issues, because it automatically creates a new issue with the same sections as the preceding one. Clicking this option opens a page which enables you to specify the new issue number.

The sections of the new issue will be empty, so that you can begin to add articles. Before that, the first step is to set the name of the new issue, because this field is not automatically updated: it will start out with the same name as the last issue. After changing the Name and URL Name fields, click the Save button to update the new issue.

The previous templates are not copied to the new issue automatically, so the new issue must be linked to at least a template for the front page.

Creating a section

By clicking on the name of an issue in the Issue List, you will enter the Section List. At first, a new issue will have no sections.

If you click on the 'Add new section' link, you will see the corresponding page appear. Here you must specify the Name, section Number, and URL name for the new section. While you can change the name of the section later, the section Number is set at the time when the new section is added. The URL name will be part of the URL for the new section, if you set the "short names" option when you created the publication.

The section Description is optional. This field is useful for displaying content that doesn't change very often. The information in this field will only be displayed on your site if the template you are using supports it. If you would like to make the new section available to all existing subscribers, you should check the box for this option. Then click the Save button.

Your next step is to set the templates for the new section on the Configure Section page.

Here, you may wish to select custom templates for this new section and its articles from the drop-down menus. If you don't have custom templates for specific sections, you can use general section and article templates instead. Then click the Save button to confirm your choice.

Creating an article

The Article List for a particular section can be found by clicking on Content in the main Newscoop navigation menu, and following the hierarchy of Publications, Issues and Sections. Alternatively, use the 'breadcrumb trail' of links just below the main navigation menu. You can create a new article by clicking the "Add new article" link at the top of the Article List.

The "Add new article" page contains three fields for entering basic information about the article you will create.

When you click the 'Save' button, you will be taken to the Edit Article page.

Editing an article

The appearance of the Edit article page depends on the article type you are working on. Below, the default "News Article" type is shown. At the top right are the Edit and View buttons, the Save All and Save and Close buttons, and the Actions, Status and Language drop-down menus.

Edit, View and Save buttons

There may be times when you want to view articles rather than edit them. In this case, clicking the View button speeds up the page display process. It also enables you to view an article when it is locked by another user on the server. Once the article is published, there will also be a Go to live article button here.

Save All saves the fields in the edit area without closing the page, whereas Save and Close both saves the page and closes it, unlocking the page for other authorized users to edit further.

Actions menu

The Actions menu contains short-cuts to commonly used functions:

Status menu

The status drop-down menu indicates the copy flow state of the article. There are four states that the article can be in:

Language menu

If multiple languages have been configured for the publication, a drop-down menu will enable fast switching between translated versions of the article. If not, the language of the article will be displayed here.

The editing area

To the left of the Actions and Status drop-down menus is the editing area for the article.

The "News article" type has the following fields in the editing area:

Comments

Beneath the editing area, there's a box in which you can set reader comments on the article to be enabled, if you wish. Your templates must be designed to allow this feature. The radio buttons can have one of three values: Enabled, Disabled, or Locked. "Locked" means that no one can post comments, but any existing comments are still shown. Click the blue Comments link to minimize the box, saving space in your browser window.

 

Individual comments can be Approved for publication, Deleted or Hidden, using the radio buttons immediately above. Beneath the displayed comments is a form which staff members of your publication can use to add a comment of their own, perhaps in reply to a reader question.

The sidebar

On the right side of the editing area is a vertical bar containing further options for the new article, in a series of boxes. Like the Comments box, all of the boxes in the sidebar can be minimized by clicking on the blue link in the box name.

Publish Schedule

Schedule the article to be published or unpublished at a certain date and time. Click the Add Event button to open a window with a calendar and publishing options, such as showing the article on its section page, or the publication's homepage.

 

Locations

Clicking the Edit button in the Locations box opens a pop-up window which enables you to set a geolocation (map reference) for the article.


Keywords & Topics

After clicking the Save and Close button, the Topics you have selected are displayed in the box in the sidebar.

Switches

Info

Media

The Media box has two tabs, Images and Attachments.

Polls

 

The Polls box enables you to add a specific reader voting poll to a specific article. Clicking the Attach button opens a pop-up window in which you can select the poll that you require. You can also create a new poll there.

Other article types may contain different fields. Whenever you edit any of the fields, you will need to click either the Save All button at the top of the edit area, or any of the Save buttons in individual boxes.

Note that date fields have a fixed syntax of YYYY-MM-DD (four year digits, two month digits and two day digits, in that order). If you enter dates in any other format, you may get incorrect results.

Using the TinyMCE editor

The body field editor in Newscoop (a program called 'TinyMCE') allows contributors to perform extensive article formatting from within a web browser. You may be familiar with most of the functions of TinyMCE from using word processors such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org: functions such as bold, italic, underline, and text alignment. Move your mouse over the icons to see a tooltip explaining what they do. Standard formatting keyboard shortcuts also work (e.g. ctrl+b for bold, ctrl+i for italic).

The editor field you see on your own Newscoop installation may look different than the one pictured above, depending on the extent of your user rights. Typically, the editor you'll see is the one that contains all the functionality you need for your site, but if you feel something vital is missing, discuss it with your Newscoop system administrator.

There are two Newscoop-specific features in the editor. The first is Insert/edit internal link, which allows you to include links to articles within the same Newscoop publication, or within another publication on the same Newscoop server.

Clicking this icon opens a pop-up window with drop-down menus enabling you to select a specific language version of a publication, issue, section and article to link to.

After you click the Insert button, the internally linked text will be shown in blue and underlined, like a web link.

The second Newscoop-specific feature is Newscoop Subhead, which allows you to break your text into different pages. (Your templates must be configured to use this option).

Enter the text for the subhead into the editing window, select it with the mouse, then click the Newscoop Subhead icon. The subhead text will now be shown with a dashed outline.

Managing content

The "Article List" page is displayed when you enter a particular section via the Content menu, by following the hierarchy of publications, issues and sections. Alternatively, use the breadcrumb trail to jump to the section that you're interested in, and then click the "Go to Articles" link.

To edit a specific article, simply click on its Name, and you will be taken to the "Edit Article" page. A locked article is one that is being edited at that moment, as shown in the list by a padlock icon to the left of its name. Articles being edited by other users on the Newscoop system also have a pink background in the list.


To find out who is editing an article and when it was locked, click on the article Name in the list. A page will open with the name of the editor, and buttons offering the options of unlocking or viewing that particular article. Using the View option means that you will not be able to overwrite another contributor's work while it is still in progress.

 

Multiple actions

The Article List allows you to perform other actions besides editing the article, and you can perform these actions on multiple articles at once. To perform an action on one or more articles, click the checkbox to the left of the article name. The articles you have selected will be highlighted with a light blue background.

Now that you have selected the articles, go to the "Actions..." drop-down menu at the top of the list, and select the action you would like to perform:

For example, if you select "Toggle: 'On Front Page'", Newscoop will publish the selected articles on the front page of your publication. A small green pop-up window will confirm that the action has been processed. Some actions will take you to another page, because they require further input from you. These actions requiring additional  input include Publish schedule, Duplicate to another section, and Move.

The article list also allows you to rearrange articles as they appear on your section page, if your template supports this feature. To move an article's position in the list, simply click anywhere in it's row, hold the mouse button down, and drag the row to the position that you require. The new arrangement of the articles is not finalized until you click the Save order button underneath the Article List.

On the right hand side of the Article List are additional columns which relate to other functions, such as the number of Comments posted on the article, or the number of Reads it has had. In the upper right corner of the list is a Show / hide columns button which enables you to select the columns that you wish to view.

To re-order the articles by Name, the number of Comments or Reads, or the Publish Date, click on the appropriate column heading. Column headings that enable sorting have a double chevron icon. After you click the Save Order button, the order of the articles on the relevant section page will be updated. For example, you could identify the article which had the most reads in a particular section, and move it to the top of its section page.

Search

Newscoop includes another tool which provides an overview of content across all publications on the server. The Search feature is accessed via an entry on the Content menu, and has an interface somewhat like an Internet search engine. You can filter the search options according to a specific publication, issue or section. You can also filter by a number of other criteria, such as the author or publication date of the article.

Media Archive

Also found on the Content menu, the Media Archive page provides an overview of all non-text content in your publication's database. It has two tabs; one for Images, and one for other Files, such as audio or video files. New content can be uploaded directly to the Media Archive using the Add new image or Add new file link next to the green plus sign icon on the respective tab.

 

The main difference between the two tabs is that images are opened in the reader's web browser by default, whereas other files can be set to be either opened in the browser or downloaded by the reader instead. For this reason, it's also possible to upload images into the Files tab, if you wish to have the option to set them for download.

Import XML

On the Actions menu there is an entry Import XML which enables you to import formatted content from other publishing systems, such as Adobe InDesign or WordPress.

The XML tags that you use in the export must match those used by Newscoop. For example, to match the default Article Type news_article you could use the following fields:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>

<articles>

  <article>

    <name>Gigantoraptor Discovered in Mongolia</name>

    <keywords>Gigantoraptor, Dinosaur, Mongolia</keywords>

    <author>Sarah Staffwriter</author>

    <deck>Newly discovered dinosaur roamed the desert 80 million years ago</deck>

    <lead_and_sms>Imagine an ostrich that tipped the scales at 3800 kilograms, standing twice as tall as a human, with a solid tail and massive body, plus long, feathered arms with sharp claws, and a turtle-like beak.</lead_and_sms>

    <body>The huge size of Gigantoraptor is a surprise because it is a member of the oviraptorids, a group of flightless feathered dinosaurs closely related to birds, which mostly weighed less than 80 kilograms. Known since the 1920s, oviraptorids were toothless and probably omnivorous. "Gigantoraptor would be a strange animal in any environment," says Tom Holtz of the University of Maryland in College Park.

The partial fossil skeleton was found in Inner Mongolia and is from a young adult about 8 metres long. Many of Gigantoraptor's features are unique, suggesting dinosaurs were more diverse than has been recognised, says lead author Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Bejing (Nature, vol 447, p 844). Its combination of slender limbs and long lower legs may have made it the fastest runner among large two-legged dinosaurs, he says.</body>

  </article>

</articles>

Multiple <article> tags can be enclosed by the top-level <articles> tag, so that you can import a large number of articles from a single XML file.

Once you have an appropriately formatted XML file exported from the other system, use the Import XML page to upload it. You will need to set the Article Type and Language that you wish to import, and also if you wish to Overwrite existing articles with the same names.

The newly imported articles will be displayed in the Pending widget on the Dashboard. You can click on the article names for further editing, as usual.

 

If there is a mismatch between the tags in the XML file you have tried to import, and the fields in the Article Type that you have attempted to import to, Newscoop will list the empty fields and the problematic tags. You can then re-export the XML file from the other application with the correct tags.

Should the XML file be incorrectly formatted altogether, Newscoop will refuse to import it.

Publishing articles

As mentioned previously, an article in Newscoop can have one of four different states: New, Submitted, Published, or Publish with issue. When you create an article, the Status: drop-down menu at the top of the editing area is set to New by default. Once your article copy has been drafted and is ready for the editors to see, click on this drop-down menu and change the Status: to Submitted.


After changing the status to Submitted, the page will be reloaded, and a pop-up message will indicate that the change in status of the article has been saved. The editors will be able to see the fresh submission when they log in to Newscoop. Articles which are ready for editing are listed in the Submitted Articles view on the administrator Dashboard.


In addition, if their user accounts have been configured for notifications, an email will be sent to the editors to inform them about the new submission.

Once the editors have made any required changes and are happy with the way the article reads and appears, they can publish the article by changing the drop-down Status: menu to Publish with issue. Again, the page will be reloaded, and a message will indicate that the article's status has changed.


When an article status is set to Publish with issue it becomes visible on your public web site, as soon as the issue it belongs to is published. This feature enables co-ordinated publishing of complementary articles when a complete issue is ready for the public. You can check the publication status of a particular issue in the Issue List. If the issue in question has already been published, then new articles can be seen by the public immediately after their status is changed to Publish.

The process is fully reversible, so you can unpublish articles on your site (or even change their status to New) as easily as you can publish them. Note that only authorized users are allowed to publish articles, so you will not be able to access this option if your system administrator has not granted you this permission.

Scheduled Articles

You also have the option to publish (or unpublish) an article at a specific date and time in the future. You can do this from the Edit article page, using the Add Event button in the Publish Schedule box.


After clicking on Add Event, a pop-up window will appear with a calendar and a series of three possible actions for the date and time that you choose: Publish/Unpublish, Show on front page/Remove from front page, and Show on section page/Remove from section page.


Choose the date by clicking on the calendar, or enter a date code manually. Then enter the time for the event, and choose one or more actions to perform at the time you have chosen. After you click the Save button, the pop-up window will close, and the event will appear in the Publish Schedule box.


Once the event is created, the actions will be performed automatically for you on the date and at the time you specified. After the event time, the Status drop-down menu will change to Published, and the event will no longer be shown in the Publish Schedule box.

Publishing an issue

You can draft and edit articles for a particular issue on your Campsite server without any of the material being available to the public. You can then publish an entire issue all at once, and there are two ways to do it: immediately, or by scheduling the issue to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Note that within an issue, you can publish or unpublish each article individually; for instance, to hide an article even if the issue it belongs to has already been published.

Publishing immediately

To publish an issue straight away, click the Publish link for the relevant issue and language edition in the Publish Date column of the Issue List.


A pop-up dialog will ask you to confirm that you want to publish the issue in question, because this action implies that any articles which are part of the named issue will become available to the public instantly.


After clicking the OK button, the issue will be published, and the Issue List will be updated with the publication date and time of that particular issue.


To reverse the process, click the Unpublish link. Again, a pop-up dialog will ask if you are sure you want to change the issue's status.

Scheduled publishing

To schedule an issue to be published automatically at a specific date and time in the future, click on the Schedule link for the issue and language edition you require in the Publish Date column of the Issue List. This will open the Change issue details page, where you can set the date and time for this particular issue to be published. Over on the right hand side of the page are the Issue Publishing Schedule and Schedule a new action boxes.


Click the small calendar icon to the right of the Date: field to select a specific day for publication. Set the time you require, and select either Publish or Unpublish from the drop-down Action menu. Then click the Save button. The Issue Publishing Schedule box will update to display the newly scheduled action.


Note that you can also set the issue to be unpublished at a specific date and time in the future as well. This event will be displayed in the Issue Publishing Schedule box.


To cancel a scheduled action, click the corresponding white cross in a red box icon in the Delete column. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.


If you click on the Date/Time link for a future event, the Issue Publishing Schedule page will open, and you will be able to edit the event. Click the Save button to confirm the schedule change.


Article comments

Reader comments can be switched on and off for a whole publication, for a particular article type, or for each individual article. You can also take advantage of Newscoop's management features to moderate (or bypass moderation for) comments from subscribers, or members of the general public.

Comment settings in the Publication List

To set the default comment setting at the publication level, go to Content on the main navigation menu, and then click Publications. In the Comments enabled column of the Publication List page which appears, publications in which readers can post comments are shown with a green light icon. Click on the Configure icon for the publication you wish to enable or disable comments for.


This action opens the Configure publication page. In the Comments section, there is a checkbox labeled Comments enabled? and a variety of options which enable you to fine-tune comment settings.


Comment settings for article types

Perhaps you want to enable comments for all articles of a particular type, for example review_article, but not enable them for another type, such as news_article. Click Configure in the main navigation menu, and then click Article Types from the submenu. On the Article Types page which appears, clicking the red or green light icon in the Comments enabled? column toggles the setting for each article type.


After you click on a green light icon, you will be asked if you are sure you want to deactivate comments for that article type.


