Friendly document 3

Adding friendly systems, including Start-Page to your website

The first part of this page is very similar to the  explanation on the page, on making your system into a friendly site, if you have already read this, then go directly to part 3,

This article contains

 


 

Part 1 - explaining the concepts behind friendly systems.

Introduction

The concept of the friendly systems is that any friendly site can include any other within its own site. So for example a part or all of your site cold also be able to be accessed within Start-Page or you could include all the facilities in Start-Page in your site, and its all very quick and easy to achieve.

The concept is very simple a double frame that can be  slotted into other frames sets within your website or any other.

On this page we are going to explain a little of how start-page is constructed and then look at how you can make your website into a friendly site and have all or part of your information available to others.

 

How start page is built

Start page is constructed using two sets of  frames, one inside the other. 

With the standard version, the outer set is three frames running across the page, top, body and bottom. A second frames page is loaded into the body frame consisting of contents and main. 

Standard version frame sets

Top

Body

Bottom

Left outer frame set. right frame set that goes into body

Contents

Main

When the user selects a button on the top or bottom frames it loads a new frame into body consisting of a new default contents and main. We can also call this frame and load it into body from a contents page, and you can see the yellow highlighted items do this on the topic contents page. We have a lot of frames that load into body,

With compact headers the situation is similar and the same data set that you have works with both standard and various compact and special headers sets.

Compact version frame sets

Top

Body

Left outer frame set. right frame set that goes into body

Contents

Main

In some cases we are using  duel header systems, where a header is from your system and a header from ours, the concepts are similar, these allow for a wider range of material to be accessible from either system. This is more problematic but is very similar, again we have a three frame section with a central body with a duel frame loads into, its just that one of the outer frames we also have to load with a page from your system. Some of the systems you will see doing this are in fact arranged as sub directories of start-page, for example best of the best and UKlist, while some others have taken another approach of using channels.

The frame set to use your header at the top and our compact one at the bottom would look like'

Top (your header)

Body

Bottom (our header)

Left outer frame set. right frame set that goes into body

Contents

Main

The normal pages just fit into the frames above, the frames say what the first pages are when they load, and you can tell each hyperlink what frame space it is to load a page into, but this is made simpler by being able to set page defaults for this. Normally both top and bottom default to body and contents defaults to main. 

Start-page has been written using Microsoft FrontPage, but you can use any editor you wish, including Word, or FrontPage Express that is available free.

The buttons are a table, with background colour changes on cells. We chose this method as we wanted it to load very fast even over slow lines. We make minimal use of graphics etc for the same reason. Different sections of the page is achieved by using tables within tables.

If you don't understand a word of this then don't worry, we can help you to implement a working system

Part 2 - making your system into a friendly system

What you need

To make your system a friendly system and allow its information to be used by other friendly systems, you directory called SP off of the route directory that contains your home page

On the SP directory you put

Frames page HTML
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
<title>Your site title</title>
<base target="contents">
</head>
<frameset cols="18%,*" framespacing="0" border="0" frameborder="0">
<frame name="contents" src="spcontents.htm" scrolling="auto" target="main">
<frame name="main" src="spmain.htm" scrolling="auto" target="main">
</frameset>
</html>
You should be able to copy and paste this.

Change the code to put in your site title.

Note the two src commands pointing to pages to put into the two frames.

 

spcontents.htm  and spmain,htm can in fact be anywhere you want, as long as the src= tag points to them.

You can control any pages that you want to load by selecting the frame to load to, left is contents and right is main. This means you can have other contents pages, and loads of main pages. if you want a pair of new pages to show at the same time. You have another frame as above but change to src= to the page names that you wish to load.

Making a control panel available.

To go to the next step and make a control panel available, you also need to have 2 more frame pages on the sp directory.

index_a.htm  - panel at the top

Top

Body

Left outer frame set. right frame set that goes into body

This is the index.htm above

Contents

Main

index_b.htm - panel at the bottom

Body

Bottom

Left outer frame set. right frame set that goes into body

This is the index.htm above

Contents

Main

Lets take a look at these simple pages, with example html, you can use your own generated code, write it yourself , or whatever you like, the code is not critical as long as it does what you want it to.

Index_a.htm frames page code

note:- header file is shown as header,htm, it can point to whatever file you use.

 

<html>

<head>

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">

</head>

<frameset framespacing="0" border="0" rows="99,*" frameborder="0">

<frame name="header" scrolling="no" noresize target="main" src=".header.htm">

<frame name="body" src="index.htm" scrolling="auto" target="contents">

</frameset>

</html>

Index_b.htm frames page code

note:- header file is shown as header,htm, it can point to whatever file you use.

<html>

<head>

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">

</head>

<frameset framespacing="0" border="0" rows="*,91" frameborder="0">

<frame name="body" src="index.htm" scrolling="auto" target="main">

<frame name="bottom" src="header.htm" scrolling="auto" target="body">

</frameset>

</html>

Like index.htm, index_a.htm and index_b.htm need to be on the SP directory. but the header file can be wherever you like and whereer you like as long as you point to it with the src= tag. you need to set the page default of the header file to point to body is you want to load another frameset, and to contents if you are just changing contents lists.

The location of the index files and the names of frames are critical, nothing else is.

This at first may appear complex but is simple once you get used to it, and if you have a problem we can create you some frame files ands end them to you.

Optional file

An optional file that you can also put onto the sp directory is help.htm, this file if present is  information for anyone who wishes to use your friendly system, and allows you to pass a message or special notes on to them at the point they are looking to add your site into theirs. See our help file

Points to watch out for

If you create your index page by copying and pasting from elsewhere in your system, you need to remember that the hypertext link is from the place you are currently at. In some editors ie FrontPage, you can copy a piece of text with hyperlinks to a page on the same directory as your source, and then within the program move it to the new location, which automatically updates the links for you.

Don't try to copy what we have done with 'Best of the Best',  and some others as they are a part of the start-page system and are configured as sub webs of start-page, rather than free standing systems. 

It is important that the frames have the same names at ours.

What we link to

If you have set it up as we suggest we should be able load yoursiteadress/sp into the body frame and it should all work To test this load the files and just add /sp to the end your own web address and you should see the two frames working for you minus of course our top and bottom frames.

All you need to do then  is to email us telling us where you feel we should put links from within our system to call your friendly site. Email keith @ start-page.co.uk (but with no space before or after the @), with the details of your site.

Keeping it all simple

The friendly systems approach is all very simple, and as such works well. Its best to keep it this way, so that we don't have compatibility problems or similar arriving at any point. For this reason its best to allow us to create and maintain all the shared frames used for friendly systems rather than trying to do more of it on your system. While these look very simple, they may need adjusting from time to time if header sizes change or other small differences occur. Similarly when we add a new format, such as the compact headers or special interest formats, these all tend to think that al the others are available at the same place ad an odd set of frames elsewhere although working to start, could create problems in these cases.

Part 3 - Using other friendly systems within your web site

Assuming you have read the sections above showing you how to include a friendly system into your website is not difficult.

 

We will show you how to use start page, but it could be any friendly site.

 

Simple contents and main