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  1. #1
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    Currently, when adding a WM-Field tag to an index page WM assumes you want a link to the corresponding detail page and will generate a link as it includes the field data. I.e., this:

    [WM-Field: MyField]

    ...becomes:

    <a href"detail.html">My Field Data</a>

    This can be overridden by including the nolink attribute:

    [WM-Field: MyField nolink]

    This was designed this way as a convenience, but as the product's audience grows I'm wondering if the best way to do that would be to never write a link unless explicitely told to do so, somethink like:

    [WM-Field: MyField link]

    This would of course require writing templates differently.

    For backward compatibility WM could use the old behavior if a nolink attribute is present anywhere in the template, and use the new behavior for all others. That would allow 99.9% of existing templates to continue running without modification, but may require changes to the very small number of index templates where all fields are linked (I haven't see one yet but there may be some like that).

    Questions for you:

    1. Would this proposed change make writing templates easier for you? Would it seem easier to learn?

    2. Can you think of any backward compatibility implications I've not noted above?

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    Hi, Richard:

    I have to use the "nolink" attribute a lot on index pages, and would be happy to see that become the default operation.

    I think the philosophy of not creating a link unless explicitly requested to is the right one.

    Your backwards compatibility solution seems solid to me, at least for the way I build pages with WM.

    -- Mike

  3. #3
    Super Sh!t Stirrer SSanf's Avatar
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    Don't ask me. I get confused easily!

    Mr.Merchant, if you do business in any way what-so-ever with parasites, your products will not be sold on my sites!!
    Affiliates, before you use CJ merchants, Read This! Comments are to be interpreted as opinion unless otherwise noted.

  4. #4
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    I agree with MikeO

    I find it slightly irritating having to type nolink in my index page tags that are just plain text - and I would say that around 70% of tags on my index pages are plain - so it seems much more sensible - and more intuitive - to have a 'link' attribute instead.

  5. #5
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    I'm just learning how to use WebMerge and I like the way it writes links. It is part of what makes the program valuable to use. I haven't used nolink so far, what are examples of why you would?

    Deborah Carney
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  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Mike O's Avatar
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    No real examples, I just like to build up all my links using the same format, appearing in the templates as much like plain HTML as possible.

    Having the links coded differently on the detail pages and index pages has always bothered me.

    With my limited brainpower I try to have as few different things to remember as I can.

    -- Mike

  7. #7
    http and a telephoto
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    Now *I'm* confused. I don't have them coded differently on the index and detail pages...

    I'll be quiet and let you folks that know what you are talking about take care of this one

    Deborah Carney
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  8. #8
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by loxly:
    I'm just learning how to use WebMerge and I like the way it writes links. It is part of what makes the program valuable to use. I haven't used nolink so far, what are examples of why you would?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Suppose you have an index page that includes these fields for each product record:

    - SKU
    - Product Name
    - Brief Description
    - Price

    You may wan the SKU and name linked to the detail page, and possibly the price, but having the description also linked would make it hard to read; it'd look much cleaner as plain text without the link. The nolink attribute allows you to do that.

    To see it in action check out the Congress Contact Database example included in the WebMerge installation.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
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    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  9. #9
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> may require changes to the very small number of index templates where all fields are linked (I haven't see one yet but there may be some like that). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Almost all my index templates are like that! I think I've had to use [nolink] all of about twice since I've had WM.

    If how things worked changed, it would cause me lots of hash when I forgot which index templates I'd updated and which ones I hadn't.

    One run of WM with an unupdated template could mean the disappearance of entire sections from the SEs! While the competition would LOVE such an eventuality, obviously I don't think that's an acceptable risk.

    I wouldn't download any copy of WM that would cause all my templates to become obsolete.

    If it was an *option,* sure, because then I could just check the box for the old way. But if getting a new version meant all my old stuff would stop working right, forget it!

    ~Cheapskate merchants need not apply

  10. #10
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    I wouldn't download any copy of WM that would cause all my templates to become obsolete.

    If it was an *option,* sure, because then I could just check the box for the old way. But if getting a new version meant all my old stuff would stop working right, forget it!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Nothing to fear: Backward compatibility is a very high priority here.

    Since v1.0, all enhancements to the program have allowed both templates and settings files to be used in newer versions without requiring user modification.

    For example, when the settings file format changed in v2.0 it provided automatic conversion of the old format -- and even made a backup of the original for you.

    Same with the much-requested change to the file name replacement character: when it changed from "_" to "-" in v2.3, that version also included a tool to maintain the old behavior if desired.

    One of the joys of working with WebMerge is that you can set it up and never have to think about it again. Any changes going forward will maintain that ideal as a very high priority. For me, that's the essence of what WebMerge is all about.

    One nice thing about this proposed change is that even if you forget to set the option to use the v2.3 behavior of writing links by default, in 99% of the templates I've seen this future version of WebMerge would still work as expected anyway:

    The "nolink" attribute will be deprecated in favor of its compliment, the new "link" attribute. So all WebMerge needs to do is check for the presence of a nolink attribute in the template; if there is then it was written for an older version and WebMerge would automatically use the older method.

    So no change would be required of any settings file or template. In most cases it will work as expected automatically, and for absolute assurance you can just click a checkbox I'll provide for that.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  11. #11
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    I vote to leave it alone. I already have two WebMerge icons on my desktop. One for the old underscore ('_') method of naming files and one for the new dash ('-') way of naming files.

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  12. #12
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Stanley Holtsclaw:
    I vote to leave it alone. I already have two WebMerge icons on my desktop. One for the old underscore ('_') method of naming files and one for the new dash ('-') way of naming files.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    There's no need for that - from the "What's New" page in WebMege's Help files:

    WebMerge now replaces spaces and other invalid characters in file names with a hyphen ("-"). Earlier versions of WebMerge had used an underscore ("_"). If you need your pages to be generated using underscores as they were in earlier versions you can change this behavior at any time with the new File Name Hyphenator plug-in tool, available from the new Tools menu.

    --
    Richard Gaskin
    Fourth World Media Corporation
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any database on any site
    ___________________________________________________________
    Ambassador@FourthWorld.com http://www.FourthWorld.com
    Tel: 323-225-3717 AIM: FourthWorldInc

  13. #13
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    Thank you Richard...I must have missed that particular announcement!

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