Comment settings for individual articles

Comments can be enabled or disabled for a number of individual articles at once, using the Article List page. Click Content on the main navigation menu, then use the submenus to navigate to the publication, issue and section that you require. In the Article List page that appears, use the checkboxes in the left side column to select the articles you want to enable or disable comments for. Then use the drop-down Actions menu and click on Toggle: 'Comments'.

If the publication or article type that the articles belong to have comments disabled, then enabling comments for those individual articles will have no effect.

Moderating comments

To prevent spam or defamatory posts from appearing in your online publication, it's often necessary to moderate comments from readers before they are published. A CAPTCHA can prevent some automated spam, but it cannot prevent spam being entered into your publication's comment form manually.


If you have configured your publication so that subscriber or public comments are moderated, the reader will see a message indicating that their comment has been sent for approval before it will be published - or not, as the case may be.


The list of reader comments can be found by clicking Content, then Comments, on the main navigation menu. On the left hand side of the Comments page are two tabs; one for New comments, and one for Published comments. The New tab is the default, and beneath this any new comments are listed. The default list length is 20 comments per page. There is a Search field to help you find a specific set of comments, perhaps on a topical subject. Search results can be sorted by Date posted, Article name, Author or Thread, using the drop-down menu to the right of the Search field. The sort direction can be changed by clicking on the blue arrow icon next to the drop-down menu.


On the right-hand side of the Comments page is an area displaying the text and metadata of the current comment under review, as indicated by the small yellow arrow icon in the comment list.


A row of radio buttons above the comment text enable you to update the New comment's status to Approved, or Delete if it is spam. Alternatively, the comment can be Hidden, or click Ban user to the user that made the comment banned from commenting on the publication in future. Clicking the Show article link, next to the magnifying glass icon, enables you to see the comment in the context of the original article. You can also click on the Article name link to open the Edit article page for that particular story.

System preferences

The System Preferences page is accessed via Configure in the main Newscoop navigation menu.


This page allows you to control some advanced aspects of your Newscoop server, so it is recommended that access is reserved for administrators only.

General Settings

The first section of the System Preferences page is for General Settings.


Here is what each of the options means:

Editor Settings

The second section of the page is for Editor Settings, which refer to image handling.


The fields in this section enable you to specify the default resize ratio, or default width and height, for images in articles. If the Zoom enabled for images in article content? radio button is set to Yes, readers can enlarge article images in your publication's pages by clicking on them.

External subscription management

The third section down is related to external subscription management software.


If you select the Yes radio button for the Reader subscriptions managed externally? option, the subscription management features in the Newscoop administration interface are hidden. The subscription data is still held in the Newscoop database, which your systems administrator will have connected to your third-party subscription management software.

Database replication server

The fourth section enables you to set up Newscoop to operate on two servers at once, which is a safety feature in case of hardware or network problems.


Selecting the Yes radio button for the option Setting up a Newscoop Replication Server? displays four fields:

Using an Airtime media library

The fifth section enables you to attach media located in an Airtime storage server to articles in your Newscoop publication. Once you've installed and configured Airtime, create a user in the Airtime administration interface and add it to the Admins group. Back in the Newscoop System Preferences page, select the Yes radio button for the option Enable Airtime audio attachments?


Below, you should enter the host name or IP address of the Airtime server. The values of the fields Port, XML RPC Path and XML RPC File should already be filled in with the default values. You don't need to edit these default values, unless you have a custom Airtime configuration.

The last step is to give certain users the right to attach audio files to articles. You can edit a Staff User Type to enable this, so that all users of this type will receive the right automatically. Alternatively, you can enable this right for individual staff user accounts.

Templates filter mask

Enter keywords for templates that you wish to hide on the Configure -> Templates page. For example, templates that are no longer in use, but you do not wish to delete from the server

 

Cron tasks

Run cron tasks externally? means to use the server's own scheduler for automated tasks, rather than the one included in Newscoop.

 

Geolocation settings

This section enables you to specify how maps linked to articles will be displayed, and which Internet mapping service will provide the data.

 

Video settings

The default width and height of both externally and locally hosted video files can be set in this section, to make sure that the videos are displayed correctly in your publication's page templates.

 

Finally, the Save button updates your preferences.

Templates

Templates control the look and feel of your Newscoop publication. Each publication has a unique set of templates created by your web developer, which should have already been installed by your system administrator. The Newscoop administration interface includes a template management and editing tool, which you can find by clicking Configure on the main navigation menu, then Templates.


Templates are organized into folders, shown in a box on the left hand side of the page.


Clicking on the name of a folder shows the files included in that template.


In turn, clicking on a file name opens that file in the template editor. This feature enables web developers to make quick changes to templates on a running Newscoop system.


You should only make changes to the templates if you know what you are doing, because any modifications will have an immediate impact on the appearance of your publication. This feature is also useful for editing templates on a development server before they are copied to the publication's production server.

Article types

Article Types specify the information that Newscoop will require from the journalists adding a particular kind of article to your publication. For example, a feature story is likely to require more elements than a brief news item. By default, Newscoop has one Article Type set up, which is News Article, but you can create as many as you need. To create or manage your Article Types, select Configure, then Article Types from the main navigation menu.

 

This action opens the Article Types page. Article Types consist of a sequence of fields, with each field holding a certain kind of data. Currently, there are six kinds of fields available:

Newscoop makes a distinction between the Template Name and Display Name for each Article Type and field. The Template Name is limited to letters, numbers, and underscores (no spaces) and is used internally by your Newscoop template. The Display Name is the part that the journalist will see, and can be translated into other languages.

Adding a new Article Type

Click the Add new article type link at the top left of the Article Types page.


The Add new article type page will appear. The first step is to enter the Template Type Name of the Article Type you wish to create. In this example, we'll create an Article Type with the template type name review_article - note that it has an underscore, instead of a space, between the words review and article.


After you click the Save button, you will be prompted to enter the Template Field Name of the first field in the new Article Type. Select one of the six field Types available from the drop-down menu, for example Topic. For this particular field type, we'll also have to select a top level element, such as Entertainment / Review.


If you add a Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG field, you have the option to mark the field as content, using a checkbox. This means that each time this particular field is served by Newscoop, it counts as a page read for statistical purposes.


After clicking the Save button, the Article type fields page is shown. The Article Type that you are currently working on is shown in the breadcrumb trail beneath the main navigation menu.


Click on the Show display names link to add a Display Name for this new field. Select the language you require from the Add translation drop-down menu, and enter the display name for the new field in this language. Then click the blue Translate button.


The Article type fields page will now show the Display Name for the field, together with a language code (in brackets) to indicate its translation. Note that the Display Name can contain spaces, or be capitalized differently from the Template Field Name.


Continue to add new fields to this Article Type, until you have all that you need. Then click the link Back to Article Types List, next to the blue arrowhead icon. This action will return you to the Article Types page.

Editing Article Types

You can add translated Display Names for your new Article Type after clicking on the Show display names link in the Article Types List.


Article Types are not set in stone; they can evolve as your publication evolves. For example, you can hide old Article Types that are no longer in use. Toggle whether a type is shown by clicking on the colored light icon in the Show/Hide column - green for shown, red for hidden. A pop-up dialog will ask you if you are sure about this action.


Hiding a type is less dangerous than deleting it; the latter action will remove the associated content from the server. The delete button is a white cross in a red square icon, over on the right side of the page. Use this button with caution!


As usual when carrying out an action that will have an impact on your publication, Newscoop will ask you if you are sure.


In the Article Types List there is also a Comments enabled? column, which toggles readers comments on and off for a specific Article Type. For example, you might wish to disable reader comments for all entertainment reviews, but leave them enabled for news articles.

Article types can be renamed, simply by clicking on the Template Type Name in the Article Types page. Remember that if you change a Template Type Name, you cannot put spaces into it.


Editing Article Type Fields

On the Article Type Fields page, fields can be renamed, given Display Names, hidden or deleted, just like Article Types. When you have more than one Article Type field, you can re-arrange the order in which the fields show up on the Edit article page by clicking the blue up and down arrows.


To change a field type, for example, from Single-line Text to Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG, click on the corresponding link for that row in the Type column. The Reassign a field type page will open, on which you can select the new type from a drop-down menu. Then click the Save button to return to the Article type fields page.


After editing article type fields, you could create a new article to test that the updated fields are displayed as expected.


Merging Article Types

Newscoop enables you to merge two different Article Types so that content in fields from one type (the Source Article Type) is migrated to another (the Destination Article Type). This is a useful process to go through after adding or editing an Article Type, so that all previously written copy matches the new Article Type fields.

On the Article Types page, click the Merge types link. This opens the Merge article type page. Select the source and destination Article Types you wish to merge from the drop-down menus.


Next, choose the fields of the source which you'd like to merge into fields of the destination. Note that you cannot merge a larger source field, such as 'Multi-line Text with WYSIWYG', into a smaller destination field, such as 'Single-line Text'. If this merge was allowed, then content from the larger field could be lost.


The next screen displays the result of the potential merge. Any source fields which have not been mapped to destination fields are shown in a red font. You may need to create additional fields in the destination Article Type before attempting the merge again.

You can cycle through all the articles which will be merged, and preview the changes. Optionally, check the box to Delete the source article type. When you're ready, click the Merge button.


If there are no articles left belonging to the Source Article Type, Newscoop will display a warning message at the first step of the proposed merge.


Topics

In Newscoop, topics are the subject matters assigned by editors and journalists to articles, so that related articles can be identified and displayed together. A topic can have many subtopics; for example: the sports topic could have the subtopics football, basketball, and water polo. An individual article may have several topics or subtopics assigned to it.

To review or create topics, click Configure on the main navigation menu, then click Topics from the sub-menu.


To add a new top-level topic, select a language from the drop-down menu and enter a word in the Add root topic field. Then click the Add button.


To rename a topic, click the Edit link to the right of the topic or subtopic name. The name row will expand to show the Change topic name field. Update the name, and then click the Save button.


You can translate topic names so that they appear in the correct language when an author is editing an article. To translate a topic, click the Edit link to display the Add Translation field for that topic name. Select the language you are translating into from the drop-down menu, enter the translation of the topic name, and then click the Translate button.


If you translate a subtopic and its parent has not yet been translated, the parent topic will appear in its original language until you translate it.

To add a subtopic, click the Edit link next to the topic you want to put the subtopic under. Enter a word or two into the Add Subtopic field, then click the Add button.


The new subtopic will appear underneath its parent topic.


You can delete a specific topic or subtopic using the blue cross icon, on the right hand side of its row. If you attempt to delete a topic currently in use by an article, Newscoop will warn you about this.


Languages

While Newscoop's default language is English, you are by no means limited to publishing in that language only. Click Configure on the main navigation menu, then Languages from the submenu, to see the languages currently available on the system.


The Language page enables you to configure support for languages that you wish to publish in. The Code column refers to the two-letter ISO 639-1 code name for each language. English, for example, is en, German is de, Spanish is es, Russian is ru, and so on.


Click on a name in the Language column to open a page for that language, which enables you to adjust month, day and time name translations. This feature ensures that automatically generated publication dates and times for an article in a particular language are displayed correctly to your international readers.


To add another language, click on the Add new language link, next to the green cross icon. You should enter the language name (both in your own language, and the Native name in the language itself), and its two-letter ISO code (e.g. cy for Welsh).


After entering translations in all the fields, click the Save button at the end of the page. The new language will now be shown on the Languages page.


You may wish to limit the number of languages configured on your server, in order to spare your editors and journalists from having to navigate long drop-down language menus. To remove a language, click the white cross in a red square icon at the end of each row in the list. You will be asked if you are sure about this action.


Countries

This page determines how country lists will appear in forms that readers fill in, for example when signing up for an email newsletter. It also enables you to create country lists in different languages. To see the list of country names in the default language, click Configure on the main navigation menu, then Countries on the submenu.


The Countries page shows an alphabetical list of countries, with the language they are displayed in, and a two-letter ISO 3166-1 country code for each name. Note that the alphabetical sorting is by the country code, rather than by the country name.


Click on the name of a country to edit it, then click the Save button to return to the country list.


To translate a specific country name into a particular language, click the Translate link in that country's row in the list. In the Translate country name page, select the target language from the drop-down menu, and enter the translation into the Name field. Then click the Save button.


To find your translated country names later, use the drop-down Language menu at the top of the Country page to select the language you are interested in, and then click the Search button. The search results, if any, will be listed below the Search box.


Newscoop's list includes almost all known countries by default, but if you have deleted a country and need to put it back, you can do this by clicking on the Add new country link next to the green cross icon. You will be prompted to enter the country's two-letter ISO code, name and language. The drop-down menu will contain as many languages as you have defined in Newscoop's Configure - Languages page.


Note that the language you are asked to specify is the language in which you are entering a country's name, not the language spoken in the country.

The Localizer

The default language for the Newscoop administration interface is English, but you can either use one of the many translations supplied with Newscoop, or create your own translation using the built-in Localizer tool. You can also use the Localizer to improve an existing translation, or adapt it for a regional dialect.

The first step is to check that the language you wish to translate into is in the Configure Languages list. If your target language does not exist yet, you will have to add it to Newscoop first. Then, you can open the Localizer by clicking Configure, then Localizer on the main navigation menu.


The Localizer works by enabling you to translate individual 'strings' of text that appear in the Newscoop administration interface. There are 2091 strings in the whole of Newscoop, divided into 40 Screens representing the various different pages in the interface. You can complete a localization with a team of translators working together, by tackling one screen each at a time.


Select your source (Translate from) and target (Translate to) languages from the drop-down menus, and then select a Screen, such as Geo-location or Article Types. Strings that have not yet been translated are shown in a red font. You can save your work at any time by clicking the disk icon next to one of the input fields. When you have completed your translation, there is a Save button at the end of the page.

You will encounter strings with a dollar sign in them, e.g. "$1". This means that one or more words will be substituted in place of these characters. For example, the phrase "Signed in: $1", when displayed on the interface, might be: "Signed in: Administrator". In this example, "Administrator" was substituted for "$1".


TinyMCE, the WYSIWYG article editor incorporated into Newscoop, can also be localized. The strings in TinyMCE have to be edited manually by your system administrator, which is a task done separately from the Localizer.

Sending a localization back to the Newscoop team

We actively encourage Newscoop users to send us their language localizations. This makes Newscoop more useful for people around the world. Even if a similar language localization exists, it may not address your particular needs or regional differences. For example, there may be differences in Spanish between that used in Spain and that used in Guatemala. In that case, you can localize Newscoop to your needs and share the localization with other users that speak your language or dialect.

For more information on how to contribute a localization to Newscoop, please email contact@sourcefabric.org

Logs

The Newscoop administration interface includes a feature which enables you to keep track of who has done what, and when, on your publication's server. You can examine Newscoop's log files by clicking Configure on the main navigation menu, then Logs.


The default log view displays all recent events on the Newscoop server, with 15 listings per page, and the most recent events first. Click the Next link or page number just above the search results box to see previous pages. Like most features in Newscoop, the Logs page is multilingual, so you may see log entries in languages other than your own.


To examine the logs selectively, use the Event drop-down menu above the search results box to select a particular action; for example, Add country. Then click the Search button, and the Logs page will be refreshed to list events corresponding to that action exclusively.


User management

Newscoop's user management features enable you to control access for both Staff users and Subscribers. You can define User types for your staff members, such as Journalist or Editor, and manage author profiles. User management tasks have their own sub-menu on the main Newscoop navigation menu.

 

Initially, Newscoop has only one user account: admin. Do not delete this account, as it is needed by the feature which informs staff users of events on the Newscoop system. The email address associated with the admin account is used as the "Reply-To" address in these notification emails.

Creating User Types

A User type is defined by a checklist of tasks that the user is allowed to perform in the Newscoop system. This list of tasks ranges from creating, managing and editing publications, sections, or articles, to template and plugin management.

