CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide

Welcome to your new CivicSpace-powered website. CivicSpace is a distribution of Drupal, a content management system that can be used to create a large variety of different websites. Thus, CivicSpace is a highly configurable platform that is useful for promoting civic action and better facilitiates community interaction and collaboration than is possible with other web publishing systems.

This CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide will help you to finish configuring your CivicSpace site and can serve as a reference as you administer your site over time. It is not possible within the scope of this text to explain all CivicSpace configurations, modules, and features. Instead, the CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide is intended as a large FAQ that will guide you through some basic issues and answer some specific configuration questions which should get you started. As you become more comfortable with CivicSpace, it is certainly worthwhile to learn more -- so that you can take advantage of the flexibility and wide range of configuration options and additional features.

We suggest you spend five minutes looking around the administration section to orient yourself to the administration menu before working through this guide. Be sure to read the help material available at the top of many of the administration pages as you make your configuration changes. Once you have completed the guide, for much more detailed information on CivicSpace configuration and usage, consult the administration help section of this site and the extensive Drupal Handbook at

To ask questions, show off your site, and be part of an ongoing dialogue with the CivicSpace development community, visit the CivicSpace forums. If you happen to find a bug or have a feature suggestion, create an issue for it at CivicSpace Labs, and we will get back to you.

Main Configuration Settings

The Settings page, accessible at administer -> settings, contains many general configuration settings for your CivicSpace site. Here you can modify some of the information you entered in the configuration wizard during initial site setup:

Other default settings include

Content: Creating Stories, Blogs, Forums, Books, and Pages

If you visit the create content link you'll see multiple content types configured for your use. In CivicSpace terms, each book page in this guide, story or forum is considered a basic content type known as a node. Thus, each of the various content types are particular types of nodes with specific functions and display characteristics:

NOTE: Site administrators wanting to setup a community weblog as their home page can choose to allow all site users to submit and edit stories, or they can enable the blog module and set all blog posts to automatically promote to the front page. The sub pages in this section of the guide provide details on how to configure this.

See also the administration help for nodes, stories, books, forums, blogs and pages.

Creating and Posting Content

Because nodes are all basically very similar, much of the input interface is the same for stories, books, or pages chosen through the create content menu. For the purpose of introducing how to post on a CivicSpace site, this discussion will use Submit story as the example and cover many, but not all, of the choices offered through the interface.

There is a WYSIWYG module available for creating content. See Htmlarea.

  • Authoring information. For adjusting the display name of the author and the date.
  • Options. This menu is only offered to administrators.
    NOTE: These settings are also globally configurable by node type using the content settings default workflow configuration .

    • When Published is unchecked, the submission is not available publicly on the site and is only accessible through the content administration section.
    • In moderation queue is for the queue module (not enabled in this configuration; for more information, consult Moderation queue in the CivicSpace handbook).
    • Promoted to front page is useful for books or pages that the administrator might not want to appear in the blog on the home page.
    • Stick at top of lists will make a post sticky at the top of the front page.
    • Create new revision is part of the version tracking system that is useful when using the book module as a collaborative document publishing system.
    • User comments. Individual posts can be configured with specific comment controls.
  • Title. You must use a title with your post.
  • Path alias. Note that the CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide is accessible via the link The path alias for that page was set to "help." Paths must be unique and not already in use. This option has been configured to be available only for site administrators.
  • Topics. An administrator-configurable category system via the taxonomy module. Users tag their posts with one or more categories. After posting, all nodes with the same category can be browsed via the link in the header or by clicking on a category term associated with a specific post. You can add, edit or delete existing categories or "terms" in the Topics "vocabulary" within the categories configuration section. See Adding Topic Categories: Using Taxonomy for more instructions.
  • Body. Text of the post.
  • Input format.A site administrator can configure various options for the input format to be used in the body for the post.
  • Previewing before posting. When previewing, your CivicSpace site will display a version of the post at the top of the page. If a post exceeds an administrator defined, configurable teaser length, two displays will appear: one shorter, which would be visible on the front page and in RSS feeds; the other longer, visible when clicking the title of a post. The teaser break can be manually created by inserting <!--break--> within the post. CivicSpace will provide a note suggesting this between the two displays--no need to remember the tag--if the post requires a break.

