This topic is intended to give you a simple tutorial about using the XML modification format: MODX.
Note: mod = hack.
What do I do after I have downloaded a mod?
After you have downloaded a mod from the hacks database, the first step is to decompress the .zip file. When you go into the mod's directory, you should see at least 3 files in the directory:
1. XML file (e.g. index.xml or install.xml)
2. XSL file (most likely modx.prosilver.en.xsl or modx.subsilver.en.xsl
3. GPL license file (always called license.txt)
The XML (eXtensible Markup Language) file contains the installation tutorial, however, it's syntax is not usually meant for human reading. Therefore, the XSL (eXtensible Stylesheet Language) file helps to render the XML file in a way that when you view the XML file in the browser, it looks like a normal web page.
What do I use to open a XML file?
Almost all current browsers support the XML language. Therefore, in order to read the file, simply double click on the XML file, and it should be automatically loaded on your default web browser. Alternately, right click on the .xml file and select open and it will open in your default browser.
How do I read the XSL rendered XML?
After you open the XML file in a web browser, you should be able to see similar mod information as the old text-based mod installation tutorial.
The web page is broken down into 2 main sections: general information about the mod and the actual tutorial that you must follow to install the mod on your phpBB forum. Below, we will break this down further into smaller sections and introduce them one by one.
In the top right-hand corner, the language selector allows you to change the language of the file. There are currently 19 languages available for use, with many more hoped in the future. This tutorial is written using the default English interface.
About this MOD
In this section, you will see the mod's title, detail description, the mod version you are installing, estimated difficulty and the time you may take to complete the installation.
Here, you will see the phpBB handle of the author(s) of this mod. His/her e-mail information, personal web page and real name may also be provided.
Files to Edit and Included Files
A list of file(s) that you will need to edit are presented here, the file name(s) will be written in such a way to include the full path to the file(s). Therefore, you will know where to find the specific file(s) for editing.
The notice is pretty straight forward, please read it before installing any mod.
Authors sometimes will want to include additional information about their mods. It is always useful to read this before installing the mod.
You may track a mod's development history by reading this section of the install file.
License and Other Notes
The majority of the mod will need to be GPL licensed and a copy of the license is included with the mod. If you have doubts about what you can/can't do with the mod, contact the mod author(s).
Here, the mod install file reminds you to backup your files before attempting any modification to the phpBB code. You should also back up your database (or related tables) if the mod requires changes to your database. In case of any errors during installation, you can restore the backup files/database easily.
The notice also reminds you again the phpBB version a mod is compatible with.