Instead of configuring each access right for every single user, Newscoop enables you to create generic user types which can be assigned to multiple users.

Newscoop has five default user types, in order from most to least powerful:

To create a new user type, select Staff User Types from the Users menu, then click the Add new user type link next to the green plus sign icon.


Name the new user type, and check the boxes for the rights that you want enabled for this type. Then click the Save button at the top or bottom of the list.

 

When you return to the User types list, your new user type should be shown there.


Creating Staff Users

To add a new Staff user, select Staff from the Users menu, and then click on the Add new staff member link next to the green plus sign icon.


You should specify the account name, password, full name, e-mail address and phone number of the new user. Then choose a User type (either one of the default types, or a custom user type that you have created).

 

Click the Show more user details link to add further information about this new user. Then click the Save button at the end of the page.


If you would like to fine-tune the rights assigned to this new user, follow the Click here to customize user permissions link on the subsequent page.

 

Managing Authors

Newscoop includes a feature for managing author profiles, which you can find by clicking Manage Authors on the Users menu. Authors do not necessarily have corresponding login accounts on the Newscoop system, but they can still be credited as contributors to articles.

 

Further information can be saved for each author, using the three tabs on the right-hand side of the page. Multiple author types can be assigned for credits on a particular article, including Writer, Photographer, Editor or Columnist. The Biography tab includes a field for uploading an author photo, while the third tab, Content, tracks any articles associated with the author.



Subscriptions

Newscoop allows you to control reader access to your publication through its built-in subscription features. (If you want to have all your content freely accessible, your designer can bypass the subscription features in your publication's templates). Articles that you create in your publication are available to subscribers only by default. However, Administrators have the right to make a particular article accessible to non-subscribers.

Newscoop enables you to control access to your site in two ways:

Account name and password access

A non-subscriber who tries to access a subscriber-only article sees a message indicating that they should log in or register to see it.

 

The reader has the option to subscribe immediately to all articles in the same section, or the whole publication. This subscription can be paid or trial, depending on the reader's choice. 

 

The list of subscribers is available in the Newscoop administration interface by clicking on Users in the main navigation menu, then Subscribers.

 

The subscription management interface includes a search tool which enables you to list readers according to several criteria, including subscription expiry date.

 

The duration of paid or trial subscriptions is determined by the Default time periods set when you created the publication. (You can change these settings for your publication by clicking the Configure icon in the Publication list). During a trial period, the reader has a chance to make payment, and consequently have their subscription extended by an administrator.

The publication's administrator is automatically notified of all new subscriptions by e-mail. Subscribers also receive automatically generated e-mail reminders that their subscription is expiring two weeks before the event. The text of the subscription expiry message is created in a Newscoop template by your web developer. The default system template reads as follows:

"Dear <reader>,

This is an automatically generated e-mail message. Your <subs_type> subscription (started on <start_date>) to publication <publication> will expire on <date> (in <number> days).

Please enter the site http://<pub_site> to update subscription."

IP address access

The IP based access feature of Newscoop can be used to automatically log in subscribers that have IP (Internet Protocol) addresses in a known range. This means that groups of readers with computers in that IP range do not need account names or passwords to access your subscription-only content.

To create an IP Address subscription, go to the Subscriber management page. First, create a subscriber account by clicking on the Add new subscriber link, next to the green plus sign icon. Enter an Account name, a password, and a Full name with E-mail address and Phone number for the subscribing group or institution. You do not need to inform the readers who will be using IP address access of the existence of this Account name and Password.

 

Once the new subscription account has been created, click on the Add new link in the User IP access list management table on the right hand side of the page.

 

The form allows the input of a range of consecutive IP addresses. If necessary, more ranges can be added later. The start IP address is the lowest address in the range, while the number of addresses sets the size of the range, including any address ending in zero. For example, if a university library had the range of IP addresses 198.51.100.0 to 198.51.100.63, then you would enter:

 

It is not necessary to add anything to the Newscoop templates for IP based subscriptions to work.

It is also possible to search for subscribers based on known IP addresses. In the search box on the Subscriber management page, enter a number in at least one box in the field labeled IP address, starting on the left side. Click the Search button, and the page will display all subscribers that have known IP addresses which match that number (or numbers).

Synchronize Newscoop and Phorum users

This feature is found on the Users menu. It enables administrators to update the database of reader login accounts, so that readers can post comments in both the Newscoop publication and an associated Phorum bulletin board.

Using plugins

Plugins enable your system administrator or template designer to add functionality to your Newscoop installation without having to write a large amount of code. They can also enable you to make better use of the content and templates already in your Newscoop publication. Currently, there are three plugins installed by default with Newscoop:

Installing new plugins

Once new plugins are downloaded to your computer, they can be uploaded to your Newscoop server. Plugins must be uploaded to the Newscoop server in .tar archive format. In the Newscoop administration interface, click Plugins on the main navigation menu, then Manage Plugins. Click the Browse button to select the plugin from your computer, then click the Upload button. Once a plugin is correctly installed, you will be able to administer it using separate entries on the Plugins menu.

The Manage Plugins page also provides you with a list of installed plugins. There is a check box which can be used to enable or disable each plugin. The white X in a red box icon enables you to delete a plugin from your system.

Plugins require changes to your site's templates, but each plugin also includes sample templates for your designer to either copy and paste, or to use as a guide for their own template code.

Backup and upgrade

Before upgrading a running server to the latest version of Newscoop, it is strongly recommended that you back up your publication database, templates, images, file attachments and configuration files. First, log in to the administration interface (see the Getting started chapter in this manual for details). Click on Actions in the main navigation menu. At the lower end of this menu, click Backup/Restore.

On the Backup/Restore page which opens, click the Make new backup link next to the green plus sign icon.

A dialog box will ask you if you are sure you want to make the backup.

 

Click the OK button, and a pop-up window will display the progress of the backup. Once the window reports Backup saved to file: you can click the Close link to return to the Newscoop administration interface.

On the Backup/Restore page, the backup you just made should be listed, together with any previous backups.

Click on the disk icon in the Download column to save the gzipped backup tarball (with the .tar.gz file extension) from your Newscoop server to your desktop computer.

To restore a previous backup into a running Newscoop system, click the Upload backup file link, and then select the backup from your desktop computer's file system.

Running the upgrade script

After you have completed the backup successfully, update your Newscoop installation using either the automated or manual methods described in the following chapters. Then run the upgrade.php script in your web browser, for example:

http://www.example.com/upgrade.php

Automated installation

Ready made packages of Newscoop are available for Debian and Ubuntu GNU/Linux via secure apt. This is the recommended installation method for Newscoop, because it offers automatic updates and resolution of package dependencies. This guide assumes that you have sudo or root powers on the target server - if not, you need to ask your system administrator to install Newscoop for you.

Installing MySQL

Two components of the MySQL database management system are needed by Newscoop:

Depending on your requirements, you may prefer to run the MySQL database server on a separate machine from the MySQL client. The MySQL client must be installed on the same machine as Newscoop. On Debian/Ubuntu, installing the mysql-server metapackage will install the latest versions of both the server and client packages.

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server
During the installation of MySQL, you should be prompted to set a root password for the MySQL server, which is an important security feature. Make a note of this password and keep it in a secure place, as you will need it shortly.

Note that the MySQL root user is different from the system root user, and should have a different password.

Setting up the database user and password

An existing Newscoop installation should have a named database already set up on a MySQL server, with access protected by a username and password. For a new installation of Newscoop, you will need to tell the installer to create a database to store your content in. This means you will need a MySQL user account with database creation privileges set up in advance. If you don't already have an account, you can set up a database username and password for the Newscoop installer to use with the following steps.

1. Connect to the database management system using the root account and the password that you set during the MySQL installation.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 34
Server version: 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.8 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
2. The shell prompt will change to a mysql> prompt, which requires a semicolon at the end of each command. Create a user account for Newscoop to connect to the database, limiting it to connecting from the localhost if Newscoop and MySQL are to be installed on the same server. Otherwise, specify the server that Newscoop will be connecting to MySQL from. Make a note of the username (newscoop_user in the example below) and password (newscoop_user_password in the example) that you set, in a secure place. You will need these details during the Newscoop installation.
mysql> CREATE USER 'newscoop_user'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'newscoop_user_password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)

3. Grant access privileges to the user you just created. In this example, newscoop.* means all tables of a database called newscoop, which has not yet been created. You will need to provide this database name to the Newscoop installer, so that it can create the database later.

mysql> GRANT ALL ON newscoop.*
    -> TO 'newscoop_user'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) 

4. Exit from the database management system and return to the shell prompt.

mysql> quit;
Bye
$

Setting up the secure apt repository

To add the repository that contains the Newscoop software, open the sources.list file in the nano editor with:

$ sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list


Type your password, and the sources.list file will open. For Ubuntu Lucid LTS, scroll to the end of this document and add the following line:

deb http://apt.64studio.com/backports/ lucid-backports main

For Ubuntu Maverick, substitute maverick-backports in place of lucid-backports. For Debian Squeeze, substitute squeeze-backports in place of lucid-backports.


Press Ctrl+O to write out the sources.list file, and Ctrl-X to quit the nano editor.

You now need to update your sources. Type:

$ sudo apt-get update

You will probably see an error message about a missing public key.


To fix this, you need to install the 64studio-apt package, which contains the package signing key:

$ sudo apt-get install 64studio-apt


Update your sources again, to confirm that you are now using a trusted software repository:

$ sudo apt-get update

You should no longer see the error message about the public key.

Installing the Newscoop package

After confirming that the secure apt repository is set up, you can install the Newscoop package:

$ sudo apt-get install newscoop

This command will install all of the Newscoop components, plus any other packages that Newscoop requires in order to run.


The package installer will ask you a few questions about the kind of server you want to set up, such as the Apache configuration that you require.

Optionally, install XCache for optimum Newscoop performance:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-xcache

Configuration options for XCache are covered in the Manual installation chapter.

Finally, check that Newscoop is running. Open a web browser with the URL of the web server that you have installed, such as http://www.example.com. For a test installation accessed from the same machine, this URL might be:

http://localhost/

If you see the Newscoop installer page, and you do not wish to adjust the default XCache settings, you can now skip the chapter Manual installation and proceed to the chapter Installation steps.

Manual installation

The following manual installation method is intended for more experienced system administrators, and assumes that you have sudo or root powers on the target server. If ready-made packages of Newscoop are not available for your GNU/Linux distribution of choice, you can install the software manually using the tarball available for download from Sourcefabric:

http://newscoop.sourcefabric.org/

Dependencies

Before performing a manual installation, you will have to verify that all of the dependency packages that Newscoop requires are already installed and working. These dependencies are:

1. Apache web server (http://www.apache.org) version 2.0.x or newer.

On Debian or Ubuntu GNU/Linux, you can install the apache2 metapackage, which will install all of the web server packages you need.

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

2. MySQL database management system (http://www.mysql.com) version 5.0 or newer.

Two components of MySQL are needed for Newscoop:

These components are usually packaged separately, because you may prefer to run the MySQL server on another machine from the MySQL client, which must be installed on the same machine as Newscoop. On Debian/Ubuntu, installing the mysql-server metapackage will install the latest versions of both the server and client packages.

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server

During the installation of MySQL, you should be prompted to set a root password for the MySQL server, which is an important security feature. Make a note of this password and keep it in a secure place, as you will need it shortly.

Note that the MySQL root user is different from the system root user, and should have a different password.

3. PHP scripting language (http://www.php.net) version 5.0 or newer.

The following PHP modules must be installed:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-cli php5-mysql php5-gd

These modules have the same names in the equivalent Debian/Ubuntu packages. You will also need the PHP module for the Apache web server, which has the package name libapache2-mod-php5 in Debian/Ubuntu. This package should be installed automatically as a dependency when installing the PHP packages mentioned above.

4. ImageMagick (http://www.imagemagick.org).

Needed for creating thumbnails of images. Available in Debian/Ubuntu's imagemagick package.

$ sudo apt-get install imagemagick

All of these Newscoop dependencies are available as standard packages in most GNU/Linux distributions. You should be able to find them using your distribution's software package manager, although the exact package names can vary from the examples given above for Debian/Ubuntu.

Setting up the database user and password

An existing Newscoop installation should have a named database already set up on a MySQL server, with access protected by a username and password. For a new installation of Newscoop, you will need to tell the installer to create a database to store your content in. This means you will need a MySQL user account with database creation privileges set up in advance. If you don't already have an account, you can set up a database username and password for the Newscoop installer to use with the following steps.

1. Connect to the database management system using the root account and the password that you set during the MySQL installation.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 34
Server version: 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.8 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
2. The shell prompt will change to a mysql> prompt, which requires a semicolon at the end of each command. Create a user account for Newscoop to connect to the database, limiting it to connecting from the localhost if Newscoop and MySQL are to be installed on the same server. Otherwise, specify the server that Newscoop will be connecting to MySQL from. Make a note of the username (newscoop_user in the example below) and password (newscoop_user_password in the example) that you set, in a secure place. You will need these details during the Newscoop installation.
mysql> CREATE USER 'newscoop_user'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'newscoop_user_password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)

4. Grant access privileges to the user you just created. In this example, newscoop.* means all tables of a database called newscoop, which has not yet been created. You will need to provide this database name to the Newscoop installer, so that it can create the database later.

mysql> GRANT ALL ON newscoop.*
    -> TO 'newscoop_user'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) 

5. Exit from the database management system and return to the shell prompt.

mysql> quit;
Bye
$

PHP modules

On Debian or Ubuntu, the PHP modules that you have installed should be configured automatically, with an entry for each module added to the /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/ directory. You can also create your own PHP customization options using files in that directory, which should not be overwritten when the main php.ini file is upgraded.

On other distributions of GNU/Linux, you may need to add a line for each module to the php.ini file, such as /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini or similar. The following extensions should be enabled. If the line is already present but starts with the semi-colon comment ';' you will need to remove this character for the corresponding extension to work.

extension=gd.so
extension=mysqli.so
extension=mysql.so

PHP configuration

On any GNU/Linux distribution, the php.ini file contains some default settings which should be checked or adjusted to enable optimum Newscoop performance and security. You can do this by opening the file in your text editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

The recommend settings are that you should:

1. Turn off register_globals because it's a potential security hole:

register_globals = Off

2. Set the amount of memory available to at least 128MB:

memory_limit = 128M

3. Turn off magic quotes:

magic_quotes_gpc = Off

4. Allow HTTP file uploads:

file_uploads = On

The values above are the default settings on Debian or Ubuntu. You may wish to adjust the following two settings, which affect the maximum size of media that Newscoop users can upload.

5. The maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept defaults to 8MB on Debian/Ubuntu. You may find that you need to set this higher, for example:

post_max_size = 100M

6. The maximum allowed size for uploaded files defaults to 2MB on Debian/Ubuntu. This is likely to be insufficient for large multimedia attachments, so you may wish to set this value higher. However, it must not be higher than the maximum POST size set above, otherwise large uploads may fail.

upload_max_filesize = 100M

7. You may also wish to disable automatic session garbage collection, which can cause permissions errors to be shown in the browser if your server runs Debian or Ubuntu. These GNU/Linux distributions use a cron job /etc/cron.d/php5 to perform garbage collection instead.

session.gc_probability = 0

Apache configuration

The Apache web server's configuration will need to be adjusted to set the path to the Newscoop files and templates. On Debian or Ubuntu, Apache configuration files are usually found in the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ directory.

