Content changed 2003-01-28 04:17 GMT. .

Digital Stump Feed My Ego >> Scott Ventura >> Scott Ventura's Site Generator

Scott Ventura's Site Generator


I found myself wishing for a free piece of software that would let me have a consistent look and feel to my web site without a lot of cutting and pasting. When I originally did my site in WordPerfect Internet Publisher, I didn't mind the cutting and pasting so much, but it still felt like an inefficient way to accomplish what I wanted.

Microsoft FrontPage provided the functionality I was looking for coupled with a seductively simple WYSIWYG editor. Unfortunately, FrontPage isn't cheap, and it's much simpler to use if the server is running special Microsoft extensions to the server software. Most server administrators aren't happy about installing extra software on important multi-user machines, and I can't blame them.


In the beginning of the summer of 1997, I followed up on a vision I'd had several months earlier: Use the C preprocessor to insert files in the middle of other files. I played with gpp for a bit until I came up with a set of command-line options that worked, then wrote a makefile to automatically run the command for specified files.

Guess what! It worked. My HTML source is now split into header files and content files. The header files contain the HTML source for the graphics, the navigation links, the boilerplate at the bottom, and even a few other things. The content files have the text that makes each page unique, with a few references to the header files.

Reasons I Use It




I used to offer to send the site generator out to anyone who wanted it. I've since decided that nobody should go through the anguish of using it other than myself. My poor choice of macro languages is certainly one of the factors. Sorry!

On the bright side, there is now a program that will do the job, has many more features, and is a Perl program (woo hoo!) distributed under the GPL (woo hoo!). This program is GTML, available at Enjoy!

[The Digital Stump] This page was lovingly hand-crafted by Scott Ventura, who is solely responsible for the contents. Scott is also the sole owner of the content of this page, including all of the graphics. Send comments or questions.