Introducing XWeb

XWeb -- what is it?

The idea behind XWeb

Welcome to XWeb, a program that helps you creating and managing your website.

When using XWeb the content, the structure and the layout of your website will be separated, which means that the pages you write don't have any information on how they should look or how they fit into your site. Both kinds of information will be stored in separate files and will be added when compiling your site.

The advantages of this approach are many, e.g. you can focus on your content without thinking about the look or change the whole look without touching the content. Whenever you add or remove pages you just change the information in the structure (one line per page) and the next time you compile the site the whole navigation gets updated. And all of your content can be used elsewhere, e.g. you can just mail a single page without the navigation and layout to someone.

How it is done

XWeb is a Java program making use of web technologies like XML, XSLT, CSS and SVG to create websites suited for upload into any webspace, there is no need to run a special server or other programs once the site was created. XWeb can use any XML input, the most simple version is using XHTML but you can mix in your own XML formats or whatever XML you have.

This is achieved by some kind of compilation process which turns the XML input into normal HTML pages and maybe additional images for buttons, banners etc. Once this is done the pages can be displayed in any common browser using any common webserver.

This manual

To read more about XWeb just click through this site. The site is seperated into different sections, each with a number of pages, if you start with XWeb you probably should read them in order. The topics of each section are:

The Basics
Starting with this page you will get all information on installing and running XWeb and you will know how to write a makefile for your website for usage with the generic stylesheet supplied by XWeb
Using CSS
CSS is a technique to tell the browser to render parts of a page in specific way. This can be used to change the look of your site, after you have read this section you should be able to create a site looking quite similar to this manual.
The generic stylesheet of XWeb offers a number of parameters to change the structure of the generated output. The position and style of the navigation can be changed and a header and/or footer can be added.
Using XWeb you can render images in two different ways: using a simple renderer supplied by XWeb or using SVG, an XML-based format for defining graphics. Both ways will be discussed here.
Advanced XWeb
Wait, there's more! For many websites the generic stylesheet will be flexible enough. But you can do even more by writing your own XSLT code. This last full section will give you some information on how to do this.
This is some kind of appendix where you find a list of the CSS classes and stylesheet parameters used. For people writing XSLT themself some reusable XPath and XSLT fragments are enlisted.

Sometimes links will be given as crossreferences to other pages in this manual or to sites on the web. The two kinds of links are distinguished by color: internal links like a link to the next page are orange, external links like a link to the XWeb site (which always open a new window) are in red.