1. Create a file such as newscoop containing a virtual host definition.

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/newscoop

For a publication with the domain name www.example.com, you could use a virtual host definition like the following:

<VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot /var/www/newscoop
      ServerName example.com
      ServerAlias www.example.com
      DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
      <Directory /var/www/newscoop>
              Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
              AllowOverride All
              Order allow,deny
              Allow from all
      </Directory>
</VirtualHost>  

If the ServerName or ServerAlias that you are using is not yet set up in DNS for this particular machine's IP address, you can create a temporary hostname in your /etc/hosts/ file which will enable you to test the installation locally.

2. Disable the default Apache configuration, if you aren't using it.

$ sudo a2dissite default
Site default disabled.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

3. Enable the Newscoop configuration that you just created.

$ sudo a2ensite newscoop
Enabling site newscoop.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

4. You may also need to enable Apache's rewrite module. On Debian/Ubuntu, you can do this with the a2enmod command:

$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

The server should respond:

Enabling module rewrite.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 restart' to activate new configuration!

5. Restart Apache as suggested by the output of the command above, so that the Newscoop configuration and the new modules can be loaded:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

The server should respond:

* Restarting web server apache2                           [ OK ]

Installing Newscoop 

1. Extract the Newscoop tarball that you downloaded in your working directory. This action will generate a directory named 'newscoop'.

$ tar -xvzf newscoop-3.5.0.tar.gz

2. Change into the 'newscoop' directory, and examine the contents with the ls command.

$ cd newscoop
$ ls

The output of this command should appear similar to:

ChangeLog  COPYING  CREDITS  documentation  INSTALL  README  src  UPGRADE

3. Copy the contents of the src directory into the DocumentRoot directory of the Apache virtual host that you set up, such as /var/www/newscoop/

$ sudo cp -r newscoop/* /var/www/newscoop/

4. Change the ownership of the DocumentRoot directory to the username of the web server, for instance www-data on Debian or Ubuntu.

$ sudo chown -R www-data /var/www/newscoop/

5. Open a web browser with the URL of the Apache ServerName or ServerAlias that you set up earlier. If you see the Newscoop installer page, you are ready to proceed through the installation steps.

Installing XCache

This step is optional, but highly recommended for optimum Newscoop performance. On Ubuntu, you can install XCache with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-xcache

You may wish to adjust the XCache configuration for your particular requirements:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/conf.d/xcache.ini

On a Debian or Ubuntu server with two processors, example adjustments to the default configuration might be:

; Configure this to use admin pages
xcache.admin.user = "my_admin_name"

; xcache.admin.pass = md5($your_password)
xcache.admin.pass = "5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99"

; to enable : xcache.size=64M etc (any size > 0) and your system mmap allows
xcache.size  =                32M

; set to cpu count (cat /proc/cpuinfo |grep -c processor)
xcache.count =                 2

; for *nix, xcache.mmap_path is a file path, not directory.
xcache.mmap_path =    "/var/cache/xcache"

The value of xcache.admin.pass shown above is just an example. You should generate your own md5 hashed password using a piped command such as:

$ echo -n "password"|md5sum

You can set up your Apache VirtualHost to allow administrator access to the XCache statistics page from the localhost, or a specific IP address that you determine. Add a stanza like the following to the VirtualHost definition that you created earlier:

# php xcache stats
Alias /xcache/ /usr/share/xcache/admin/
<Directory "/usr/share/xcache/admin/">
    AllowOverride None
    Options ExecCGI
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from localhost
</Directory>

Installation steps

At the URL of your publication's new site, Newscoop should display a Pre-installation Check page indicating the status of dependencies.

 

If there are any No entries in the Status column, check your Apache server logs for errors. Otherwise, click the Next button to run through the installation steps.

The next step is for you to review the license under which Newscoop is distributed, which is the GNU General Public License version 3. Click the Next button if you accept the license terms.

Next, you need to set the Server Name/Address for the database, which will be localhost if Apache and MySQL are running on the same machine. You only need to enter a number in the Server Port field if you are using a non-standard MySQL port. Then enter the User Name, User Password and Database Name that you set up earlier.

 

If you enter a Database Name which already exists on the specified server, you will asked if you wish to Overwrite Database. Only click the Yes option if you are very sure that any production databases are fully backed up.

Next is the Main Configuration page, which is where you set the name of your first publication, as well as the password and email address for Newscoop's admin user. This user account is critical for management of your Newscoop publications, so make sure that you keep the password somewhere secure.

Newscoop includes a demonstration publication template which you can use for evaluation purposes. For the demo template to work, you will need to set up a Publication alias with your chosen ServerName later. If you already have a template designed, or wish to start with an empty template set, click the No, thanks! radio button.

 

The next page of the installer sets up automated maintenance tasks for your Newscoop server, using cron jobs.

Once installation has completed, two large buttons are shown. Clicking on the upper button, with a tools icon, redirects you to the Newscoop administrator interface. The lower button takes you to the Sourcefabric website, for further information and support on Newscoop.

 

If you attempt to access the reader side of your new website before logging into the administration interface for the first time, you may see an error message in your web browser that the site alias (such as www.example.com) was not yet assigned to a publication. This aspect of Newscoop configuration is dealt with in the Creating a publication chapter of this manual. 


Installing a sample publication

Newscoop's templating engine allows you to customise your online publication with full separation of design and content. You do not need to compromise when tailoring the template to fit your design, but some Newscoop publications prefer to start with a ready-made template.

On the Sourcefabric website you can find a number of sample publications for Newscoop, providing all elements of a publication: database structure, sample content and the actual templates. These sample publications are provided in the form of Newscoop backup files.

Warning: if you already have one or more publications on your Newscoop server, uploading a sample publication will erase your entire database and files from all your publications, and replace them with sample content! Do not attempt this procedure on a production Newscoop server unless you have backed it up first! 

Using the Backup/Restore feature of Newscoop, you can install a sample publication file after downloading it from the Sourcefabric website to your local computer's desktop. Then log in to the Newscoop administration interface, and select Backup/Restore from the Actions menu.

 

On the Backup/Restore page, click the Upload backup file link, and click the Browse button to select the sample publication file from your local computer. Then click the Save button to upload the file. After upload, click the Restore icon for the sample publication, on the right side of the list of the available backup files. This orange and white icon looks like a life preserver, of the kind you might find on a boat.

The restore process starts with an empty pop-up window, connecting to the server. Do not close this window, otherwise the restore process will be interrupted. The process takes some time (it can be minutes, depending on the size of the publication and the speed of the server). After the restore process has finished, there is only one user in the system, the Administrator, with the login and password both set to: admin

To finish the process, log in as admin. Then go to Content > Publications and select "Configure" in the new publication. Now add the URL of your publication as a site alias.

The sample template should now be visible at the URL of your publication.

Where to go for support

Sourcefabric offers full commercial support for Newscoop. Additional support is provided to the Newscoop user and developer community.

Forum and mailing list: You can visit the Newscoop online support forum, and sign up for the mailing list, at http://forum.sourcefabric.org/index.php/f/10/.

This forum is mirrored by the mailing list, so posts on the forum appear on the mailing list and vice versa. You can therefore also post a message there by emailing: newscoop-support@lists.sourcefabric.org.

To subscribe to forum updates via mail, please register or login to the forum by clicking the appropriate link. Then click the 'Subscribe' button at the top of each forum page.

Bug reporting: Newscoop needs your input to improve. If you think you've found a bug, please visit http://dev.sourcefabric.org and sign in, using the same login and password that you registered for the Newscoop forum. Create a bug report by selecting Create Issue, then Newscoop, and then Bug. That way, the Newscoop team can keep track of your problem and notify you when it has been fixed. You can also suggest improvements and new features for Newscoop on that site.

Contact: Finally, when all other avenues have been exhausted, email us directly at contact@sourcefabric.org and we'll try to help!

Credits

Newscoop is being developed by an international community of developers and designers led by Sourcefabric.

http://newscoop.sourcefabric.org

Copyright © 2011 Sourcefabric o.p.s.
Copyright © 1999-2010 Media Development Loan Fund.

License

All chapters in this manual are licensed with the GNU General Public License version 3.

This documentation is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this documentation; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Authors

This manual has been edited and reworked by Daniel James, based on the collaborative effort at FLOSS Manuals. Thanks to all contributors!

Free manuals for free software


GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE

Version 3, 29 June 2007

Copyright © 2007 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/>

Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

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END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Manual installation

The following manual installation method is intended for more experienced system administrators, and assumes that you have sudo or root powers on the target server. If ready-made packages of Newscoop are not available for your GNU/Linux distribution of choice, you can install the software manually using the tarball available for download from Sourcefabric:

http://newscoop.sourcefabric.org/

Dependencies

Before performing a manual installation, you will have to verify that all of the dependency packages that Newscoop requires are already installed and working. These dependencies are:

1. Apache web server (http://www.apache.org) version 2.0.x or newer.

On Debian or Ubuntu GNU/Linux, you can install the apache2 metapackage, which will install all of the web server packages you need.

$ sudo apt-get install apache2

2. MySQL database management system (http://www.mysql.com) version 5.0 or newer.

Two components of MySQL are needed for Newscoop:

These components are usually packaged separately, because you may prefer to run the MySQL server on another machine from the MySQL client, which must be installed on the same machine as Newscoop. On Debian/Ubuntu, installing the mysql-server metapackage will install the latest versions of both the server and client packages.

$ sudo apt-get install mysql-server

During the installation of MySQL, you should be prompted to set a root password for the MySQL server, which is an important security feature. Make a note of this password and keep it in a secure place, as you will need it shortly.

Note that the MySQL root user is different from the system root user, and should have a different password.

3. PHP scripting language (http://www.php.net) version 5.0 or newer.

The following PHP modules must be installed:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-cli php5-mysql php5-gd

These modules have the same names in the equivalent Debian/Ubuntu packages. You will also need the PHP module for the Apache web server, which has the package name libapache2-mod-php5 in Debian/Ubuntu. This package should be installed automatically as a dependency when installing the PHP packages mentioned above.

4. ImageMagick (http://www.imagemagick.org).

Needed for creating thumbnails of images. Available in Debian/Ubuntu's imagemagick package.

$ sudo apt-get install imagemagick

All of these Newscoop dependencies are available as standard packages in most GNU/Linux distributions. You should be able to find them using your distribution's software package manager, although the exact package names can vary from the examples given above for Debian/Ubuntu.

Setting up the database user and password

An existing Newscoop installation should have a named database already set up on a MySQL server, with access protected by a username and password. For a new installation of Newscoop, you will need to tell the installer to create a database to store your content in. This means you will need a MySQL user account with database creation privileges set up in advance. If you don't already have an account, you can set up a database username and password for the Newscoop installer to use with the following steps.

1. Connect to the database management system using the root account and the password that you set during the MySQL installation.

$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 34
Server version: 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.8 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
2. The shell prompt will change to a mysql> prompt, which requires a semicolon at the end of each command. Create a user account for Newscoop to connect to the database, limiting it to connecting from the localhost if Newscoop and MySQL are to be installed on the same server. Otherwise, specify the server that Newscoop will be connecting to MySQL from. Make a note of the username (newscoop_user in the example below) and password (newscoop_user_password in the example) that you set, in a secure place. You will need these details during the Newscoop installation.
mysql> CREATE USER 'newscoop_user'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'newscoop_user_password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)

4. Grant access privileges to the user you just created. In this example, newscoop.* means all tables of a database called newscoop, which has not yet been created. You will need to provide this database name to the Newscoop installer, so that it can create the database later.

mysql> GRANT ALL ON newscoop.*
    -> TO 'newscoop_user'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) 

5. Exit from the database management system and return to the shell prompt.

mysql> quit;
Bye
$

PHP modules

On Debian or Ubuntu, the PHP modules that you have installed should be configured automatically, with an entry for each module added to the /etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/ directory. You can also create your own PHP customization options using files in that directory, which should not be overwritten when the main php.ini file is upgraded.

On other distributions of GNU/Linux, you may need to add a line for each module to the php.ini file, such as /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini or similar. The following extensions should be enabled. If the line is already present but starts with the semi-colon comment ';' you will need to remove this character for the corresponding extension to work.

extension=gd.so
extension=mysqli.so
extension=mysql.so

PHP configuration

On any GNU/Linux distribution, the php.ini file contains some default settings which should be checked or adjusted to enable optimum Newscoop performance and security. You can do this by opening the file in your text editor, such as nano:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

This is a long file, so use the search tool in nano (Ctrl+W) to find the lines you want. The recommend settings are that you should:

1. Turn off register_globals because it's a potential security hole:

register_globals = Off

2. Set the amount of memory available to at least 128MB:

memory_limit = 128M

3. Turn off magic quotes:

magic_quotes_gpc = Off

4. Allow HTTP file uploads:

file_uploads = On

The values above are the default settings on Debian or Ubuntu. You may wish to adjust the following two settings, which affect the maximum size of media that Newscoop users can upload.

5. The maximum size of POST data that PHP will accept defaults to 8MB on Debian/Ubuntu. You may find that you need to set this higher, for example:

post_max_size = 100M

6. The maximum allowed size for uploaded files defaults to 2MB on Debian/Ubuntu. This is likely to be insufficient for large multimedia attachments, so you may wish to set this value higher. However, it must not be higher than the maximum POST size set above, otherwise large uploads may fail.

upload_max_filesize = 100M

7. You may also wish to disable automatic session garbage collection, which can cause permissions errors to be shown in the browser if your server runs Debian or Ubuntu. These GNU/Linux distributions use a cron job /etc/cron.d/php5 to perform garbage collection instead.

session.gc_probability = 0

Apache configuration

The Apache web server's configuration will need to be adjusted to set the path to the Newscoop files and templates. On Debian or Ubuntu, Apache configuration files are usually found in the /etc/apache2/sites-available/ directory.

1. Create a file such as newscoop containing a virtual host definition.

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/newscoop

For a publication with the domain name www.example.com, you could use a virtual host definition like the following:

<VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot /var/www/newscoop
      ServerName example.com
      ServerAlias www.example.com
      DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
      <Directory /var/www/newscoop>
              Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
              AllowOverride All
              Order allow,deny
              Allow from all
      </Directory>
</VirtualHost>  

Make sure that the DocumentRoot directory that you set in the virtual host definition actually exists, otherwise Apache will complain when it starts up.

$ sudo mkdir -p /var/www/newscoop

If the ServerName or ServerAlias that you are using is not yet set up in DNS for this particular machine's IP address, you can create a temporary hostname in your /etc/hosts/ file which will enable you to test the installation locally.

2. Disable the default Apache configuration, if you aren't using it.

$ sudo a2dissite default
Site default disabled.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

3. Enable the Newscoop configuration that you just created.

$ sudo a2ensite newscoop
Enabling site newscoop.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

4. You may also need to enable Apache's rewrite module. On Debian/Ubuntu, you can do this with the a2enmod command:

$ sudo a2enmod rewrite

The server should respond:

Enabling module rewrite.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 restart' to activate new configuration!

5. Restart Apache as suggested by the output of the command above, so that the Newscoop configuration and the new modules can be loaded:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

The server should respond:

* Restarting web server apache2                           [ OK ]

Installing Newscoop 

1. Extract the Newscoop tarball that you downloaded in your working directory. This action will generate a directory named newscoop.

$ tar -xvzf newscoop-3.5.3.tar.gz

2. Examine the contents of the newscoop directory with the ls command.

$ ls newscoop

The output of this command should appear similar to:

admin-files        classes         files        INSTALL.txt      tests
admin.php       conf            get_img.php  js               upgrade.php
admin-style     COPYING.txt     htaccess     plugins          UPGRADE.txt
attachment.php  CREDITS.txt     images       README.txt       videos
backup          db_connect.php  include      template_engine
bin             extensions      index.php    templates
ChangeLog.txt   favicon.ico     install      templates_cache

3. Copy the contents of the newscoop directory into the DocumentRoot directory of the Apache VirtualHost that you set up, such as /var/www/newscoop/

$ sudo cp -r newscoop/* /var/www/newscoop/

If you wish to install Newscoop into a subdirectory of the DocumentRoot, for example /var/www/newscoop/subdirectory/ your Newscoop site will be visible at the http://www.example.com/subdirectory/ URL. This method is useful for adding Newscoop to an existing site without changing the contents of the DocumentRoot directory, which might be static pages or other archived content with permalinks that must be preserved.

