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A Little More Complex - SHTML

SHTML stands for server side include (SSI) hypertext markup language. The differences between SHTML and HTML is the extra letter in the extension (.shtml), and the code < !--#include file="addedfile.txt" -- >. Before SHTML webpages get to web browser windows, they stop at the server to receive more information before they go on to viewers; the regular HTML tags still work the same as before, but SHTML lets programmers include other pieces into the HTML pages. The most common example of this is the inclusion of a “last modified” date at the bottom of the page. This is a hypertext transfer protocol called a server-side include (SSI), commonly thought of as a very limited type of CGI application even though a CGI is not used. The server rummages around the SSI for CGI situational variables and plugs them into the variable information spots in the file where the “include” statements are. In a nutshell, SHTML is HTML processed on the server before reaching the browser.

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Now, SHTML is not so much a separate entity but an extension that web servers use to define a document that have SSI to let programmers add immediate interactivity to pages without using another application or CGI; the major downside to this is that SSI has to be enabled on the web server.

SHTML is very easy and very efficient; it is like frames inside the regular HTML code. For example, a programmer is creating a page. At the top, she puts links and a menubar, and then saves it as “top.html”. She is creating the page for a local dentist, so the content is about this dental practice, and saved as “dental.html”. Next is the bottom, which she saves as “bottom.html”. She then combines all three pages together to make one single page; this is where SHTML code comes in.

< !--#include virtual="top.html"-- >
< !--#include virtual="dental.html"-- >
< !--#include virtual="bottom.html"-- >

She saves this combination page as "dentalcombo.shtml", stacking all of the code and putting it together, as:

< html >
< title>Shtml sample :: Dental
< body bgcolor="#ffffff" >
< table width="500" border="0"
< tr >
< td > Header Links < /td >
< td >< a href="http://--------------.com " target="_blank" > Name < /a>< /tr >
< tr >
< td >
Which she saves as “top.html”; next is the middle content, including some relevant links she compiled.

< a href="http://------------------.com" target="_blank">Name
-Description
Page.< br >

< a href="http://------------------.com" target="_blank">Name
-Description
Page.< br >
< a href="http://------------------.com" target="_blank">Name
-Description
Page.< br >

With this complete, she then saves it as “dentalcontent.html”. Then the bottom is left:
She must close all of the HTML tags she used before, including copyrights and closing notes:

< /td>
< /table >
< p align="center"> Copyright Information < /p >
< /body >
< /html >

She saves this as “bottom.html”. She can now go and add as many files as she wants, using SHTML to save time and energy. While this is a very simple example, it helps put SHTML’s use into perspective.

The next important design tool is Adobe Flash. Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation and interactivity to websites. Many programmers use it in advertisements, others use it for cartoon animation, and yet others use Flash components to incorporate video into web pages and develop rich internet applications (RIAs) such as online gaming.

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