Member update-able Technical Reference website
An interactive technical reference that accepts notes, data, and new information
The actual techical data starts with an outline
How to add your own comments, questions, code, etc..
and even new pages(!) to any page.
How to take ownership of a page and edit pages you
Technical feature / to-do list.
Make an ADO datasource for a members directory
Member contact information (or a link to the Windows or MegaPhone Address
Collect member information by a standard form, but use two frames or windows
and after leaving each field (or when there has been no keypress event for
a certain time) use the information entered to start a search for matching
contact records which are listed in the second frame or window. The user
can select or approve results there and cause them to be copied into the
On entering the field, display a very quick help screen in the bottom frame.
Email: it would actually be cool to do an email extraction from IP address,
but that is really not possible.
Phone: just a few words about how to enter it and what will happen afterwords.
Public phone records can be used to look up name and address.
Name: "do you already have an account on this system under a different phone
number and/or email address? If so please enter your old phone / email here
so we can accuratly update the existing record rather than duplicating your
information." then trigger a lookup on the old phone / email as though it
was entered above.
First, search the local database on the server via members.asp. Return only
enough information to uniquely identify the contact to prevent the use of
the page to extract members details. E.g. when entering the name, if there
are matches in three different states, fill the list with "from
<city>, <state>?" Don't release email addresses, phone numbers,
and street addresses.
When a match is found for:
Email: Only offer to send an email with the password. Remind the member to
log in to change contact info
Name: if it will uniquly ID the member show "from <city>,
<state>?" and if selected, fill in City, State, Zip, etc... and the
street address without the street number or other numerical information removed.
Also maybe not company. The main purpose is to prevent multiple contact records
for the same person with different emails and phone numbers. Pulling up the
other details from the database improves the chances that they will be submitted
exactly as before and will be recognized as an existing record. The street
number will be re-entered exactly, where other details like "Ave." vs "Avenue"
may not be.
Company: same as name, but all information includeing address, city, and
state can be listed. This saves people the time of entering company information
again, and also prevents duplicate records for the same company and location.
Second, member.asp should redirect to a search engine that is appropriate
for the type of data entered.
For email addresses, search Whois on the domain. Finger would be great, but
probably only useful on well managed Unix intranets. The whois will help
for work addresses (and names) of any corporate or university users and may
even turn up direct contact info for private domain owners. Unless we can
tell that it is an ISP, there is no point in asking for conformation, just
populate unentered fields.
For phone numbers, search anywho or think direct and display the actual result
page. Use the frameset onload (which is activated after all the documents
in the frame set, i.e. both frames, have loaded) to popup an alert asking
if the result is correct and should be transferred or perhaps to enable a
"transfer remaining data from below" link or button.
For company, same as phone number, perhaps useing a business directory.
and transfer it into the form. Don't over-right fields that have already
been filled out (err... unless it was filled out by a non-ISP email domain
match? maybe conformation should be required for those?)
Member Password (encrypted)
Store passwords in a cookie on the members browser after they have logged
in. Delete the cookie after they have logged out and remind them to log out
if they are not useing the reference from a home machine
Member user ID number
a relativly short id tag that is placed in the HTML as a part of an
<A> type tag (maybe <A title="JMN-EFP" ...> for example) around
content (<A title="JMN-EFP" name="">) or file link descriptions (A
title="JMN-EFP" href="myfile.htm"> submitted by this member and in a
<META name="author"> tag (<META name="author" content="JMN-EFP">)
in the header of each file posted by the member. Use a comment end code with
the end of the content link.
develop the ID from the members contact data, maybe initials of name followed
by initials of company name or some sort of geek code.
need: allow the member to edit and approve the ID (check for duplicates
before approving members changes) so that they retain ownership of the ID
a second tag or a code at the start of the members tag indicates that a
particular content is for publication or is to be kept private. <A
title="P-JMN-EFP"... or <META name="author" content="P-JMN-EFP">...
Make sure no one ends up with an id that starts with P- before the private
code is added.
after verifying the user password on login, place the ID in the session
need: Add an ASP page to display the members ID's (no names unless
oked by member) with links to a form that uses another ASP page to send emails
so that the members email address is not given out.
need: Add an ASP page that allows members to change password, set
options for the display of thier name, company name and email on thier postings
("James Newton of massmind.org says:"). Member.asp provides this EXCEPT for
When serving web pages,
Check for a valid session containing Member ID number.
