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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Q: Integrate multipage externally generated content
Date Thu, 17 Feb 2005 13:56:54 GMT
Ferdinand Soethe wrote:
> The situation:
> In a project for an educational institution we would like to use
> Forrest to create a static web site that can be copied to a cheap and
> simple Web-Space-provider.
> Some pages (about, locations, lecturers etc.) are more or less static
> and will - for now - be manually ported to xml and
> referenced in site.xml and tabs.xml in the usual way. That's the easy
> part!
> The pages for all the courses however are to be generated by
> transformations from one big XML-file (created by exporting
> their course management system).
> This part of the web site will probably have its own Tab ("Courses")
> with several sub tabs for broader subject areas
> ("Languages","Cooking","Computer Skills" etc.)and at least two levels
> of menus.
> E.g.
> Tab: Courses
> Subtab: Languages
> Menu: English
> Submenu: Level 1
> Page: Course outline and listing of individual English Level 1 courses
> Since everything below the Courses-Tab needs to be generated from the
> database, how can I best integrate this with Forrests site.xml and
> tab.xml.
> 1. Create the static structure, test it and then use the tested
>    tabs.xml and site.xml as statics building blocks in my transformation.
>    This seems worst case as changes to the rest of Forrest get
>    complicated.

You're right too complicated.

> 2. I found several references to book.xml, that it can still be used and
>    is supposed to have priority when found in a directory.
>    Unfortunately I found no more info on
>    - the required structure of book.xml
>    - how to reference it on site and tabs (or not at all)

Do a "forrest seed" and look inside the samples directory.

>    Is this deprecated?


> 3. Can I use directory-based selection for only parts of my Forrest?
>    I looks like it for all or none of the site.

Yesterday I committed a small change to how site.xml and tabs.xml are 
generated for this very reason. You are now able to override the 
generation of these two files in a project sitemap. So therefore the 
answer is yes, just create your own pipeline that aggregates the static 
parts of your structure with the dir generated parts.

> 4. Is there another way to generate the courses-sections of site and
>    tabs in my transformation, put it into separate files and have Forrest
>    include these into site and tabs when compiling the site?

If you use the IMSManifest plugin (this is exactly why I built it), yes. 
But this requires you to use IMS Manifests rather than site.xml and 
tabs.xml. The Burrokeet project ( ) provides 
some assistance in doing this kind of thing, but it is early days.

Finally, last night I started working on the locationmap feature of 
Forrest. This is not due until 0.8 but I need it, for a remarkably 
similar use case in the coming months. However, I'm not sure when I will 
complete work on this.


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