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  1. #1
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Some people that read this might be aware of a project that I have for my website, that is currently in the making. It is a project, where the site is actually build, run and operated by the members. It is called the OCP, or the 'Open Community Project'. It has not been officially released yet, but the idea is to build many sub directories and give qualified members an FTP account, complete with username and password, so that they can edit their section. I will not be advertising, or trying to make money from the OCP channels/sub directories, and the channel Admins will have full control over their allocated channel. All they must do is apply for the channel, and if I can see that they are genuine, they will be given the authority over the directory. The whole aim, is to make my website BIG, and informative, useful and fun for many people.

    However, although admins run the channel, and are allowed to link to what they please, using their own affiliate links, and even links to their own sites, they will not 'own' the channel. Lets just say that they are borrowing it, and reaping the benefits of instant traffic from the main site, while they are in control.

    So, having said all of that, I will also point out that I want everyone to follow one template. The effect will be that although there are many sections, directories and channels, they will all utilise the mainsite header, which contains the links to all of the other channels. Every channel/directory will have its very own forum and chat installed as well. I believe that such a project would grow like wild fire, but the problem is that it can also get out of hand, and out of control very quickly. That's the reason that I want to use a universal template, with a universal header and footer. Otherwise, six months down the track, I could very well end up with 35 sections, complete with forums and chat, and they will be impossible to edit or decipher if the original admins move on.

    So, I am all ears for anyone that has knowledge/ideas to make this work. I could have released the project and handed out the FTP details to the admins a month ago, but I haven't because I am afraid that it will become a MESS! I want it to be EDITABLE and READABLE for admins in future. Specifically myself.

    Does anyone have any ideas, how I can go about creating a universal template, that no one can "stuff up"? I don't want to have to spend countless hours in future, scratching my head, wondering what the heck happened to the original template.

    I have already created a test version which utilises SSI, and all the parts of the template that I do NOT want edited have been cut out and placed on the server as .txt files. Therefore, future admins can only "fill in the gaps" so to speak. In other words, I have created the test template with all table widths, heights, backgrounds, font sizes, etc etc on the .txt files, and the template just has a whole heap of includes, and notes on where to fill in the gaps.

    The problem is that the template doesn't look much like a template. It's just a .shtml file full of 20+ SS Includes. Is there a better way of doing this? I want to make the OCP go ahead, and I want to get it happening ASAP, but I need to figure out a useful system to implement all of the data onto the site.

    If anyone has any ideas, then I am all ears. If anyone wants to give hand on help, I will do everything that I can to show my appreciation. For a little more info about the OCP, you can read it at or you can read what I have been writing on my forum, because there is a section labeled the OCP. I am not trying to spam for new members. I am not asking for anyone to join, because when the OCP is released, my site will be attracting 1000% more members than I could attract from spamming other sites. I am asking this on all of the webmaster related sites that I visit, hoping that someone will have constructive ideas, that I didn't think of. What I need is IDEAS - Help! I will show my appreciation very generously for anyone that can give me solid, concrete help, support or ideas.


  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    New York

    This is <IMG src=> but I like you ... so I'll let it slide again <IMG src=>

    RE: Template describe it .... if it is just a header and/or footer .. I can do it with one simple cgi script. The access is the true nightmare, not to mention the bandwidth your gonna chomp up! <IMG src=>


  3. #3
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    WOW! Gee thanks Haiko...

    Well, I could just make a header and footer, and let everyone do what the like in the middle, but the problem is that not many people know how to make cross browser pages, that work in most browsers. There will be DHTML floating across pages, iframes that NS can't see, color issues, I could go on all day.

    I am kinda receptive to a header/footer solution, and I could just write a list of do's and dont's, and hopefully everyone will follow them, but I would like to actually stop editing the site, and just coordinate what's being built. If that makes sense?

    I have just been employed by !!! *hehe* and I am way too happy about that, because I am a labourer! So, for a few months I will be giving everything I have to the new position. I have a full time web design position, at their Melbourne office with them now [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I don't want to let it slip through my fingers, or it's back to painting *ErCh'K*!!!

    However, my dream is to make the OCP, and I don't mind about the bandwidth, I will just pay for more, but I will be making sure that admins are conservative. It will be a text based project, (mainly) with graphics used ONLY when critical. It's not a display of how pretty people can make graphics, nor is it free web hosting. It's a project where many people can take part.

    Maybe, I could use a CGI solution, like you have mentioned, and I can use the .shtml file with .txt uncludes as the middle/sandwich part? That could work!

    I have already spoken to my web host. He is a great guy, and does anything to help. He will set up the FTP accounts for me, no problem. So, access wont be a major issue. Also, my webspace has the works. State of the Art!

    However, as much as I want this project to go ahead, I don't want it to be a mess.

    Haiko, would you like to join me in a chat somwhere?


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