[thelist] Re: HTML tables and Content Management Systems

Brooking, John John.Brooking at sappi.com
Mon Feb 7 09:19:58 CST 2005

Bruce Gilbert said:
> I have several pages where I would like to be able to change 
> content on one place and have the changes cascade down to several 
> other pages. The content will probably be in tabular data in the 
> body of the page

Andy Budd said:
> The best solution to me seems to give editors the ability to 
> create table "object". You'd specify the number of rows, cols and 
> headings and it would create a new table or text file that you 
> could populate with data. You could even do this automatically 
> via a CSV output. Then you'd give the editors some mechanism of 
> inserting these objects into the page, possibly via some kind of 
> custom tag.
> The requirement for editors to insert tables into their pages 
> seems like a pretty common one so I wonder how other people have 
> dealt with this and if anybody has managed to come up with an 
> elegant solution.

Bruce, Andy,

   I have created a Perl-based solution to address just this situation
in a generic, reusable way. I call it Shoestring CMS[1]. It allows the
webmaster to define tables as CSV files, and re-use them on one or more
pages via templates. Filtering, sorting, and categorizing are all
supported. Authorized users may edit the table data through HTML forms.
Pages may be rendered dynamically, reading from the data file on each
request, or statically, where the dependent pages are refreshed only
when the data is changed. It also supports text file editing through
HTML forms, and re-usable non-editable templates, useful for footers and
so on.
   It is targeted to small sites running on ISP's, so it has a very
small footprint and may be installed by ordinary FTP without need of
shell access or admin privs. And, it's free (almost). See the site[1] to
learn more and see what the "almost" means. I'm glad to answer questions
and provide support off-list, through the contact form on the site.
[1] http://www.shoestringcms.com/

- John

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