Adding or Modifying Instructions for Posting

Administrators can provide additional or change existing information for content posting:

  • The story, blog, and forum configuration settings each provide an explanation or submission guidelines text field where the administrator can provide instructions tailored for the site. The text entered there will then be displayed in the content creation interface for that node type.
  • Using localization, site administrators can replace the descriptions for each node type on the create content page, as well as replacing any other CivicSpace hardcoded text in the content creation interface.

Working with Categories: Taxonomy

Many content management systems and weblog application provide a means to categorize content. However, CivicSpace's taxonomy system allows the site administrator to create multiple sets of categories which can be applied to any, selective, or all node types.

Using terminology from information science, a category set is called a vocabulary, and an individual category within a vocabulary, a term. CivicSpace forums use categories to create separate forum areas for discussion.

For additional information about CivicSpace's taxonomy system, read more about it in the Drupal handbook.

Creating a vocabulary

In the categories configuration section of CivicSpace administration, select the add vocabulary tab. Then supply a

  • Vocabularly name (required)
  • Description. Useful for creating descriptions for category terms when using forums (optional).
  • Types. Select the node type or types (single or multiple) that will be associated with this vocabulary.
  • Related terms (optional)
  • Hierachy. For building a tree like structure or nested set of categories, where one category contains sub categories.
  • Required. When used, requires that the user select a category when creating a new node.
  • Weight. Used to control the order in which the vocabulary is displayed, such as in the main listing on the categories configuration section.

Creating a term

Once a vocabulary has been created, the administrator can add a nearly unlimited number of categories. Beside the vocabulary listing In the categories configuration section of CivicSpace administration, select the add term link. Note that the description and synonyms fields are optional.

Use the category block

CivicSpace provides a block in the block configuration area which will provide a listing of all categories with links to a display list of all nodes in that category.

Adding Additional Forum Areas and Other Forum Configurations: Using Taxonomy

This site configuration comes with two pre-defined forum areas in the Forums section: General and Site help. To add, delete, or modify existing forums, use the categories configuration section and modify or create new "terms":

  • To add a term, choose the "add term" link in the row of the table marked forums. You need only give a term a name to make it functional.
  • To delete or change the name of a term, choose the "edit term" link beside the term.
  • Terms can also have text associated with them which will appear below the term, or forum, on the main Forums page. Simply edit the term and add your text to the Description text field

When CivicSpace displays the forums, it does so in alphabetical order for terms with the same weight. To change the ordering, edit a term and use the Weight feature. Lower numbers (negative) rise to the top. Higher numbers (positive) fall to the bottom of the display.

For a more detailed explanation of CivicSpace taxonomy, see the taxonomy page in the Drupal handbook.

Creating and Working with Collaborative Books

The CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide has been created using the CivicSpace collaborative book. The collaborative book feature is well suited for creating multi-page hypertexts such as a site resource guides.

  • When creating a new book page, choose the Parent page to place the new page into the table of contents link structure (Note: you can always edit an existing page and use the Parent setting to reposition a book page within the text).
  • Book pages also have other navigation elements for moving through the text, such as the previous, up and next elements visible at the bottom of this page
  • From any location in a book, the user can choose the printer-friendly version link at the bottom of the page. CivicSpace will then generate a version of the book containing the current page and all it's children.

To control the ordering of book pages in the table of contents structure, visit the book configuration section. For example, look at the CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide configuration page. There you can easily view all the pages in this text, as well as order them. Notice the weight menu beside each page listing. CivicSpace normally orders pages on the same "level" within the text alphabetically. You can override that ordering by giving pages which should be higher up lighter weights--negative numbers--or lower down heavier weights--positive numbers.

