Linking to non-Freeway HTML code

There are two of us working on a website for the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Austin, Texas. I’m on a Mac and using Freeway as I literally know nothing about HTML. The other person is on a PC and codes directly in HTML. I’m developing what has been dubbed “The Container” and he is developing what has been dubbed “The Content”.

The Container includes a master page and some twenty-four pages based on that master. The master includes a masthead and a menu bar. The menu bar uses CSS Menus.

The Content includes essentially everything that isn’t defined on the master page.

Ideally what we would like to do is to have each of the individual pages link to the appropriate HTML files which contain the content. The hope is that with such a structure the content can be changed without there having to be any need to make any changes to the Freeway pages.

So the question comes down to is this possible, and, if so, just how does one set things up?


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James,

I am not sure I understand your problem because it seems all you are
talking about is creating external links.
Select some text in an HTML item and click on Edit → Hyperlink select
external and enter the link to the PC page.

See the simple use of this at: PageSpinner

This is a FW created page linking to pages created using PageSpinner.

LLE

On Dec 22, 2008, at 5:02 PM, James L. Ryan wrote:

There are two of us working on a website for the Episcopal Church of
the Resurrection in Austin, Texas. I’m on a Mac and using Freeway as
I literally know nothing about HTML. The other person is on a PC and
codes directly in HTML. I’m developing what has been dubbed “The
Container” and he is developing what has been dubbed “The Content”.

The Container includes a master page and some twenty-four pages
based on that master. The master includes a masthead and a menu bar.
The menu bar uses CSS Menus.

The Content includes essentially everything that isn’t defined on
the master page.

Ideally what we would like to do is to have each of the individual
pages link to the appropriate HTML files which contain the content.
The hope is that with such a structure the content can be changed
without there having to be any need to make any changes to the
Freeway pages.

So the question comes down to is this possible, and, if so, just how
does one set things up?


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LLE,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Here is a bit more detail regarding what I would like to do…

The current under development “Container” site, implemented in Freeway Pro, can be seen at http://homepage.mac.com/taliesinsoft/ECR/index.html. The white area below the menu is where I would like to include a link to the HTML file which contains what will appear below the menu. In other words, part of the page is implemented in Freeway and part in what I would like to be a separate HTML file.

Jim


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Server Side Includes

Using these you can use code to include a ‘link’ to another ‘page’ on your (or any other server).

You can create the framework and using includes his pages can be inserted into yours.

I am not familiar enough with the process to advise but this would be 1 method.

David


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And of course PHP includes as well.


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http://allyourtech.com/content/articles/22_11_2005_php_includes_for_people_who_dont_know_php.php


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David,

That link to allyourtech.com looks interesting. Many thanks!

Jim


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Here is a ling for SSI

http://www.softpress.com/kb/questions/62/Server+Side+Includes

LLE

On Dec 22, 2008, at 6:54 PM, James L. Ryan wrote:

LLE,

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Here is a bit more detail regarding what I would like to do…

The current under development “Container” site, implemented in
Freeway Pro, can be seen at <http://homepage.mac.com/taliesinsoft/ECR/index.html

. The white area below the menu is where I would like to include a
link to the HTML file which contains what will appear below the
menu. In other words, part of the page is implemented in Freeway and
part in what I would like to be a separate HTML file.

Jim


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While all of these techniques may be used to create the structure of your pages, it’s important to note that what you end up with needs to be a single page, not a mush of several pages.

If your colleague is used to coding complete pages, with a head and body section and all the other bits that make up a valid page, then he or she will need to remove everything outside of the body tag (and the enclosing body tags themselves) before saving the resulting “fragment” where you can include it.

He or she will also need to stick to agreed-upon styles for structural elements like H1-6, P and DIV, and only use inline styles like strong and em for additional local highlighting. And no JavaScript or other extra goodies, either.

The reason for all of this restriction is that you are going to have the entire head of the page – with its styles, links to stylesheets, scripts, and links to scripts – under your control in Freeway. Anything that gets included by the server will need to fit into that framework, and must not attempt to stand by itself as a complete page, or else you will end up with a page within a page, which will either display badly or not at all.

Walter


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I haven’t tried it but the link at http://www.softpress.com/kb/questions/62/Server+Side+Includes
claims there is an action to strip the unneeded parts of the page.

LLE

If your colleague is used to coding complete pages, with a head and
body section and all the other bits that make up a valid page, then
he or she will need to remove everything outside of the body tag
(and the enclosing body tags themselves) before saving the resulting
“fragment” where you can include it.


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Yes, but that would be needed only if you were creating the insert parts in Freeway. Then you would use that Action to force Freeway to generate fragments. But if you are building the shell in Freeway, and the fragments in another application (text editor or a semi-WYSIWYG like Dreamweaver) then you have to take care of that step manually in that environment.