4. Change the ownership of the DocumentRoot directory to the username of the web server, for instance www-data on Debian or Ubuntu.

$ sudo chown -R www-data /var/www/newscoop/

5. Open a web browser with the URL of the Apache ServerName or ServerAlias that you set up earlier. If you see the Newscoop installer page, you are ready to proceed through the Installation steps chapter.

Installing XCache

This step is optional, but highly recommended for optimum Newscoop performance. On Ubuntu, you can install XCache with the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install php5-xcache

You may wish to adjust the XCache configuration for your particular requirements:

$ sudo nano /etc/php5/conf.d/xcache.ini

On a Debian or Ubuntu server with two processors, example adjustments to the default configuration might be:

; Configure this to use admin pages
xcache.admin.user = "my_admin_name"

; xcache.admin.pass = md5($your_password)
xcache.admin.pass = "5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99"

; to enable : xcache.size=64M etc (any size > 0) and your system mmap allows
xcache.size  =                32M

; set to cpu count (cat /proc/cpuinfo |grep -c processor)
xcache.count =                 2

; for *nix, xcache.mmap_path is a file path, not directory.
xcache.mmap_path =    "/var/cache/xcache"

The value of xcache.admin.pass shown above is just an example. You should generate your own md5 hashed password using a piped command such as:

$ echo -n "password"|md5sum

You can set up your Apache VirtualHost to allow administrator access to the XCache statistics page from the localhost, or a specific IP address that you determine. Add a stanza like the following to the VirtualHost definition that you created earlier, before the closing </VirtualHost> tag:

# php xcache stats
Alias /xcache/ /usr/share/xcache/admin/
<Directory "/usr/share/xcache/admin/">
    AllowOverride None
    Options ExecCGI
    Order allow,deny
    Allow from localhost
</Directory>

Then reload the Apache configuration again:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 reload

The xcache statistics page should now be visible under the /xcache/ path on your web server, such as http://localhost/xcache/ if you have enabled access from the localhost only.

 

Countries

This page determines how country lists will appear in forms that readers fill in, for example when signing up for an email newsletter. It also enables you to create country lists in different languages. To see the list of country names in the default language, click Configure on the main navigation menu, then Countries on the submenu.


The Countries page shows an alphabetical list of countries, with the language they are displayed in, and a two-letter ISO 3166-1 country code for each name. Note that the alphabetical sorting is by the country code, rather than by the country name.


Click on the name of a country to edit it, then click the Save button to return to the country list.


To translate a specific country name into a particular language, click the Translate link in that country's row in the list. In the Translate country name page, select the target language from the drop-down menu, and enter the translation into the Name field. Then click the Save button.


To find your translated country names later, use the drop-down Language menu at the top of the Country page to select the language you are interested in, and then click the Search button. The search results, if any, will be listed below the Search box.


Newscoop's list includes almost all known countries by default, but if you have deleted a country and need to put it back, you can do this by clicking on the Add new country link next to the green cross icon. You will be prompted to enter the country's two-letter ISO code, name and language. The drop-down menu will contain as many languages as you have defined in Newscoop's Configure - Languages page.


Note that the language you are asked to specify is the language in which you are entering a country's name, not the language spoken in the country.

Creating an issue

Once you have successfully created your publication, click on its name in the Publication List (e.g. "The Prague Times"). This will lead you to the Issue List, which will be empty to begin with.

Click on the 'Add new issue' link. If you are creating the very first issue, you will see a page with fields for basic information which you will need to enter.

The Name is the name of the issue in the particular Language you specify in the drop-down box underneath. The Number is a unique identifier for this issue. If this is the first issue you've ever published, then number "1" would be appropriate. The issue number cannot be changed once it is specified.

If you are planning to add older issues of your publication at a later stage to the same Newscoop server, you may consider continuing the series. For example, if you just published issue 154 of the "The Prague Times" before moving to Newscoop, you should assign number 155 to the first issue you are creating with Newscoop.

The URL Name field is only useful if you specified the "URL type: short names" option when you created your publication. This name will show up in the reader's browser address bar. For example, if you enter "2011_1" here, the address for the issue might look like this:

http://www.example.com/2011_1

Clicking the Save button takes you to the Change issue details page, where various options for the issue are set. On the left hand side, there are settings for the default templates for the front page, sections and articles. If you do not have your own templates yet, you can select templates from the 'classic' demonstration set that are provided with Newscoop. Reader polls can also be set up and edited on this side of the page.

On the right hand side of the Change issue details page are boxes which enable you to set the publishing schedule for the issue. An issue can be set to be published at a specific date and time, and unpublished at another date and time.

Copying a previous issue

If this is not the first issue you've created, you will see a different page after clicking the Add new issue link in the Issue List:

"Use the structure of the previous issue" will be the usual option to choose once you are ready to publish additional issues, because it automatically creates a new issue with the same sections as the preceding one. Clicking this option opens a page which enables you to specify the new issue number.

The sections of the new issue will be empty, so that you can begin to add articles. Before that, the first step is to set the name of the new issue, because this field is not automatically updated: it will start out with the same name as the last issue. After changing the Name and URL Name fields, click the Save button to update the new issue.

The previous templates are not copied to the new issue automatically, so the new issue must be linked to at least a template for the front page.

Creating a publication

Newscoop content is organized in a hierarchical structure, which conforms to the tradition of newspapers and magazines: Publications, Issues, Sections and Articles. Each publication is made up of issues; each issue is in turn made up of sections, which are comprised of articles. A 'breadcrumb trail' of links is present on every screen, which enables quick navigation between different levels of the publishing hierarchy.

For example, after creating a publication named the "The Custodian", by clicking on "The Custodian" in Newscoop's list of publications, you enter the list of issues for that newspaper. By clicking the name or number of a particular issue, you enter its list of sections. By clicking the name of a section you enter the article list. By clicking the article title in that list, you can edit the article.

To create a new publication, click Content on the main navigation menu, and then click 'Publications' from the sub-menu. On the Publication List page that appears, click on 'Add new publication'.

If your login account does not have administrator rights, you will not be able to see the 'Add new publication' option. You may need to ask your system administrator to enhance your access rights. Bear in mind, however, that a good administrator would be reluctant to hand over those rights to more than a handful of people. If you are not among those select few, your Publications List will only contain the publications already hosted on your Newscoop server.

The Add new publication window has three sections; General attributes and Comments on the left, and Subscription defaults on the right. There's a Save button beneath these sections.

The fields in the General attributes section are:

The fields in the Comments section are:

Subscription Defaults

The rest of the fields are related to subscriptions, which you can adjust later if you wish. First, you have to select a time unit for your subscriptions; which could be days, months, weeks or years.

You can set two types of subscriptions: paid and trial. Paid subscriptions have the following properties:

After clicking the Save button, Newscoop will confirm that the new publication has been created.

On the right hand side under the Subscription defaults fields, there will now be a link Set subscription settings by country which will enable you specify different default time periods for individual countries.

 

This link opens the Subscription Settings by Country page, which has a link Set subscription settings for a country.

If you follow this link, it opens a page with a drop-down menu for selecting the country in question, plus fields for the default trial and paid subscription lengths. Clicking the Save button returns you to the "Subscription Settings by Country" page, which should now show the setting you have just made.

Creating a section

By clicking on the name of an issue in the Issue List, you will enter the Section List. At first, a new issue will have no sections.

If you click on the 'Add new section' link, you will see the corresponding page appear. Here you must specify the Name, section Number, and URL name for the new section. While you can change the name of the section later, the section Number is set at the time when the new section is added. The URL name will be part of the URL for the new section, if you set the "short names" option when you created the publication.

The section Description is optional. This field is useful for displaying content that doesn't change very often. The information in this field will only be displayed on your site if the template you are using supports it. If you would like to make the new section available to all existing subscribers, you should check the box for this option. Then click the Save button.

Your next step is to set the templates for the new section on the Configure Section page.

Here, you may wish to select custom templates for this new section and its articles from the drop-down menus. If you don't have custom templates for specific sections, you can use general section and article templates instead. Then click the Save button to confirm your choice.

Creating an article

The Article List for a particular section can be found by clicking on Content in the main Newscoop navigation menu, and following the hierarchy of Publications, Issues and Sections. Alternatively, use the 'breadcrumb trail' of links just below the main navigation menu. You can create a new article by clicking the "Add new article" link at the top of the Article List.

The "Add new article" page contains three fields for entering basic information about the article you will create.

When you click the 'Save' button, you will be taken to the Edit Article page.

Credits

Newscoop is being developed by an international community of developers and designers led by Sourcefabric.

http://newscoop.sourcefabric.org

Copyright © 2011 Sourcefabric o.p.s.
Copyright © 1999-2010 Media Development Loan Fund.

License

All chapters in this manual are licensed with the GNU General Public License version 3.

This documentation is free documentation; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This documentation is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this documentation; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 51 Franklin Street, Fifth Floor, Boston, MA 02110-1301, USA.

Authors

This manual has been edited and reworked by Daniel James, based on the collaborative effort at FLOSS Manuals. Thanks to all contributors!

Free manuals for free software


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“Additional permissions” are terms that supplement the terms of this License by making exceptions from one or more of its conditions. Additional permissions that are applicable to the entire Program shall be treated as though they were included in this License, to the extent that they are valid under applicable law. If additional permissions apply only to part of the Program, that part may be used separately under those permissions, but the entire Program remains governed by this License without regard to the additional permissions.

When you convey a copy of a covered work, you may at your option remove any additional permissions from that copy, or from any part of it. (Additional permissions may be written to require their own removal in certain cases when you modify the work.) You may place additional permissions on material, added by you to a covered work, for which you have or can give appropriate copyright permission.

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All other non-permissive additional terms are considered “further restrictions” within the meaning of section 10. If the Program as you received it, or any part of it, contains a notice stating that it is governed by this License along with a term that is a further restriction, you may remove that term. If a license document contains a further restriction but permits relicensing or conveying under this License, you may add to a covered work material governed by the terms of that license document, provided that the further restriction does not survive such relicensing or conveying.

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Additional terms, permissive or non-permissive, may be stated in the form of a separately written license, or stated as exceptions; the above requirements apply either way.

8. Termination.

You may not propagate or modify a covered work except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to propagate or modify it is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License (including any patent licenses granted under the third paragraph of section 11).

However, if you cease all violation of this License, then your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated (a) provisionally, unless and until the copyright holder explicitly and finally terminates your license, and (b) permanently, if the copyright holder fails to notify you of the violation by some reasonable means prior to 60 days after the cessation.

Moreover, your license from a particular copyright holder is reinstated permanently if the copyright holder notifies you of the violation by some reasonable means, this is the first time you have received notice of violation of this License (for any work) from that copyright holder, and you cure the violation prior to 30 days after your receipt of the notice.

Termination of your rights under this section does not terminate the licenses of parties who have received copies or rights from you under this License. If your rights have been terminated and not permanently reinstated, you do not qualify to receive new licenses for the same material under section 10.

9. Acceptance Not Required for Having Copies.

You are not required to accept this License in order to receive or run a copy of the Program. Ancillary propagation of a covered work occurring solely as a consequence of using peer-to-peer transmission to receive a copy likewise does not require acceptance. However, nothing other than this License grants you permission to propagate or modify any covered work. These actions infringe copyright if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or propagating a covered work, you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so.

10. Automatic Licensing of Downstream Recipients.

Each time you convey a covered work, the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensors, to run, modify and propagate that work, subject to this License. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties with this License.

An “entity transaction” is a transaction transferring control of an organization, or substantially all assets of one, or subdividing an organization, or merging organizations. If propagation of a covered work results from an entity transaction, each party to that transaction who receives a copy of the work also receives whatever licenses to the work the party's predecessor in interest had or could give under the previous paragraph, plus a right to possession of the Corresponding Source of the work from the predecessor in interest, if the predecessor has it or can get it with reasonable efforts.

You may not impose any further restrictions on the exercise of the rights granted or affirmed under this License. For example, you may not impose a license fee, royalty, or other charge for exercise of rights granted under this License, and you may not initiate litigation (including a cross-claim or counterclaim in a lawsuit) alleging that any patent claim is infringed by making, using, selling, offering for sale, or importing the Program or any portion of it.

11. Patents.

A “contributor” is a copyright holder who authorizes use under this License of the Program or a work on which the Program is based. The work thus licensed is called the contributor's “contributor version”.

A contributor's “essential patent claims” are all patent claims owned or controlled by the contributor, whether already acquired or hereafter acquired, that would be infringed by some manner, permitted by this License, of making, using, or selling its contributor version, but do not include claims that would be infringed only as a consequence of further modification of the contributor version. For purposes of this definition, “control” includes the right to grant patent sublicenses in a manner consistent with the requirements of this License.

Each contributor grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under the contributor's essential patent claims, to make, use, sell, offer for sale, import and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of its contributor version.

In the following three paragraphs, a “patent license” is any express agreement or commitment, however denominated, not to enforce a patent (such as an express permission to practice a patent or covenant not to sue for patent infringement). To “grant” such a patent license to a party means to make such an agreement or commitment not to enforce a patent against the party.

If you convey a covered work, knowingly relying on a patent license, and the Corresponding Source of the work is not available for anyone to copy, free of charge and under the terms of this License, through a publicly available network server or other readily accessible means, then you must either (1) cause the Corresponding Source to be so available, or (2) arrange to deprive yourself of the benefit of the patent license for this particular work, or (3) arrange, in a manner consistent with the requirements of this License, to extend the patent license to downstream recipients. “Knowingly relying” means you have actual knowledge that, but for the patent license, your conveying the covered work in a country, or your recipient's use of the covered work in a country, would infringe one or more identifiable patents in that country that you have reason to believe are valid.

If, pursuant to or in connection with a single transaction or arrangement, you convey, or propagate by procuring conveyance of, a covered work, and grant a patent license to some of the parties receiving the covered work authorizing them to use, propagate, modify or convey a specific copy of the covered work, then the patent license you grant is automatically extended to all recipients of the covered work and works based on it.

A patent license is “discriminatory” if it does not include within the scope of its coverage, prohibits the exercise of, or is conditioned on the non-exercise of one or more of the rights that are specifically granted under this License. You may not convey a covered work if you are a party to an arrangement with a third party that is in the business of distributing software, under which you make payment to the third party based on the extent of your activity of conveying the work, and under which the third party grants, to any of the parties who would receive the covered work from you, a discriminatory patent license (a) in connection with copies of the covered work conveyed by you (or copies made from those copies), or (b) primarily for and in connection with specific products or compilations that contain the covered work, unless you entered into that arrangement, or that patent license was granted, prior to 28 March 2007.

Nothing in this License shall be construed as excluding or limiting any implied license or other defenses to infringement that may otherwise be available to you under applicable patent law.

12. No Surrender of Others' Freedom.

If conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot convey a covered work so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not convey it at all. For example, if you agree to terms that obligate you to collect a royalty for further conveying from those to whom you convey the Program, the only way you could satisfy both those terms and this License would be to refrain entirely from conveying the Program.

13. Use with the GNU Affero General Public License.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this License, you have permission to link or combine any covered work with a work licensed under version 3 of the GNU Affero General Public License into a single combined work, and to convey the resulting work. The terms of this License will continue to apply to the part which is the covered work, but the special requirements of the GNU Affero General Public License, section 13, concerning interaction through a network will apply to the combination as such.