To create a new book, simply make the Parent "root."

Last, a blog post, forum post, story, or static page can also be added into a book. Choose the administer link for a given post or page, then use the Edit book outline button available at the bottom of the page to add it into an existing book.


Turning Off and Controlling Access to Node Types

  • An administrator can turn off all access to a particular node type for all users by merely disabling the appropriate module in the module configuration section. As long as a module is disabled, no user will be able to access that node type or create new content for it.
  • Each node type offers various access options on a per user group basis in the user configuration permission section. For example,
    • Blog module. edit own blog controls whether or not users can post to a personal blog space. Blog users always have the the right to edit their own blog posts.
    • Book module. maintain books and edit own book pages must be set to allow users to edit existing book pages. Maintain books alone will only allow them to create new ones.
    • Story module. create stories allows users to create stories for the front page of the site; edit own stories gives the user permission to edit their stories which are already posted on the site.
  • To prevent access to all content on the site for anonymous users, uncheck the box for anonymous users in the user configuration permission section.

Changing the Default Home Page of the Site

The default home page for every CivicSpace site is the location where Stories appear when posted. However, a site administrator can choose to make any other section or page on the site the default home page.

To change the default, go to the general configuration page. In the Default front page text field, change "node" to "blog"--for the Blogs page--or to "forum"--for the Forums; simply use the module name found on the modules configuration page. Also, any page on the site, even a static page, can be made the home page by changing the default in this field to the relative URL for that page. To change back to the Drupal default, simply change this setting back to "node" again.

Formatting Input & Filters

CivicSpace site adminstrators can control what kinds of markup or formatting can be used in creating content on the site by specifying input formats. Some site administrators might wish to require only HTML coded text, or plain text without any HTML format. In configuring the input formats, administrators can select from filters which limit users to a list of allowable HTML tags or add in custom formatting like automatic line breaks.

NOTE: If you install additional 3rd party input filter modules, in addition to turning the modules on, you'll need to enable them through the input format configuration.

Modifying accepted HTML tags

  1. Click administer-> input formats
  2. Find the row of the input format you want to change, then click configure in that row.
  3. Click the configure filters tab.
    • It's likely that if you have HTML Filter enabled along with others, you will only see a configuration box for that filter, though some modules add filters that can also be configured.
  4. You can choose to either strip tags that do not appear in your list or escape all HTML tags. Escaping means that Drupal will display the tags in your browser as they were typed. In other words, it will appear to readers that the browser did not process the tags but merely displayed the code. This is useful if you want to create an input format that allows for displaying of HTML code, for example in a forum about web design.
  5. Edit the list of tags you would like to allow. Tags are listed separated by a space. If you selected "Escape" in the option above, this list will be ignored. Editing the list changes the filter for just that input format. If you want to add or remove a tag for more than one input format, you have to follow these directions for each.
  6. Choose whether to allow the style attribute in tags.
  7. Click Save Configuration

Blocks: Controlling Content in the Columns

CivicSpace page layout is very similar to many other websites: a header, a footer, a main content column down the center, and block columns down the side with links and other information. Blocks, then, are the small boxes of links, etc., you see in the left and/or right hand columns.

As an administrator, you can choose which blocks appear in the left or right and in what order (using weights) in the blocks configuration section. You can create and edit custom blocks such as the Sample Block which uses HTML. There are also some other blocks included with the distribution which have not been enabled. Try them.

For a more in depth explanation of blocks, see blocks in the administration help page.

Note: Do not turn off the Navigation Block or the User Login Block. Without these, you'll have great difficulty logging on the site and administering it.

Comments: Adding to the Discussion

This module allows users to post responses to other posts. Through administer you can configure what types of comments are accepted: anonymous, anonymous requiring an email address, or registered users only. You can also configure permissions for types of users (authenticated, administrative, or anonymous) so that comments written by the respective types of users enter an approval queue before they are published or are automatically published. Comments in the approval queue must be manually accepted and published by a site administrator. Comments are also searchable. Comments can be viewed seperate from their posts for easy editing and deleting.