If not found, redirect to a login directory so that a cookie previously placed
in the members browser will be appended to the client request. If the cookie
is not available, explain the membership
requirement and ask for a password. After completeling login, update
the cookie, increment the useage count for the file being requested and redirect
back to the original page.
check the user ID number against the <META name="author"> and deny
requests for private content not matching the authors ID. In the denile,
allow the member to send a request to the author of the private content via
a form and a sendmail script rather than by mailto: so that the authors email
is not released.
intI = Instr(strFile, "<META name='author' content='P-")
If intI > 0 And Mid(strFile, intI, Len(strID)) <> strID Then
Response.Redirect "/techref/private.asp?id=" & strID & "&" & Request.QueryString
Replace all the tags with private member content with comment start codes
so that the content is not visable on the browser. It would be visable in
the source but this is normally just the file link text or description of
the file and the actual content will not be served even if requested due
to the <META name="author"> tag in the file.
strFile = Replace(strFile, "<A title='P-", "<!-- ")
Replace all the comment start codes followed by the current members ID number
with <A HREF tags so that that members content again becomes visable.
strFile = Replace(strFile, "<!-- " & strID, "<A title='" & strID)
This has been updated to use regular expressions and actually remove all
At the bottom of each subject page, add a query.asp?more=<pageurl>
offering to search for more information on that subject. Add
?from=<pageurl> to the end of each result link and parse that when
serving the result to be used in (need:) a "did this answer your
question?" popup which links the search result page back into the origial
Allow users to follow / edit / update / comment on / add links / new
pages / upload files / sub-sites. (help file for page
edit, add, addpage)
Edit content in a text area (HTML raw editing) or if DHTML is available,
by a WYSISWG HTML editor
in the browser.
need: When text is added to an existing page, split it into words
and lookup each word with a LIKE '"&strWord&"*' in the database of
page titles / post subject lines. If a match is found, check to see if the
title matches the words following the first and if so, link that part of
the text to the other page.
need: Lookup each unlinked word in a dictionary database and place
a superscript "?" with a link to a "please correct or define this word" page
that offers suggestions for misspellings
or a place to enter a new definition.
done: Check words in update against spam keywords...
need? ...or include a captcha.
done: An "email me changes to this page" link. Totally automatic.
If the page is edited, it gets mailed to a list of people who are interested.
Update.asp now does this. The list of interested people are stored in a list
titled "Interested" and they may be indicated by member-id or by actual email
address. Each entry in the list is marked as private.
need: Add a compact version of the update to a file called
new<year><month><day>.htm in the same directory as the
updated file. Include a link to the page, the author, and the text. If it
was an edit, a difference engine should be used so that only the change is
recorded. Offer to send it to users. The major pain here is for pages that
were edited. Finding a good, human readable diff has been diff-icult.
need: Log the updates out to a newsletter or email list (members option)
need: Include a java applett
or ActiveX control that can edit / display and simulate in a very minimal
way, electronic circuits or diagrams.
need: Also have an optioin to post questions that are listed in a
seperate place (always at the very bottom) and automatically post them to
the techref member list or to what ever list is most appropriate for the
subject area if the poster has a membership in that list (help them set it
up if they wish). Add a link to the techref area before the question when
sending it so that readers have a good idea of the context and can click
to see what info is already present before repeating it. Watch for answers
and make a new content entry based on question and answer. May want to edit
need: A database of consultants related to each area with a "would
you like to be referred to an expert in this area" if the search results
or browsing is not helpful. The consultants pick what pages they want referrals
from and maintain their own contact information.
done: Add a "<name, company with or without email> says:
<BLOCKQUOTE>" to the start of postings and "</BLOCKQUOTE>" to
the end at the members option.
need: If a member is deleted (for inactivity or at request) any pages
they have created should probably be reverted to not-owned unless they are
marked private. Same thing with posts where the link to the member page comes
Maybe via "control panel" (seperate window?).
link and display an information table with user-frendly version of: authors
experience, when onMouseOver event occurs. Use onMouseOut to clear.
display document.lastModified or other document information.
word or phrase is selected to provide definitions
need: Setup a tool bar with B, I, U, H1,2,3 left
right center, bullet, number definition lists etc that inserts the appropriate
tag around selected text in the "edit" text area. On timeout, update the
document in the main window to show a wysiwyg preview of the new html. Add
a save button that posts the new page or what ever to the server. Probably
need: Periodically run an ASP
page to index all the pages in the local site and update thier last modified
dates into a data base (files in techref.mdb) along with a cross reference
(links in techref.mdb) that shows what files link to what files. Also update
the title into the database to use in autolinking. To improve speed, process
only one directory (folder) at a time and add/flag the subdirectorys in the
folders table to be processed later. Hint: if the number of files in a folder
changes, flag it as out of date. Also, check the last date the folder
was indexed and only find/update the files that have changed since that date.
Flag each file for link checks on the next run. The database will
also hold (for each file) the date of last upload to the public site, frequency
of use, date link list updated, and an exclude flag for non-postable
content. For each folder, the path, date of last index, number of files.
Add the <title> of the html document to the file database and use this
information for a search engine. Each page holds one concept?
link the files in a folder with the index.htm file in that folder or with
<folder>s.htm in the parent folder to implement a heyerarchy in the
Periodically run an ASP page that picks
the least recently checked link then
If the link is remote, checks the link.
