Overview

This document describes:

  • The Site Definition File (SDF).
  • The Input and Output folders that are associated with the SDF file.
  • The User Data Folder (UDF) which extends the program folder and can be used to customize Second Site. The User Data Folder is also a convenient place to store SDF files.
  • The program folder for Second Site, which is the folder where the install program stores the executable file.
  • The Formats, Layouts, Themes, and Defaults folders.

Site Definition File

In order to create a site, you have to create a Site Definition File (SDF) via the File > New... command. Second Site writes all the options and settings associated with the site into the SDF file.

When you create a new SDF file, Second Site also creates two folders in the same location as the SDF file, an Input folder and an Output folder.

Second Site names the two folders by appending "-i" and "-o" to the name of the SDF file. If you name the SDF file MySite.sdf, the Input folder will be MySite-i and the Output folder will be MySite-o. To remind you of the "-i" and "-o" suffixes, the Help pages for Second Site often include the suffixes when referring to the folders, i.e., the "Input (-i) folder" and the "Output (-o) folder".

  • mysite.sdf
  • mysite-i
  • mysite-o

Input Folder

During the execution of the Make Site command, Second Site copies all the files in the Input (-i) folder to the Output (-o) folder. The Input (-i) folder exists so that your site can include custom graphic files and/or any HTML pages that you have created outside of Second Site.

For some special notes about graphic files, see the Graphic Files help page.

Second Site also puts files in the Input (-i) folder when you (1) use the Set Icon Flag Window to add icons to your site or (2) when you import a VCF chart.

If the file type is .htm or .html, Second Site will search the file for Second Site variables and replace them with the appropriate text. One of the more powerful uses of this capability is to make references from handwritten pages to entries in the pages generated by Second Site. The Page.PersonHREF() method is provided for this purpose.

Input Folder Subfolders

If the Input folder contains other folders, those subfolders and their contents are also copied to the Output folder. If necessary, you may use the same folder names as some of the special folders used by Second Site. If you want to add images to the exhibits subfolder that Second Site creates when Exhibits.Output Folder is set to Child of Output folder, put those files in mysite-i\exhibits, for example. Adjust the folder name to match the actual name of your Input folder.

For the convenience of people using the Include script function, Second Site ignores any subfolder named "include" (or "Include", etc.) that is a child folder of the Input (-i) folder. For that reason, it is a good idea to put include files in the include subfolder.

Output Folder

Note The first step in the Make Site process is to erase all the files and subfolders in the Output folder, so do not store any files there that you cannot recreate.

Second Site creates the files for the web site in the Output (-o) folder. All the files that are in the Output folder are part of the site and should be copied to the web server or CD that you use to publish your site.

User Data Folder

As described above, Second Site supports a User Data Folder (UDF) to allow customizations. Folders in the UDF are essentially extensions of the same folders stored beneath the Second Site program folder. Because they are not in the Second Site program folder:

  1. they are easier to change,
  2. they are not subject to being overwritten when the Second Site program is updated, and
  3. they are not subject to operating system constraints related to updating files in the c:\Program Files path.

The UDF is optional, but I recommend creating one even if you do not intend to customize Second Site. By default, Second Site will suggest the UDF folder as the location for new SDF files and that is a good way to keep your Second Site files organized. See the User Data Folder page for more information.

Program Folder

  • c:\Program Files\Second Site 5
    • 2ndsite5.exe
    • 2ndsite.ini
    • AutoRun
    • Defaults
    • Help
    • Layouts
    • Scripts
      • Common
      • Compiler
      • Content
      • Footer
      • Formats
      • Head
      • Header
      • Menu
    • Sorts
    • Themes

The diagram at left illustrates important files and folders for a valid Second Site installation. The diagram omits all folders above the Second Site program folder. The install program usually places the Second Site folder within the Program Files folder, but that can be adjusted by the user.

