That is a "solderless breadboard". It can be practical for experimentation, but not for final mounting.
"gpio/in/analog" does not do latching, only direct readout of the voltage on the corresponding gpio pad.
The axoloti-user google group is deprecated. This is the community forum.
A hardware hacking guide would make sense yes, but I have not found the time to write one. If someone takes the initiative, I'll turn it into a wiki post in the user guide section.