[Prev|Next|Home] Posted 1/28/95 by userland@hotwired.com

Special Folders

Special Folders

There are six special folders in the AutoWeb folder -- Input Folder, Output Folder, Upload Folder, Gif Folder, Helper Apps and Mail Folder.

Input Folder

The Input Folder is a potentially very rich structure of folders, text files and sub-folders. Its structure determines the structure of your website.

Here's a partial view of the sample Input Folder:

The file "0000 My Sample Website" contains the text displayed on the home page. The folder, "0001 My State Opions", tells AutoWeb to group the files it contains into a separate page linked into the home page. There's no specific limit to the number of levels of nesting you can use.

Any of the sub-folders can be aliases. This is very important, because you may want to distribute editorial authority for various sections around your local network. You can share folders using aliases to make sure that people only write to folders that they are responsible for.

Each of the text files is a Little Script Editor document. You can change the creator of these files and edit them with most Macintosh text editing and word processing programs. The text files may contain HTML markups, but much of the marking up is done automatically by AutoWeb, so you don't *have* to write in HTML.

The sort order of the file names is important. You should arrange the file names so that when you view the folder By-Name in the Finder's View menu they appear in the order you want them to appear in on the website. We've used a numbering scheme in the sample Input Folder, for example: 0005 California. You can use any scheme you like to influence the sort order of the files.

The first file in each folder contains the text for the page. The titles of other files in the folder appear after the text, in a list, centered, in the order they appear in the folder.

File Name Notes

You can't use a colon in Macintosh file names. You can substitute colons with dashes. For example, "Reaction: Chinese Household" becomes "Reaction- Chinese Household". Normally you don't have to worry about this when you're using the Macintosh, the Finder watches out for colons and changes them to dashes as you type them in. However, if you write scripts that create content for AutoWeb, be sure to change all colons to dashes.

For similar reasons, Unix file systems can't handle slashes in file names. This is handled automatically by the AutoWeb scripts, when generating an output file, we remove all punctuation from the file's name.

Format of text files in the Input Folder

The text files in the sample Input Folder are all edited with Little Script Editor.

LSE maintains a separate resource in each file that contains options for building the page and linking it to other pages. You can edit this resource by choosing "Document Options" from the LittleScript menu. Except for this resource, each file is a plain ASCII text file. You can use any text editor you like, as long as it respects and preserves this resource.

For more info, see The Doc Info Dialog.

Output Folder

This is a flat folder, no sub-folders, containing HTML files that are generated by building the Input Folder.

At any time, you can trash all the files in this folder and rebuild to regenerate the contents of this folder. There's a command in LSE's AutoWeb menu that does this for you automatically.

AutoWeb maintains the modification dates of these files, and compares them against the mod dates of the Input Folder files so that it always uploads the minimum number of files to keep the website consistent with the text on your Macintosh network.

Upload Folder

When AutoWeb is finished compiling the HTML text, it copies the updated and new files to the Upload Folder. At any time, you can run the "Upload..." script to move the new files up to your server. This script uses the Anarchie FTP client, which is scriptable, to do the transfer. As with the rebuilding scripts, it depends on the information in the Config Script file to point to the correct directories on your server machine.

Helper Apps

The Helper Apps folder contains apps that the AutoWeb scripts need. Frontier Runtime and Runtime.root together contain almost all the scripts and shared menus included in the package. Anarchie is the FTP client by Peter Lewis. Transparency is an essential GIF-management utility. Both programs have readme files in the Helper Apps folder.

Mail Folder

This folder is used by AutoMail to store your mailing list and a set of welcoming essays for new users. For more information, see AutoMail.

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