Sentry

Sentry is a collection of stacks which provide various editing capabilities to your website. This allows you to make changes to your site without needing RapidWeaver. The function of each stack is described below:

Sentry

This is the main stack, the "control center" so to speak, and required for all the other Sentry stacks to work correctly. Add one main Sentry stack to your RapidWeaver project. Only one copy per site is needed.

Since Sentry allows you to make changes to your site without needing RapidWeaver, you will need to specify "user accounts" in the stacks settings 's that only authorized users can login to Sentry.

User accounts in Sentry are specified in stack settings via the "Online Accounts" section. Enter the email and password combination for each user that you want to have access to the site.

Please note, in order for users accounts to be initialized, you must visit the page of your site where the main Sentry stack is located. This triggers the initial setup process so that authorized users can login to Sentry and make changes elsewhere on the site.

Sentry Edit

This is a "container" stack. Any stack you place inside of a Sentry Edit stack will be directly editable on your live website. Sentry Edit works best with simple content like text and images.

If you want to edit the content of complex layouts, like an accordion, arrange your stacks in such a way so that only simple text and image stacks are located inside of a Sentry Edit stack.

Sentry Display

This is also a "container" stack, and allows you to remotely control when its content is displayed. Use Sentry Display when you want to hide content after a certain point in time, or only want to display it after a certain date, etc. For example, you can do things like the following:

  • Only displaying/hiding until a certain date is reached.
  • Only displaying/hiding after a certain date is reached.
  • Only displaying/hiding between two specified dates.

Sentry Login

This is used together with the Sentry Edit and Sentry Display stacks, to provide an easy way for you to trigger display of the login form.

When you add a Sentry Login stack to the page, you'll have the ability in stack settings to control the exact login icon displayed, and where that icon is placed on your website.

Sentry Online Account

This section requires an email and password, which you will use when you want to directly access your website and make changes to any Sentry settings there.

Note: You can have multiple Sentry stacks on a single page, but only need to enter the account details for the first Sentry stack on the page.

Sentry Configuration

This is where you choose whether you want to hide or display the content.

To display the content you place inside the Sentry stack, simply make sure the checkbox next to "Display content" is enabled.

The Timeframe option allows you to specify when, exactly, you want the content displayed. Here is what each option means:

  • Always - this will always hide/display the content, indefinitely
  • Until Date1 - this will hide/display the content until the date you specify in the Date1 field. Make sure the date you enter follows this format: YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM:SS For example: 2014-12-25 12:00:00
  • After Date1 - this will hide/display the content after the date you specify in the Date1 field. Make sure the date format matches the example given above
  • Between Date1 & Date2 - this will hide/display the content only between the dates you specify in the Date1 and Date2 fields. Note: make sure the "from" date is entered in Date1 and the "to" date is entered in Date2.

Examples

Let's say you select to display content, and choose the "After" Timeframe option and enter "2014-12-01 12:30:00" for the Date1 field.

This means Sentry will hide the content until December 1, 2014 12:29:59. After that, Sentry will display the content as you have selected.

Note: Sentry assumes that if you choose one of the "Until", "After" or "Between" options, that you want to hide/display the content outside of the dates you specify.

For example, if you choose to hide content until a certain date, Sentry assumes you want the content to be displayed after that date is reached.

Triggering the Sentry Login Form

When you place a Sentry Login stack onto the page in RapidWeaver, you'll have to option in stack settings to specify which icon is displayed, its color as well as where you want it shown in the browser window.

To display the login form, simply click on the login icon.

What if I didn't add a Sentry Login stack to the page?

Good question! You can also display the login form by appending ?action=login to the URL for your page where any Sentry stack is located.

For example, if the URL to your Sentry page is this:

http://www.nimblehost.com/store/sentry

Then you can display the login form by adding this part to the end:

http://www.nimblehost.com/store/sentry?action=login

Note the ?action=login portion at the very end of the URL.

