Making Me Some Templates
August 21, 2006 4:50 PM   Subscribe

Just how does a Dreamweaver template work?

So, I have done server-side includes before but now I am tasked with making a Dreamweaver template. I have made a template but, when I look at the code, all I see are some comments. How the heck does Dreamweaver update everything made with said template when said template is changed? Does it just know how to find these pages? What if I make an edit to the code on one of the clones outside of Dreamweaver? What happens if some schmoe takes one of the template-made pages into Frontpage and starts messin' with the areas I don't want them to? How many questions can I ask all at once? The answer: many!
posted by Foam Pants to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
In order of asking:
  • Server-side includes are nothing like Dreamweaver templates. Or, they're kind of the opposite.
  • The template is "just comments". That's the way they get around having their own proprietary system, but still creating valid HTML. [insert bitchy comment here]
  • How does Dreamweaver do it? It ... just does. It has some little internal database and if you make a change to the template, it "knows" which pages use that template and prompts you that they need to be updated
  • If you edit the page outside Dreamweaver, all bets are off. Their intention is to lock you into their proprietary "don't you worry your pretty little head about it" system. Though you might get some kind of error message or warning when you next use the file in Dreamweaver, I don't know.
  • Same as previous question. If someone else edits it, all bets are off and it may well cease to be usable by Dreamweaver Template/Site system
What kind of a site is it you're dealing with and how many Joe and Josephine Schmoes are involved with editing the site?

This kind of system is pretty good for someone who does know what they're doing to set up and manage a small-to-medium site which will be mostly looked after by people who don't know what they're doing.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:14 PM on August 21, 2006


In addition, it's worth pointing out that Contribute works jolly well for those that don't know what they're doing and integrates with the template functions very well: non-editable regions are locked, you can limit them to certain pre-defined CSS styles etc.
posted by blag at 6:10 PM on August 21, 2006


FWIW, FrontPage 2003 uses the same file format for DreamWeaver templates, and respects editable regions.
posted by Merdryn at 6:16 PM on August 21, 2006


How does Dreamweaver do it? It ... just does. It has some little internal database and if you make a change to the template, it "knows" which pages use that template and prompts you that they need to be updated

the tags in the page specify the parent template. It's only going to affect pages that are visible/within your "site".

There's basically a "Begin Editable" and "End Editable" comment -- when you use dreamweaver you're only allowed to make changes to these portions, otherwise you need to edit the template (or, use a real editor).

i very much hate dreamweaver templates. I would advise against them in most situations. You will want to make a full backup of the site that you are templating. Hell, I'd also recommend making a full backup every time I changed the template.

I had to insert some pieces of code into a "editable" region that really should've been "non-editable" on a site using dreamweaver templates once, and it made what should've been a five minute job (using includes) into a two day job.

If you edit the page outside Dreamweaver, all bets are off.

well, all bets are off that your changes will be preserved if they're "outside" the "Editable" regions, but you certainly can make changes that'll be preserved without using dreamweaver. Really though, there's no real reason to use DW templates if the person editing it isn't going to be using DW.
posted by fishfucker at 6:19 PM on August 21, 2006


Thanks for all the fine answers. I do think I understand what is going on a bit better. Right now, I have pretty much EVERYTHING in includes to try and keep those Joes and Josephines from being their own worst enemy. The big problem is, when it goes into a WYSIWYG, all that displays is the main content without any styles on it at all. In other words, people will see this and realize that it looks nothing like the actual page and they might freak and start putting all sorts of text styles on it. I was hoping that Dreamweaver templates might be my saving grace but, after these comments, I might have to rethink this. Contribute would be sweet but I don't know if I can convince my dept. to buy it (cheapskates).
posted by Foam Pants at 11:17 PM on August 21, 2006


>Right now, I have pretty much EVERYTHING in includes to try and keep those Joes and Josephines from being their own worst enemy. The big problem is, when it goes into a WYSIWYG, all that displays is the main content without any styles on it at all.

If you define a Dreamweaver Site on their computer (a mirror of the real website or section thereof), then it will handle the CSS and even the server-side includes and display it to them roughly as it looks in a browser.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 12:36 AM on August 22, 2006


Woah, you are right! I had been defining the site as a folder below the level that held the stylesheets and includes. When I redefine it one level up, suddenly the whole thing appears as it should. Yeehaw! This makes me giddy with delight!
posted by Foam Pants at 9:37 AM on August 22, 2006


>I had been defining the site as a folder below the level that held the stylesheets and includes.

You're not the first to make that mistake. Glad I could help.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 7:52 PM on August 23, 2006


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