Comments can be configured to control:

Themes: Confinguring and Choosing Appearance

Civicspace provides a few themes with your site and other contributed themes are available for download from Drupal (toward the bottom of this page). The themes section also offers various configuration options which affect the display and navigation for the site. For instance, under themes in the administration area, administrators can choose which themes to enable and designate the default theme for the site. If more than one theme is enabled, site users will be able to choose from the configured themes using the edit tab under my account.

Site administrators can choose whether to set various configuration options on an individual theme basis or across all themes. For example, the global settings page contains the following options:

Advanced: HTML and CSS coders can choose to create their own site skin. Consult the Theme developer's guide in the Drupal handbook for more information.

Users: Configuring Site Access, Registration, and Posting

CivicSpace has a permission system which places users into roles/groups of users. A visitor who is not logged in is an anonymous user and a newly registered user is an authenticated user. An additional role has been added to this installation, an admin user which is given full access on the site. In the original account setup, the root super user account which was created first is not affected by the CivicSpace permission system; this user always has access to everything.

Some configuration tips:

Tracking and Statistics

CivicSpace provides a number of ways to find out who has been visiting the site and who has been posting content:

Specialized Modules and Features

There are quite a few other modules listed on the module configuration page which have not so far been mentioned. In this section, you'll find descriptions of some of them. Some are currently running; others are turned off. You can also load other contributed modules by downloading them from and installing them yourself. Make sure that they are for Drupal 4.5 or they may not work.

Always remember that whenever you enable a module, you should check any permissions the module might have associated with it in order for users to have access to the module. When working with permission settings, it is often useful to create a test user and grant them the role for the permissions you are enabling. Then login as that user and verify that you have indeed granted the permissions.

Also check the administration menu and adjust any configuration settings. Some modules may have their own listing in the top tier of the menu; others may have a listing elsewhere, such as within the settings area of the menu.

Buddylist: Creating a CivicSpace Friends List

The buddylist module allows users to create a social network of friends within a community site. When visiting another user's account page, a user can choose to add them to their buddylist. The my buddylist page will then list all added friends and provide links to their recent posts, as well as providing a list of friends of friends.

Contacts: Maintaining a Database of Users

Much like a phone book, the contact module allows the creator to sort contacts into different contact lists (which can be exported into a spreadsheet) and to maintain information for each contact for use in other modules (such as RSVP ). This information includes email address, name, zip code, city, state, and telephone number by default. Additional information can be added through administer contact . This information can be entered as text fields, passwords, text areas, radio buttons, pull down menus (selection), check boxes, or file (to upload files for the surveyor).

Email can be sent to selected contacts through the contacts interface (using your default email application). The contacts list is also searchable . Contacts can be sorted into subcategories for easy organization.

A contact list source list must first be created in the source administration section.

The node_import module can be used to import contact lists.

Drupal Module: Connecting with other Drupal Sites

The Drupal module uses XML-RPC to connect your site with a Drupal server which maintains a directory of Drupal sites on Enabling this module will also allow members on all sites using it to login to your site without registering using their Drupal distributed ID and vice versa: your members can login to any other Drupal site using a login name which looks much like an email address for your site:

To setup this module:

  • Enable it on the modules page.
  • On the Drupal module settings page,:
    • Make sure that the Drupal XML-RPC server field is set to
    • Check the Enabled button
    • And save the configuration

NOTE: If you want your site listed in the directory of Drupal sites, you'll also need to provide a slogan and mission on the main configuration page.

Events: Adding Things to the Calendar

The Event module includes a field for an event's location and drop-down menus for the date and time of an event. It also adds a calendar navigation block to the sidebar so that readers can click on a date and list which events are scheduled for that date, as well as a page listing upcoming events, sorted chronologically. Users are able to set up RSVP , volunteer signups , and books for created events through this same interface. An RSS feed is available for the events calendar so that users can receive notification of the scheduling of new events.

