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Understanding the FrontPage Include page process

Webmasters know that the FrontPage editor hides included HTML source.  When you view the “code” tab within the FrontPage editor, FrontPage “hides” the included HTML and only shows you the webbot call.  However, the code that you are actually editing has the included matter inside it, you just can't see it.

FrontPage errors when saving

It is very common to get FrontPage errors when changing a page that is included in many other pages:

  • FrontPage sent a message that the server could not parse” error
  • There is no web server found at error

These errors are very common when you change an HTML snippet that is included in thousands of other web pages.  When you save a file that is included in other files, FrontPage attempts to perform these steps:

0 – Uses the FP internal metadata to generate a list of pages to re-generate

1 - Removes the old include file contents from each page

2 - Hardcodes the new include file content into the affected file, writing the newly-rendered HTML back into the outbound server directory.

BTW - This is a very unique way to process includes and I've never seen another software application or coding language handle includes in this matter.

Sadly, FrontPage will not handle changing of included content on large web sites with thousands of include pages.    The problem is the size of the site and Microsoft FrontPage’s limitation to stay connected that long while parsing through thousands of pages.   

Re-publishing - An Alternative to re-generating include content

When you publish the site, FrontPage takes the include file and inserts it into every page during the publishing process so the HTML outbound version on the server actually has the include files contents hardcoded into it. 

Reinstalling the FrontPage extensions also re-checks all included content.  What the FrontPage reinstall actually does is cycling through every single page, comparing what's in the rendered HTML file with the actual “current” contents of the include file.  If they are different, FrontPage will regenerate the pre-rendered HTML.  This can be very time consuming and resource intensive on the webserver.

Your system administrator can also bypass the FrontPage GUI and manually re-generate include content from the Linux/UNIX command prompt, using the FrontPage command interface, fpsrvadm:

1.) Remove the FrontPage extensions

cd /home/xxx/xxx-www
rm .htaccess
rm -rf _*

2.) Reinstall the FrontPage extensions:

cd /usr/local/frontpage/currentversion/bin

./fpsrvadm.exe -o install -t apache-fp -s /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf -m -u $linuxowner -pw $password -p 80 -xUser $linixowner -xGroup xxxgrp




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