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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Hyphens in file names
    I haven't used WebMerge for a couple of years, and I'm sure my problem is something pretty simple now that I have it out "fired up" and ready to go with some datafeeds. I've searched this forum and can't seem to find an answer to my specific problem.

    When I run WebMerge to create a 4-tier site -- using some templates I've adapted that Frank B. gave me -- I get Category html files and Subcategory html files with hypens at the beginning of the name and sometimes (but not always?) with hyphens just before the ".html"


    Instead of: Avalance-Accessories.html
    I have: -Avalance-Accessories-.html

    Anybody have any ideas? I had extra blank spaces before and after the names in the category and subcategory fields in the datafeed and thought that might be the issue. But I cleaned up the feed to eliminate those extra spaces and it STILL gives me the hyphens.

    As a result of the hyphens, I can't get to the subcategory pages. When I click a category link, it goes directly to a product page. Clicking in the product page gives me a message that the link is not an active link, rather than going to the appropriate ShareaSale merchant.

    Probably some things going on here I really don't understand. Anybody with a suggestion?


    Gary Speer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    This is usually because there is some kind of punctuation (such as a space, quote mark, apostrophe, etc.) at the beginning of the word. I believe all punctuation and special characters except the underscore) are replaced. I think sometimes Excel inserts a single-quote (apostrophe) at the beginning of the field when saving in some formats.

    Some examples:
    Mark's Computer => Mark-s-Computer
    Polo shirt, green => Polo-shirt--green
    'Happy Birthday' T-shirt, blue => -Happy-Birthday--T-shirt--blue

    Punctuation: ~`@#$%^&*()+={}[]|\":';?><,./ plus space, tab, perhaps CR and LF codes.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador writerguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    January 17th, 2005
    Springfield, Missouri, USA
    Thanks, Mark,

    I resolved the issue. I believe it was both a combination of Excel, datafeed problems, and my WebMerge settings files.

    I went very carefully through everything once again, step-by-step, and seem to have eliminated the problem. I used Chris Sanderson's DataCleaner (free) software and also did a ton of search-and-replace stuff on datafeed fields which shouldn't even have been a problem.

    When I was done, WebMerge did the files correctly without the hyphens. Go figure!

    Now, I seem to need some work on the structure of my templates, or the settings I'm using for the 4-tier site, or something. For whatever reason, when I created 50 test pages they were okay, but they don't seem to be linking properly. When I clicked on what should have been product pages within the subcategory, it worked. But then when I clicked the "Previous" or the "Next" link, it just returned me to the Index.

    I have a lot of time today to redo, redo, redo -- and hopefully get it right.


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