14. Revised Versions of this License.

The Free Software Foundation may publish revised and/or new versions of the GNU General Public License from time to time. Such new versions will be similar in spirit to the present version, but may differ in detail to address new problems or concerns.

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies that a certain numbered version of the GNU General Public License “or any later version” applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that numbered version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of the GNU General Public License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

If the Program specifies that a proxy can decide which future versions of the GNU General Public License can be used, that proxy's public statement of acceptance of a version permanently authorizes you to choose that version for the Program.

Later license versions may give you additional or different permissions. However, no additional obligations are imposed on any author or copyright holder as a result of your choosing to follow a later version.

15. Disclaimer of Warranty.

THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW. EXCEPT WHEN OTHERWISE STATED IN WRITING THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND/OR OTHER PARTIES PROVIDE THE PROGRAM “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE PROGRAM IS WITH YOU. SHOULD THE PROGRAM PROVE DEFECTIVE, YOU ASSUME THE COST OF ALL NECESSARY SERVICING, REPAIR OR CORRECTION.

16. Limitation of Liability.

IN NO EVENT UNLESS REQUIRED BY APPLICABLE LAW OR AGREED TO IN WRITING WILL ANY COPYRIGHT HOLDER, OR ANY OTHER PARTY WHO MODIFIES AND/OR CONVEYS THE PROGRAM AS PERMITTED ABOVE, BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR DAMAGES, INCLUDING ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE PROGRAM (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF DATA OR DATA BEING RENDERED INACCURATE OR LOSSES SUSTAINED BY YOU OR THIRD PARTIES OR A FAILURE OF THE PROGRAM TO OPERATE WITH ANY OTHER PROGRAMS), EVEN IF SUCH HOLDER OR OTHER PARTY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

17. Interpretation of Sections 15 and 16.

If the disclaimer of warranty and limitation of liability provided above cannot be given local legal effect according to their terms, reviewing courts shall apply local law that most closely approximates an absolute waiver of all civil liability in connection with the Program, unless a warranty or assumption of liability accompanies a copy of the Program in return for a fee.

END OF TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Editing an article

The appearance of the Edit article page depends on the article type you are working on. Below, the default "News Article" type is shown. At the top right are the Edit and View buttons, the Save All and Save and Close buttons, and the Actions, Status and Language drop-down menus.

Edit, View and Save buttons

There may be times when you want to view articles rather than edit them. In this case, clicking the View button speeds up the page display process. It also enables you to view an article when it is locked by another user on the server. Once the article is published, there will also be a Go to live article button here.

Save All saves the fields in the edit area without closing the page, whereas Save and Close both saves the page and closes it, unlocking the page for other authorized users to edit further.

Actions menu

The Actions menu contains short-cuts to commonly used functions:

Status menu

The status drop-down menu indicates the copy flow state of the article. There are four states that the article can be in:

Language menu

If multiple languages have been configured for the publication, a drop-down menu will enable fast switching between translated versions of the article. If not, the language of the article will be displayed here.

The editing area

To the left of the Actions and Status drop-down menus is the editing area for the article.

The "News article" type has the following fields in the editing area:

Comments

Beneath the editing area, there's a box in which you can set reader comments on the article to be enabled, if you wish. Your templates must be designed to allow this feature. The radio buttons can have one of three values: Enabled, Disabled, or Locked. "Locked" means that no one can post comments, but any existing comments are still shown. Click the blue Comments link to minimize the box, saving space in your browser window.

 

Individual comments can be Approved for publication, Deleted or Hidden, using the radio buttons immediately above. Beneath the displayed comments is a form which staff members of your publication can use to add a comment of their own, perhaps in reply to a reader question.

The sidebar

On the right side of the editing area is a vertical bar containing further options for the new article, in a series of boxes. Like the Comments box, all of the boxes in the sidebar can be minimized by clicking on the blue link in the box name.

Publish Schedule

Schedule the article to be published or unpublished at a certain date and time. Click the Add Event button to open a window with a calendar and publishing options, such as showing the article on its section page, or the publication's homepage.

 

Locations

Clicking the Edit button in the Locations box opens a pop-up window which enables you to set a geolocation (map reference) for the article.


Keywords & Topics

After clicking the Save and Close button, the Topics you have selected are displayed in the box in the sidebar.

Switches

Info

Media

The Media box has two tabs, Images and Attachments.

Polls

 

The Polls box enables you to add a specific reader voting poll to a specific article. Clicking the Attach button opens a pop-up window in which you can select the poll that you require. You can also create a new poll there.

Other article types may contain different fields. Whenever you edit any of the fields, you will need to click either the Save All button at the top of the edit area, or any of the Save buttons in individual boxes.

Note that date fields have a fixed syntax of YYYY-MM-DD (four year digits, two month digits and two day digits, in that order). If you enter dates in any other format, you may get incorrect results.

Expert install

These quick install steps are based on Debian or Ubuntu package names, and are suitable for experienced GNU/Linux system administrators. For a more detailed explanation, please read the chapter Manual installation in this book.

1. Install dependencies and set a password for the MySQL root user:

$ sudo apt-get install apache2 mysql-server php5-cli php5-mysql php5-gd libapache2-mod-php5 imagemagick
2. Connect to MySQL using the root account and password:
$ mysql -u root -p
Enter password:
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 34
Server version: 5.1.41-3ubuntu12.8 (Ubuntu)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the current input statement.
3. Create a user account and password for Newscoop to connect to the database. Substitute your own password for 'newscoop_user_password' in the following example:
mysql> CREATE USER 'newscoop_user'@'localhost'
    -> IDENTIFIED BY 'newscoop_user_password';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.04 sec)

4. Grant access privileges to the database user:

mysql> GRANT ALL ON newscoop.*
    -> TO 'newscoop_user'@'localhost';
Query OK, 0 rows affected (0.00 sec) 

5. Exit from MySQL and return to the shell prompt:

mysql> quit;
Bye
$
6. Open the PHP configuration file in the nano editor:
$ sudo nano /etc/php5/apache2/php.ini

Use the search tool (Ctrl+W) to find and adjust the maximum size of POST data to 100MB:

post_max_size = 100M

Adjust the maximum allowed size for uploaded files to 100MB:

upload_max_filesize = 100M

Disable automatic session garbage collection:

session.gc_probability = 0

Write out the file with Ctrl+O, then close it with Ctrl+X. 

7. Create an Apache configuration file containing a VirtualHost definition, using the nano editor:

$ sudo nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/newscoop

For a publication with the domain name www.example.com, you could use a VirtualHost definition like the following:

<VirtualHost *:80>
      DocumentRoot /var/www/newscoop
      ServerName example.com
      ServerAlias www.example.com
      DirectoryIndex index.php index.html
      <Directory /var/www/newscoop>
              Options -Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews
              AllowOverride All
              Order allow,deny
              Allow from all
      </Directory>
</VirtualHost>

8. Create the DocumentRoot directory that you set in the VirtualHost definition:

$ sudo mkdir -p /var/www/newscoop
9. Disable the default Apache configuration, if you aren't using it:
$ sudo a2dissite default
Site default disabled.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

10. Enable the Newscoop configuration that you just created:

$ sudo a2ensite newscoop
Enabling site newscoop.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 reload' to activate new configuration!

11. Enable Apache's rewrite module:

$ sudo a2enmod rewrite
Enabling module rewrite.
Run '/etc/init.d/apache2 restart' to activate new configuration!

12. Restart Apache so that the new configuration and modules can be loaded:

$ sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart
* Restarting web server apache2                           [ OK ]

13. Extract the Newscoop tarball in your working directory, which will create a new directory called newscoop:

$ tar -xvzf newscoop-3.5.3.tar.gz
14. Copy the contents of the newscoop directory that you just extracted into the DocumentRoot directory of the Apache VirtualHost:
$ sudo cp -r newscoop/* /var/www/newscoop/

If installing a beta version, the newscoop directory might have a suffix such as -3.6.0-BETA4.

15. Change the owner and group of the DocumentRoot directory to the username of the web server:

$ sudo chown -R www-data.www-data /var/www/newscoop/

16. Open a web browser with the URL of the Apache ServerName that you set up earlier. If you see the Newscoop installer page, you are ready to proceed through the Installation steps chapter of this book.

Feature list

This list of features is provided as a guide to help you decide if Newscoop is the right content management system for your publication.

Multi-lingual content

All of the content that you create in Newscoop can be translated:

The Newscoop administration interface has been translated into the following languages (in alphabetical order):

  1. Arabic
  2. Belarusian
  3. Chinese (Simplified)
  4. Chinese (Traditional)
  5. Croatian
  6. Czech
  7. Dutch
  8. English
  9. French
  10. Georgian
  11. German
  12. Korean
  13. Polish
  14. Portuguese
  15. Romanian
  16. Russian
  17. Serbian (Cyrillic)
  18. Serbo-Croatian (Latin)
  19. Spanish
  20. Swedish

Further translations can be added using a tool built into Newscoop called the "Localizer".

Revenue generation

  1. Control access to your content via:
    • User's IP Address (for corporate accounts)
    • Login/password (for individual users)
  2. Control the content your subscribers have access to:
    • The entire issue
    • Specific sections in each issue
    • Specific sections in a particular language
  3. Support for a trial subscription period, for instant access while payment is made
  4. Set your own pay periods (the time between each payment made by a subscriber)
  5. Geolocation and mapping features, enabling location-based services

Editorial features

  1. Online WYSIWYG editor for article editing:
    • Typical style formatting: bold, italic, etc.
    • Special support for linking to existing (internal) articles
    • Ability to split articles into multiple pages
    • Insert images into your articles
    • Copy & Paste clean text from Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org (while preserving bold and italics)
    • Insert subtitles, which can be used for breaking up the article (pagination)
  2. Built with multiple simultaneous users in mind
    • While a journalist is editing an article, it is "locked". A warning will be displayed if anyone else tries to edit the article at the same time. This prevents one journalist from deleting the work of another
  3. Group articles into sections
  4. Group sections into an issue
  5. Release an issue all at once
  6. Allow subscribers to access only certain issues
  7. Scheduled Publishing: automatically publish articles or issues at some time in the future. For articles, you can schedule the following actions:
    • publish
    • unpublish
    • show the article on the front page
    • remove the article from front page
    • show the article on the section page
    • remove the article from the section page
  8. Topics: Categorize your content
    • Define however many topics you like
    • Associate any number of topics to an article
    • Topic can have subtopics, subtopics can have sub-subtopics, etc.
    • Topics can be translated
  9. Dynamic, Flexible Article Types
    • "Article Types" allow you to define your own article format - you aren't limited to just "Introduction" and "Body" fields, for instance. An Article Type consists of a series of data fields
    • You can define any number and combination of the following field types:
      • date field
      • single-line text field
      • multiple-line text field with WYSIWYG editor
      • drop-down selection containing a list of topics
    • Reorder how the fields are displayed in the admin interface
    • Hide fields that are no longer in use
    • Translate the field names
    • Change the data type for a field
  10. Image Manager
    • View/search all of the images in the system
    • Edit image metadata
    • Scale images any way you want on the fly. Scaled versions are cached
  11. File Attachments
    • Attach files to articles
    • Files can have descriptions
    • You can specify whether the file should be displayed in the browser or popup a download window
  12. Comments
    • Readers can make comments to articles
    • Comments can be linked to a forum
    • Flexible implementation: allow anyone to comment, just subscribers, logged in
    • Comments can be moderated
    • Built-in CAPTCHA for spam prevention
  13. Works with SSL on both the front-end and back-end

Site Design

Newscoop has its own template language specifically made for online newspapers and magazines. It allows you to customize your site however you want.

Administration

  1. Fine-grained access control, you can create different user types such as:
    • journalists
    • editors
    • photographers
    • photo editors
    • subscriber managers
    • site administrators
  2. Multiple author support with contact information, biographies and article tracking
  3. All administration actions are logged
  4. Security
    • Login page secured against automated scripting attacks with a CAPTCHA
    • Login password is encrypted when sent to the server
  5. Backup
    • Command-line "backup" and "restore" scripts make it easy to backup your entire site and restore it with one command
    • You can also easily transfer your site from one server to another using these scripts
  6. Automated Feedback and Bug Reporting
    • If something goes wrong in the administration interface, a special screen will appear which allows you to submit the problem back to the Newscoop team
    • You can also submit feedback directly in the administration interface, such as suggestions or feature requests

Developers

Full commercial support

Getting started

Newscoop enables you to host multiple, multi-lingual publications on the same web server. The process of setting up a new on-line publication with Newscoop can be divided into three steps:

  1. Configuring the publication, and specifying the templates to be used
  2. Establishing the structure of your publication, with issues and sections
  3. Adding content, managing content, and publishing it

This part of the Newscoop manual is aimed at editors and journalists working their way through these three steps. It assumes that the web server you will use is already up and running with Newscoop, and that templates have been designed for your publication. If you chose to install the sample templates when following the Installation Steps chapter, you can use these templates to learn about Newscoop in advance of having your own templates designed. 

If you are a system administrator setting up a Newscoop server for production use, you should also read the administration chapters, later in this manual, before you begin work on the server. 

If you do not yet have your own Newscoop server running, you can follow the steps in this manual using the Newscoop demonstration server and sample templates provided by Sourcefabric.


Logging in

The first step begins with logging in to the administration interface of your Newscoop server. This is a special interface which is only available to the staff of your publication. Readers who subscribe to your online publication will log in using the home page of your website instead.

By default, the URL you should enter into your web browser for the administration interface is the name of your website, followed by 'admin'. For example:

http://www.example.com/admin/

If you installed Newscoop yourself, you would have set a password for the 'admin' user during the installation steps. If not, your system administrator should already have provided you with a login account name and password. Below the Account name and Password fields, click the drop-down menu to select an interface language other than the default of English, if you wish. Then click the Login button.


Alternatively, the administration interface of the Newscoop demonstration server can be found at:

http://newscoop-demo.sourcefabric.org/admin/

Please remember that the demonstration server is a public site, so don't enter any private information there. A variety of guest login accounts are set up on this system, and the passwords for these accounts are shown on the login page.

How permissions change the interface

The appearance of the Newscoop administration interface changes, depending on the permissions that a particular staff member has. Each user sees only the options that he or she has the authority to use. A typical staff user (a section editor or journalist) will only see some of the options available to a fully authorized administrator (such as the publisher, or senior manager).

When you log into the Newscoop administration interface, across the top of the page you will see the main navigation menu, containing the options available to you. Here is how two typical users would see the main menu differently. Firstly, here's how the Actions sub-menu looks when an administrator is logged in:

And this is how the same Actions sub-menu looks when a journalist is logged in:

Installation steps

At the URL of your publication's new site, Newscoop should display a Pre-installation Check page indicating the status of dependencies.

 

If there are any No entries in the Status column, check your Apache server logs for errors. Otherwise, click the Next button to run through the installation steps.

The next step is for you to review the license under which Newscoop is distributed, which is the GNU General Public License version 3. Click the Next button if you accept the license terms.

Next, you need to set the Server Name/Address for the database, which will be localhost if Apache and MySQL are running on the same machine. You only need to enter a number in the Server Port field if you are using a non-standard MySQL port. Then enter the User Name, User Password and Database Name that you set up earlier.

 

If you enter a Database Name which already exists on the specified server, you will asked if you wish to Overwrite Database. Only click the Yes option if you are very sure that any production databases are fully backed up.

Next is the Main Configuration page, which is where you set the name of your first publication, as well as the password and email address for Newscoop's admin user. This user account is critical for management of your Newscoop publications, so make sure that you keep the password somewhere secure.

