IdeaXchg Article By: M. Asherman

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IdeaXchg development tasks

(Author's note: this page is obsolete, but it has been retained for further review and processing.  Some broken links to deleted elements may still be present on this page.  See IdeaXchg Development Tasks for current notes and references.)

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| Tasks in Progress | On Deck | Outstanding | History |


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Tasks in Progress

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Tasks On Deck

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Other Outstanding Tasks

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Completed Tasks (reverse order)

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Date Description
03/11/00 create new Test Discussion area (disc1)
Clone and adapt elements of template disc2 organization.  Add tie-ins on the home page.  Note again (as I previously discovered on disc2) that the posting page must reside in the root directory of the web.  All of the other disc1 system pages (except tocproto.htm) seem to work fine when located in the _disc1 folder.  The current procedure for creating a new IdeaXchg discussion area is a bit tedious - it took me about an hour, including a few missteps.  With practice, I might be able to get this down to about 15 minutes.
03/11/00 re-introduce author-specific article header under _bymda
Since FP-generated userids are useless in a public web, go back to use of an author-specific header include file.  Try using an FP substitution variable (author_mda) to make global revisions easy.  Again, however, note that use of an include file means that we won't get the benefit of FrontPage's Search facility on this piece of text, which would have been useful.
03/11/00 eliminate FP-generated userids, which are useless in public web context
Footer include files should be adjusted.  Adjusted the disc2 message footer include file, generic article footer include file, and generic framed TOC page footer and unframed TOC page footer include files.  I had hoped to take this opportunity to introduce a unique marker for each page type in its included page footer, but this won't work because FP Search doesn't handle text in include files.
03/11/00 experiment with FP Search features under both PWS and IIS servers
Test under PWS reveal some important limitations to be aware of, such as wild card searches only work as a suffix, not prefix.  Also note that wild cards only work when they follow short prefixes, e.g. search for development works, develop* works, but developm* does not work!  Gee, what a pity Microsoft neglected to mention that non-obvious restriction.  Also search does not work against portions of a page that are generated via include files, e.g. page footers.  This is unfortunate, because the footers would have been a convenient way of tagging the different page types.  Same behavior on IIS server as on PWS.  Bummer.
03/11/00 delete obsolete cruft already backed up
No more need for old _disc1, _disc2z, _borders, disc3, and various related files in root dir.  Recalc and review reports, e.g. broken hyperlinks, etc.  Fix broken links to re-posted disc2 messages.
03/11/00 manually rebuild damaged disc2 discussion web
Somehow the inter-message navigation has gotten screwed up as the result of experiments with deleting messages and synchronizing back and forth with live web host.  The symptom of problems is that the Next/Previous links are not following the proper sequence, with looping in some cases, wrong message in others, and error due to missing page in still other cases.  I couldn't see any obvious explanation by perusing HTML for the tocproto.htm and message pages.  I succeeded in fixing disc2 by zapping and resetting the article (message) counter (in file service.cnf), with recalc at various points.  Confirmed that publishing rebuilt discussion to live web seems to work properly.
03/11/00 experiment with direct edits to Service.cnf
On my Windows 95 development machine, this resides under the path c:\webshare\wwwroot\ideaxchg\_vti_pvt\Service.cnf.  See the MS KB article Q250626 - FP2000 Overview of FrontPage Discussion Web Architecture.  The line of interest is something like this: vti_disc2_articlenumber:IX|120.  The safest procedure, I presume, is to perform edit to Service.cnf while FP is closed, and then run Tools, Recalculate Hyperlinks... on the next opening.
03/10/00 make another pass over article about the IdeaXchg home page
Rename this article "Help on the IdeaXchg home page", to introduce the convention that all articles tied to Help buttons have titles beginning with "Help".  Note that renaming an article entails adjusting all refs to its title, e.g. in the Contents outline include file, the placeholder discussion message for that article, and the discussion's tocproto.htm.  HTML titles as well as text in the page's header should be kept in synch.
03/10/00 make another pass over article IdeaXchg architecture overview
Fill this out to cover the major elements of the IdeaXchg model, esp. as regards integration of edited content with un-edited discussion.  Let interface details be covered elsewhere.
03/10/00 another pass over home page
Make it clear that site is under construction, and some planned discussion areas are not yet implemented.  Expand description of the Discussion Discussion area.
03/08/00 research how to repair FP2000 discussion webs
I started with a check (via Outlook Express) of current Usenet activity in the microsoft.public.frontpage.client newsgroup.  Useful search terms in subject lines are: discuss, forum, BBS, bulletin board, chat.  Try Deja.com for a more effective search.  See Deja's new page for Usenet searching.  Start with search for the term "tocproto".  This yielded 43 postings with some useful tidbits.  Found nothing really conclusive about the Next/Previous navigation issue, except the suggestion that maybe timestamps have a bearing (!!!), as well as article #s.
03/08/00 massage TOC page headers
Add the Bottom link in top line and tweak for better centering.
03/08/00 move jump-to-Bottom link into all standard header lines
The logic of this is that this is a totally generic link, which makes sense to group with Unframe and Help, for consistency.  Remove the Bottom link from old TOC header navigation bars.
03/08/00 move more generic footer include files into global _ix subdir
