Extending the Core
Although BoltWire is amazingly robust right out of the box, there are times you may wish to give it new capabilities. Fortunately, this is easy to do.
There are several ready to use plugins, language files, skins, and more on our site that you can grab to add new capabilities to your engine's core. Visit the extensions area for a full list. You will also want to keep BoltWire updated to the most recent version, so you always have the latest features, patches, and fixes. For information about upgrading BoltWire, click here.
Listed below are some of the most common kinds of extensions.
Plugins fall into a number of different categories. Some are simple ready-to-use actions or forms others have developed using BoltWire's core functions. You simply cut and paste the markup into your page and they should start working immediately.
Others require a small php file to add some capability not in the core engine. To install one of these, drop the php file into your boltwire/shared/plugins folder. Once there it will be available to any site (field) sharing your installation (barn). If you only want it available to one specific field, put it in your field/config folder. To turn it on, go to your site.config page and add a line like the following to the bottom of the page:
In this example, the Comment plugin is enabled sitewide. The Blog plugin is enabled only on blog pages and page main.blog. If your plugin requires additional steps (such as changing authorizations or site configuration), follow the instructions closely.
Some plugins come with a zip file of ready made pages designed to work with the new code. If so, simply extract the file and add the pages to the pages folder in your site (field), or in your boltwire/shared/pages folder. The first will only be available to that one site, the second to any site in your installation.
To disable a plugin, simply delete the appropriate entry from your site.config page, and delete any pages connected with the plugin that you no longer need.
Looking for something you can't find? If you know a bit of PHP, BoltWire makes it super easy for developers to write their own custom plugins. Here's a brief tutorial on the subject you may find helpful.
Installing New Skins
BoltWire also offers a number of ready made skins you can add to your installation. And switching between skins is a snap.
First, download and extract the zip file for the skin you want and put it in your /boltwire/shared/skins folder. Each skin should come with a folder that contains an html and css page plus graphics and perhaps other files. If you correctly install the butterfly skin, for example, your installation would look something like this (plus any other skins you have):
Once installed, a skin only needs to be turned on. Go to your site.config page, and change the skin parameter to the skin you want. In this case it should say "skin: butterfly". Save the change and your new skin will pop up immediately. To go back to the default skin, set "skin: default".
To create a new skin, model it on one of the existing skins, and drop the files into a folder with your new skin name. It's just that easy.
If you do not want a skin available to all your sites, you can create a skin folder in the field directory with all the graphics, scripts, stylesheets you wish, and then copy the code.skin pages to your pages directory. You will need to make sure all the paths in those pages point to the correct location.
For more information about developing your own skins, or about assigning skins dynamically using PHP, read this tutorial.
Installing a New Language
BoltWire can translate some parts of your site using a language file. Download one, and copy it to your boltwire/shared/pages directory. This makes it available to all your sites. Put the language file in your local pages folder, and it will be available to that one site only. The page should be named: site.language.some_name.
To turn a language on, go to site.config and set the language value to the language you want. See this tutorial for tips on how to set the language dynamically.
To create a new language doc, copy site.translate to site.language.some_name, add a translation for each term, and save. Move the file to your boltwire/shared/pages folder to make it available across your sites. Put it in your field pages directory to only make it available to one site. Upload it to the BoltWire extensions area to make it available to other users.
The Expansion Pack
Coming soon--we plan to offer a series of advanced modules you can use to extend BoltWire. We call this package, our XPack. Some of the modules will include:
Chat & Instant Messaging
Advanced Member Tools
Social Media & RSS
Each module is easy to install, supported, and optimized to work with BoltWire. And you can get access to the entire Expansion Pack by simply becoming a partner with BoltWire. Contribute just $30/year to help support the software you love, and we'll unlock every module on our site. Some of these modules are worth that amount alone!
It's the best way to extend your Engine. Coming soon!