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Inside EmuFanatics - Part: 2 - File Management
Article by Keith
Views: 14155
Date: Saturday, April 16 - 2005

Inside EmuFanatics - Part: 2 - File Management

(Notice: Current Admin CP design based on the open source software Mambo. All code and functions were written by me. Only the design of the admin cp was used.)

Well it is not too often that people get to see how an emulation site is run from the inside. So I thought I would take you guys on a little tour of our Admin CP and show you how we manage the site. This second installment is Part 2 which covers the basics of managing files and the file database for EmuFanatics.

Part 2 - Section 1: Account Summary
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When you first go to the admin cp main menu which is our account summary you will see a few options including our file management. From here we click on the file management option to get started.

Account Overview Screenshot

Part 2 - Section 2: File Management
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On our main file management page you will see a top option for uploading files to the server. Below that is a list of all the systems we cover which when clicked take us deeper into the file management system. First lets head on over to the file uploading options.

Main File Manage Page

Part 2 - Section 3: File Uploading
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This script for uploading directly and most importantly remotely was created by my friend passive from EmuHelp. The direct uploading feature is your basic uploading feature which allows you to directly upload a file from your computer. The remote uploading feature is what I use the most because it allows me to enter a file url from another site and the server does the downloading for me. This option is great for the 6mb+ file sizes for stuff like MAME and allows us to have it up on the server within seconds. There is also a filename rewrite option which works great for files that are behind masking features such as attachments on some forum software. We can also manage the existing files on our server from here as well.

File Uploading Options

Part 2 - Section 4: File Database Navigation
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Ok once we have the files we want on the server we head back to the main file management page and select the file system we want. In this case I am heading into the arcade systems. Once I am in the main category for that system I have options to either edit existing folders or add additional folders for this category. Next I will select the folder which I want, in this case I have selected MAME Emulation. I picked this example because it best shows off our folders in folders feature. You will see that we have more folders listed at the top for things such as frontends, tools, etc. and below that another table with file names listed. Just like before we can add more folders or edit existing ones.

Arcade Emulation Category

Add New Folder Form

Edit Existing Folder Form

MAME Emulation Folder

Part 2 - Section 5: Adding File Information Pages
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Now that we are were we want to be we will have the option to create a new file information page or enter an existing file information page so we can manage the files for that page. Our system dynamically creates each emulator page so we don't need to create an actual page for each emulator for example epsxe.php like some sites do. This allows us to grow as big as we want and add newer files without any restrictions or trouble. Just fill out the form for a new file information page and boom it's done. We can also edit the file information pages as well once it is created for very easy updating.

Add A New File Information Page

Edit An Existing Information Page

Part 2 - Section 6: Managing Files
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Once the file information page is created we can start adding an unlimited amount of files to it. The example I used for this is the AdvanceMAME information page. You will see we have the 6 different files for AdvanceMAME as well as AdvanceMENU. From here we can either add more additional files or ports, edit the main file information page, or edit the files themselves. Adding new files is extremely easy and only consist of a few form options. You just need to add the name, select the main category, add the filename, version number, OS/Type, and the bottom options which I will explain in a sec. First let me talk about the cool feature I added.

Once a file is added to the server which we did in the first step when we used the uploading features it gets listed at the right when adding or editing file information. All we have to do is click on the filename we want added and it will add the filename for you. So no need to worry about cutting and pasting the filename or worrying if the filename is correct causing a 404. This cuts way down on time and makes adding and editing file information a snap.

The two radio buttons at the bottom are the options I mentioned earlier. These options are what we use to control how the files are displayed on the site. The first option which is called Older Release can be used to prevent it from showing up under our latest file releases as well as out file list when posting news. This is a very handy option which helps us manage existing files without having to worry about them showing up on the latest file releases when its actually an older file.

The second option here is called New Download (only shows up when editing file information) and this is a very important and nice feature to have. This allows us the ability to add a file to the database and be able to keep it there forever. Basically we don't have to keep adding new file entries for each release that comes out. We just need to select yes here and it will reset the date to the current date and will also reset the new download count. We have two download counts which are total download and new download count which is how many downloads since the last version update. This saves us big time when it comes to the file management and allows us to get the files added to the site very quickly and easily.

Once the file has either been added or edited we have the options to go back where we were, go and post the news about it, or view the files information page we just modified/added.

File Listing For AdvanceMAME

Add Additional File or Port

Edit Files

Options After Adding or Editing Files

Part 2 - Section 7: File Management News Tie In
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As you might have seen from our first part of Inside EmuFanatics our file management system goes along with our news posting script. Once a file has been editing or added to the system it shows up on the right side of our news posting script. From here all we need to do is click the Title link to automatically have the title added to the form and then select the filename to have a link automatically created for us in the body part of the form. This really cuts down the time it takes to post news and allows us to link to file information pages to our news posts with ease.

News Posting Form Before Options Selected

News Posting Form After Options Selected

Part 2 - Section 8: Last Words
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Well I would be liar if I said I wasn't proud of what I have created for EmuFanatics. I am very proud of our site management and it is totally geared towards ease of use and speed so we can have the content up on the site as soon as possible. I will admit I created it with myself in mind so it might not be the best for everyone, but it is always a work in progress and new improvements can still be made. My file management system is something I created way back when we were PSX Fanatics and it sure has come a long ways and is one of our core features here at EmuFanatics. Well I hope you liked this little peek into how we run EmuFanatics and how we manage files and hopefully it will give some ideas to a few site admins out there. :)

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Inside EmuFanatics Coming Soon :)


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