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I am still using static pages

While most web site seems to have dynamic page, with discussion board for user feedback and portal with news from other web sites... My web site is still all static, made of static pages.

One day or another, I will have a permanent high speed connection at home, with firewall (a linux router project instalation) and a Apache server with PHP and mysql working together. But until then, I am still working static.

However, my set of page is having a common look and feel. I also have a hierarchical structure of page with link to related subject to the page you are reading. All the page are automaticaly updated anytime I add new content to my web site. And all of this since 1996 (or before) using the same tool.

How do I build my page

I am using HTP an HTML pre-processor originally written by Jim Nelson in 1995-96. Jim web site seems to be no longer active, but since source code was available and some peaple find this tool interesting, someone 'maintain' it.

Thanks to Robert King (robert.king@mailbox.gu.edu.au) you can still find this tool on the web. Also there is a Debian package for it.

What about PNG support in HTP?

HTP having been developed long ago, there was no support for PNG build in. However the program was already supporting both GIF and JPEG so adding support for PNG would be easy as just another format to support. For years I wanted to get rid of all the GIF file on my web site. But I was block because of HTP limitation. At the time I was using HTP.EXE the DOS version that I was running into a DOS box under various Microsoft operating system.

I have had the source code of HTP for a long time, but I never tryed to compile it. I did not want to fight with a DOS C compiler. Frequently I boot my company laptop into Linux using the KNOPPIX boot CD.

In an effort to get rid of non-free software, I asked myself if I could move my web site development system from DOS to Linux. And the source code did compile without problem nor modification. It took one minute to translate my .BAT file into .sh file.

I had work with the PNG library before for Steganographic purpose in an attempt to create a pngshuffle program from a gifshuffle. So it was clear that it should be easy to use the library for the two only things HTP needed: detecting if a file is a PNG file and getting the size of the picture.

So I took the decision to add support for PNG into my version of HTP. I am not sure yet how I will redistribute that modification. I still need to analyse the HTP licence and verify if it is compatible with the GPL. This is mostly because I want all my code to be protected by the GPL.

I am really happy to have the needed skill to adapt this tool. This is the power that free software give you. I hope to soon share my enhancement with you. Don't hesitate to contact me if you can not wait for that big time.

Please give me the detail of your setup

Sorry, this is too complicate to explain. I have been developing my web site so long ago that I don't even remember everything. Currently, when I create a new page, I just apply old procedure that I had documented at the time. I remember having reach many time the limitation of HTP and that I had to find very complex trick to make it work the way I wanted. More likely, if I have to do it all over again now, I will look for an other tool. But feel free to try it for yourself, it can give good result.

Many thanks to Jim and to Robert.

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Content last updated: Thu Jan 31, 2002.
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