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The atomsnet package comes with a standard built in webserver and some accompanying files. The webserver cannot be altered (in the binary distribution) for security reasons. You can change and replace the webfiles given with the main package to create your personal look and behaviour. Understanding of webtechnologies is necessary to change this data.

The standard package consists of four important files. These files can all be found in the installation directory of the application. Index.html is the file shown to a client when he accesses your server directly at (exchange this hostname for your own hostname or address). This file basically explains how to use the system and provides links to the search and browse facilities. You can completely restyle your entrypoint by altering or exchanging this page with your own webpage. To alter the look of the main website you need to have a basic understanding of the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Information about HTML is publicly available on the web.

Apart from the index page, you can also alter the look and feel of the entire website, including the results the database send back by changing the file atomsnet.css . This file is written in the Cascading Style Sheets language. Please visit a website to learn more about CSS before altering this file. Basically, CSS tells the users webbrowser how a data item should be shown. For instance, the color, font and size of a text element can be chosen. By altering the data in atomsnet.css these and more layout features can be altered. For instance, changing
$background : white$
$background : black$
will make all pages have a back background. Of course, more interesting aspects can be changed.

If you want to change not how, but what information is displayed another file has to be changed. The file ane_html.xsl is is used to translate the raw database entry into a human readable format. This file is written in yet another language, XSLt. Again, please visit a website to learn more about this technology. In short, XSLt translates data from the raw XML form in which it is sent to the client into HTML document code. In our standard distribution, for instance, each browse result is shown to the user in a format resembling the Open Directory Project's style. You can display the data in a completely other format by simply changing this file.

The fourth file added to the distribution, corner.gif, is simply a picture containing the atomsnet logo. It is referenced from atomsnet.css . So, if you remove the reference to this image in atomsnet.css it is safe to remove the image.

Summarizing, the look and behaviour of the webserver is governed by standardized style documents. You are free to alter or exchange these files. Doing so does rely on understanding of the technologies used and can be a bit hard at first. Especially XSLt is a new technology and might pose a few problems.

next up previous contents
Next: Further information Up: Sharing data Previous: Stability   Contents