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CGI Programming on the World Wide Web

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5.4 Including Boilerplates

There are times when you will have certain information that you repeat in numerous documents on the server, like your signature, or a thank-you note. In cases like this, it's efficient to have that information stored in a file, and insert that file into your various HTML documents with the SSI include command. Suppose you have a signature file like the following stored in address.html:

<HR>
<ADDRESS>
<PRE>
Shishir Gundavaram              WWW Software, Inc.
White Street                    90 Sherman Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02115     Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140
shishir@bu.edu
The address information was last modified Friday, 22-Dec-95 12:43:00 EST.
</PRE>
</ADDRESS>

You can include the contents of this file in any other HTML document with the following command:

  <!--#include file="address.html"-->

This will include address.html located in the current directory into another document. You can also use the virtual parameter with the include command to insert a file from a directory relative to the server root:

<!--#include virtual="/public/address.html"-->

For our final example, let's include a boilerplate file that contains embedded SSI directives. Here is the address file (address.shtml) with an embedded echo command (note the .shtml extension):

<HR>
<ADDRESS>
<PRE>
Shishir Gundavaram              WWW Software, Inc.
White Street                    90 Sherman Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02115     Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140
shishir@bu.edu
The address information was last modified on  <!--#echo var="LAST_MODIFIED"-->.
</PRE>
</ADDRESS>

When you include this address file into an HTML document, it will contain your signature along with the date the file was last modified.


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