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An Overview of Personal Content Management

The Personal Content Management system provides a simple and easy way for managing the content of small websites. The Personal Content Management system does not require any set up on the server side. After the initial setup, you can easily add and modify content without the need for any sophisticated HTML or programming skills. The framework of the Personal Content Management system is flexible enough to support both static and dynamic websites. The administrator of the Personal Content Management system needs to manage the structure and templates of the website. To accomplish these tasks, the administrator needs to have enough knowledge about the operating system, HTML, Perl, and the templates available. The end user of the Personal Content Management system does require any software skills and has to just type in some text.

The content editor of the Personal Content Management system enables an end user to change the content, save it to local data files, generate the output files and upload the generated files to the server. In addition, the end user can also change some configuration options such as the names of the source and output directories, the connection data to the server such as the address, username, password, etc using the content editor. The whole of the data is grouped into projects.

The Personal Content Management system provides content as directory structure containing data files. The output is the same directory structure with html files. Each content file after processing becomes one html file in the output. Template files are provided in the same input directory structure, which is used during processing. This ensures that the administrator has quite much power as to which templates should be used with which data files. The templates can use data not only from the exact file being processed but also from other data files in the same project.

Each project has separate configuration and data. The user can configure some parameters to define the way Personal Content Management application should work. The configurable parameters include output directory in which the generated html files are stored, source directory from which the Personal Content Management application reads data for the current project, and FTP user which is the login used for authorization at the server. Additional parameters that can be configured include FTP server which is the address of the server and FTP dir which is the directory on the server where generated files are to be copied. Data is presented to the user in the form of a tree. Clicking on a node selects it. If a node is a folder then double clicking the folder presents its subnodes. Otherwise double clicking opens a window for modifying the text resident in the node. A menu obtained on left clicking the mouse provides options for deleting, adding subnodes, modifying or importing image files according to the schema chosen for the project by administrator.

In the Personal Content Management application, the input directory is converted into a tree like data structure. The file nodes are substituted with data structures from inside those files. The Personal Content Management application enables the user to edit this data structure and process every node of type "file" with a proper template. The Personal Content Management application provides a templates library. The template can use the entire data structure, as each node has links to the parent and root nodes.

There are three rules that need to be followed in choosing the templates for input files. The first rule is if there is a template with the base name identical to the basename of the input file, the template is used with this file. The second rule is if in some directory there is a template named default.tmpl, then this template is a default template for that directory that is, applied for all files that don't have individual templates. The last rule is if there is no default template in the directory, then the default template for this directory is the default template for it's parent directory. The Personal Content Management application provides schemas which can be used by the administrator to define a list of possible structures for articles and to supply default data for them.

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