Updated: 000114
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Frame-Based Mini-Glossary Maker for Teachers

Format Rules, Sample Data, Limitations


This form allows you to submit a text file and have my Perl program turn it into a functional mini-glossary like the specimens (with frames) on my glossaries main page.


First: Prepare your glossary material in the correct format (!!!) and type or paste it into the box below. Then hit "submit," and (God willing) it will be turned into a file containing: Because the file contains all three pages as a single file, it will not function at the time it is returned to you, since only the top frame will be displayed and no links will be activated. (If the truth be known, it will look like a total mess.)

Then: You should then save the output as an HTML FILE onto your own hard disk (even though it contains three html files). (Alternatively, you can cut it from the "show source" view of your browser and paste it into a word processor such as Notebook. Caution: If you use the "save as text file" feature of your browser you will probably destroy needed code.)

You will need to edit it into three separate files at the internal cut lines. You will notice cut lines across the text file at the places where it is to be divided. (The cut lines themselves should also be deleted after division.) If you use a "dumb" word processor like Notebook, this is easy. If you use a sophisticated one like Word, it will try to open this as an HTML file and it will be much extremely difficult to separate the three parts.

  1. The top part of the output is the top frame file. This is by far the longest of the three and is where all the data are stored and the action goes on. You may give it any name (ending in .html), but whatever you call it, the name you select must be entered into the main frame file at the two locations marked XXX.
  2. The very last few lines (clearly labelled) are the glossary bottom frame file. The bottom frame file is always the same and can be shared among different glossaries if they are in the same directory. (Which means that you can just delete this part if you already have one from a previous glossary.) If you name it anything other than "glossframerbottom.html" be sure to make that change in the main frame file.
  3. The part in between is the main framer file. It should be saved under the name you want users to use to reach it (with the suffix .html) Don't forget to edit it to reference the names of the top and bottom frames. Put all three files in the same place or provide adequate paths to them.

Finally: Be sure to proof your finished glossary and to try all features of it.

My program does not keep a copy of your input or of the output it creates, so if you do not save it, it is gone.

Form to Submit Data:

Absolutely Compulsory Format Rules:

  1. Glossary items must be separated by two percent signs. A carriage return doesn't cut it.
  2. The first item will be used as the onscreen title of the glossary and as the content for the title bar.
  3. The second item will be used as the text that appears when the "credits" button is clicked.
  4. Additional lines must have the format: Term-for-Definition | definition. (The divider is a "pipe" symbol; the "pipe" is located above the backslash \ symbol on most computer keyboards.) Spaces adjacent to the %% or | dividers are ignored.
  5. All multiple spaces and all carriage returns are converted to single spaces.

Sample Data

The following (blue) text passages are both correctly formatted. (Remember that the distribution of carriage returns is irrelevant.) As an experiment, I suggest that you "cut and paste" one of these examples into the text box, edit the result as instructed above, and try uploading it to your own web site to see how it works on your server. If all works well, feel free to use this page to generate frame-based mini-glossaries any time you need one.

Sample Data Set #1 (neatly formatted)

Words Beginning With 'Virg' (Mostly)
This list of words is arbitrary and capricious and not from any reputable source.
Vergil | See Virgil.
Vergilomastix | "Scourge of Virgil," a name given to anyone who would dare to criticize Virgil.
virga | Thin "stripes" of rain that evaporate before reaching the ground.
virgate | English measure of land area, usually (!) equivalent to about 30 acres or so.
Virgil | Roman writer, a.k.a. Publius Vergilius Maro (17-19 B.C.). The spelling Virgil is a Medieval revisionist attempt to link the word to <i>virga</i>, or "branch," for reasons which one needs to be Medieval to appreciate properly. Today occasionally spelled Vergil, which is of course closer to the way he himself spelled his name.
virgin | Person who has never had sexual intercourse.
virginal | Musical instrument, similar to a very small harpsichord.
Virginia | An American state; a woman's name.
Virgo | A constellation near Leo and Libra. Also a sign of the zodiac; people of my sign are warned to beware of such people.

Sample Data Set #2 (with allowable messiness in formatting)

Demo Glossary of Friends' Names (With Accent Marks)
Any relation to persons living and/or dead is purely coincidental. Well, maybe not purely…
Carlos | an old guy who likes chess more than is good for a person.%% Gloria|Carlos' longsuffering girl friend, who crochets while he plays chess and claims to have made the largest afghan in human history.%%

Eldad Q. Finkelstein|a friend who markets "Finkelstein's Kosher Cigars" on the Internet and hopes to be a fish in his next incarnation.%%
Hieranymus | a guy who likes to cook, especially with garlic.%% Geoffrey (or maybe Jeffrey) | Hieronymus' buddy, who likes to
eat what Hi cooks and usually smells of garlic.
Simeón César Martín Úrtos|a guy whose parents were into accent marks. He never really recovered from that and often complains of seeing spots before his eyes.%% Har8ry | a guy with a silent 8 in his name. %% #76   |one of the younger kids of the old woman who lived in a shoe.%% "No See-um" Rose|    (= "Who Me?!" Rose) a whiney woman who's also always late; she probably actually WILL be a fish in her next incarnation.%%

Features, Bugs, & Limitations

  1. Terms to be defined may include accent marks, punctuation marks, or whatever. But since the JavaScript rules for variable names are limiting, anything other than an undecorated letter will be converted to "zz" for the behind-the-scenes clockwork. This means that if two terms vary only by an accent marked letter ("cát" vs "cét," for example, or "tà" vs "tá") or only by a punctuation mark ("cute!" vs "cute?"), they will produce the same variable names, which will need to be corrected by hand in the finished HTML page. (And HTML conventions make it desirable anyway to use such codes as "&Eacute;" for "É.")
  2. Since the output will be on a standard HTML page in a frame, normal HTML special character and formatting codes may be included (<I>, <P>, &c). If you include unicode or other special codeset characters (Korean, for example), be sure to modify the output page to identify the codeset to enable their display.
  3. The revision date at the top of the generated page will not display correctly when the page is returned to you from my CGI script. However it will be right after you have edited the pages and mounted them. The reason for this seems to have something to do with gremlins.
  4. The output uses a yellow background behind the words to be defined but a new color for each definition in the lower frame. This can be changed by hand in the HTML code of the upper frame if you wish. The constant color changes are admittedly frivolous, but they are intended to provide an extra visual clue that the lower box is ready for reading.
  5. I take no responsiblity if this program screws up your life in some unforeseen way. I was just trying to be helpful.

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