Version 5

Top 10 things to do immediately after installing Bitweaver

Created by: Will, Last modification: 29 Apr 2009 (13:47 UTC) by Will

Tweaking performance and security

Bitweaver ships with good defaults. The install is safe, HTML input is disabled, several caches are enabled, and so on. Still, to get the most out of Bitweaver, you'll have to follow all the docs there are on performance and on security to optimize your site.

Disabling packages

If your site gets one gazillion clicks a day, you need a forum and a blog for sure. Until then ... do your users really want to tag, comment, vote, recommend, have their own blog, post to the forum, message each other, subscribe to your newsletter, upload their podcasts and videos, post and share images, and save their wiki pages as PDF files? It's a good idea to focus on one thing. If that thing is a "social web platform", well, in that case you probably do need all packages. If you are looking to setup Bitweaver as a personal blog, it might be better to install that package first, and enable other packages as you go along. Packages don't have to be 100% available to the public. In a blog, you'll still want to post pictures or podcasts, and use Fisheye and Treasury to collect and manage them. Yet the existence of these package does not have to be known to your readers beyhond their ability to look or listen or vote (or recommend, and so on). Lining up extended functionality behind one major hook can be a great way to channel the attention of your visitors.

Reading the docs

Occasionally, Bitweaver claims that it's easy to use. If you look at it closely though, well, it is easy, but not easier. The approach to keep it modular and extensible has some great advantages, but for somebody not familiar with documentation, it's hard harvest those advantages. By some, Joomla is considered a CMS that's easy and intuitive to use. If you go through Joomla's admin panel, you'll find a slick click'n'go interface with a great many of options. After a while of learning, one understands how to do things "the Joomla way", so to speak. For something like this, Bitweaver is not quite the right choice. While there is a "Bitweaver way" of sorts, once a Bitweaver install is transformed to the website of your liking, it might not be that similiar to other installs anymore. Packages can do (almost) all they want, which means that your package can do what it wants. By configuring your Bitweaver to your liking, you might find yourself drifting away from an initial "Bitweaver way". The other way around, where an admin installs a CMS and has to push his content and concepts towards the CMS, is what Bitweaver is trying to avoid. Another example might be Plone. This CMS is also very powerful. Its content packages provide very similar same interfaces. When you use Plone as your CMS and upload an image to your site, it looks and feels very similar to editing a comment or sending a newsletter. With Bitweaver, eventhough it is the case more often than not, you can't be certain that using package X is similiar to using package Y, and your extension is not forced to be similiar to anything.

Create a custom style

The default styles (aka themes) are superbly written, but are designed to be a base for creating a custom style. Most display most or all features and have a generic simple style. There are few specialized styles available. You can use the included styles to easily create your own. It's very easy to style Bitweaver, you'll be surprised. It's also very easy to take an existing layout from one of the many open source web design sites, and transform it into a Bitweaver style. It's merely a task of pushing some DIVs around and renaming some of the css classes. If you like you can contribute a style for others to use.

Visiting #bitweaver

The IRC chat channel Live Support is where the action is. To get answers or to follow the delevopment of the code, hang out in that channel for a while. It's not a chit-chat channel (except sometimes). It's a place where developers, users, and reporting bots communicate with each other.

Understanding the community

Bitweaver's developers are a group of different people with different ideas. Some documentational pages are worded along the lines of "we are trying to provide you with a great product" and such. While this is true, Bitweaver's community is not monolithic, and Bitweaver is neither a company nor a commercial product. There's no support other than people trying to help you, and no code other than people feel like writing. There's a touch of "do and let do" in the Bitweaver community, and so it is a diverse one.


Most of the code is written due to the needs and ideas of developers using Bitweaver, yet there are tons of code written only to accommodate guys like you and me. It's really great if somebody not only points out a bug, but also submits it to the bug tracker! Of course, investigating beforehand if it's already been submitted (or fixed). There is also lots of room for improvement of the wiki pages of the online documentation, such as the one you just read. ;)
Page History
31 May 2010 (10:30 UTC)
Added the way to remove packages.
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