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Build modules for use in MyFOCUS


MyFOCUS Modules.

1. Module definition
2. Module content
3. Allowable content

4. Module limitations
5. Module design
6. Module testing
7. Module advertising

MyFOCUS is a product whereby the visitor can choose to configure their internet browsing experience however they choose. This can be from choosing colours, choosing content and even the position of the content on the screen. MyFOCUS provides many useful content items as standard and can also collect content from other content providers. This article explains the details of how to get your content appearing in MyFOCUS.

1. Module definition
A module or "portlet" is a distinct piece of information that the visitor can choose to view. In our case, the module is the content unit that is plugged into our system. Our visitors can choose wether to add/remove/hide the content whenever they choose. The management of the module is handled by FOCUSPortals.

2. Module Content
FOCUSPortals do not limit what content to show in the modules. Obviously, content must be suitable for web use, such as HTML, Images, Audio or Video, Flash etc. Content that is not safe for family viewing will not be advertised within the network, though you are welcome to advertise that content for use on MyFOCUS from within your own site. We do not restrict what content is shown in the portal. We do restrict what is advertised from within the portal. The module content will be hosted on your own server and we will collect automatically when the content is requested.

Example modules could be: Company news, Company share price, BLOG (Web log entries), links to articles on your website, diary events, hot forum topics, your store front etc. The potential is limitless.

3. Allowable Content
Approved content
  - In order for your content to be advertised in our module list to our visitors, the content must be suitable for family viewing. Content must not be pure advertising but offer something of interest to our visitors. (You may include a link back to your website.) All applications received will be reviewed for suitability. Content must not be changed from what has been approved to what has not been approved. For example. If you have news content, then you cannot change it to share prices. In order to do so, you must submit the new content for approval. FOCUSPortals reserves judgement on allowable content and no correspondence will be entered into.
Unapproved content - Because of the potential size of the content base, we cannot allow all content for approval. Some content may be specialist, other content may be less desirable. Our system will allow you to advertise your content for use within MyFOCUS from your own website. The content design will be exactly the same wether approved or unapproved.

4. Module limitations
The modules will have certain criteria to fulfill.
1. Javascript within the modules must not be allowed to interfere with FOCUSPortals or other modules. (See subnote for more information.) Malicious javascript can result in the withdrawal of javascript functionality from the portal.
2. Cascading style sheets (CSS) must not interfere with the CSS of the portal or other modules. (See subnote for more information.)

3. The header and footer parts of the HTML doc will not be acceptable. For example, HTML, HEAD, TITLE, BODY tags. These must be removed from your content.
4. All tables must be structured correctly, closed properly etc. Use 100% to fill the available space.
5. MyFOCUS must be in charge of the module colours UNLESS there is an exceptional reason not to.
6. The maximum dimension inside the module is 236 wide. Height is not an issue.
7. Links to external sites need to have a target tag to open up a new browser window.
8. https (secure http) modules delivered through FOCUSPortals is not secure, so anything secured will then be open when delivered.
9. External Stylesheets, Javascript files, Images and links will need to be fully qualified in order to be collected. An example of a fully qualified link is

Subnote: In order to avoid conflicting javascript or cascading style sheets, it is suggested that any functions or styles be pre-pended with your domain name, for example, function setnum() would be function mydomain_setnum(). This should ensure that your function names/class names are unique. You may also reference external javascript files or CSS files but the address must be a fully qualified address.

5. Module design
In order to understand the module design, you will need to register on MyFOCUS. This will allow you to test your module on our system.

Now, to create one...

Create a new file in notepad. Call it "test.htm"

Inside the notepad file, type...

Hello World.

Save the file and load it onto your webserver. You can then open your browser and browse to that file. When you see the file, copy the address and add it to the end of (It will look something like...

You now have your very own hello world module.

Re-open test.htm in notepad...

Change hello world to...

<b>Hello</b> <font color=red>world</font>

Save and repeat the above instructions.

Re-open, add an image. test.htm now looks like...

<b>Hello</b> <font color=red>world</font><br>
<img src= width=236>

(change the address to a real address on your webserver. Remember, it needs to be a full address.)

Save, re-upload and re-test.

Now, for the script programmers...

ASP is used in this example, though any scripting language can be used as long as your server can host it. This example will write hello world, gradually getting bigger.

Create a new file. Call it test.asp. (Note, this will only work if your server supports ASP. Other languages will do just as well)


for FSize = 1 to 6
    response.write "<font size=" & FSize & "><b>Hello</b> <font color=red>world</font></font><br>"


Javascript version...

<script language=javascript>
    var FSize;

    for (FSize= 1;FSize<6; FSize++)
        document.write('<font size=' + FSize + '><b>Hello</b> <font color=red>world</font></font><br>');

(beware of wrapping in the script lines)
And there you have it. A few examples of hello world that will work as a module.

Feel free to test using MyFOCUS.

If using CSS or Javascript, please check the note at the end of Section 4 above with regards to style class names and function names. This is to keep your CSS and Javascript from interfering with other modules and other modules from interfering with yours.

Class names that are not unique enough will not be allowed on the network. (FOCUSPortals will be checking and may remove the CSS or the module altogethor). We have to have some control of the rest of the site, so it is obviously in your interest.

You may already have content on your site that is immediately suitable. For example, many script driven sites use "include" files that present just a part of a page. If that "include" delivers HTML directly, then try adding the full address to your include file to the link at the start of this section (or see Module testing below). If your include file however contains a function or relies on other include files, then a management script will need to be configured to deliver the raw html.

6. Module testing
When you have created your module, you need to put it onto your website and know the full address to the module. Create another web page and put a link on it, such as Add this module to MyFOCUS. Make the link equal to...<full_path_to_your_module> taking care to replace your spaces with %20, question marks to %3f and ampersands to %26.

Once you have the link in place, click it and you should then find your module appears within your MyFOCUS. This will not affect anyone elses MyFOCUS so you can test your module safely.

7. Module advertising
Once you have tested your module, you may then let the world know about it. We suggest putting a link to the module near to where the content appears on your own site, for example, if you have created a news module and you have news on your site, then a link to Add this news to MyFOCUS. If you have created many modules to be viewed on MyFOCUS then why not create a MyFOCUS Links page with all your modules. The actual link will need to be like the link in Module Testing (above).

Final note:
RevilloC Developments Ltd. and reserve the right to withdraw the external module collection facility, to remove individual modules from our system or ban certain modules from appearing on MyFOCUS at any time. We display the modules but will not accept any responsibility for the content of external modules.

Webmasters: You may copy this article to display on your website as long as the article remains intact. Article date: 14th Feb 2004.

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