Overview of FrontPage Discussion Web architecture

This article was previously published under Q177092
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

For a Microsoft FrontPage 2000 version of this article, see 250626.
For a Microsoft FrontPage 98 version of this article, see 250839.
Summary
This article describes which files and processes are needed to administer aFrontPage Discussion Web and offers tips for keeping a Discussion Webfunctioning correctly.
More information
The following main components provide the foundation for the FrontPageDiscussion Web, assuming you selected the Use Threaded Replies option whenyou created 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.
NOTE: In FrontPage 97 and earlier versions, you must not use upper casecharacters, and you must begin the folder name with an underscore (_)character. In contrast, you can use upper case letters in the Discussion Webfolder name in FrontPage 98.

All of these items will work only when used with the FrontPage ServerExtensions.

If any of these components are damaged or configured incorrectly, you mayexperience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • New posts will be appended to existing posts.
  • Messages will be threaded incorrectly.
  • Posted articles will 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 thefollowing:

  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), which 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 trueif the discussion folder was not renamed. It has a specific architecture thatis maintained by the WebBot Discussion component and changes every time anarticle is posted. For example, the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) code forthe article structure initially looks similar to this:
<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//IETF//DTD HTML//EN">   <html>   <head>   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type"   content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">   <meta name="FORMATTER" content="Microsoft FrontPage 2.0">   <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 2.0">   <title></title>   </head>   <body>   <dl>       <dt><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" startspan           descr="The WebBot FormInsertHere Component indicates the point   in an HTML file where you want a WebBot SaveResults, Registration, or   Discussion Component to insert new results." --><em>Form Results   Inserted Here</em><!--webbot           bot="FormInsertHere" i-checksum="34463" endspan --></dt>   </dl>   </body>   </html>
After the first article is posted, the Tocproto.htm file will reflect thechanges as follows.

NOTE: To conserve space, only the body of the file is shown. The asterisksindicate the additions to the file. The position of a new thread is indentedonly once, and replies to that thread are indented even further.
   <body>   * <dl>   *  <dt><b><a HREF="00000001.htm" NAME="00000001">Test</a></b><i>   *  Test 11/18/97</i></dt>   *  <dd><dl>   *     <dt><b><a HREF="00000002.htm" NAME="00000002">Re: Test</a></b><i>   *     Test 11/18/97</i></dt>   *      <dd><dl>   *          <!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000002"   *          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 WebBot Registration or Discussion   *      component to insert new results." S-RepliesTo="00000001" startspan   *      --><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" endspan i-checksum="0" -->   *    </dl>   *  </dd>     </body>
Notice below how the addition of another article (the reply) to thatposting is indented.
    <body>   * <dl>   *  <dt><b><a HREF="00000001.htm" NAME="00000001">Test</a></b><i>   *  Test 11/18/97</i></dt>   *  <dd><dl>   *     <dt><b><a HREF="00000002.htm" NAME="00000002">Re: Test</a></b><i>   *     Test 11/18/97</i></dt>   *      <dd><dl>   *          <!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000002"   *          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." S-RepliesTo="00000001" startspan   *      --><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" endspan i-checksum="0" -->   *    </dl>   *  </dd>      </body>
A new thread posted to the discussion group will begin at a new indentionand replies to that posting will appear indented under the new thread asshown above. This structure will continue throughout continuous repliesand with replies to a reply.

What Components Make the Tocproto.htm Work as it Does?

The Tocproto.htm file is comprised of 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 is used as the contents page of your discussion Web.The disc#_tocf.htm file is created when you use a frameset to create thediscussion Web.

Disc#_tocf.htm:
This file is used as the contents page of your discussion Web. The body of the Tocproto.htm file (described above) is included in this page using the WebBot Include component.
Disc#_toc.htm:
This file is used as the contents page of your discussion Web. The body of the tocproto.htm file, is included in this page using the WebBot Include component. Unlike disc#_tocf.htm, this file 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 folderin the current Web. This file contains information about the Discussion Webas well as other FrontPage Web specific configuration information. Thesection of this file that the Discussion Web directly relates to containsthe article number variable. For example, if your discussion group iscalled "_bob", the configuration information will be stored in the_vti__bob_articlenumber key. The number will increment each time an articleis submitted. If you change this number, you can alter the next articlenumber. However, if you change this number so that it is less than thenumber of articles you have, newer articles will be appended or added to anexisting article.

NOTE: If you rename or modify a file in FrontPage Explorer, all subsequentlinks and configurations will be updated automatically. Becauseexperimenting with the structure of your Discussion Web could cause it to function incorrectly, you should make these types of adjustments to a test Web first. When you have attained the desired results, check and recheckyour Web before you implement the changes on your primary Web.
References
For additional information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
154675 How to edit/delete articles in a FrontPage Discussion Web
152097 FP: Files in Discussion Web are overwritten
143101 Using FrontPage without the server extensions
176927 FP: Newest to oldest order doesn't work in Discussion Web
97 98 discussion Web functionality
Properties

Article ID: 177092 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 14:13:00 - Revision: 3.0

  • Microsoft FrontPage 97 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbinfo KB177092
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