This document is intended as a good place for web-spinners to start
looking for information. In particular, it is intended to point to
all the manuals, specifications, and other technical documentation
relating to the tools I'm currently using. If you have other
suggestions, let me know.
Technical information on the NCSA server (which happens to be the one we're
using) can be found here).
Technical information on and related to NCSA Mosaic (the most popular Web
browser) can be found here.
It also points to some beginner's guides and quick references.
This file (and the other local files it links to) were created with GNU
Emacs in html-mode. I found it rather clumsy, so I
switched to html-helper-mode, which is a vast improvement. It
particular, it uses a more natural typing style (inserting boilerplate and
putting the cursor in the right place, rather than prompting you for stuff to
insert) and displays tags in boldface, italics in italics, and so on. The
local documentation is here
The way to preview stuff like this is to run Mosaic or some other web
browser on the same file you're editing, using the r key (for
``reload'') whenever you change it. Alternatively you can use
w3-mode (described here)
and preview with w3-preview-this-buffer (which I bind to
C-Cv), but it doesn't look as good or give you as good an idea of
how people using more popular browsers are likely to see it. Lucid Emacs is
said to handle inline images in w3-mode, so that's another
possibility, especially for Lisp hackers.
I have something like the following in my .emacs file to load a Web browser
and HTML editing modes.
(load "w3-load" t)
;;; w3-load.el defines the following autoloads:
;;; (autoload 'w3-preview-this-buffer "w3" "WWW Previewer" t)
;;; (autoload 'w3-follow-url-at-point "w3" "Find document at pt" t)
;;; (autoload 'w3 "w3" "WWW Browser" t)
;;; (autoload 'w3-open-local "w3" "Open local file for WWW browsing" t)
;;; (autoload 'w3-fetch "w3" "Open remote file for WWW browsing" t)
;;; (autoload 'w3-use-hotlist "w3" "Use shortcuts to view WWW docs" t)
(autoload 'html-helper-mode "html-helper-mode"
"An improved HTML editing mode" t)
(setq html-helper-do-write-file-hooks t)
(setq html-helper-build-new-buffer t)
(setq auto-mode-alist (cons '("\\.html$" . html-helper-mode)
(defun my-html-mode-hook ()
"Hook for HTML editing"
(local-set-key "\C-Cv" 'w3-preview-this-buffer)
;; The preceeding doesn't seem to work unless you've already run M-Xw3.
(setq fill-column 78)
;;; My actual html-mode hook has more stuff in it, but this will work for
(add-hook 'html-helper-mode-hook 'my-html-mode-hook)
Marcus E. Hennecke) suggests
adding the following setup code:
(user-full-name) " " (user-real-login-name) "@" my-domain))
"" html-helper-address-string "\n"
which I will eventually add to default.el
The alternative Web browser tkWWW is the only one I know of that
includes a full WYSIWYG hypertext editor. It's only available on Unix. There
is a Mac HTML editor based on Hypercard.
is a recent pointer to tkHTML an editor (not including a browser) in Tk/tcl.
There are also a number of conversion programs for, e.g., FrameMaker, LaTeX,
or Microsoft RTF. Some of them are listed
Now that we have two servers, protection is easy. I have a
Public subdirectory inside ~/www and a firm policy
of never making links from the public area to the private one. I made the
ln -s ~/www steve
ln -s ~/www/Public steve
When I make a link from the private area to the public area, I use a full URL,
i.e. I refer to my public home page as
http://theStarport.org/people/steve/ instead of
using a relative path like Public/steve.html.
You can also protect everything in a directory by putting a file in the
directory with the name .htaccess and contents:
deny from all
allow from theStarport.org
I do this just to make sure that my private stuff is really private.
You can also use such a file to modify the way a directory is listed; see for
example .htaccess in
this directory. By supplying a file called
index.html you can replace the usual directory listing with
anything you want; see for example
In particular, you can use an index.html file to make files
in a directory accessible without revealing what else is
My directory tree looks like this:
~steve/www/-- internal HTML directory, including:
Steve.html -- index file
steve.html -- internal home page
Public/ -- public HTML directory
steve.html -- public home page
Icons/ --> symlink to ../Icons
The ``index file'' is sort of an HTML hotlist, only not as dynamic. It lists
the files and directories that I often need to look at. The personal icon
directory is the same (via symbolic link) for public and private; the images
and documents are not, because the contents are completely different.
I like to keep files in a format that is is readable both in
a browser and in an editor like Emacs. This reduces the need to preview
things, although it's still a good idea to check links.
It only takes two substitute commands to turn the `name="' into
`href="#' and `h?' into `b'. The first
time I do it I use grep to find all the headings.
Other Formatting Hints
You can make a note like this one with the following HTML:
You can make a note like this one with the following HTML:
In the X Window System it's easy to have an editor and a previewer (Web
browser) on the screen. In fact, I like to have multiple copies of Emacs with
fully-overlapped windows, using twm's tab-format title bars to
select them quickly. I have the following in my .twmrc file to
separate the tabs:
"Emacs" left 3 8
"e1" left 7 8
"www" left 2 8
"gnus" left 1 8
"vm" left 0 0
"Emacs" "Mosaic" "XTerm"
I also set autoraise for Mosaic and Emacs so that moving the
cursor into any part of an editor or browser window pops it to the front. Then
when I want to stick a pointer to someplace interesting into one of my pointer
files, I do the following:
Follow the link in Mosaic, then select its URL by double-clicking in the
``Document URL'' box.
Go to my Emacs window, find the appropriate file, and go to the right
place in it.
Insert a list item (^C^I) and a link (^C^L), and
paste in the selected URL (^Y).
Go back to Mosaic and select the title.
Move past the "> at the end of the link and paste in the
Total operations after the link and destination have been found: one
double-click, one drag-select, and 8 keystrokes.
The following scripts ought to be written one of these days:
Update a table of contents in an HTML file, using the format described above.
It should surround the TOC with HTML comments that it can recognize.
Update a directory listing by extracting the title from each HTML file and
adding a line to the .htaccess file of the form
AddDescription "Writing for the Web" authoring.html
$Id: authoring.html,v 1.5 1999/07/10 05:38:09 steve Exp $