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Publishing your Project

OK this a pretty dry topic. If you know how to Export to an FTP
server you may wish to skip it. If you don't, this information may
help although I admit it can be a bit like wading in syrup.

We recently released Version 1.5 of IMS Web Engine and
Version 1.15 of IMS Web Spinner. These updates included our
new Export Dialog with FTP support and multiple Publishing
profiles. Although FTP support is a great convenience when
publishing your web site, it did as expected, generate more tech
support questions than any other single topic. Some questions
related to legitimate problems that caused us to update the
program. The latest release is Version 1.61 of IMS Web Engine
and 1.21 of IMS Web Spinner. Both these releases include fixes
in the Publisher in addition to several new features. If you have
earlier versions of the program, you should consider updating from


Many of the publishing questions related to simply understanding
what FTP meant and how to enter the correct settings into a
Profile. FTP stands for 'File Transfer Protocol and is the primary
means by which most of us will transfer files from our local
computer to a remote Internet Host. Prior to providing FTP
support, the IMS programs were designed to Export a project to a
local directory on your computer. You would then use a 3rd party
ftp program to transfer the necessary files to the Internet host. In a
near future release, we will include a stand alone FTP program. If
you don't currently have one however, an excellent one is available

The latest IMS programs allow you to create multiple Export
Profiles so that you can quickly publish your project to your local
machine or to several remote hosts without changing any setting
after their initial set up. To create a new profile, enter the Publisher
dialog and select the New button in the Profile Dialog. Change the
name in the Edit Box to anything that will help you identify this
profile from other profiles. Next, decide if you want this profile to
publish to your local computer or to a remote host and set the
Export Destination. I will go into the Clean and Backup operations
in another newsletter. If you are not sure, check them both.

The Pages dialog is used to select which pages in your project are
to be exported. You would normally set this to 'Export All Pages'
but if you wish to quickly update one or a few pages, you can
change this setting. You can use the drop down box to change
the name of page if you forgot to do it in the Page Editor. The
usual name for the first page in a Web Site is "default.htm" or

The File Path dialog is used to select a local export directory for
your project. When the 'Copy to Disk' option is selected, this will
be the final destination. When exporting to a remote host, this will
be a directory to temporarily store the output. The 'Gather Option'
is a powerful feature that will automatically copy all referenced
files to the Export destination. You should normally use the Gather
Option unless you are managing a large Web Site with multiple
subdirectories. The Format option is used to select between
Dynamic HTML and standard HTML. If you are using IMS Web
Spinner or using IMS Web Engine without any special effects or
animation, select HTML 3.2 format for the most compact files. If
you are using IMS Web Engine with animation or special effects
such as drop menus, use DHTML 4.0 format and check the
Combine Box.

The FTP dialog is used to set the FTP login requirements and
destination directory to an Internet Host when the 'Export to
Internet Server' option is selected. If you don't get this just right,
your Publish operation will fail. The first thing to do is to identify
the Internet location of the remote computer. You do this by
entering an IP address or Host Name. This is the computer's
address and it identifies the computer you want from the millions
of other computers on the Internet. Getting the numbers close just
will not do. You must ask your Internet service provider for the IP
address which is a set of four numbers separated by periods "."
or an address name which is simply an easy to remember
alternative to the IP address. Once you have the address, you
need to provide your Username and Password. This is equivalent
to the keys to the house and proves that you are entitled to enter.
If you don't already have them, contact you service provider. Once
you have your FTP login settings entered, you can verify that they
are correct by selecting the Browse Button. This is used to select
the destination directory on the host. By using the Browse button
you will not only ensure that the file path is correct but that your
login settings are also correct.

Once you have your Profile set, use the Apply button to save it or
the Publish button to test it. You can create as many profiles as
you like. Profiles are saved in the "ftppro.ini" file in the /bin
directory were you installed your IMS program. When you install
an IMS update into the same directory as an earlier install, this
file will be preserved and used in the update. If you install the
program into a new directory, you can copy this file into the new
/bin directory so that you will not lose any existing settings.
As a final note, some free Hosts will not let you FTP files directly
to their server. You must use their Upload dialog to locate the files
on your local computer and then transfer them. This should not
present a problem. Simply create a new empty directory on your
computer then Publish to it using the 'Copy to Disk' and 'Gather'
options. All files in the directory can then be selected and
transferred to the host.

FTP operations can appear quite complex to the uninitiated. Let
us know what difficulties you have had so that we can continue to
make improvements and build a knowledge base on this
necessary but admittedly difficult topic.

"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999 Virtual Mechanics

"IMS Web Tips" is a weekly news letter for all web site managers regardless of experience who are looking for detailed information on
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