If the person making the fragments needed to preview their work, they would either need to paste their work into a copy of your Freeway-designed shell and preview the resulting page locally, or they would need to upload it to the server and view it there.

There’s one other problem that I haven’t heard addressed here. If there are going to be many inserts and one shell, you are going to need some sort of server-side logic to combine the two. Server-side Includes (SSI) are used primarily to insert one or more template parts into a variable page, not the other way around.

For example, in a traditional SSI workflow, there might be a header and footer as separate partials (fragment files), saved as header.inc and footer.inc. Then each “real” page in the site would be the content (the body of the page) with some little snippets of code where the header and footer would go, and these pages would actually contain all of the canonical page-parts: html, head, (style, script, title) /head, body, /body, and /html. In your structure, this would be the part created by the “content” developer.

This means that you would be the one making the sub-page parts, and your work would be inserted into the other person’s site structure, not the other way around.

Another way to do this (although it seems like a lot of double-work to me) would be for you to create a separate blank page for each page created by the other developer, and then have a separate and unique include statement in that blank page to suck in the other person’s work. You would maintain the overall site structure and all navigation, but you would be creating a duplicate page in Freeway for each of the hand-coded content page fragments.

The way that I would approach this would be to decide which one of you is to “drive” the project (only one may do so) and then either do the traditional SSI thing using my TemplateHelper Action to create the sub-page parts in Freeway for the other developer to insert into his or her full-scope page layout, or use an application server like PHP to assemble the pages using a URL scheme to select the proper content to include. Either way, you will not have a lot of duplicated effort, and the concomitant opportunity for disaster.

Walter


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Oooh! I just remembered one more way this could work. Ever since version 1.0 of Freeway, you have been able to use what you might term “design-side” includes. This is not widely advertised, but it could be the exact thing you need for your project.

Let’s say your developer sends you a whole folder full of page fragments, fully coded as the content of the body tag might be. You put those somewhere easy to find on your hard drive. Then you create a master page for your header and footer information, and on the master page you have a regular HTML box where the body will go.

Next, create a new child page based on this master, say for the “About our service” page. Click once on the main content HTML box (so the selection handles appear) and choose File / Import. Navigate to the ‘about_our_service.html’ fragment that your developer created, and click Open. On your Freeway page, you will see a little folded-page icon in the top-left corner of the HTML box and the filename of the included file, but nothing else. If you switch to Preview mode, you will see the content of that file rendered in place. When you upload from Freeway, the content of that file will be “mail-merged” into the final generated HTML file – there will not be any sort of server-side include going on.

So on the workflow front, when changes are inevitably made to these text files, if you replace your local copies with the new versions and upload from Freeway again, the changed pages will be merged with their templates and the revised pages will upload.

If you use this technique, you will maintain control over the site map and navigation scheme while off-loading the work of content creation and management to your partner.

You will still need to maintain a separate page in Freeway for each page you are given to add to the site, but you won’t need to do much work past that first step of creating a child page and linking it to the content file. Any subsequent updates will be managed automatically.

Walter


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Walter wrote the following paragraph…

Another way to do this (although it seems like a lot of double-work to me) would be for you to create a separate blank page for each page created by the other developer, and then have a separate and unique include statement in that blank page to suck in the other person’s work. You would maintain the overall site structure and all navigation, but you would be creating a duplicate page in Freeway for each of the hand-coded content page fragments.

And here is my comment…

As things now stand there is a separate Freeway implemented page for each of the “container” pages in the site. All of the navigation through the site is implemented with Freeway. The intent is that the “content” of each page will be linked to and it appears to me that the SSI approach is just the ticket.


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I hacked up a crude set of FW SSI pages.
It has been a while since I worked with SSI so I did a quickie for a
refresher, real, real crude, but it functions.

The FW with Hand made includes:
http://AllMyTrash.com/SSI_Test/FW/index.shtml

The Hand made Includes from a Hand made wrapper template:
http://AllMyTrash.com/SSI_Test/Hand/page1/page.shtml
http://AllMyTrash.com/SSI_Test/Hand/page2/page.shtml
http://AllMyTrash.com/SSI_Test/Hand/page3/page.shtml

The FW project and hand done raw stuff:
http://AllMyTrash.com/SSI_Test/SSI_Test.zip

On Dec 23, 2008, at 12:09 PM, James L. Ryan wrote:

it appears to me that the SSI approach is just the ticket.


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LLE,

Triple “many thanks” for the posting of the Freeway/SSI example. I’ve downloaded it and am giving it a study.

Quickly it indeed does look as though SSI will do the job!

Jim


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