Re: Client-side HTML Includes

by "Steve Mount" <steve(at)>

 Date:  Tue, 23 May 2000 21:41:25 -0400
 To:  "Andrew Sturmey" <andrew.sturmey(at)>,
 References:  PL11
  todo: View Thread, Original
This is what I do.

I have live pages, and template pages.  The template pages reside in a
directory on my server outside of the base web directory, so they are
accessible only directly on the server.  The template pages contain the
unique content of each page.  On a page, I have tags:


I have a Perl script that takes each template page, and translates the
"template tags" into HTML.  The header includes all the stuff you'd expect:
DOCTYPE, head, title, navigation bars, etc.  The footer contains the
copyrighty, disclaimery stuff, and closes the body and html tags.  I can
reformat my entire site in one command to rebuild the live pages from the

This is not an original idea - my understanding is that FrontPage does
something very similar, as does DreamWeaver, I've heard.  But it suits my
purposes, is quick, easy to understand and modify.  I have the benefits of
frames, with a static "frame" for the header and another "frame" for the
footer, but there are no frames - just the benefits :)  Eventually, I got
tired of logging into the server to generate the live pages, and I wrote a
small script to do it via the web ... the whole system is very extensible,
to whatever my imagination can imaginate.

Hope that helps.

Steve Mount, Software Engineer            steve(at)
Home Site                  
UVM Class of 1989      
US Constitution Online
Manager, HWG Logo Team           

----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Sturmey <andrew.sturmey(at)>
To: <hwg-techniques(at)>
Sent: Tuesday, May 23, 2000 6:20 PM
Subject: FW: Client-side HTML Includes

> Can anyone assist?
> I've been asked to design a site.  Three requirements of it that I'm
> trouble meeting with a single solution:
> - It must be really light on bandwidth.
> - It has to have a chunk of standard navigational stuff at the top of each
> page, and some corporate copyrighty, disclaimery stuff at the bottom of
> page.
> - It may not use frames in any capacity.
> Ordinarily I'd either put the non-changing stuff in alternate frames to
> browsable stuff, or I'd use server-side includes to churn out the same
> at the top and bottom of each page.
> Since server-side includes are a no go area as they'd have to be
> retransmitted in each page, I thought a cachable client side include would
> be in order.  Never having done this before I looked to the official html
> specification for answers.
> The obvious way to do this looked like using an <OBJECT> tag to include
> same two files in each page, but when I did this, I got horrible IFRAMEish
> looking bits appear *groan*.
> Any ideas on how I can just include chunks of other pages in a page
> having to have kludgy looking bits?

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