HtmlArea: Creating Content: With a WYSIWYG

The javascript-based module which provides an HTML WYSIWYG used in creating content such as blogs or comments, making it easy for users to format content without knowing HTML. This module can be turned on in the module configuration section. The htmlArea configuration section allows the administrator to set the menu options provided by the user and various format options.

NOTE: htmlArea does not work properly with some older browser versions.

Localization: Customizing Hard-Coded Site Content

The locale module is used to substitute text which is hard-coded within CivicSpace to create alternative language sets for a site.

Site designers can also use it to replace CivicSpace terminology with more site contexualized text. For instance, an administrator could customize the descriptions of the node types listed on the create content page. Or change the label for the links underneath nodes, such as replacing "add new comment" with "post your thoughts" or something similar.

To begin using the the locale module,

  • First turn on the module and give the administrator permissions.
  • Go to the localization section of the admin menu and add a language.
  • Assuming English, create a custom language by adding "en-US" in the Language code text field.
  • Give your language a name, such as "custom-English" (be sure not to use spaces in your language name), and add the language.
  • This will return you to the main localization page. Set your new language, "custom-English" as enabled and as the default. Save the configuration. Then disable the original "English" language set (otherwise users will be given the option to choose between the two in their account area).
  • Now, any time you visit a page with CivicSpace hard-coded content, it will be added into your language set database.
  • Once you have visited a page that you wish to change the content, return to the manage strings area of the localization section. Enter in the string you wish to search for. Edit the result and enter your replacement text.

Mass Mailer: Maintaining Mailing Lists

The mass mailer module is used to manage email mailing lists. Through the mass mailer administration menu, you can

  • Create multiple lists.
  • Send messages.
  • Schedule messages to be sent at a specific time.
  • Check on the status of sent messages.
  • Browse and delete messages maintained in an archive.
  • Update subscriber information or delete subscribers.

Once a mailing list has been created and made public, users can subscribe to mailing lists via the list subscriptions link in the navigation menu.

The mass mailing list settings page allows administrators additional configuration options such as

  • Adding a header or footer to all out going messages. Useful to add an automatic signature for your organization and provide information on unsubscribing.
  • Customizable subscription and unsubscription email messages
  • Advanced options for sites with very large mailing lists. Use the batch processing option if mailing lists are so large that they create a heavy CPU load for your server host.

News Aggregator: Syndicating Content from Websites

The News Aggregator is a powerful onsite RSS syndicator/news reader which can gather fresh content from news sites and weblogs around the web. The aggregator module requires cron to work correctly.

Thousands of websites on the Internet provide links to RSS feeds. Look for links that specify "syndication" or an "XML" button. For example, your CivicSpace site has already been configured to pull new posts from CivicSpace Labs. The Berkman Center at Harvard maintains a list of some popular news media sites with links to information on their RSS feeds.

Once you've found an RSS feed, you can add it to the aggregator by following these steps:

  1. Copy the link to the clipboard.
  2. On your CivicSpace site, click on administer-> aggregator-> add feed tab.
  3. Type a title for the feed. This can be whatever you like, but is usually the name of the site you are adding.
  4. Paste in the URL of the feed.
  5. Set the frequency of updates. The standard practice is to update every hour, because that limits the amount of hits a site gets on the feed, and depending on their setup, they would have to incur extra bandwidth charges if too many people update too often.
  6. You must be running cron about as frequentely for the updates to occur on schedule. Once every hour is the standard.
  7. Choose whether you wish to enable the item block. This allows you to show the last x (a configurable number) items in that feed in a block.
  8. If you have created categories select which categories you wish items to automatically appear. Individual items can be tagged with categories later.
  9. Click submit.

The administrator help on the aggregator provides additional documentation.

