One of the great aspects of using a Drag and Drop editor is the
ability to avoid having to deal with extensive data bases with
many components that are often hard to identify or remember. In
addition to the convenience of simply selecting an element with
your mouse, many components can be identified by name.
Whenever you create a new Page, Object or component, IMS
will automatically create a unique name for it. Pages are named
"Page1", "Page2", "Page3" etc. Objects are also named in
sequence from "Obj1". Other naming conventions are "Geo1"
for Geometry Components, "Shade1", for Shading components,
"Sound1" for Sound Components, "Act1" for Action
components and "Evt1" for Event/Behavior components.
If you are new to using an IMS application, you may be
wondering how to distinguish between Objects "Obj68" and
"Obj75". It's simple, with an Object selected, change the name in
the edit box to something more descriptive. Instead of "Obj68"
change the name to "RedCar" if that is what the Object is a
picture of. Objects and components can contain up to 10
characters in their name. If you attempt to enter a name that is
already in use, the program will warn you to change it to
Using a descriptive name can be particularly useful when you
need to select an Object or Component in a Dialog. Although
your IMS application will usually display a picture of the
selected item, if you have 20 rectangles named Obj10 through
Obj30, this may not be helpful. Having a unique name will
enable you to select the correct component with little trouble.
In addition to identifying an Object in a dialog, using a unique
descriptive name can help you to quickly find an Object or
component in your published HTML files. This can be helpful if
an Object is not being displayed as expected and you wish to
examine the code. Your "RedCar" Object can be found by
searching for "ORedCar" in the HTML source file. Similarly,
geometry components will use the name you set in the project
with a "G" prefix. By pre-appending an "O" to Objects and a "G"
to Geometry you can use the same name for Objects and
Components in your project without conflict and still distinguish
between each in the HTML file.
If you have been wondering how to create web pages with
names that are a little more descriptive than "Page1.htm",
"Page2.htm", "Page3.htm" etc., simply change the name in the
Page Edit box. Unlike Objects and components, pages can use
up to 48 characters. In case you do not know, the entry page to
you web site is usually called "index.htm", "default.htm" or
something similar. This is the page that will be displayed when
someone types in the URL of your site without a file name.
Check with your service provider to find the name of this page if
you do not already know it. If the default entry page is
"index.htm" for example, change the name of the main page in
your IMS project to "index". In IMS Web Engine and Web
Spinner you can also change the extension from ".htm" to
".html" in the Page Editor. Although this is not necessary, Unix
system will usually look for ".html" files before ".htm"
You should take care when naming an Object or Page not to use
none standard characters. Characters such as "*&^%$#@!" or a
space, can cause problems that generate an error or an
unexpected result in a Browser. The latest IMS versions include
a filter to remove these problematic characters. If you name your
Object "#My Car" for example but discover that the program
will only list it as "MyCar" you can blame it on the filter. This is
preferable however, to getting strange errors on your Web Page
that are difficult to identify.
"IMS Web Tips" ISSN 1488-7088
© Copyright 1999-2000 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 creating, maintaining and promoting their web sites.