Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Cans and Can'ts

Uniservity, despite appearances, is one of the most flexible commercial platforms around in terms of look and feel. Other platforms may look prettier out of the box, but they stay looking the same no matter what you do as an individual user. The fact that Uniservity is built on basic HTML is a blessing - it provides the opportunity to hack it mercilessly and make it do things it never thought it could. Your allies when it comes to Uniservity are:
If you are unfamiliar with what these things are and aren't afraid of a little crowd-sourcing to learn what you need to know, then I suggest you get on Google and look them up. HTML is an absolute must, CSS a close second and JavaScript only necessary if you're wanting to do something a bit fancy.
There are some other languages which I use in general dynamic web page construction such as PHP, but you can forget using these in Uniservity as it doesn't parse PHP (or any other dynamic language other than JavaScript) and actively deletes PHP markup when you try to insert it on a page. So properly dynamic HTML is out of the window, but there's still a lot that can be done.
The Source Editor button () in the WYSIWYG editor is your friend, as well as any other place where you can edit HTML source, such as the Custom Navbar box in Navbar settings (Group Admin panel). In these places you can use the above languages to achieve what you want to.
If you don't know any HTML or CSS, don't worry. I will be giving examples in these posts which in many cases you will be able to copy and paste partially or entirely as your needs require.
I must add that I am a 'Just In Time' learner - I crowd source the code I need and hash it together as needs demand. If you asked me how much JavaScript or CSS I know I would have to say little to none, but that's OK because other people know lots, and Google can take me to them.

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