Newscoop includes a demonstration publication template which you can use for evaluation purposes. For the demo template to work, you will need to set up a Publication alias with your chosen ServerName later. If you already have a template designed, or wish to start with an empty template set, click the No, thanks! radio button.

 

The next page of the installer sets up automated maintenance tasks for your Newscoop server, using cron jobs.

Once installation has completed, two large buttons are shown. Clicking on the upper button, with a tools icon, redirects you to the Newscoop administrator interface. The lower button takes you to the Sourcefabric website, for further information and support on Newscoop.

 

If you attempt to access the reader side of your new website before logging into the administration interface for the first time, you may see an error message in your web browser that the site alias (such as www.example.com) was not yet assigned to a publication. This aspect of Newscoop configuration is dealt with in the Creating a publication chapter of this manual. 


Installing a sample publication

Newscoop's templating engine allows you to customise your online publication with full separation of design and content. You do not need to compromise when tailoring the template to fit your design, but some Newscoop publications prefer to start with a ready-made template.

On the Sourcefabric website you can find a number of sample publications for Newscoop, providing all elements of a publication: database structure, sample content and the actual templates. These sample publications are provided in the form of Newscoop backup files.

Warning: if you already have one or more publications on your Newscoop server, uploading a sample publication will erase your entire database and files from all your publications, and replace them with sample content! Do not attempt this procedure on a production Newscoop server unless you have backed it up first! 

Using the Backup/Restore feature of Newscoop, you can install a sample publication file after downloading it from the Sourcefabric website to your local computer's desktop. Then log in to the Newscoop administration interface, and select Backup/Restore from the Actions menu.

 

On the Backup/Restore page, click the Upload backup file link, and click the Browse button to select the sample publication file from your local computer. Then click the Save button to upload the file. After upload, click the Restore icon for the sample publication, on the right side of the list of the available backup files. This orange and white icon looks like a life preserver, of the kind you might find on a boat.

The restore process starts with an empty pop-up window, connecting to the server. Do not close this window, otherwise the restore process will be interrupted. The process takes some time (it can be minutes, depending on the size of the publication and the speed of the server). After the restore process has finished, there is only one user in the system, the Administrator, with the login and password both set to: admin

To finish the process, log in as admin. Then go to Content > Publications and select "Configure" in the new publication. Now add the URL of your publication as a site alias.

The sample template should now be visible at the URL of your publication.

Languages

While Newscoop's default language is English, you are by no means limited to publishing in that language only. Click Configure on the main navigation menu, then Languages from the submenu, to see the languages currently available on the system.


The Language page enables you to configure support for languages that you wish to publish in. The Code column refers to the two-letter ISO 639-1 code name for each language. English, for example, is en, German is de, Spanish is es, Russian is ru, and so on.


Click on a name in the Language column to open a page for that language, which enables you to adjust month, day and time name translations. This feature ensures that automatically generated publication dates and times for an article in a particular language are displayed correctly to your international readers.


To add another language, click on the Add new language link, next to the green cross icon. You should enter the language name (both in your own language, and the Native name in the language itself), and its two-letter ISO code (e.g. cy for Welsh).


After entering translations in all the fields, click the Save button at the end of the page. The new language will now be shown on the Languages page.


You may wish to limit the number of languages configured on your server, in order to spare your editors and journalists from having to navigate long drop-down language menus. To remove a language, click the white cross in a red square icon at the end of each row in the list. You will be asked if you are sure about this action.


Logs

The Newscoop administration interface includes a feature which enables you to keep track of who has done what, and when, on your publication's server. You can examine Newscoop's log files by clicking Configure on the main navigation menu, then Logs.


The default log view displays all recent events on the Newscoop server, with 15 listings per page, and the most recent events first. Click the Next link or page number just above the search results box to see previous pages. Like most features in Newscoop, the Logs page is multilingual, so you may see log entries in languages other than your own.


To examine the logs selectively, use the Event drop-down menu above the search results box to select a particular action; for example, Add country. Then click the Search button, and the Logs page will be refreshed to list events corresponding to that action exclusively.


Main menu

The main Newscoop menu contains a link to the Dashboard page and up to five sub-menus, depending on the permissions of the user who is logged in. These sub-menus are Content, Actions, Configure, Users, and Plugins. The menus shown below are for an administrator user, who has access to all sub-menu options.

Content

Here you can find the Publications on the server, reader Comments, the Media Archive, and the Search page for all of the articles in the Newscoop database. For each available publication, there are quick links to the latest three issues, and a full list of sections within each issue. In the screen shot below, a sample publication called 'the Custodian' has been set up, with two issues in both English and Spanish.

Actions

This menu provides quick access to the most commonly used functions, including 'Add new article' and 'Change your password'.

Configure

Here you can configure the System Preferences for your publication, and a number of other functions. Templates are the files which determine how Newscoop displays content to readers and subscribers. Article Types describe the format of your articles, while Topics allow you to categorize your articles. The Languages option specifies the languages that journalists have to choose from when creating articles. Countries enables you to specify the name of a country in the local language for each territory. The Localizer allows you to translate the administration interface. Clicking Logs will show you the recent activity of all staff users, including the IP address that they have logged in from.

Users

Here you can add and edit Staff users, and manage Subscribers. You can also define Staff User Types, or Synchronize Newscoop and Phorum users, integrating this web forum system with your publication's site. The Manage Authors page enables you to maintain contact and biography information for each of your publication's contributors, as well as track the articles that they have worked on.

Plugins

This sub-menu provides access to additional functionality for Newscoop, including Blogs, Interviews and Polls plugins.

Help and Logout

Up in the top right corner of the administration interface are two additional links, to the right of the full name associated with your login account. Help links you to the on-line version of this manual, via the Sourcefabric website. Logout ends your session and returns you to the administration login page.

Managing content

The "Article List" page is displayed when you enter a particular section via the Content menu, by following the hierarchy of publications, issues and sections. Alternatively, use the breadcrumb trail to jump to the section that you're interested in, and then click the "Go to Articles" link.

To edit a specific article, simply click on its Name, and you will be taken to the "Edit Article" page. A locked article is one that is being edited at that moment, as shown in the list by a padlock icon to the left of its name. Articles being edited by other users on the Newscoop system also have a pink background in the list.


To find out who is editing an article and when it was locked, click on the article Name in the list. A page will open with the name of the editor, and buttons offering the options of unlocking or viewing that particular article. Using the View option means that you will not be able to overwrite another contributor's work while it is still in progress.

 

Multiple actions

The Article List allows you to perform other actions besides editing the article, and you can perform these actions on multiple articles at once. To perform an action on one or more articles, click the checkbox to the left of the article name. The articles you have selected will be highlighted with a light blue background.

Now that you have selected the articles, go to the "Actions..." drop-down menu at the top of the list, and select the action you would like to perform:

For example, if you select "Toggle: 'On Front Page'", Newscoop will publish the selected articles on the front page of your publication. A small green pop-up window will confirm that the action has been processed. Some actions will take you to another page, because they require further input from you. These actions requiring additional  input include Publish schedule, Duplicate to another section, and Move.

The article list also allows you to rearrange articles as they appear on your section page, if your template supports this feature. To move an article's position in the list, simply click anywhere in it's row, hold the mouse button down, and drag the row to the position that you require. The new arrangement of the articles is not finalized until you click the Save order button underneath the Article List.

On the right hand side of the Article List are additional columns which relate to other functions, such as the number of Comments posted on the article, or the number of Reads it has had. In the upper right corner of the list is a Show / hide columns button which enables you to select the columns that you wish to view.

To re-order the articles by Name, the number of Comments or Reads, or the Publish Date, click on the appropriate column heading. Column headings that enable sorting have a double chevron icon. After you click the Save Order button, the order of the articles on the relevant section page will be updated. For example, you could identify the article which had the most reads in a particular section, and move it to the top of its section page.

Search

Newscoop includes another tool which provides an overview of content across all publications on the server. The Search feature is accessed via an entry on the Content menu, and has an interface somewhat like an Internet search engine. You can filter the search options according to a specific publication, issue or section. You can also filter by a number of other criteria, such as the author or publication date of the article.

Media Archive

Also found on the Content menu, the Media Archive page provides an overview of all non-text content in your publication's database. It has two tabs; one for Images, and one for other Files, such as audio or video files. New content can be uploaded directly to the Media Archive using the Add new image or Add new file link next to the green plus sign icon on the respective tab.

 

The main difference between the two tabs is that images are opened in the reader's web browser by default, whereas other files can be set to be either opened in the browser or downloaded by the reader instead. For this reason, it's also possible to upload images into the Files tab, if you wish to have the option to set them for download.

Import XML

On the Actions menu there is an entry Import XML which enables you to import formatted content from other publishing systems, such as Adobe InDesign or WordPress.

The XML tags that you use in the export must match those used by Newscoop. For example, to match the default Article Type news_article you could use the following fields:

<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?>

<articles>

  <article>

    <name>Gigantoraptor Discovered in Mongolia</name>

    <keywords>Gigantoraptor, Dinosaur, Mongolia</keywords>

    <author>Sarah Staffwriter</author>

    <deck>Newly discovered dinosaur roamed the desert 80 million years ago</deck>

    <lead_and_sms>Imagine an ostrich that tipped the scales at 3800 kilograms, standing twice as tall as a human, with a solid tail and massive body, plus long, feathered arms with sharp claws, and a turtle-like beak.</lead_and_sms>

    <body>The huge size of Gigantoraptor is a surprise because it is a member of the oviraptorids, a group of flightless feathered dinosaurs closely related to birds, which mostly weighed less than 80 kilograms. Known since the 1920s, oviraptorids were toothless and probably omnivorous. "Gigantoraptor would be a strange animal in any environment," says Tom Holtz of the University of Maryland in College Park.

The partial fossil skeleton was found in Inner Mongolia and is from a young adult about 8 metres long. Many of Gigantoraptor's features are unique, suggesting dinosaurs were more diverse than has been recognised, says lead author Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Bejing (Nature, vol 447, p 844). Its combination of slender limbs and long lower legs may have made it the fastest runner among large two-legged dinosaurs, he says.</body>

  </article>

</articles>

Multiple <article> tags can be enclosed by the top-level <articles> tag, so that you can import a large number of articles from a single XML file.

Once you have an appropriately formatted XML file exported from the other system, use the Import XML page to upload it. You will need to set the Article Type and Language that you wish to import, and also if you wish to Overwrite existing articles with the same names.

The newly imported articles will be displayed in the Pending widget on the Dashboard. You can click on the article names for further editing, as usual.

 

If there is a mismatch between the tags in the XML file you have tried to import, and the fields in the Article Type that you have attempted to import to, Newscoop will list the empty fields and the problematic tags. You can then re-export the XML file from the other application with the correct tags.

Should the XML file be incorrectly formatted altogether, Newscoop will refuse to import it.

Moderating comments

To prevent spam or defamatory posts from appearing in your online publication, it's often necessary to moderate comments from readers before they are published. A CAPTCHA can prevent some automated spam, but it cannot prevent spam being entered into your publication's comment form manually.


If you have configured your publication so that subscriber or public comments are moderated, the reader will see a message indicating that their comment has been sent for approval before it will be published - or not, as the case may be.


The list of reader comments can be found by clicking Content, then Comments, on the main navigation menu. On the left hand side of the Comments page are two tabs; one for New comments, and one for Published comments. The New tab is the default, and beneath this any new comments are listed. The default list length is 20 comments per page. There is a Search field to help you find a specific set of comments, perhaps on a topical subject. Search results can be sorted by Date posted, Article name, Author or Thread, using the drop-down menu to the right of the Search field. The sort direction can be changed by clicking on the blue arrow icon next to the drop-down menu.


On the right-hand side of the Comments page is an area displaying the text and metadata of the current comment under review, as indicated by the small yellow arrow icon in the comment list.


A row of radio buttons above the comment text enable you to update the New comment's status to Approved, or Delete if it is spam. Alternatively, the comment can be Hidden, or click Ban user to the user that made the comment banned from commenting on the publication in future. Clicking the Show article link, next to the magnifying glass icon, enables you to see the comment in the context of the original article. You can also click on the Article name link to open the Edit article page for that particular story.

Publishing an issue

You can draft and edit articles for a particular issue on your Campsite server without any of the material being available to the public. You can then publish an entire issue all at once, and there are two ways to do it: immediately, or by scheduling the issue to be published at a specific date and time in the future. Note that within an issue, you can publish or unpublish each article individually; for instance, to hide an article even if the issue it belongs to has already been published.

Publishing immediately

To publish an issue straight away, click the Publish link for the relevant issue and language edition in the Publish Date column of the Issue List.


A pop-up dialog will ask you to confirm that you want to publish the issue in question, because this action implies that any articles which are part of the named issue will become available to the public instantly.


After clicking the OK button, the issue will be published, and the Issue List will be updated with the publication date and time of that particular issue.


To reverse the process, click the Unpublish link. Again, a pop-up dialog will ask if you are sure you want to change the issue's status.

Scheduled publishing

To schedule an issue to be published automatically at a specific date and time in the future, click on the Schedule link for the issue and language edition you require in the Publish Date column of the Issue List. This will open the Change issue details page, where you can set the date and time for this particular issue to be published. Over on the right hand side of the page are the Issue Publishing Schedule and Schedule a new action boxes.


Click the small calendar icon to the right of the Date: field to select a specific day for publication. Set the time you require, and select either Publish or Unpublish from the drop-down Action menu. Then click the Save button. The Issue Publishing Schedule box will update to display the newly scheduled action.


Note that you can also set the issue to be unpublished at a specific date and time in the future as well. This event will be displayed in the Issue Publishing Schedule box.


To cancel a scheduled action, click the corresponding white cross in a red box icon in the Delete column. You will be asked to confirm the deletion.


If you click on the Date/Time link for a future event, the Issue Publishing Schedule page will open, and you will be able to edit the event. Click the Save button to confirm the schedule change.


Publishing articles

As mentioned previously, an article in Newscoop can have one of four different states: New, Submitted, Published, or Publish with issue. When you create an article, the Status: drop-down menu at the top of the editing area is set to New by default. Once your article copy has been drafted and is ready for the editors to see, click on this drop-down menu and change the Status: to Submitted.


After changing the status to Submitted, the page will be reloaded, and a pop-up message will indicate that the change in status of the article has been saved. The editors will be able to see the fresh submission when they log in to Newscoop. Articles which are ready for editing are listed in the Submitted Articles view on the administrator Dashboard.


In addition, if their user accounts have been configured for notifications, an email will be sent to the editors to inform them about the new submission.

Once the editors have made any required changes and are happy with the way the article reads and appears, they can publish the article by changing the drop-down Status: menu to Publish with issue. Again, the page will be reloaded, and a message will indicate that the article's status has changed.


When an article status is set to Publish with issue it becomes visible on your public web site, as soon as the issue it belongs to is published. This feature enables co-ordinated publishing of complementary articles when a complete issue is ready for the public. You can check the publication status of a particular issue in the Issue List. If the issue in question has already been published, then new articles can be seen by the public immediately after their status is changed to Publish.

The process is fully reversible, so you can unpublish articles on your site (or even change their status to New) as easily as you can publish them. Note that only authorized users are allowed to publish articles, so you will not be able to access this option if your system administrator has not granted you this permission.

Scheduled Articles

You also have the option to publish (or unpublish) an article at a specific date and time in the future. You can do this from the Edit article page, using the Add Event button in the Publish Schedule box.


After clicking on Add Event, a pop-up window will appear with a calendar and a series of three possible actions for the date and time that you choose: Publish/Unpublish, Show on front page/Remove from front page, and Show on section page/Remove from section page.


Choose the date by clicking on the calendar, or enter a date code manually. Then enter the time for the event, and choose one or more actions to perform at the time you have chosen. After you click the Save button, the pop-up window will close, and the event will appear in the Publish Schedule box.


