FP2000: Overview of FrontPage Discussion Web Architecture

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Article ID: 250626 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q250626
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For a Microsoft FrontPage 98 version of this article, see 250839.
For a Microsoft FrontPage 97 version of this article, see 177092.
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SUMMARY

This article describes which files and processes are needed to administer a FrontPage Discussion Web and offers tips for keeping a Discussion Web functioning correctly.

MORE INFORMATION

The following main components provide the foundation for the FrontPage Discussion Web, assuming that you select the Use Threaded Replies option when you create the Discussion Web by using the Discussion Web Wizard.
  • WebBot Discussion component.
  • Disc#_toc.htm or Disc#_tocf.htm (framed), where disc# is the name of your Discussion Web.
  • Tocproto.htm.
  • Service.cnf.
  • The Discussion Web folder. By default, this folder is named _disc# where # is the number of discussion Webs that you have created so far.

All of these items work only when used with the FrontPage Server Extensions.

If any of these components is damaged or configured incorrectly, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • New posts are appended to existing posts.
  • Messages are threaded incorrectly.
  • Posted articles do not appear in the table of contents even when you refresh the page.

What Happens When an Article Is Submitted?

When you submit an article, the WebBot Discussion component does the following:
  1. Scans the Service.cnf file for an article number and converts this number to hexadecimal.
  2. Creates the article using an eight-digit hexadecimal integer; for example, 00000001.htm or 0000000a.htm.
  3. Updates the Tocproto.htm file with threading structure and hyperlink information.
  4. Uses the WebBot Include component in the Toc.htm file and copies the body of the Tocproto.htm file to the Toc.htm file for threading structure. The Toc.htm file contains a header (also included by a WebBot Include component) that creates the Next, Previous, Up, Post, Search, and Reply hyperlinks.

What Is Tocproto.htm?

The Tocproto.htm file is located in the _disc# folder.

NOTE: This is only true if the discussion folder was not renamed. It has a specific architecture that is maintained by the WebBot Discussion component and changes every time an article is posted. For example, the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) code for the article structure initially looks similar to this:

NOTE: To conserve space, only the body of the file is shown.
<dl>
  <!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere"
  descr="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in an
HTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Component
to insert new results."
  -->
</dl>
				

After the first article is posted, the Tocproto.htm file reflects the changes as follows:

NOTE: The position of a new thread is indented only once, and replies to that thread are indented even further.
<dl>
  <dt><b><a href="00000001.htm" name="00000001">Test</a></b><i> Joe 1/12/2000</i></dt>
  <dd>
    <dl>
      <!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" s-repliesto="00000001" -->
    </dl>
  </dd>
  <!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere"
  descr="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in an
HTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Component
to insert new results."
  -->
</dl>
				
Notice below how the addition of another article (the reply) to that posting is indented.
<dl>
  <dt><b><a href="00000001.htm" name="00000001">Test</a></b><i> Joe
    1/12/2000</i></dt>
  <dd>
    <dl>
      <dt><b><a href="00000002.htm" name="00000002">Re: Test</a></b><i> Paul
        1/12/2000</i></dt>
      <dd>
        <dl>
          <!--webbot BOT="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000002" startspan
  --><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" endspan i-checksum="0"
  -->
        </dl>
      </dd>
      <!--webbot BOT="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000001" DESCR="The
FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in an HTML file
where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Component to insert
new results." startspan
  --><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" endspan i-checksum="0"
  -->
    </dl>
  </dd>
  <!--webbot BOT="FormInsertHere"
  DESCR="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in an
HTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Component
to insert new results." startspan
  --><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" endspan i-checksum="0"
  -->
</dl>
				
A new thread posted to the discussion group begins at a new indention, and replies to that posting appear indented under the new thread as shown above. This structure continues throughout continuous replies and with replies to a reply.

What Components Make the Tocproto.htm File Work as It Does?

The Tocproto.htm file comprises three components:

  • <DT>, <DD>, <DL>
  • "FormInsertHere" (with the quotation marks)
  • s-repliesto=x
<DT>, <DD>, <DL>:
where <DT> denotes Designated Term, <DD> denotes Designated Definition, and <DL> denotes Designated List. Note that each of these elements requires an ending tag (</DT>, </DD>, and </DL>). These tags provide the formatting information that displays the threads correctly.


"FormInsertHere" (with the quotation marks):

The point at which the new article is inserted.
s-repliesto=x:

This is an argument for the FormInsertHere component. It instructs the particular instance of the component to accept replies to posts of a specific article number.

Disc#_toc.htm or Disc#_tocf.htm (framed)

The Disc#_toc.htm file (or Disc#_tocf.htm) is used as the contents page of your Discussion Web. (The Disc#_tocf.htm file is created when you use a frameset to create the Discussion Web.) The body of the Tocproto.htm file is included in this page using the WebBot Include component.

Unlike Disc#_tocf.htm, Disc#_toc.htm also includes _private/disc1_head.htm (header) and _private/disc1_foot.htm (footer).

What Is Service.cnf?

The Service.cnf file is a configuration file located in the _vti_pvt folder in the current Web. This file contains information about the Discussion Web as well as other FrontPage Web-specific configuration information. The section of this file that the Discussion Web directly relates to contains the article number variable. For example, if your discussion group is called "_bob", the configuration information is stored in the _vti__bob_articlenumber key. The number increments each time an article is submitted. If you change this number, you can alter the next article number. However, if you change this number so that it is less than the number of articles you have, newer articles are appended or added to an existing article.

NOTE: If you rename or modify a file in FrontPage Explorer, all subsequent links and configurations are updated automatically. Because experimenting with the structure of your Discussion Web can cause it to function incorrectly, you should make these types of adjustments to a test Web first. When you have attained the results you want, check and recheck your Web before you implement the changes on your primary Web.

REFERENCES

For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
196126 FP2000:How to Edit/Delete Articles in a Discussion Web
197624 FP2000: Newest to Oldest Order Does Not Work in Discussion Web
232524 FP2000: Features That Require FrontPage 2000 Server Extensions

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Article ID: 250626 - Last Review: October 20, 2013 - Revision: 1.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbinfo KB250626

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