The Purpose of Meta-HTML
HTML is a
Meta-HTML is an
A quick example for the impatient is in order. The text:
You are connected to ``metahtml.sourceforge.net'' and reading text written by Brian J. Fox.
is produced in Meta-HTML by:
<b>You are connected to ``<get-var ENV::SERVER_NAME>'' and reading text written by <get-var the-author>.</b>
As the WWW grows, more and more document providers are realizing that stateless connections are only useful for retrieving documents full of static information, and that, at times, it can be very useful to remember state pertaining to the browser that is connecting.
The problem of keeping state for a particular browser user has been resolved by various individuals; all of the solutions require information to be passed back and forth between the browser and the server. For example, to play a WWW Blackjack game could involve the passing back and forth of information including the current wins/losses of the user, which cards have been dealt from the deck so far, and so forth. This information is most often passed to and fro in the form of a "magic" URL. The problems with passing information in this way are two-fold:
Another mechanism can be taken advantage of when both the server and browser being used support HTTP Cookies. While this solves the problem of "ugly" URLs, (this mechanism does not place information in the URL) it generates a new problem: the user must be in possession of a compliant browser, and be communicating with a compliant server. In addition, the information can be changed by the user before sending it back.
Meta-HTML solves the problem of keeping state for a particular session, and it does it in a server and browser independent manner. Our method requires no additional CGI programs to be written. You can read about the technical details in the Session Operators section of this manual.
The META-HTML Reference Manual V2.0 Copyright © 1995, 1998, Brian J. Fox
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