Top 10 things to do immediately after installing Bitweaver

Created by: laetzer, Last modification: 31 May 2010 (10:30 UTC) by Tochinet

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. If you selected too many packages at installation, just go to the Administration -> kernel -> packages page, and deselect the one you want to disappear.

Reading the docs

Bitweaver is easy to use, 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 to harvest those advantages. In contrast, another CMS called Joomla is said to be 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 also means that your package can do what it wants. While you're configuring your Site you might find yourself drifting away from an initial "Bitweaver way". This means, Bitweaver is trying to prevent the admin from having to push his content and concepts towards the CMS. Another example by contrast might be Plone. This CMS is also very powerful. Its content packages provide very similiar interfaces. In Plone, uploading an image to your site looks and feels similar to editing a comment or sending a newsletter. But with Bitweaver, you can't be certain that using package X is similiar to using package Y - eventhough it is the case more often than not. This also means, that your own extension can be different from any other.

Creating a custom style

The default styles (aka themes) are designed to be a base for creating a custom style. They display most or all features and have a generic simple style. On top of those, there are few specialized styles available. You can use either of those included styles to create your own. It's extremely easy to style Bitweaver, you'll be surprised. You have one central directory for you style's data. 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.


The defaults after install are general setting that may or may not apply to the specific website or intranet that you are building. For special purpose installs, try this page on how to tweak Bitweaver. This is for advanced users.

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 documentation pages are written to sound like "we are trying to provide you with a great product" etc. 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 like you trying to help people like you, and no code other than someone feels 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. ;)


Top what?

by , 25 Mar 2009 (03:12 UTC)
I don't think that was ten items LOL
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