Welcome to bas.org.in, the official site of the Bangalore Astronomical Society. This site runs a "Content Management System" called Drupal. A Content Management System like Drupal allows easy creation and management of site content. This means that it would be possible for you to post, say, a blog entry by typing it out in a text editor in the site, rather than run through pages of HTML and add your content there! Without a Content Management System, it would have been extremely difficult to maintain a dynamic site like this, where users can create content.
This page aims at introducing you to some of the basic features we have on this site. This mostly means you will be introduced to some of the features Drupal provides. If you wish to go beyond this article, you may try to find something on http://www.drupal.org
Typically, our site has a header on the top, a set of features on the left and another set of features on the right. The middle region (this part that you are reading now) contains the actual content.
The site header has a set of links which help you navigate to some of the important content in the website. You probably got here by clicking one of those links. If you want some information on the Bangalore Astronomical Society, you now know where to look for it. These links are called "Primary Links" within Drupal. The site header usually sports our logo on the left hand side.
Just below, or sometimes within the site header, is another set of links which take you to various features of the website, like the Forums, the Gallery etc. These are called "Secondary Links" within Drupal.
If you are a registered user of this site, you may login using the Login "block" which may be found either on the left or right side of the site. Once you login, the login fields will disappear and you will be presented with a set of features that include a link to your blog, a set of options to create site content (such as stories, pages etc). This is called the "Navigation Menu". Some of the content that a user creates need to be approved by a moderator. This is a feature to prevent spamming of the site. You may also preview or change your account details / profile using the "My Account" link.
The items that you see on the extreme left and right sides of the page are organized into structures called "blocks". The Event Calendar is one such block that you may often find useful. It shows the programmes / events of the Bangalore Astronomical Society that are scheduled for the current month. Other blocks that you may find, mostly in the home page, are "Active Forum Topics" and "Recent Blog Posts". Not all of the blocks that are configured will be displayed on all pages. For example, the "Active Forum Topics" block will most probably appear only on the home page.
Every registered user is provided with a personal blog. This is a place to share / express your personal views / experiences with astronomy. To enter your blog, select "My Blog" in the navigation menu. To create a new blog entry, click on the "Post new blog entry" link at the top of your blog entries. You can also select "Create Content" from the Navigation Menu and select "Blog Entry" under it, to create a new blog entry. Recent blog entries will appear in the "Recent Blog Posts" block on the Home Page.
Forums can be accessed by selecting "Forums" from the Secondary Links below the header. These are places for discussions of all sorts. You can create a new forum topic by selecting "Forum Topic" under "Create Content" in the Navigation Menu.
The Bangalore Astronomical Society's Gallery is accessible through the "Gallery" link in the Secondary Links. Each registered user is given a limited amount of Gallery space. You can upload photographs pertaining to astronomy, or BAS here.
These are static pages, just like other typical web pages, but they fit into the content region of the site. To create a page, select "Page'' from "Create Content" in the Navigation Menu.
These are pages which are a sort of collaborative effort. It is like a e-book written by several people, "an opensource" e-book in some sense. You can access books by selecting "Books" from the Secondary Links. You can create books by selecting "Book" under "Create Content" option in the Navigation Menu. You can also contribute to already existing books.
Please feel free to go around and have a look at the various features.