Making Changes

Once you've logged into Sentry, you'll see settings for each Sentry stack on the page, like below:

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Toggling the switch towards the "eye" icon means the content will be displayed. Toggling it towards the "cancel" icon means the content will be hidden. The gear icon is used to display more settings, like when exactly you want the content to be hidden/displayed.

Saving Changes

Anytime you make a change to a Sentry Display setting it will automatically save the change for you, right there on the spot, without you having to do anything.

To save changes made to a Sentry Edit stack, simply click on the green save button.

Download

Before installing the Sentry stack onto your computer, you must first download it from the NimbleHost website.

After completing a purchase on the NimbleHost website, we will provide two ways for you to download your items:

  • Immediately after the sale is completed, you will be redirected to a special page with a download link for each item you purchased. You can use those download links to download each item to your computer.
  • After the purchase is completed, we will send you an email to the address you specified during payment. That email contains download links where you can download each item to your computer.

Install

  1. Locate the file you downloaded to your computer. It will most likely be in your Downloads file, and will be called "Sentry-v1.0.0.dmg" or similar.
  2. Double-click on that file, and a new Finder window should appear displaying the contents of your download. If a new Finder window does not appear (if you're using Mac OS X Lion or later it may not automatically display), click on the Finder icon located in the Dock. The Finder window, once you've located it, should look similar to the image shown to the right here.
  3. In that new Finder window you will see a file called "Sentry.stack", shown as a yellow stack icon. If the icon is a folder, rather than a yellow stack icon, see this article on the Yourhead Software support site for Stacks.
  4. Double-click on that file, and it will automatically be installed for you.
  5. Restart RapidWeaver.

After following these steps, the next time you start RapidWeaver the Sentry stack will be located in the Stacks library, which is accessible from any Stacks page.

Updating

In Stacks 2, update notifications are displayed with a small red symbol in the lower right corner of the Sentry icon in the Stacks Library. Once that red symbol has appeared, select Sentry, then apply the update by clicking on the small gear icon in the lower right corner of the Stacks Library, and selecting "Install Update".

Please Note: In Stacks 2, updates may take a few minutes to appear. According to Isaiah, the developer for Stacks, this is by design, so that checking for updates doesn't interrupt your workflow. You may need to restart RapidWeaver before the update will show up, and it may take 5-10 minutes before displaying depending on the size of your Stacks Library.

I've told Sentry to hide/display the content, but it's not working!

Make sure you click on the gear icon in Sentry settings (or see the Sentry Configuration section within the Stacks plugin), and confirm that your dates are entered and formatted correctly, and the "Timeframe" setting is what you want it to be.

For example, if you always want content to be displayed, but accidentally select one of the "Until", "After" or "Between" options, then Sentry will hide the content based on those settings if the current time is outside the dates entered.

Any changes made via Sentry Edit directly on the website are stored in a sqlite database file in the rw_common/plugins/stacks directory (where other Stacks related files are kept).

Sentry will compare the timestamp of what's in the database file, with the timestamp on the page published by RW, and will default to show the content that is newer.

The content stored in the database file remains intact, unchanged and not lost or overwritten - until you go in, at a later date, make changes and then save those changes. That "saving" action, will overwrite the changes which were previously in the database file.

In an upcoming release, my goal is to display a notice to people when they login to Sentry Edit, stating that the database has a different version of that content (if it exists), which they can then view, compare and decide which to use.

As a CMS (content management system) Armadillo can do much more than Sentry, including:

  • multiple blogs, all with separate RSS, tags, categories and archives
  • an unlimited number of user accounts
  • different types of user roles
  • your choice of three different editors (basic, rich text, markdown)
  • media file management
  • automatic lightbox when creating links to images
  • localized in 10+ languages
  • reset password functionality
  • and more

Sentry is significantly easier to setup, as there's no need for a MySQL database, and you specify the user accounts in stack settings.

Additionally, with the Sentry Display stack, you can choose when to display content, whether it be until a certain time, after a certain time, or between certain times.

In short, Armadillo has much more functionality, but it may be overkill for small projects where only certain portions of a site's content need to change over time.