1. Telling the applet where the index is
On most IMINT.COM applets, this is done using the menufile parameter.
However iTree Pro/Pro-X applets are multi-tab applets which simultaneously
run multiple indices. They therefore have a different system of registering
index files with the applet.
<PARAM NAME="tabsourceX" VALUE="menu.txt">
<PARAM NAME="tabsourcetypeX" VALUE="1">
The X must be exchanged for a zero-based integer
reference to the tab display into which the index is to be loaded. For the
possible values of the tabsourcetype parameter, please refer to the
The file specified by the tabsource parameter can have different extensions, and can be dynamic. For example,
you can point it to a CGI script or servlet. However
there is one condition: the index file must be in the same directory
as the applet or in a sub-directory of the applet's directory.
iTree Pro/Pro-X applet can also read indices from parameters.
2. Line wrapping
iTree applets will automatically wrap long entries
over as many lines as needed. If you want to force
a line-break at a particular point, you can do this
by inserting a " § " (space - paragraph symbol - space)
into the entry text (e.g. "TEXT:A broken § line").
3. iTree-specific variations on the XIXL index format
Note that some iTree menus do not have stylesheets. Therefore numbers
in the index file's stylesheet entries may be ignored. However the
stylesheet entry cannot be omitted.
4. Writing advanced index files
More information here.
5. Streaming indices
"Streaming indices" describes the ability of an applet to interact
with the server to download and display selected parts of a huge
server-side database of information in a bandwidth and user-friendly
manner. As an applet functions client-side, any menu it displays must
be transferred from server to client, which means, just as with video
and audio, that special techniques must be adopted with very large
masses of information to ensure that the user's experience remains
While indices can be streamed from static server sources (i.e. simple
text files) or even parameters, on high-end projects a designer will
typically access a database using a server script written in their
own preferred language. The server script will return a dynamic XIXL-format
text stream selected from the database to the applet. In the course of
its operation, embedded triggers in the initial index or user-submissions from
a form may cause the applet to call back to the script for a new or
altered index or index-segment.
- The DRILL command.
"TEXT:my entry" "1" "0" "DRILL:newIndex.txt,0" "[comment]"
The DRILL command is followed by a colon (or 'equals'-sign), then the name
of the new server index source, then a comma, and then an integer referencing the
tab into which the index should be loaded. The effect of the DRILL command is to
dump the current index in that tab and load a new one. It is also possible
to use a syntax such as:
"TEXT:my entry" "1" "0" "DRILL:index.pl?v=01234,0" "[comment]"
If the server source returns an incorrect format or an error, the applet
will abort the operation and try to retain the current index. If using dynamic
sources, check they really work before attaching them to the applet. Ensure that
your server-script correctly adds line-breaks after each entry.
If the new index exceeds the maximum menu capacity you have specified, the
operation will also fail.
- The ADD command.
Available on iTree Pro-X only. Syntax:
"TEXT:my entry" "1" "0" "ADD:newIndexSegment.txt" "[comment]"
This adds the menu segment contained in newIndexSegment.txt to
the menu at the point where the ADD command occurs. The new segment is
hierarchically adjusted to appear as a submenu to the entry containing
the ADD command. Dynamic sources can be used. The applet will keep a track
of additions, and if these accumulate to a point where the maximum menu capacity you have specified
is exceeded, the applet will prune (remove) all older additions to conserve
memory and maximize performance within your specified criteria.
iTree Pro Multi-Function Menu
In the iTree Pro Multi-Function Menu, the DRILL command can do more than this: it can also dynamically load
images and texts into tab panels as well as menus.
If you want to load a new image into a tab panel, write:
A limitation: you cannot change the functions of tabs; i.e. if a tab
has been set up to display tree menus, it can only display tree menus,
not images or button menus. To display images, you must originally
set up the tab for image display only (see the special documentation
for the iTree Pro Multi-Function Menu.
Loading an index from parameters
The advantage of loading an index from parameters is that the
applet starts faster (but your page loads slower). The pros
and cons of external indices and parameter indices are complex,
and some people prefer one or the other. With the commercial
versions of all our applets, you have the choice.
A parameter index uses a special parameter
called "entry". This parameter can be used up to about 100
times (5 to 10 thousand times in the Pro versions), each time with an integer tagged on to its name. So
you can start at "entry0" for the first entry, "entry1" for the
second entry, and so on.
<PARAM NAME="entry0" VALUE="....">
<PARAM NAME="entry1" VALUE="....">
<PARAM NAME="entry2" VALUE="....">
<PARAM NAME="entry3" VALUE="....">
<PARAM NAME="entry4" VALUE="....">
<PARAM NAME="entry5" VALUE="....">
The format of the entry parameter's
value is much the same as the format of a single line in the
index file (described earlier), with one difference: instead
of separating the individual elements with inverted commas, they
must be separated with the vertical line symbol |.
"TEXT:my entry" "1" "" "LINK:myPage.html,myFrame" "description of my page"
VALUE="TEXT:my_entry|1|0|LINK:myPage.html,myFrame|description of my page">
NB: if you forget to add a dummy stylesheet marker and leave the
stylesheet entry (3rd entry) blank, your links will stop working.
Enter 0 as the stylesheet marker unless you are deliberately referencing to
If you don't feel like converting your index to this format manually,
note that the indexing tool (java application)
has an option for automatic conversion. Load in your external index file,
select the option for saving in parameter format from the "file" menu, and it
will save the necessary tags to a separate file for you to copy and
paste into your HTML. The new iTree Pro Drag-and-Drop Tree can also freely
convert between the formats for you.
iTree Pro has a more complex naming convention for external indices as it
manages multiple indices - see the more advanced documentation.
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