2ndsite5.exe
The 2ndsite5.exe file is the Second Site program. The MS Windows operating system starts this file when you open Second Site from the Start menu or from a desktop icon.
2ndsite.ini
The 2ndsite.ini file controls certain program options. It should not be changed. Parameters defined in 2ndsite.ini can be overridden via the User Data Folder. See 2ndsite.ini File.
Defaults
The Defaults folder is explained in the Defaults Folder section.
AutoRun
The AutoRun folder contains a set of files that are copied to the Output folder when the Media.Add CD AutoRun Files property is checked.
Help
The Help folder contains a set of HTML pages that describe the use and operation of Second Site. Second Site will open specific pages from this folder when the user presses the [F1] (help) function key or selects one of the items in the Help menu. The pages are also online at the Second Site home page.
Layouts
The Layouts folder is explained in the Layouts Folder section.
Scripts
The Scripts folder is a container for various Page Scripts used by Second Site.
Formats
The Formats folder is a subfolder of Scripts. The Formats folder is explained in the Formats Folder section.
Common, Compiler, Content, Footer, Head, Header, Menu
These folders contain Page Scripts that are used during the Make Site process to adjust the content of various output page segments. Each folder contains one or more scripts for a given page segment. In the Second Site user interface, the user selects a script per segment. In practice, users will leave most script settings in the default position.

Users should not modify any files in or beneath the c:\Program Files\Second Site path. Users may create custom Page Scripts by defining a Scripts folder in the User Data Folder (UDF) and the appropriate sub-folder as listed above.

See Page Scripts for more information.

Sorts
The Sorts folder contains a set of files that determine the choices in the Language.Sort Sequence menu.
Themes
The Themes folder is explained in the Themes Folder section.

Layouts Folder

  • c:\Program Files\Second Site
    • Layouts
      • layout.htm
      • 1 Col P Con Nav Xtra
        • layout.sss
      • 2 Col Chart Side Con BE
        • layout.sss
        • layout.htm
      • . . .

Second Site requires a Layouts folder in the program folder. The Second Site install program creates the folder and copies a set of files and folders to it. Examples of those files are described in this section.

Users should not modify any files in or beneath the c:\Program Files\Second Site path. Users may create customized Layouts by defining a Layouts folder in the User Data Folder (UDF). (See the User Data Folder section.)

layout.htm
Second Site requires a default layout file named layout.htm and stored in the Layouts folder. The default layout file contains the basic HTML for a web page and is used when one of the layout folders (described below) does not contain its own layout.htm file.

The default layout file does not have an associated Stylesheet. Do not create a layout.sss file in the Layouts folder.

Layout sub-folders
Each Layout requires a folder. The folder name determines the Layout name. Layout names are listed in the Layout property pull-down menus. Given the files shown in the diagram, the pull-down menu would contain two Layout options, "1 Col P Con Nav Xtra" and "2 Col Chart Side Con BE". In an actual installation, the program folder version of te Layout folder includes dozens of sub-folders. Each sub-folder contains a layout.sss file and may contain a layout.htm file.
File: layout.sss
All Layouts must have a Layout Script named layout.sss. This is a Stylesheet script that defines the CSS statements required by the Layout. During the Make Site and Make Styles processes, the script statements in layout.sss are executed to create the layout stylesheets which Second Site writes to the Output (-o) folder.
File: layout.htm
Most Layouts use the same layout.htm file, the one in the Layouts folder. If a Layout requires a more specific version of layout.htm, the file may be placed in the sub-folder, as shown in the "2 Col Chart Side Con BE" folder entry in the diagram above.

Formats Folder

  • c:\Program Files\Second Site
    • Scripts
      • Formats
        • Bullets.xsl
        • Bullets.xml
        • Narrative.xsl
        • Narrative.xml
        • . . .

Second Site requires a Formats folder in the Scripts folder. The Second Site install program creates the folder and copies a set of files to it. Examples of those files are described in this section.

Users should not modify any files in or beneath the c:\Program Files\Second Site path. Users may create custom Formats by defining an alternate Formats folder in the User Data Folder (UDF). (See the User Data Folder section.)

Format Files

Files: Bullets.xsl, Narrative.xsl
Formats determine the structure of the person page entries via XML Stylesheet Templates, often called "XSLT" or "XSL scripts" by technologists. Second Site supports multiple Formats, but only two are shown here for simplity. Any file with a .xsl filetype is an XSL script file.
File: Bullets.xml, Narrative.xml
Formats determine the structure of the person page entries and may add words and phrases to the output page. To allow internationalization, any words and phrases that are not defined in the Strings section of the main Second Site user interface may be added to an .xml file with the same name as the Format's .xsl file. In this example, Narrative.xml is the data file for Narrative.xsl, for example.

