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The following documents are geared towards using VirtuFlex with Microsoft FrontPage.

Review of FrontPage98 and its Use with VirtuFlex Web Middleware
November 12, 1997
W. Curtiss Priest, Ph.D.

The navigation in 98 is improved:

  1. Tabs on lower left of Editor -- "Normal", "HTML", and "Preview"

  2. Choice of navigation "View"

With the tabs you can move back and forth, very quickly among WYSIWYG display (Normal), HTML (raw code), and -- this is new -- "Preview" which appears to be Explorer 3.0 without having to launch it. There is essentially no lag time moving among these three modes.

While the "hyperlink" view was the default in the Explorer (not to be confused with Internet Explorer) -- they now have a new "Views" area to the right where you can pick views among:

  1. Folders

  2. All Files

  3. Navigation -- some kind of window that you can drag htm files into to design links among files, and it shows "navigation bars" among them.

  4. Hyperlinks -- this was standard in FrontPage97 -- whatever embedded links are in the .htm files, become drawn as a hyperlink diagram amongst the files in a standard hierarchical, tree-like format.

  5. Hyperlink Status -- this looks at all the .htm files in your project and tells you what they are hyperlinked to, and if there are any "orphans".

  6. Themes -- you can ask that the web page be built using a theme such as "Construction Zone" or "Expedition".

  7. Tasks -- this was in 97, but you got here via a menu bar. It is a rudimentary task planner for developing the page.

In FrontPage97, you embedded VirtuFlex code by placing the cursor amongst buttons, gifs, etc. in the WYSIWYG and then pulling down Insert and choosing HTML. Now there is one extra step, Insert HTML has become one of 9 "components" that can be inserted. So, you pull down Insert, then Component, then HTML. The other components are "comment," Confirmation Field," "Hit Counter," "Include Page, "Page Banner," "Scheduled Image" (an image that is regularly replaced according to a time schedule you set), "Scheduled Include Page," and "Substitution."

As before, you can navigate to the VirtuFlex code by double-clicking on the yellow tag <?>. But, the default is not to show these tags. So, you first go to "View" and activate "Format Marks" -- this is a permanent setting and only need be done once.

So, there is substantial improvement in the speed going from the VirtuFlex code to viewing it in Preview.

Other features:

1. WYSIWYG table drawing.
2. WYSIWYG frames creation and editing.
3. Themes (mentioned above).
4. "Dynamic HTML" -- an outlining HTML tool
5. Active Server Pages (ASP) which can call:
a. ISAPI -- Internet Server Application Programming Interface -- developed by Process Software in place of CGI
b. NSAPI -- Netscape Server Application Programming Interface -- developed by Netscape Corp.
c. CGI
d. And other ASP code
6. Databases -- you can use the "Database Region Wizard" to "insert or edit a database query on a page" This combines with ASP and a "form handler" to provide a display of the output. This clearly sounds close to VirtuFlex !! (don't you just wish the Justice dept. would do something about this giant.)
7. Push technology via Channel Definition Format (CDF)
8. Java applets and JavaScript
9. Visual Basic, Scripting Edition
10. ActiveX controls

The FrontPage Beta expires Dec. 31st, 1997. It is unclear if you have a licensed copy of FrontPage whether this expiration applies.

The Beta includes Microsoft Image Composer 1.5 (expires in 90 days) and Microsoft GIF animator.

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