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Squishdot DTML Organization
Posted by Butch Landingin on Friday July 16, 05:09AM, 1999
from the stuff-to-read dept.
This article delves into the structure and composition of the DTML methods that make up Squishdot. Hopefully, this will serve as a guide for those of you who wish to modify the look and feel of Squishdot and need to understand the interdependence of the methods and associated folders.

The Main page

The main page (index_html) displays the list of squishdot articles. It consists of the site header, the main table and the site footer.

The main table consists of three columns, the leftmost column containing leftbox options, the middle column containing the articles themselves, and the rightmost column containing the various squishboxes specified in the rightbox options.

In the case where the TinyTable product is not available and the default leftbox items and right box items are not loaded, each set of options are rendered by hardcoding them into the DTML, instead of being iterated over a table.

The site header (site_header) contains the advertising banner and the topic image url list, as well as several properties such as the title images, the page title and the border background color.

The site footer (site_footer) contains a search form, the quotation, the copyright announcement as well as the list of bottom links. Additional code is also provided so that if in case the TinyTable product is not available and the bottom items table is not loaded, then the bottom links are rendered by hardcoding them into the DTML, instead of iterating over the table.

Each article contains the title, summary, topic subject, the topic image associated with the topic subject as well as a link to the read more page for the given article id.

The Read More page

The read more page (posting_html) displays the summary and body of the article, the comments, the optional file attachment, as well as some related links. It also displays the same left hand options as the main page, except for the addition of links to navigate back to the main table. It also provides a link back to the body of the article if you have navigated deep into a comment thread.

The read more page consists of the site header, site footer and the main table. The site header and site footer are the same ones used in the main page.

The main table consists of three columns, with the leftmost column similar in content to the leftmost column in the main page, except for some additional hardcoded links discussed above. The right hand column contains a squishbox containing items and URLs related to the article. If a file was attached to to the main article then a squishbox containing it would also be displayed.

The middle column contains the summary and body of the article. In addition, adjoining rows contain the comments and replies to comments. This section probably contains the most complicated set of DTML tags in squishdot and represent an attempt to create a hierarchical display of comments.

In the case that the number of comments exceed the threshold set in the comment spillover property in the Properties page, only the titles, names of the author and posting time are displayed along with a link to the body of the comment is displayed.

The Add Posting page

The add posting page is used for adding both a main article and for replying, albeit using differing parts of the page to do so. It contains the same site_header and site_footer used everywhere else. It has a main table consisting of two(2) columns, with the leftmost column containing the same left box items as the main page.

The main column contains a form for submitting the article or comment for adding to the database. Depending on what object called it, it either displays an submission form for a main article or a comment. If it's a submission form for a comment, it displays the original article or comment to which you are replying to for convenience. Note: One the things we will be working on for the next feature release (0.3) will be to to add a preview page so that you can see exactly what your article or comment will look like prior to finally committing it to the database permanently and allow you to edit it or back it out of submission completely.

The Search page

The search page is used to search through the articles and comments. It retains the same basic structure as every other page in Squishdot, meaning it uses both the site_header and site_footer documents. It has a main table consisting of two columns, with the leftmost column containing the same information as the leftmost column on the main page.

The other column contains a submission form for searching. It specifies the criteria used for searching.

The Search Results page

The search results page is very similar to the search page, except that in the middle column, in addition to providing a submission form for searching, it displays a list of articles and comments that satisfied a previous query.

the Mail Posting page

The mail posting page contains the DTML to format a mail message that is sent when mail notification is enabled. It contains the text of the message so the original poster can readily see what replies have been made to his article or comment.

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