NOTE: You'll find that various pages displaying multiple nodes in your CivicSpace site will provide an XML button that allows users to subscribe to new content for that area. Consider enabling the Syndicate block in the block management menu to provide a direct link to syndication for your home page.

Node_import: Importing Content

The node_import feature available in the content configuration section provides a way to import nodes and contacts for the site using comma separated values (CSV) files. It can be useful for uploading lists of contacts that were created in an Excel spreadsheet file. Since this feature allows the loading of a large amount of content into your CivicSpace database, the permissions for this feature are best configured for administrators only.

Importing Contacts

  1. Create a spreadsheet with data and columns with the following headings:
    • Email
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Zip code
    • City
    • State
    • Phone number
  2. Save your file as a CSV file with elements separated by commas and data enclosed in double quotes. For example,
    "Email","First name","Last name","Zip code","City","State","Phone number"
  3. Under import in the content administration section, upload your csv file and select contact from the pull down menu.
  4. CivicSpace will then ask you to match your fields to the fields in the database.
  5. Once you have done this, preview your results and then select import.

Importing Nodes

The process for importing nodes is the same as for importing contacts, except you will want to create a spreasheet with columns

  • title
  • uid
  • name
  • type (blog, forum, story, etc.)
  • body (the text of the post)
  • And any other database fields from the node type you would like to add.

NOTE: You may use either the uid or name of the author. If neither of these is included, CivicSpace will post the node with author Anonymous.

Once you've created the CSV file, under import in the content administration section, upload your CSV file and select raw data (advanced) from the pull down menu.

Notify: Receiving Emails of New Site Content

The notification module allows users to subscribe to periodic emails which include all new or revised content and/or comments much like the daily news letters sent by some websites. The administrator sets the frequency of the emails in the notification configuration page.

Even if this feature is not configured for authenticated users, it can be a useful feature for an administrator of a site to monitor content submissions and comment posts.

Privatemsg: Sending Messages Through An Internal Messaging System

The Private Messaging system is an onsite service which allows users to send messages to each other without having to share email addresses. When this is enabled, an inbox link will appear in the navigation block in the column on the top left. Users can also select whether to receive email notices of new messages via their my account section.

Profiles: Extending User Account Information

The profile module can be used to create customized information fields which users fill out when editing and/or registering their user account. These administrator defined fields allow users to share information such as street address, interests, AOL IM screen names, bios, etc.

To create a new profile information field,

  • Go to the profile configuration page.
  • Choose the best option for the type of information your users will provide under Add new field. For example,
    • Url is useful for providing a place for users to enter their home page.
    • The freeform list can be used to have users enter a list of hobbies, activities, or interests, which then become categories linking them to users with the same listed items. The user enters the items in their account area in a large textarea as a list of words separated by commas.
  • Once you have selected the field type, CivicSpace will prompt for a number of items:
    • Category. Used to group profile fields together. CivicSpace will create a separate page within the user's account page for each group of profile fields,
    • Title. The label for this profile field which will be visible to users on account pages.
    • Form name. A unique name for this profile field used by Drupal for storing the information for this field.
    • Visibility. Provides access control of the information provided by the user.
      Private field to make the information only available to site administrators.
    • Page title. Used by the freeform list (mentioned above) as a title for a particular page listing of users with the same interest.
    • The user must enter a value.Check this box to force users to enter a value in this fielde.
    • Visible in user registration form. Adds this field to the initial user registration form when creating an account for the first time. Otherwise, the field can only be completed through the user my account menu.

RSVP: Reserving a Space

This module allows users to send invitations for events to other users via email so that they can RSVP . RSVP creators can also choose whether or not to make the invitation list viewable by all, allow invitees to email one another, or allow attendees to invite others through this interface.

This functionality can only be used after the creation of an event and must be connected to a specific event.

Manange RSVP allows users to edit the invitee list and notification options that were determined during the creation of the original RSVP.

