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FP98: Overview of FrontPage Discussion Web Architecture

This article was previously published under Q250839
This article has been archived.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 97 version of this article, see 177092.
This article describes which files and processes are needed to administer aFrontPage Discussion Web and offers tips for keeping a Discussion Webfunctioning correctly.
The following main components provide the foundation for the FrontPageDiscussion Web, assuming you select the Use Threaded Replies option whenyou 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 ServerExtensions.

If any of these components is damaged or configured incorrectly, you mayexperience 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 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 is 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 for the article structure initially looks similar to this:

NOTE: To conserve space, only the body of the file is shown.
<dl>  <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere"  DESCR="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in anHTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Componentto insert new results."  --></p></dl>				
After the first article is posted, the Tocproto.htm file reflects thechanges as follows:

NOTE: The position of a new thread is indentedonly 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>      <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000001" --></p>    </dl>  </dd>  <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere"  DESCR="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in anHTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Componentto insert new results."  --></p></dl>				
Notice below how the addition of another article (the reply) to thatposting 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>          <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000002" --></p>        </dl>      </dd>      <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere" S-RepliesTo="00000001"      DESCR="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point inan HTML file where you want a default, Registration, or DiscussionComponent to insert new results."      --></p>    </dl>  </dd>  <p><!--webbot bot="FormInsertHere"  DESCR="The FrontPage FormInsertHere Component indicates the point in anHTML file where you want a default, Registration, or Discussion Componentto insert new results."  --></p></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 asshown above. This structure continues throughout continuous repliesand 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.

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 theDiscussion 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 folderin the current Web. This file contains information about the Discussion Web, as 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 is stored in the_vti__bob_articlenumber key. The number increments 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 are appended or added to anexisting article.

NOTE: If you rename or modify a file in FrontPage Explorer, all subsequentlinks and configurations are updated automatically. Becauseexperimenting 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 recheckyour Web before you implement the changes on your primary Web.
For additional information about Discussion Webs, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
194106 FP98: How to Edit/Delete Articles in a FrontPage Discussion Web
216745 How to Improve Performance of a FrontPage 98 Discussion Web
194245 FP98: Files in Discussion Web Are Overwritten
194051 FP98: List of FrontPage Components That Require Server Extensions
190619 FP98: Long Thread Titles Have Spaces Added After Removing Post
182692 FP98: Table of Contents Page in Discussion Web Doesn't Update
182675 FP98: Search Does Not Return Any Articles in Discussion Web
176927 FP98: Newest to Oldest Order Doesn't Work in Discussion Web

Article ID: 250839 - Last Review: 10/20/2013 16:56:22 - Revision: 1.0

Microsoft FrontPage 98 Standard Edition

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