Server Side Includes
BCN's web server software (Apache) supports SSIs; which allow you to add
dynamic and workgroup features to web pages
(Apache's SSI documentation).
For example, SSIs can show
when a page was last updated or provide common page headers or footers.
The SSIs are special HTML comment tags in your source file; when Apache sends
a page to a web browser, it replaces the comment tags with the desired results.
But SSIs have some limitations:
SSIs are then optimal if all the site content owners are editting the files
directly on BCN. If you plan to edit the files at home and upload them
later, SSIs are a problem.
- Client-side applications don't see SSIs. Many HTML editors will
grab a copy of a page when you type in a URL. The server sends the files
with the SSI tags replaced and you loose the advantage of using the SSI.
For example, a hit counter SSI will be replaced the current hit count -
after the updated page is uploaded back to BCN, the page counter will
- Even if you do remember to copy the page with FTP, the SSIs will
not be displayed correctly when viewed as file:// URLs.
- A site owner with only DIPP access on BCN can't get a copy of the file
with the SSIs intact.
- SSIs are not part of the HTML (or any other) standard. Although other
web server packages support SSIs, they are not interoperable with Apache.
On BCN, the default configuration is that SSI tags are only processed if the
file has a .shtml suffix. If you have telnet/SSH access to BCN, you can
force individual .htm(l) files or and entire site to be parsed for SSIs as follows:
To force a file called whatever.html to be parsed for SSIs, type the
following commend at the shell:
chmod u+x whatever.html
This approach takes advantage of the fact the the execute bits are not used on
One problem with this approach is that the execute bit may be cleared
when a file is uploaded.
To force all the .html files on a particular site to be parsed for SSIs,
create a file called
.htaccess in the site's directory. The file
AddType text/html .html
AddHandler server-parsed .html
You can also specify .htm suffix instead of or in addition to .html
AddType text/html .html .htm
AddHandler server-parsed .html .htm