Dynamic Web Template Interchange Guidelines

Promoting Standards for Ease of Interchangeable DWTs

DWT (Dynamic Web Template) Standards for Microsoft FrontPage 2003 and DreamWeaver MX

Known Issues

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While the Dynamic Web Template Interchange Guidelines (DWTIG) provide the user desiring future ability to change from one DWT design to another the most reasonable solution, there are a few issues that bear defining.

FrontPage Navigation

Because FrontPage Navigation so easily and conveniently assigns page and button names, organizes your web, and produces its own updates to the Menu systems through the use of its web-bots, it is considered one of the most important features of the program.  For this reason, the DWTIG has assigned the sub_menu to the Editable Regions.

  • Placing the sub-menu in the Editable Regions allows the end user to modify the page level to be shown on individual pages, which may vary from the level defined on the original DWT.
  • Placing the sub-menu in the Editable Regions allows the end user to type in a title above the menu, if desired.
  • Placing the sub-menu in the Editable Regions allows the end user to type in or add additional hyperlinks, if desired.

The benefits above far outweigh steps that may be required, depending on which DWTIG compliant DWT you are attaching.  Because the secondary navigation link bars are contained in an Editable Region, the settings for them are carried forward from the original characteristics to the newly attached DWT.

  1. Template navigation systems are either oriented vertically or horizontally.  If you are attaching a DWT design to web pages which had the navigation orientation set differently from the orientation defined in the DWT being attached, you will need to manually change the orientation on the web page.  To accomplish this, first attach the new design.  Then, in FrontPage Design view, right click over the navigation/link bar and select "Link Bar Properties" from the pop-up window.  Click on the "Style" tab, then, in the lower left, click the appropriate radio button for the applied DWT design.  Click "OK," then save.  You will need to repeat this process on each link bar in your web having a changed orientation.  NOTE:  You may elect to perform Step 3, if necessary, at the same time you perform this step.
     
  2. Sub Menu navigation changes are required on pages having multiple levels within the FrontPage navigation system.  The default setting for the editable region "sub_menu" is "Child level."  If this is your initial attachment of this or any other DWTIG compliant template, you may need to change the default of "Child level" to "Same level."  This specific change will not be required on subsequent applications of any DWTIG Compliant templates.
     
  3. Some DWTIG compliant designs use FrontPage themes; some do not.  If you are attaching a non-themed DWT design to a web previously using a theme, you many need to change the Style properties on the link bars of each page.  To do this,  in FrontPage Design view, right click over the navigation/link bar and select "Link Bar Properties" from the pop-up window.  Click on the "Style" tab, then scroll down to and select the  "Xxxxx | Xxxxx | Xxxxx" link.  Click "OK," then save.  Likewise, if you are attaching a themed DWT design to a web previously not using a theme, you would change the Style to "Use Page's Theme".  You may need to repeat this process on each link bar in your web on the initial application.

Scripting within the <Head> </Head> Tags

The initial attachment of a DWT in FrontPage 2003 does not provide the ability to assign existing content within the <head> </head> tags to a new Editable Region; therefore, any existing scripting (such as ASP or JavaScript) will NOT be carried forward to a web page on initial DWT attachment.  Copy and paste your original scripting into notepad to preserve it.  After attachment of a DWTIG Compliant DWT, paste your original scripting within the "scripting" Editable Region of the header section in FrontPage Split or Code View.

The scripting WILL be preserved on subsequent attachments of DWTIG Compliant DWTs.

Scripting inside the <Body> Tag

The attachment of a DWT in FrontPage 2003 overwrites the <body> tag, as it is considered a Non-editable Region.  If you are using javascript or other scripting having part of the scripting contained inside the <body> tag, such as:

<BODY onLoad="QuitSite()">

you will lose that scripting on each attachment of a DWT.  Since the <body> tag is an Un-editable Region, you will either need to:

  1. Modify the DWT itself to have the code within the <body> tag*, or
  2. Modify the code to place re-written scripting in the DWTIG "scripting" Editable Region in the <head> section.

* Note that modifications to the <body> tag on the DWT itself will not carry forward in a web page having a subsequent DWTIG Compliant DWT attached; however, changes to the code and placement within the "scripting" Editable Region will carry forward in a web page having a subsequent DWTIG Compliant DWT attached.

Pages with ASP Coding

Unless you are an ASP programmer and understand the implications of the language and its placement within and without the HTML on a page, we do not recommend attachment of the DWTIG compliant DWTs at this point.  The DWTIG Consortium is currently testing the implications of attaching a DWT to an ASP-coded page within FrontPage 2003, and will issue a statement when testing is complete.

If you have pages with .asp extensions that do NOT actually contain any ASP coding, the above does not apply.