Surveys: Giving An Opinion

Allows for the creation of web forms which can be filled out by users and submitted to the survey's creator. Submissions are emailed to a chosen email address and are also stored in the database. Survey creators can also create/specify a custom “Thank You” page for respondents.

Survey questions can be entered as textfields, passwords, text areas, radio buttons, pull down menus (selection), check boxes, or file (to upload files for the surveyor). Surveyors can specify whether or not multiple selections are allowed.

Surveyors can also require that respondents validate themselves by the use of email address, data input, URL input, or zip code. The responses to a survey can be viewed online, as well as downloaded in an Excel-compatible format. Users are able to set up books for created surveys through this same interface.

The survey module depends on the forms module for the types of form elements available. This module must be enabled in the administrative settings.

Trackback: Creating Links Between Weblog Posts

Trackbacks allow one weblog (or website) to post a comment to another site without actually having the user visit the site to post a comment. Using the trackback URL accompanying each post, other weblog can send a ping across the Internet to your CivicSpace site. Once received, the trackback will show up on the trackback page accompanying the post.

CivicSpace trackback also features autodiscovery. If trackback autodisovery is enabled on your CivicSpace site, someone need only visit your post via a link from another weblog post to have trackback "discover" the linking site and create the trackback. Trackback autodiscovery also works internally within a CivicSpace site, automatically creating connections between pages which link to each other.

To manually send a ping to another site, edit your post and use the Trackback URL field at the bottom of the edit page to submit the trackback URL for the post on the other site. Once you enter submit, CivicSpace will ping the other site for you. With trackback autodiscovery enabled, your CivicSpace site will attempt to do this automatically without your intervention.

Volunteer: Soliciting Assistance

This module allows you to solicit volunteers for events. Users can set the number of volunteers necessary for the event as well as the messages that will be sent to volunteers to thank them for volunteering, letting them know that the number of necessary volunteers has been reached and their assistance is appreciated but not necessary, or that they have been placed on the volunteer waiting list. This module also sends out reminders 24 hours before the event and solicits feedback 24 hours after the event.

This functionality can only be used after the creation of an event and must be connected to a specific event.

Enabling CivicSpace Automated Tasks: Configuring Cron Jobs

Some CivicSpace modules, such as search, notify and aggregator, have periodic tasks that must be triggered by the script cron.php included with your CivicSpace installation. You can do this manually in your browser by visiting your cron URL page (a blank page will display once the cron tasks have been executed).

However, the better way to do this is to have cron.php executed automatically using the Linux/UNIX crontab function.

Alternatively, Drupal has a poormanscron module available for download. However, this module is much less efficient in terms of system resources compared to the methods described above. The poormanscron module checks to see if cron needs to run every single time a page is viewed on the site.

More information about cron is available in the adminstration help page and at the Drupal Handbook Cron system and crontab page.

Licensing & Acknowledgments

The text of this guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License (2.0). Permission to copy, modify, or redistribute this guide is only granted if this license is included and the CivicSpace Site Configuration Guide is attributed.

Content for this guide was produced by CivicSpace and was based on DrupalEd documentation. Thanks to Bryght for permission to draw on some of their How To's in constructing this guide.

CivicSpace Distribution Changes to Support Profiles

Below will be comments regarding the current distribution setup:

1) The buddylist module should default to permissions already being set when the site administer turns it on.

2) The forum topic areas "general" and "site help" should be capitalized: "General" and "Site Help."

3) Urlfilter should be enabled and configured for use in the filtered HTML input format.

6) Create a Sample Block as demonstrated here.

5) files/theme_editor folder was not writable by the system.

6) Enable the "kill word on paste" option in htmlArea. No one want's Word HTML posted into a web page :)

7) Enable the tracker module. Most new CivicSpace admins would find this a useful feature.

8) Filtered HTML should allow b and i tags, too, since these are still very popular.

9) Include a sample category "Topics" applied to stories, or remove the information about it under "Creating and Posting Content."

10) Note that the first page of the configuration guide has been promoted to the front page so that it acts as the greeting.