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Vanilla Tutorial/Documental Site

edited August 2013 in Tutorials

I mentioned in a post a little while ago about vanilla having a wiki style documentation like another well know software publisher, simply because it attracts information from coders in a simplified form making it easier for novice programmers to find there legs within the code.

It was a great springboard for me and really got me into that software, even though all I knew about php before then was the syntax and the basics, what attracted me was the layman like examples of code that enabled me to build more than a hello world plugin and I got brave enough to actually write a cross site authentication plugin that allowed users to all be registered in one database and authenticate everywhere or for each site to replicate signups across the network of sites (and a few bits besides) but I could not have done it without the examples that made me brave.

Lots of people have good Ideas that never get programmed simply because as soon as they start looking at how a particular system works it gets confusing without good sign posts and they run.

What I am looking for is support for this idea as we all know the Vanilla crew are busy people, are there any app or plugin programmers out there willing to contribute to this site if i create it ?

Are there any people out there willing to help maintain it ?

What do you think of the idea ?

IMHO I think it could be a really good thing for vanilla in helping people build the confidence to give it a go.

What do you think ?

Link to Vanilla Wiki site:




  • You got one vote from me...

  • hbfhbf wiki guy? MVP
    Answer ✓

    I'm up for helping. I don't have a lot of time, but I'd be happy to help edit and keep things clean where I can..

  • Thanks for your comments guys, still hoping some more people will show interest, although I'm thinking more interest might come when I set up the site, I'm learning loads right now and being simple myself (:)) I should be able to write a few tutorials.

  • I'm learning too, and keeping notes while at it.

  • @dodgerid

    what if we just create a free account at vanillaforums.com and use that instead for a start.

  • :)

    There you go... now who's gonna admin the page, and how are we going to organize the infos.

  • Nice one @hbf

    I will add my first page later, on signup it gave an unable to send verification email error but has allowed me to signup and in, I will have a read up later on adding categories etc.

  • Ok, added some references to PHP and MVC with my own explanation but not sure if its in the right place or what. How would I ceate a page ?

    I seem to have added it to the Discussion about the Main page !

  • JongosJongos
    edited January 2012

    Some input/opinion for consideration on the organisation of content, of how we should approach the documentation.

    first approach : By Topics (Like vanillaforums.org/docs)

    second approach : By Elements (Menu, HTML Header, Breadcrumb).

    third approach : By Functions/Classes/Methods

    fourth approach : By Tutorials (step by step guide)

    The third approach doesn't have to cover all classes. Just the basic classes : Gdn_Pluggable, Gdn_Controller, Gdn_Model, etc.

    Classes that doesn't matter much for purpose of creating addons, should have very low priority (Like factory related class)

  • I think I am swayed towards the first approach, as familiarity with the way vanillas actual documentation is setout would help keep things simple for learners.

    But also the third approach will be important as I think part of it needs to represent a reference to allow learners to find the things they need easily without having to trawl the code at first.

    Obviously the tutorial section needs to be layed out simply with like a progression track as well as individual tutorials on some of the more imtermediate and advanced topics.

    Not sure I understand the second approach for some reason lol dont know why.

    It would be good if each area so to speak could be setup like the topic approach, I think its a good sensical approach to making it easy on the learner.

  • JongosJongos
    edited January 2012

    I mean, all those four approach are there.

    On the main page, we show TOC of the first and fourth approach (Except with a link to another page with another TOC of classes and functions) so as not to scare the non-programmers.

    When i say be elements, sometimes we (i mean at least me) have problems on a certain element, like for today I don't know how to create a menu. "Menu" is the element.

    It's no use having only tutorials. lots of tutorials when one needs to solve at that instant is only how to create menu. so there has to be a menu page.

    I've made some changes on the frontpage, next step i think would be to create a TOC list on the frontpage.

    is that fine?

    I guess the core dev wouldnt mind if we copy the TOC like on vanillaforums.org, like, how different can it be anyway...

  • Wow, I'm glad your up for this idea, it's looking good already had a look at the logos, think the last one (sticker) would probably fit well.

    I gotta say, i'm seriously impressed with your input, and the way your structuring it is spot on, could do with an events topic for event reference as I would happily put in the time to grep out and explain them.

    Again, Seriously impressed, I think this will be a great addon to the community.

  • JongosJongos
    edited January 2012

    no big deal... :)

    Any of the colored logo is fine with me...

    I forgot about the events... added them...

    I wonder if hbf wouldn't mind tweaking the css of the TOC a bit, add some right margin to it. It's hard to read the paragraph with TOC border almost touching it.

    And the "Main Page" title too....

    voila! structure has been laid out, now need contents :)

  • How do you add code like this code,

    and would it be an idea to use something like this :
    [http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:GoogleCodePrettify](Google Code Prettify) ?

  • Have to wait for hbf and ask him to install extensions...

    Some extensions for embedding Youtube videos would be good.

    For example the videos on how to use Firebugs is a very useful addition to the wiki.

  • Ok, is there a way to add code though or can it only be done via an extension

  • dodgerid said:
    Ok, is there a way to add code though or can it only be done via an extension

    I'm not so familiar with Mediawiki myself... Searching user guides only show text on including HTML in articles


    I don't think the sanitizer would let PHP in that easy...

    Why don't you try?

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