Re: headers at head of page is a problem

1997-03-10 12:38:00
 Linkname: Comparison of email archive format options

for what I would like to see in a message-page layout and why.

As I understand it, where the documentation describes the message
page format as

  Message page resource layout

        Converted message header  <<< This is generated HTML that
                      -- can't be relocated, suppressed, or redesigned
        Converted message body

This is a major inconvenience, as I understand it, for blind users
accessing the Internet through a text-to-speech converter.

Am I correct in my interpretation of the programmability and 
non-programmability [outside of hacking the MHonArc Perl itself]
of this page layout?

Sort of.  The layout shows how the resources are outputed for
each page.  With the exceptions of the message header and body
(but see later in this message), those resource can be defined
anyway you like.  For example, I can change the TOPLINKS resource
to look like the BOTLINKS resource.  Or, I can change the
default meaning of the resource so it really outputs something
else entirely.  If you look at the documentation, the resources
are just defined by HTML markup and resource variables.  Many
of the resource variables can be used within any resource.

As for the message header, there are resources for controlling
the style of the header.  You can exclude fields and style fields
with your own HTML markup.  For example, here are resources that
cause message headers to be formatted with a table:

    <td align="right" valign="top">
    <td align="left">

Is there anyone operating an installation which leads off with
(author, title, date) [only] before the body?

Yes.  The solution varies on your formating needs.

Solution 1:


    You may want to leave "subject" out if you keep the main
    subject heading.

Solution 2:

    This solution completely excludes the message header and
    we make our own:

    <excs override>

    From: $FROM$<br>
    Title: $SUBJECTNA$<br>
    Date: $DATE$<br>

The above should give you some idea on what you can do.

One limitation of MHonArc is that you cannot change the relative
order of the resources/message-data in the output.  MHonArc expects
a specific order so it can edit archived messages when needed w/o
using a bunch of logic, and performance degradation (special comment
declarations are used to mark off the different sections of a message).
Therefore, you cannot have the body come before the message header.
The best you can do is suppress the header (via EXCS) and create a
bogus header via the resource variables available (see Solution 2
above for a possibility, but use MSGFOOT).

If you want to control how message data gets formatted, you will
have to create your own content-type filters (or edit existing ones).
See the MIMEFILTERS resource for more information.


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