The OU Folder
Within the ou folder are two sub-folders, editor and templates. Together, the contents of these folders help enable OU Campus users to create and edit web pages.
Everything in this folder affects the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor. There will be up to three types of files: images, CSS files, and text files (.txt).
Users with access to the source code of a PCF file will notice that each editable region will mention the locations of up to two types of files. CSS files are used by the editor to present users an environment that is as identical as possible to the actual published web page. Text files provide the editor information so that OU Campus users can use Custom Styles, if there are any.
This folder contains three types of interconnected files: TCF, TMPL, and picture files.
Together, the TCF (Template Control File) and TMPL (Template) files in this folder is how new files and folders are created throughout the website. Each TCF file represents a different wizard that OU Campus users can use. Every TMPL file represents a different template, usually for a certain page type. Each TCF, or New Page Wizard, is linked to a picture icon (usually .gif or .png) that OU Campus users see when they are using new page wizards.
In other words, for every page wizard that an OU Campus user can use, there is one TCF file, one picture file, and one or more TMPL files for every type of file that is produced by the wizard (such as the index page, and a navigation file).
Building TCF Files with Includes
Include Syntax: <include>filename</include>
Include files can be used within the TCF new page wizard files. This would be primarily helpful if there are common, repurposeable sections of TCF commands that may need to be used across many TCF files. Example: A selector list for the 50 states, or a selector list of countries.
These include files are external files which can be called by the TCF that needs to utilize that set of syntax content. There are a couple of important notes.
- The include file must have an extension of .inc. It cannot be a .tcf extension as it will then be included in the New File template selecting page and will result in an error if chosen.
- The include file must be in the same Templates directory as the the TCFs referencing the file/performing the inclusion or an error will result.
- The contents of the include file must be valid TCF command set(s).
The implemented UARK templates make good use of include files. Some of these files are commonly used in all TCFs, while others may only be shared between a couple of TCFs. The following is a description of UARK’s .inc files and their use, separated into variable, template and navigation sections.
The commonvars.inc file contains variables that are common to all TCFs. It should be included within the <variable-list> tags. The first variable, title, allows the user to specify a title for the page. The keywords and description variables allow the user to set meta information. The maincontent variable is generally used to allow the user to enter initial content that will be displayed in the main content area of the page. It appears to the user as a mini WYSIWYG editor similar to the large editor that is viewed when editing a region of a currently existing page. The autonavigation variable will allow the user to choose whether or not to add a link to the new page on a navigation file defined later in the TCF.
The sectionvars.inc file contains variables that are commonly used when creating new sections.
The deptvars.inc file contains variables that are used when creating new departments. The dirname variable will become the name of the directory that is created. The friendly variable will become the friendly name for the breadcrumbs for the created department.
The numcols.inc file has code that allows the user to decide how many columns the new page will have from a drop down menu.
The rss-vars.inc file contains variables that are used for RSS feeds. The rss-feed variable allows you to specify a path to the RSS feed the page will be associated with. The mtitle variable allows you to specify a title for the media the feed will use. The murl variable allows you to choose an image to be associated with the RSS item that will be associated with the new page.
Templates (Common Files)
The depttemplates.inc file contains templates that are used to create files common to all new departments. The _contact-info.tmpl will create an include file (_contact-info.inc) that appears under the side menu of each page in the department. The _main-nav.tmpl file will create an include file (_main-nav.inc) that makes up the main navigation menu at the top of each page in the department. The _site-header.tmpl will create an include file (_site-header.inc) which makes up the main header for all pages in the department.
The sectiontemplates.inc file contains templates that are used to create files common to all new sections. The _nav.tmpl will create the _nav.inc file that will hold the navigation which is shared across the created directory. The _props.tmpl will create a _props.inc file that is used to hold the friendly names for the breadcrumb elements for the section.
The landingtemplate.inc file contains the code to call the landing.tmpl file, which will create a new landing page.
The navtemplate.inc file contains the code that is common to all TCFs. This code works with autonavigation so that a new navigation item can be rendered and appended to the specified file. The two navigation nodes have name attributes that are “true” and “false”. The node that will be used when creating a page will be determined by the value the user selects for the autonavigation variable. The value inside the selected node contains the code that will be appended to the specified file.