If its ok, cache copy in a directory path made from the url by converting
all ":", ".", "?", "=" and "\\" to "/" (e.g. cache / http / www / microsoft
/ com / dir / subdir / subsubdir / file / parm / value / parm / value) and
add/update a "cached <date>" link after the regular link that points
to the local copy.
If its not available, add/update "down <date>" between the regular
link and the cache link. Note: The date on the cache is the last date the
page was available.
If the link is local,
If its ok, no action
if its not ok. try to fix it or email the webmaster.
Updates the last checked date in the record.
Now that remote pages are cached, run a search engine through the local copy
and report remote url (reassemble from cache location), page of the site
where the link was found (lookup in link table) and cached content excerpts.
Are there any files that are known to be out of date and that haven't had
thier links indexed? Add / Update links to link table.
Are there any directorys that haven't been indexed? Index the directory to
the files and dirs tables
Are there any files that need to be updated to the remote site? Modify and
upload the file to the remote site.
Are there any links that haven't been checked / cached? Check and/or cache
the link. Update the file and the link table entry
Re - index the oldest directory past X hours old
Re - check the oldest link past Y hours old
fixed Images can not be served because only .ASP files are allowed
by the server and default.asp seems to kill .GIF files when returning them.
I think it may need to MIME encode them. see:
http://220.127.116.11/techref/default.asp?from=/techref/&url=mailto:STOPspamLISTSERVSPAM at MITVMA.MIT.EDU?body=SIGNOFF%20PICLIST
Worked around by makeing the original HREF =" vice href=" (added a space
between the HREF and the =) so that the preprocessor does not change the
link to a redirected one. This is slightly incorrect HTML syntax but at least
IE4 deals with it. This is done now that we have a asp 404 page.
fixed Cant pass parameters to asp pages from links in the site. E.g.
indexok.asp?n=1 generates an error. Should be ok now that we have an asp
fixed The urls are a bitch. The 404b.htm page has been modified with
standard form but an asp 404 page would be better. Now with the new server
license, this works and it is very nice.
Can't upload binary files like pictures, etc... There are solutions that
allow uploading pictures, but none insure that the pictures will not be porn,
stolen, or otherwise unsutable. Tools that allow a user to draw diagrams,
charts, or schematics would be more valuable. Pictures can always be emailed
to the admin.
fixed Web harvesters, offline browsers, and other site rippers just
freaking kill the server. Every asp page needs a bit of script to keep track
of the last x requesting IP addresses and when more than some number of requests
are recieved in a short time, redirect to a "Hey! Slow Down" page. indexok.asp
provides that and more. When more than 6 "Slow Downs" have been issued in
a few minutes, the user IP is added to a list of blocked users. All asp pages
check that list before providing content and redirect to indexok.asp?blocked
when found. All asp pages also look for known BOTs (WGET, etc...) and refer
to indexok.asp which blocks.
http://umbraco.org/ An open source, C#.NET
http://www.plone.org A very nice CMS.
(with a massive security hole)
http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/707719.html An interesting
multi-user proxy based content management system
http://kmt.hku.nl/~pieter/SOFT/CGI/wikic.html WikiC is
a standalone wikiserver written in the C language.
It is not a CGI program which runs under a webserver, instead, it is a webserver
STOPspambeexcelSPAM at hotmail.com
Page Extractor extracts Email Addresses, Page Links, Image Paths, IP Addresses,
Fax Numbers and Phone Numbers as well as custom data extraction with regular
user editable hypertext db which is presented in an HTML template. Implemented
Interesting because, there is no membership requirement. Anyone can add anything.
Pages can't be deleted if anyother page references them.
http://www.xanadu.com/ It is, after
all, Ted's fault...
http://www.crit.org/ Getting close...
WebWatcher - WebWatcher - a Web-page Update Monitor This program will help
you keep an eye on interesting Web-pages. You register a list of URLs you
want to monitor, and WebWatcher checks for changes whenever you ask it to,
or at given intervals.
to convert HTML to plain text... or at least strip out
all the tags...
Add a new action to the update script: "addunder" which
has a "heading" parameter. Basically, you do a search (for the heading) and
replace (with the heading and the text)
to make a form where part of the text is hidden, use
two fields with the same name and recombine them in the script.
Redirect from an IP stable URL to your dynamic ISP assigned dialup IP address
after registration and a browser hit to a cgi script that updates the redirection
to the current value of your dynamic IP address. Putting the browser with
a default URL of the update cgi URL in the startup folder causes your machine
to connect to the ISP and update your current IP on the redirection server
Notification of site indexing by
www.mitsi.com The following link sends
an email with the name and IP address of the indexing web robot when the
page is indexed:
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