Once the event is created, the actions will be performed automatically for you on the date and at the time you specified. After the event time, the Status drop-down menu will change to Published, and the event will no longer be shown in the Publish Schedule box.

Subscriptions

Newscoop allows you to control reader access to your publication through its built-in subscription features. (If you want to have all your content freely accessible, your designer can bypass the subscription features in your publication's templates). Articles that you create in your publication are available to subscribers only by default. However, Administrators have the right to make a particular article accessible to non-subscribers.

Newscoop enables you to control access to your site in two ways:

Account name and password access

A non-subscriber who tries to access a subscriber-only article sees a message indicating that they should log in or register to see it.

 

The reader has the option to subscribe immediately to all articles in the same section, or the whole publication. This subscription can be paid or trial, depending on the reader's choice. 

 

The list of subscribers is available in the Newscoop administration interface by clicking on Users in the main navigation menu, then Subscribers.

 

The subscription management interface includes a search tool which enables you to list readers according to several criteria, including subscription expiry date.

 

The duration of paid or trial subscriptions is determined by the Default time periods set when you created the publication. (You can change these settings for your publication by clicking the Configure icon in the Publication list). During a trial period, the reader has a chance to make payment, and consequently have their subscription extended by an administrator.

The publication's administrator is automatically notified of all new subscriptions by e-mail. Subscribers also receive automatically generated e-mail reminders that their subscription is expiring two weeks before the event. The text of the subscription expiry message is created in a Newscoop template by your web developer. The default system template reads as follows:

"Dear <reader>,

This is an automatically generated e-mail message. Your <subs_type> subscription (started on <start_date>) to publication <publication> will expire on <date> (in <number> days).

Please enter the site http://<pub_site> to update subscription."

IP address access

The IP based access feature of Newscoop can be used to automatically log in subscribers that have IP (Internet Protocol) addresses in a known range. This means that groups of readers with computers in that IP range do not need account names or passwords to access your subscription-only content.

To create an IP Address subscription, go to the Subscriber management page. First, create a subscriber account by clicking on the Add new subscriber link, next to the green plus sign icon. Enter an Account name, a password, and a Full name with E-mail address and Phone number for the subscribing group or institution. You do not need to inform the readers who will be using IP address access of the existence of this Account name and Password.

 

Once the new subscription account has been created, click on the Add new link in the User IP access list management table on the right hand side of the page.

 

The form allows the input of a range of consecutive IP addresses. If necessary, more ranges can be added later. The start IP address is the lowest address in the range, while the number of addresses sets the size of the range, including any address ending in zero. For example, if a university library had the range of IP addresses 198.51.100.0 to 198.51.100.63, then you would enter:

 

It is not necessary to add anything to the Newscoop templates for IP based subscriptions to work.

It is also possible to search for subscribers based on known IP addresses. In the search box on the Subscriber management page, enter a number in at least one box in the field labeled IP address, starting on the left side. Click the Search button, and the page will display all subscribers that have known IP addresses which match that number (or numbers).

Synchronize Newscoop and Phorum users

This feature is found on the Users menu. It enables administrators to update the database of reader login accounts, so that readers can post comments in both the Newscoop publication and an associated Phorum bulletin board.

System preferences

The System Preferences page is accessed via Configure in the main Newscoop navigation menu.


This page allows you to control some advanced aspects of your Newscoop server, so it is recommended that access is reserved for administrators only.

General Settings

The first section of the System Preferences page is for General Settings.


Here is what each of the options means:

Editor Settings

The second section of the page is for Editor Settings, which refer to image handling.


The fields in this section enable you to specify the default resize ratio, or default width and height, for images in articles. If the Zoom enabled for images in article content? radio button is set to Yes, readers can enlarge article images in your publication's pages by clicking on them.

External subscription management

The third section down is related to external subscription management software.


If you select the Yes radio button for the Reader subscriptions managed externally? option, the subscription management features in the Newscoop administration interface are hidden. The subscription data is still held in the Newscoop database, which your systems administrator will have connected to your third-party subscription management software.

Database replication server

The fourth section enables you to set up Newscoop to operate on two servers at once, which is a safety feature in case of hardware or network problems.


Selecting the Yes radio button for the option Setting up a Newscoop Replication Server? displays four fields:

Templates filter mask

Enter keywords for templates that you wish to hide on the Configure -> Templates page. For example, templates that are no longer in use, but you do not wish to delete from the server

 

Cron tasks

Run cron tasks externally? means to use the server's own scheduler for automated tasks, rather than the one included in Newscoop.

 

Geolocation settings

This section enables you to specify how maps linked to articles will be displayed, and which Internet mapping service will provide the data.

 

Video settings

The default width and height of both externally and locally hosted video files can be set in this section, to make sure that the videos are displayed correctly in your publication's page templates.

 

Finally, the Save button updates your preferences.

Templates

Templates control the look and feel of your Newscoop publication. Each publication has a unique set of templates created by your web developer, which should have already been installed by your system administrator. The Newscoop administration interface includes a template management and editing tool, which you can find by clicking Configure on the main navigation menu, then Templates.


Templates are organized into folders, shown in a box on the left hand side of the page.


Clicking on the name of a folder shows the files included in that template.


In turn, clicking on a file name opens that file in the template editor. This feature enables web developers to make quick changes to templates on a running Newscoop system.


You should only make changes to the templates if you know what you are doing, because any modifications will have an immediate impact on the appearance of your publication. This feature is also useful for editing templates on a development server before they are copied to the publication's production server.

The Dashboard

After logging into the administration interface for the first time, you'll see a page which Newscoop calls the Dashboard. This an area into which you can add widgets for the administration functions that you use most often. In this way, you can customize the administration interface to suit your needs. Click the Add more widgets link to open a page where you can select from more than a dozen potential widgets.

 

On the Widgets page, click the Add to dashboard link for each widget that you would like to start with. You can refine your choice of widgets later, as you get to know the Newscoop administration interface and its functions.

 

After all the widgets that you require have been added to the Dashboard, they change from black to green text to show that they are active. Click the Go to dashboard link to return to the Dashboard page.

 

Each widget has three small blue icons in the upper right corner. From left to right, these icons maximize the widget to the full width of your browser window, provide general information about the widget, or close it. When a widget is maximized, clicking the close icon returns the widget to normal size.

 

Some widgets have a blue spanner icon in the upper right corner, which enables you to adjust a setting for that particular widget. For example, the Map search widget enables setting of the default map location using the spanner icon.


The Localizer

The default language for the Newscoop administration interface is English, but you can either use one of the many translations supplied with Newscoop, or create your own translation using the built-in Localizer tool. You can also use the Localizer to improve an existing translation, or adapt it for a regional dialect.

The first step is to check that the language you wish to translate into is in the Configure Languages list. If your target language does not exist yet, you will have to add it to Newscoop first. Then, you can open the Localizer by clicking Configure, then Localizer on the main navigation menu.


The Localizer works by enabling you to translate individual 'strings' of text that appear in the Newscoop administration interface. There are 2091 strings in the whole of Newscoop, divided into 40 Screens representing the various different pages in the interface. You can complete a localization with a team of translators working together, by tackling one screen each at a time.


Select your source (Translate from) and target (Translate to) languages from the drop-down menus, and then select a Screen, such as Geo-location or Article Types. Strings that have not yet been translated are shown in a red font. You can save your work at any time by clicking the disk icon next to one of the input fields. When you have completed your translation, there is a Save button at the end of the page.

You will encounter strings with a dollar sign in them, e.g. "$1". This means that one or more words will be substituted in place of these characters. For example, the phrase "Signed in: $1", when displayed on the interface, might be: "Signed in: Administrator". In this example, "Administrator" was substituted for "$1".


TinyMCE, the WYSIWYG article editor incorporated into Newscoop, can also be localized. The strings in TinyMCE have to be edited manually by your system administrator, which is a task done separately from the Localizer.

Sending a localization back to the Newscoop team

We actively encourage Newscoop users to send us their language localizations. This makes Newscoop more useful for people around the world. Even if a similar language localization exists, it may not address your particular needs or regional differences. For example, there may be differences in Spanish between that used in Spain and that used in Guatemala. In that case, you can localize Newscoop to your needs and share the localization with other users that speak your language or dialect.

For more information on how to contribute a localization to Newscoop, please email contact@sourcefabric.org

Themes

Themes control the look and feel of your Newscoop publication. Each publication has a unique set of templates created by your web developer, which should have already been installed by your system administrator. The Newscoop administration interface includes a template management and editing tool, which you can find by clicking Configure on the main navigation menu, then Templates.


Templates are organized into folders, shown in a box on the left hand side of the page.


Clicking on the name of a folder shows the files included in that template.


In turn, clicking on a file name opens that file in the template editor. This feature enables web developers to make quick changes to templates on a running Newscoop system.


You should only make changes to the templates if you know what you are doing, because any modifications will have an immediate impact on the appearance of your publication. This feature is also useful for editing templates on a development server before they are copied to the publication's production server.

 

Topics

In Newscoop, topics are the subject matters assigned by editors and journalists to articles, so that related articles can be identified and displayed together. A topic can have many subtopics; for example: the sports topic could have the subtopics football, basketball, and water polo. An individual article may have several topics or subtopics assigned to it.

To review or create topics, click Configure on the main navigation menu, then click Topics from the sub-menu.


To add a new top-level topic, select a language from the drop-down menu and enter a word in the Add root topic field. Then click the Add button.


To rename a topic, click the Edit link to the right of the topic or subtopic name. The name row will expand to show the Change topic name field. Update the name, and then click the Save button.


You can translate topic names so that they appear in the correct language when an author is editing an article. To translate a topic, click the Edit link to display the Add Translation field for that topic name. Select the language you are translating into from the drop-down menu, enter the translation of the topic name, and then click the Translate button.


If you translate a subtopic and its parent has not yet been translated, the parent topic will appear in its original language until you translate it.

To add a subtopic, click the Edit link next to the topic you want to put the subtopic under. Enter a word or two into the Add Subtopic field, then click the Add button.


The new subtopic will appear underneath its parent topic. Topics can be re-ordered by dragging and dropping, after which you will be prompted to click the Save order button in a pop-up window. You can also click the Reset order button in the pop-up window, if you wish. Any changes to topic ordering that you save will be reflected in lists of topics displayed on the public website.


You can delete a specific topic or subtopic using the blue cross icon, on the right hand side of its row. If you attempt to delete a topic currently in use by an article, Newscoop will warn you about this.


User management

Newscoop's user management features enable you to control access for both Staff users and Subscribers. You can define User types for your staff members, such as Journalist or Editor, and manage author profiles. User management tasks have their own sub-menu on the main Newscoop navigation menu.

 

Initially, Newscoop has only one user account: admin. Do not delete this account, as it is needed by the feature which informs staff users of events on the Newscoop system. The email address associated with the admin account is used as the "Reply-To" address in these notification emails.

Creating User Types

A User type is defined by a checklist of tasks that the user is allowed to perform in the Newscoop system. This list of tasks ranges from creating, managing and editing publications, sections, or articles, to template and plugin management.

Instead of configuring each access right for every single user, Newscoop enables you to create generic user types which can be assigned to multiple users.

Newscoop has five default user types, in order from most to least powerful:

To create a new user type, select Staff User Types from the Users menu, then click the Add new user type link next to the green plus sign icon.


Name the new user type, and check the boxes for the rights that you want enabled for this type. Then click the Save button at the top or bottom of the list.

 

When you return to the User types list, your new user type should be shown there.


Creating Staff Users

To add a new Staff user, select Staff from the Users menu, and then click on the Add new staff member link next to the green plus sign icon.


You should specify the account name, password, full name, e-mail address and phone number of the new user. Then choose a User type (either one of the default types, or a custom user type that you have created).

 

Click the Show more user details link to add further information about this new user. Then click the Save button at the end of the page.


If you would like to fine-tune the rights assigned to this new user, follow the Click here to customize user permissions link on the subsequent page.

 

Managing Authors

Newscoop includes a feature for managing author profiles, which you can find by clicking Manage Authors on the Users menu. Authors do not necessarily have corresponding login accounts on the Newscoop system, but they can still be credited as contributors to articles.

 

Further information can be saved for each author, using the three tabs on the right-hand side of the page. Multiple author types can be assigned for credits on a particular article, including Writer, Photographer, Editor or Columnist. The Biography tab includes a field for uploading an author photo, while the third tab, Content, tracks any articles associated with the author.



Using plugins

Plugins enable your system administrator or template designer to add functionality to your Newscoop installation without having to write a large amount of code. They can also enable you to make better use of the content and templates already in your Newscoop publication. Currently, there are three plugins installed by default with Newscoop:

Installing new plugins

Once new plugins are downloaded to your computer, they can be uploaded to your Newscoop server. Plugins must be uploaded to the Newscoop server in .tar archive format. In the Newscoop administration interface, click Plugins on the main navigation menu, then Manage Plugins. Click the Browse button to select the plugin from your computer, then click the Upload button. Once a plugin is correctly installed, you will be able to administer it using separate entries on the Plugins menu.

The Manage Plugins page also provides you with a list of installed plugins. There is a check box which can be used to enable or disable each plugin. The white X in a red box icon enables you to delete a plugin from your system.

Plugins require changes to your site's templates, but each plugin also includes sample templates for your designer to either copy and paste, or to use as a guide for their own template code.

Using the TinyMCE editor

The body field editor in Newscoop (a program called 'TinyMCE') allows contributors to perform extensive article formatting from within a web browser. You may be familiar with most of the functions of TinyMCE from using word processors such as Microsoft Word or OpenOffice.org: functions such as bold, italic, underline, and text alignment. Move your mouse over the icons to see a tooltip explaining what they do. Standard formatting keyboard shortcuts also work (e.g. ctrl+b for bold, ctrl+i for italic).

The editor field you see on your own Newscoop installation may look different than the one pictured above, depending on the extent of your user rights. Typically, the editor you'll see is the one that contains all the functionality you need for your site, but if you feel something vital is missing, discuss it with your Newscoop system administrator.

There are two Newscoop-specific features in the editor. The first is Insert/edit internal link, which allows you to include links to articles within the same Newscoop publication, or within another publication on the same Newscoop server.

Clicking this icon opens a pop-up window with drop-down menus enabling you to select a specific language version of a publication, issue, section and article to link to.

After you click the Insert button, the internally linked text will be shown in blue and underlined, like a web link.

The second Newscoop-specific feature is Newscoop Subhead, which allows you to break your text into different pages. (Your templates must be configured to use this option).

Enter the text for the subhead into the editing window, select it with the mouse, then click the Newscoop Subhead icon. The subhead text will now be shown with a dashed outline.

Where to go for support

Sourcefabric offers full commercial support for Newscoop. Additional support is provided to the Newscoop user and developer community.

Forum and mailing list: You can visit the Newscoop online support forum, and sign up for the mailing list, at http://forum.sourcefabric.org/index.php/f/10/.

This forum is mirrored by the mailing list, so posts on the forum appear on the mailing list and vice versa. You can therefore also post a message there by emailing: newscoop-support@lists.sourcefabric.org.

To subscribe to forum updates via mail, please register or login to the forum by clicking the appropriate link. Then click the 'Subscribe' button at the top of each forum page.

Bug reporting: Newscoop needs your input to improve. If you think you've found a bug, please visit http://dev.sourcefabric.org and sign in, using the same login and password that you registered for the Newscoop forum. Create a bug report by selecting Create Issue, then Newscoop, and then Bug. That way, the Newscoop team can keep track of your problem and notify you when it has been fixed. You can also suggest improvements and new features for Newscoop on that site.

Contact: Finally, when all other avenues have been exhausted, email us directly at contact@sourcefabric.org and we'll try to help!