Creating a basic plugin

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Revision as of 15:53, 17 May 2006 by 70.155.66.187 (Talk)
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Contents

Introduction

This tutorial will walk you through the creation of a basic plugin that adds the text "Hello World" to Pro Edition's Main Menu, next to the "Basic Features Group" header.

Reccommended stuff you'll want for this tutorial

I'll be writing this under the assumption that you've already got the following covered...

  • A website with Soholaunch Pro Edition installed on it that you can screw around with. All feature modules should be enabled.
  • FTP client and FTP access to your test site
  • Some kind of code/text editor to edit php files with (Dreamweaver, UltraEdit, PHP Edit, Emacs, Notepad, etc.)
  • Decent profeciency working with html, css, and php
  • Some level of familiarity with Pro Edition's various folders and files (i.e. sohoadmin)

Create a folder for your plugin

Pop open Windows Explorer (or Mac/Linux equivalent) and create a folder on your local PC called "HELLO_WORLD". All of your plugin's files will go in this folder.

Download the source file you want to modify

Open Your FTP client and log-in to your test site. For this example, we want to modify Pro Edition's main menu, so download this file from your test site...

public_html/sohoadmin/program/main_menu.php

Stick this file in the "HELLO_WORLD" folder you created on your PC, and rename it to something like "main_menu-helloworld.php" (actual filename doesn't really matter, as long as you recognize it as your modified version of main_menu.php).

Modify source file

No pull up the file in your trusty code editor.

Do a ctrl+f (find) on "Basic Features Group", and you should get to a line that looks something like...

<td class="fgroup_title"><? echo lang("Basic Features Group"); ?></td>

Modify this line so it looks like this:

<td class="fgroup_title"><? echo lang("Basic Features Group"); ?> - Hello World</td>

Save the file.

Create an install_manifest.php

Still in your code editor, create a new blank document (i.e. ctrl + n) and save to your HELLO_WORLD folder as "install_manifest.php".

install_manifest.php is the file that Pro Edition reads to know what to do when it attempts to install your plugin. All plugins must have a valid install_manifest.php in their folder.

There are to types of content in any given install_manifest.php:

  1. Information - plugin title, author, etc
  2. Instructions - "hook me in here, here, and here"

Let's start with the information part. Copy-Paste the following lines into your new (completely empty at this point) install_manifest.php file...

<?
# PLUGIN INFO
$plugin_folder = "HELLO_WORLD";
$plugin_title = "Hello World";
$plugin_version = "1.0";
$plugin_author = "John Smith";
$plugin_homepage = "http://example.com";

# Description text
$plugin_description = "Adds '- Hello World!' next to the 'Basic Features Group' on the main menu.";
?>
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