A Basic Web Update Tool

WideUpdate is a small console application for those people that like to work with HTML code. WideUpdate removes page-to-page inconsistencies and cuts down web page data entry time for web pages with similar features on each page.

To tell you the truth, I put off development of this application for too long. Development time: four hours!

How to Use WideUpdate
  1. Place the application in the directory with your HTM and HTML files.
  2. Run the application. You will get a brief description of the usage. It is possible to specify a file name on the command line, but not necessary.
  3. Enter the "key file name." You must include the file's extension. For example, if you had just made changes to the file "sitemap.htm", you would enter "sitemap.htm" at the prompt. You could have also entered "wideupdate sitemap.htm" on the command line.
  4. Enter the "key phrase." This phrase, containing one or more words, tells WideUpdate what sort of block to update in every file. For example, if you wish to update a block that contains a pull-down menu, you would put an HTML comment block before the menu tags that reads "<!-- Begin menu block -->" and an HTML comment block after the menu tags that reads "<!-- End menu block -->". In this case, the phrase would be "menu block".
  5. Wait for the file updates to occur. The block in the key file will be copied into the equivalent block (if present) of every other file in the same directory that has an HTM or HTML extension.
Error Messages

If the key file does not exist, has exclusive use by another program, or has any other problems, the program exits.

If the key phrase does not exist in the key file (it could be misspelled), the program exits.

If the beginning of the key comment block exists in the key file, but there is no ending comment block, the program exits.

No error will be generated if a file to be updated does not have the the key phrase. However, a warning will be issued if there is an undelimited key comment block in this file. In this case, no update will occur in this file, but updates will still occur in other files if these files do not have the same problem.

Sensible Uses

WideUpdate is best used when foresight and critical thinking go into the structure of your files. If you view the source to this page, you will find many instances of "WideUpdate-compatible" comment blocks. Examples include "head", "body", "menu", "main data", "spacer table", "sub-content table", and "footer".

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Copyright 2004 Christopher Allen.