Wednesday, November 17, 2010

FAQ for hummingbird

I was thinking that a faq (frequently asked questions) is a good way to respond some questions that you could have. So here is:

¿ what is hummingbird ?
Hummingbird is a powerful online cms (content management system)

¿ but what is a cms ?
in simple words a cms is a software that allows people to create and update a website easily. In the particular case of hummingbird this is a online cms because all the work is made only using a web browser, so you don’t need to install any other program on your pc.

¿ will I need to create an account to use it ?
yes, prior you can use hummingbird you will need to create an account, and then all the pages you create will be associated to your account.

¿ will I can to control who has access to my pages ?
yes, hummingbird allow you to control who have access to your pages, because on the control panel you can add users to a list associated to a page, with distinct types of permissions, and the users could be granted to visiting or copying a page. There is an especial user called anonymous who is interpreted like any user. So if you grant the anonymous user to visit a page any user could see it (visit the page)

¿ what is the copying permission ?
the copying permission allow you to grant an user to copy a page to his own account and then he or she could make changes to the copied page, adapting it to his/her necesities. This is the way the users can share their pages with others. In Hummingbird there is a searcher to find pages granted to be copied.

¿ has hummingbird a control panel ?
yes, it has a control panel. And it is the place where you create a page, delete a page or start the editor (for editing the page).
On the control panel you can see and delete your uploaded resources (images and videos). And you have access to your account info.

¿ could you tell me about the designer ?
The designer is the place where you will build your pages, this is a powerful wysiwyg editor, thinked to be easy to use and make you feel comfortable with it. This was possible because hummingbird uses an ajax type technology. That allow it Improving its communication speed, its interface usability (there is no need to load the whole page when accessing data on the server, eliminating so the unpleasant flickering that you see on common web pages), making you feel like if you are working with a desktop application.

¿ will use my web pages this ajax type technology with all the advantages that it provides ?
yes, every time someone visit a page, the page will use this technology when need it.

Ok, but tell me more about the editor.
Initially, when you creates a new page and you get into to the editor, you will have a blank web page, using the editor you will change your page putting on it differents components or widgets from a toolbox. The components could be superposed, you will can move o resize every component on the page very easily using the mouse, every component has a properties window associated to it, where you could change its properties like colors, text, image, transparency level, border lines, shadows, etc. etc.

¿ what are the built in components offered for the editor ?
Hummingbird has build in components that you can use to build your web pages. These are the video component (to show your videos), the text component (allow you to show text with differents font styles, colors, etc.), image (to show pictures on .jpg, .png with alpha channels, or animated flash images. you can make that a text or image works like hiperlink.
Other component you find is the comments panel, and the page panel. this last one is a powerful component because it allows you to embed a page inside other page. Every component has properties, methods and events associated to it, in such way that you can controll it programatically using a powerful scripting language.

¿ what can i do with the scripting language ?
with the script language you can control every properties offered for any widget on your web pages, for example the color, position, size, data inside the widgets. additionally you could call to the differents methods on a widget. The script language is very complete and we could write a complete book about it to show all the possibilities that it offers to you. inclusive you can draw shapes 'on the fly' with it.

¿ and if I need some widget not offered for hummingbird ?
Hummingbird has supports for others widgets, and you could make your own widgets for it. I think this is a very important feature because allows the modularity and allows make expandable the widgets offered for hummingbird.
In hummingbird a widget is not an isolated entity. A widget offers properties, methods, and will fires events in response to user interaction. the page's designer could write an script to respond to some events fired for a widget, he or her could control the widget programmatically, or a widget could communicates with other widgets or components on the page, or send/receive data from remote services. this is a very powerful concept. The widget´s designer will decide the way a widget communicates with others components.

¿ could be a hummingbird page embedded inside other page ?
of course, you can embeding in other page using for example a div or iframe tag.

¿ why the name hummingbird ?
I choose this name when i was taking a ride with my girlfriend on my old car. i was parked in front of a forrest, talking with her when did appear some of this birds, flying speedy, with beautiful colors, i was watching it for a while and then i was thinking of that the software must be like this birds, speedy, beautiful and plenty of color.

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