disc2_foot.htm, is not specific to disc2, so move it into the global _ix directory, and rename appropriately, as ixfooter.htm.  Also note that include files in _bymda really could be generic ones in _ix, so we can dispense with _bymda for now.
03/08/00 use generic footer include file for home page
Also make another pass at layout.  Add nav bar at bottom of page.  Add Top/Bottom links.
03/08/00 consistent header layout for non-TOC disc2 pages
I.e., Search, Post, and Confirmation pages should use similar layout to the revamped Welcome page.
03/07/00 make a pass at template disc2 Welcome page
This page is similar to other non-TOC pages, but it has the special distinction of being the first opportunity to introduce the discussion.  Also supply generic footer navigation bar and page hit counter, for consistency.
03/07/00 remove Unframe link from navigation bar for non-TOC pages
Since Unframe will now be in all standard page headers lines.
03/07/00 put bottom bookmark in non-TOC page footer include files
Put bottom bookmark in this include file.  Note, however, that this may not be usable in all contexts.  Recall previous problems in certain cases, e.g. Search form pages.  Also make this include file generic and move it into _ix with suitable renaming, since it needn't be specific to disc2.
03/06/00 make another pass at template placeholder message layout
Eliminate needless cruft, so these have a nice compact, familiar appearance.  Provide TOC navigation similar to that for articles.
03/06/00 see if larger font for TOC headers makes any difference
I.e. try increasing font size, to see if we lose any vertical space.  If not, this would be preferable.  Yes, this looks better, and only costs a slight amount of vertical space.
03/06/00 tweak template message layout a bit more
For consistent alignment of nav bars, as on other pages.  May as well add message navigation/reply buttons in the top nav bar, since new layout has enough room.
03/06/00 make another pass at generic article template
Header needs work for consistency with latest conventions.  Also include convenient way to resynch with principal Contents entry (in Topics outline).  Let's try coming up with an include file header for all mda or generic author articles, under the _ix folder.  Move hit counter to bottom.  Massage article-specific top and bottom navigation bars.  Switch order of links to thread, putting Unframed first to reduce annoyance of choosing the wrong link in this mode (which causes a separate window to be opened when you choose framed if not applicable).
03/05/00 go to this page unframed
Add link for this into all non-TOC pages, using simple "#" in target _top (thanks to Steven for this tip!).
03/05/00 further refinements to disc2 message header/nav bar
Add standard link to home page at left, Unframe button, Contents -> topics frameset instead of Threads link.  Squeeze into the most compact possible title line layout.  Aside from losing compactness, it sure would help if I could have a second navigation bar.  Maybe if some links were only in a bottom navigation bar it would be an acceptable compromise.  Additional links could be used for Unframe, Help, Top/Bottom navigation.  It makes most sense to put Post/Reply/Next/Previous/Up links at the bottom, instead of the top of the page, since these would normally make sense only after having fully read the message.  We could them put only the more generic, global stuff in the top navigation bar.
03/05/00 make another pass at Home page
Polish intro.  Avoid premature confusion about frames by just proving links to framesets on this page.  After all, they support a NOFRAMES clause, and each TOC page has a prominent Unframe link.
03/05/00 use Topics TOC page as the principal Contents page
I.e. eliminate the special top-level TOC page by moving any useful links into the Topics outline.  This may require some intra-frame navigation as the outline grows to a large size.  Delete obsolete Contents pages and frameset after removing all refs.
03/05/00 massage _disc2/include/disc2_navc.htm
Eliminate Home and Topics links, point Contents to what was previously called Topics, and add an Unframe link.
03/05/00 remove Home from TOC navigation bars
Since the new standard TOC page header format puts a link to IdeaXchg (Home page) at the left of every TOC title line.
03/05/00 turn development tasks into an article instead of a TOC page
This will make things cleaner and easier to maintain, I think.  Avoids complicating the model by keeping to a small selection of generic TOC pages.  This would then make it easy to incorporate a link to the tasks article in the main Contents/Topics TOC page.  Delete obsolete Tasks TOC pages and frameset after removing all refs.
03/05/00 more consistent header layout for all IdeaXchg pages
Use a table for better control.  Include logo/link to home at left.  Partial navigation bar to the right, e.g. for page-specific link to Help.  Put hit counter somewhere below, rather than in the header line, in order to keep the title line as compact as possible.
03/01/00 establish support for Search component on NT server
Requires installation and setup of MS Index Server, says my WPP.  Then on second thought, they said Index Server is not required.  Not clear exactly how they got it working.  Still need more info about Search and indexing features, options, search syntax, etc.
02/28/00 move generic TOC footer include files into global _ix subdir
Instead of needlessly tieing these to disc2 (or _disc2).  To minimize redundancy across different discussion areas.  Also rename these files to eliminate ref to disc2 and avoid exceeding 8 char filenames.  Old _disc2/include/disc2_tfootf.htm -> new _ix/tocfootf.htm and old _disc2/include/disc2_tfootu.htm -> new _ix/tocfootu.htm
02/28/00 put bottom bookmark in disc2 TOC page footer include files
For both framed (_disc2/include/disc2_tfootf.htm) and unframed (_disc2/include/disc2_tfootu.htm) flavors.  Also massage wording to be more concise and generic.
02/28/00 elaboration of tasks include file, _disc2/include/disc2_tasksi.htm
Introduce subsections for various categories of tasks, including a history table at the end for a record of changes.  Introduce top and bottom navigation bars within this include file, for intra-page navigation.  Remove bottom navigation bar from framed/unframed Task TOC pages, since this is now covered in the include file.

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