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 Document Overview   [Table of Contents]  2. Publishing DynaText Books Using DynaWeb

DynaWeb Publishers Guide

[-] 1. Introduction to DynaWeb Publishing

1. Introduction to DynaWeb Publishing

Introduction to DynaWeb

DynaWeb is a server-side plugin designed to work with a commercial-grade World Wide Web server, such as the DynaWeb Internet Server, Netscape's Enterprise or FastTrack servers, or Microsoft's Internet Information Server (MS IIS). DynaWeb translates DynaText books into HTML on the fly, allowing Web servers to serve them out to commercial web browsers such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. The DynaText books served through DynaWeb are created using the DynaText publishing process and tools. You do not need to change your existing process of creating DynaText books to take advantage of DynaWeb's capabilities.

In addition to running as a server module behind Netscape, Microsoft, and the DynaWeb Internet Server, DynaWeb also runs as a CGI script, allowing it to work with any server that supports CGI.

What Does the DynaWeb Server Module Do?

The DynaWeb Server Module lets you send many forms of data, including text and graphics formats such as GIF, JPEG, and DVI files.

It should be noted, however, that web browsers differ in their capacity to handle different data formats. For example, if you use a graphics format in your books that web browsers do not support, you will need to translate your graphics into a format browsers understand. A more detailed look at the servers and browsers that DynaWeb supports can be found in the section entitiled "Server and Browser Compatibility."

Figure 1-1: Overview of the DynaWeb Server Module


The DynaWeb Server Module allows your existing DynaText libraries to be served without re-authoring your books. Dynamically generated collection views and book views are created from a central location, allowing library-wide changes to be made with a single edit. DynaWeb can also recognize what browser is being used to access books. For each request, DynaWeb can change the presentation of your books depending on the capabilities of the client.

Publishing Existing DynaText Collections

General Information

You must accomplish two tasks to publish an existing DynaText collection on the Web with DynaWeb. The first task is to create a conversion stylesheet for your books that translates your existing DynaText styles into their HTML equivalent. You will need to create one stylesheet for each DTD you use in your collections. If all of your books share the same styles, you will only need to create one new stylesheet (named dynaweb.wv). If you have books or collections that use different styles, you will need to make a dynaweb.wv stylesheet for each of them.

The second task is to add your collections to the appropriate configuration file. How to add your DynaText collections to DynaWeb is explained in Chapter 4, "Managing DynaWeb Collections."

DynaText Web Publishing Process


The DynaText Web Publishing Process allows you to take your source word processing documents and translate them into DynaText books and collections. These DynaText collections and books are served out by a web server and are displayed as HTML.

This section presents an overview of the process to create DynaText collections that can be served out through DynaWeb.

Why Do I Need DynaWeb Collections?

DynaWeb serves up DynaText books by converting them into HTML. The advantages of distributing books using DynaWeb collections are:

Creating DynaText Collections

You will require a set of publishing tools to convert your source documents into DynaText books and collections. DynaWeb does not include these tools. Please contact an Inso representative to discuss the available DynaText publishing tools. The following sections present a high-level overview of the major tools available to turn source documents into DynaText books.

Tools for Creating DynaText Collections

Converting your source documents into a format suitable for DynaWeb consists of three steps:

If your source is already in SGML, you will need to create DynaText books with indexes using mkbook and create the necessary stylesheets. If your source is in a word processing format, you need to use DynaTag to convert it to SGML and index it.

SGML Document Source

The tools needed to generate DynaText collections from an SGML source are listed below. Following each item is the title of the documentation that contains in-depth information on how to use each program.

Word Processing Document Source


DynaTag can extract graphics and maintain hypertext links that already exist in the source documents. It creates an index, a table of contents, and a set of stylesheets based on the styles used in the source documents.

Further information: DynaTag Users Guide

How Does DynaWeb Serve DynaText Books?


In its simplest form, a web server receives a request for a DynaText book and tells DynaWeb to find it. Once DynaWeb finds the correct information, it is served with the appropriate HTML styles.

Recognizing DynaText Books

DynaWeb recognizes requests by identifying a "service selector" included in the URL.

Tagging the Document

Typically, DynaWeb uses a stylesheet (called dynaweb.wv) to map the SGML styles used in the requested document to equivalent HTML tags.

For more information on the dynaweb.wv stylesheet, see Chapter 2, "Publishing DynaText Books using DynaWeb."

Controlling the Layout of the Response

DynaWeb constructs HTML documents on-the-fly in response to the requests it receives from the server. Using templates in DynaWeb's configuration files, the plugin creates flexible, reusable HTML documents from the content of the available collections and books.

For more information on configuration files, templates, and scripts, see Chapter 3, "Overview of DynaWeb Configuration Files."

Server and Browser Compatibility

DynaWeb 4.1 supports Netscape and Microsoft Internet Information Server web servers, using the NSAPI (Netscape Abstract Programming Interface) and MSAPI (Microsoft Abstract Programming Interface) to allow greater interaction with the server. DynaWeb can also run as a CGI script on UNIX platforms, allowing CGI-enabled servers to serve DynaText books. DynaWeb uses an interface called the Plugin Abstraction Layer (PAL) to automatically determine which server API (if any) it is running under and to configure itself to use the correct syntax when talking to that server.

The 4.1 version of DynaWeb also supports and ships with the DynaWeb Internet Server.

Server Compatibility



Peer Web Services



Sparc Solaris




x86 Solaris






Windows 95


Windows NT Workstation





Windows NT Server





Browser Compatibility

DynaWeb is optimized to be compatible with the following browsers:

Other web browsers may have varying levels of success handling the HTML produced by DynaWeb. DynaWeb requires a browser that supports JavaScript for optimal performance. DynaWeb is fully configured to provide both frames-compatible and non-frames compatible views. The following section details browser issues that publishers need to be aware of.


Certain features of DynaWeb require a JavaScript-enabled browser. Searching, expanding/collapsing the table of contents, and highlighting the currently displayed section in the table of contents frame do not function properly unless JavaScript is turned on in the browser.

One alternative for non-JavaScript-enabled browsers is to use DynaWeb's non-frames mode. JavaScript is not required for this mode. An explanation of how to configure DynaWeb to default into non-frames mode can be found in Chapter 5, "Modifying the DynaWeb Interface".


Setting user preferences in DynaWeb through the Preferences Dialog requires the use of a browser which supports cookies. Browsers which do not support cookies will still be able to access the Preferences Dialog, but will not be able to apply the settings to their session.

Configuring DynaWeb to Specific Needs

DynaWeb uses configuration files, identifiable by the extension .dwc, to control its behavior and interface and that of the DynaText books it serves. Configuration files are used to control the addition and removal of DynaText collections from your website. They also control the presentation and functionality of the plugin.

The configuration files are located in the data/config directory below your plugin's installation directory. They are text files that can be modified with any text editor.

See Chapter 3, "Overview of DynaWeb Configuration Files" for more information on configuration files.

Note: When modifying any configuration file, be sure to always maintain a backup copy of the unmodified original.

 Document Overview   [Table of Contents]  2. Publishing DynaText Books Using DynaWeb