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Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

There are two versions of RazorNav. RazorNav Lite is a simple forward and backwards PHP script - it appears to be lacking a dropdown menu and a full archive calendar page like the ATP script. RazorNav Pro has not yet been released but will apparently be sold on the website soon (no pricing available yet). While there really aren't any solid details about the capabilities of RazorNav Pro, it doesn't look like it will do anything more than ATP, which is available for free.

Now if someone would take the extra step of creating an ATP-like script that automated the management of multiple comics on one site and allowed for the option of creating a unique home page that could show some or all of the various comics (for example, the most recent comic of any of the independently archived multiple comics on the site), that might be worth something extra.

What Features Are Really Key?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

It's a good question? What does one want from a script to make running a webcomic really easy?

Here's some thoughts so far:

1. Automatic generation of navigation links between pages (back, next, last, first) and a set of calendar links (those monthly calendar things)

2. Story dropdown menu (really important to any ongoing comic with multiple storylines

3. Ability to load comics whenever to site but still set time for appearance on main page on desired date.

4. Ability to create a few templates for site and have script generate all pages for site from templates (Keen does this as a cron job every night, Autokeen Lite and PHP scripts do this on the fly.)

5. Similar system for news/rants updates.

6. I'd like an additional ability to maintain on one site archives for individual comics and have the option of automatically putting the most recent of any of those individual comics on the front page (Sort of like one big meta archive of all of the individual comics separate archives). Haven't seen this feature yet.

7. Search for Text and/or character or other attributes in archives. Never seen this in an available to the public script although Goats, Sluggy and Ozy&Millie all have some variation on this. (But they have never offered their site scripts to the public as far as we know).

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

You're right. I've been subconsciously desiring that ZWOL-like experience all this time without realizing that's what I'm looking for. :)

Is the Zwol site entirely PHP + mySQL?

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

David

From what I've seen ATP is the most useful available script for comic sites. I"m pretty excited to hear your news and I'll download it as soon as it's available! THanks!

Zwol is also a useful site but Greg (as posted above)hasn't released it to the public yet. I wonder how different your 2 scripts are.

I wonder if it would be useful to get interested coders together to help continuing to improve the available scripts as a single project. DOn't know if you'd be interested in that (you've done great on your own) but if so I'd do whatever I could to help with supporting that group.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

David Schumacher of ATP Productions here. Version 7.3 of Autosite is coming out this Sunday (March 30), and it is built to handle multiple comics on one site, and to display the most recent strip from each on the root page, if so desired.
I did notice your feature request and have been working on it. :->

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Wel said, Greg. Although, with the latest advanced features I've added and the optional flexibility of the database method of ATP Autosite (not to mention the extensive manual I've been delaying the latest release to finish), one can still get their hands quite dirty, if one is willing to try.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

How about creating a big comparison chart with a list of features along one axis and the various toolsets along the other? (What does the canonical list of desired features contain?)

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I've always been impressed with the Zwol site. The new versions sound really impressive.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: What Features Are Really Key?

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Someone said they really like the idea of clicking on the comic to advance to the next panel/page.

I like buttons for that but I guess as an option that might not be a bad idea.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Greg Stephens's picture

Now if someone would take the extra step of creating an ATP-like script that automated the management of multiple comics on one site and allowed for the option of creating a unique home page that could show some or all of the various comics (for example, the most recent comic of any of the independently archived multiple comics on the site), that might be worth something extra.

I'm working on it. My own site automation already does this for me. I'm working on a version that's much improved and expanded for free distribution.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Greg Stephens's picture

Yes, it is. Originally it was PHP only- no database- but I discovered that there's great power to be had with databases and slowly switched the site over to use mySQL.

The current version (that I use today) features multiple archives (or galleries, for those with art to show that may not be interested in the date-driven comic mode of things) with annotations and a single-user blog. Each comic page can show any number of images in multiple formats or even other files like flash or special HTML. Basically, anything you can slap on a web page can be archived as one comic. It auto updates daily (if there are comics, that is) and keeps track of what images have been deleted or otherwise "lost."

The new version already has a guided installer and supports multiple users for multiple blogs (or news sites kinda like Comixpedia) and multiple home pages and will feature a robust links pages script (which is my main motivation right now). It will be 100% compliant XHTML and CSS, so may not look as fancy as RazorNavi, but should be able to be viewed on any internet-capable device.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Greg Stephens's picture

Worked on this over the weekend. The latest addition is a templating system (the Smarty system, FYI). This will mean that users can redesign the pages as they choose without having to hack the PHP. Also it means that different archives of comics can have radically different page layouts- or different storylines within the same comic archive (like Sluggy).

This means that even though I'm designing the default template to be pure XHTML & CSS, if somebody would feel better with a table-based layout or whatever, then it's a much easier change than it would have been last Friday. Took me two days to make it thus, but there you go.

Re: Another PHP Automation Script: RazorNav

Greg Stephens's picture

I think they're probably rather similar in nature. I mean, there's only so many ways to make next comic/previous comic navigation. Under the hood, however, they're probably going to be quite different. For example, ATP has been designed to work without a database, which is something I long ago decided wasn't what I was interested in doing. This means that ATP is more attractive to people who are less technically minded. And maybe that's the real difference- ATP Autosite will be for a broader range of users and Zwol Archive will be for people who really want to get their hands dirty.

Re: What Features Are Really Key?

Quoth xerexes:7. Search for Text and/or character or other attributes in archives. Never seen this in an available to the public script although Goats, Sluggy and Ozy&Millie all have some variation on this. (But they have never offered their site scripts to the public as far as we know).
Well, there's the CRFH!!! effort.
The Ozy & Millie search seems to include only the HTML and not any transcribed text from the comic itself.
Goats looks like the only one that's tightly integrated with the site itself. All the other ones I know of (Freefall, Roomies/It's Walky!, GPF) run independently. I think that integrating the search might make it harder to handle crossovers and other irregularities.