www.hr: Introducing XML-based content management to general info on Croatia

abstract | author | presentation

WWW.HR is a Web-based information service project supported by the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet). It provides two services: 1) general info on Croatia, and, 2) a directory of Croatian Web sites. In order to improve and simplify the service administration, we introduced a new scheme for content management, based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML), a standard format for structured documents and data on the Web.

At this time, XML-based content management is applied to general info on Croatia. Initially, all documents were stored in the server file system as HTML files, and any change in content, structure, or style, required changing multiple files. This approach, in addition to being tedious and time-consuming for the administrator, also left space for inconsistencies between different documents and versions. The idea of XML-based content management is based on separating content from presentation. In our case, all content-related components (menus, text, linked images) are stored as XML files, separately from presentation templates, and the actual HTML documents on the Web server are created by specialized scripts written in Perl. Thus, any change in either content or "look" needs only to be done once, to be applied consistently accross the overall site, which significantly simplifies site administration.

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