See the Custom Formats page for more information about the Format folder and its contents.

Themes Folder

  • c:\Program Files\Second Site
    • Themes
      • arrows.png
      • ...
      • Simple Blue
        • theme.sss

Second Site requires a Themes folder in the program folder. The Second Site install program creates the folder and copies a set of files and folders to it. Examples of those files are described in this section.

Each Theme must include a Theme.sss stylesheet script. Themes may include additional graphic files if necessary.

Users should not modify any files in or beneath the c:\Program Files\Second Site path. Users may create custom Themes by defining an alternate Themes folder in the User Data Folder (UDF). (See the User Data Folder section.)

File: arrows.png
Files stored directly in the Themes folder are considered global Theme files and are part of every Theme defined therein. The diagram above includes a single file (arrows.png) as an example, but the actual Themes folder under the Second Site program folder contains many files including graphic files and JavaScript files. Those files are omitted from the diagram to reduce clutter, and strictly speaking, none of them (including arrows.png) are required for Second Site to function. Charts and other features in Second Site would not produce the expected output without them: the associated subsystems write HTML that references these files. For any file directly in the Themes folder, a substitute may be provided within a Theme folder or in the Input folder (-i) for a site.

Theme Folders and Files

Folder: Simple Blue
Each Theme requires a folder. The folder name determines the Theme name. Theme names are listed in the Styles.Theme property pull-down menu. Second Site will not function properly without the Simple Blue Theme: new SDF files are assigned the Simple Blue Theme and the stylesheet script is executed when the new SDF file is opened for the first time. Given the files shown in the diagram, the pull-down menu would contain a single Theme option, "Simple Blue". Second Site includes many Theme options.
File: theme.sss
All Themes must have a Theme Script named theme.sss. This is a Stylesheet script that defines certain CSS properties required by Second Site. The script is executed:
  1. When Second Site opens an SDF file, to add the Stylesheets > Theme section and the parameters therein to the Second Site user interface.
  2. When the user changes the Theme, to update the Stylesheets > Theme section.
  3. When the user chooses either the Make Site or Make Styles command, to create the site.css file which Second Site writes to the Output (-o) folder.

The theme.sss scripts in Second Site are relatively simple. Most of the complex CSS properties have been defined in the system.sss script which references values defined in the theme.sss file.

A Custom Theme

  • c:\Program Files\Second Site\
    • Themes
      • arrows.png
      • aviicon.gif
      • docicon.gif
  • c:\UDF\
    • Themes
      • My Theme
        • arrows.png
        • theme.sss
    • mysite.sdf
    • mysite-i
      • livingn.gif
    • mysite-o
      • index.htm
      • arrows.png
      • site.css
      • aviicon.gif
      • docicon.gif
      • livingn.gif
      • ...

The diagram on the left shows the result of making a site using the folders shown which includes the custom Theme described above. In a real installation, there would be more files in most of the folders.

In this example, the user has chosen a custom Theme, and the Theme folder is c:\UDF\Themes\MyTheme. The custom Theme folder contains a graphic file (arrows.png) and Second Site copies that file to the Output folder. The theme.sss file is a script that creates a CSS file, and Second Site executes that script (and others) to create site.css in the Output folder.

Even when a custom Theme is used, Second Site copies files from the program folder's version of the Themes folder to the Output folder. Second Site skips arrows.png because custom versions were supplied via the custom Theme folder, but Second Site does copy the aviicon.gif and docicon.gif files.

Second Site copies the Input folder contents to the Output folder, so livingn.gif appears in the Output folder.

Defaults Folder

The Defaults folder contains a set of files that determine the initial contents of new SDF files, content that varies based on the intended output language and other considerations. Those files are called "defaults files" or the "Default Values" facility.

When you create a new SDF file, you must choose a "defaults file". Second Site uses this file to establish the initial values for the properties that define a site. Second Site includes multiple defaults files. One of those files will be appropriate for most users. The primary purpose of this facility is to allow international users to select values that have been translated to the appropriate language.

The folder also contains files that translate tag labels, a capability implemented prior to the TMG facility which supercedes it for most uses.

Users should not modify any files in or beneath the c:\Program Files\Second Site path. Users may create custom versions of the files in the Defaults folder by defining an alternate Defaults folder in the User Data Folder (UDF). (See the User Data Folder section.)

On This Page