Re: [htdig] Including Pull-Down Menu Pages


Subject: Re: [htdig] Including Pull-Down Menu Pages
From: Douglas Kline (kline@head-cfa.harvard.edu)
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 17:09:17 PDT


Thank you for your response to my e-mail.

> At 5:25 PM -0400 9/1/00, Douglas Kline wrote:
> >Is there some way to get the so-accessed files to be indexed? We are runnin
g
> >ht-Dig version 3.1.1. TIA.
>
> First off, if you're at all concerned about stability or security, I
> suggest upgrading to 3.1.5 ASAP.
> <http://www.htdig.org/RELEASE.html>
> <http://www.htdig.org/where.html>

Pursuant to your suggestion, we have installed v. 3.1.5. The only reference to
an improvement in security of this version over v, 3.1.1 in the Release Notes
to which you give Web page reference is:

Fixed a nasty security hole in htsearch, which would allow users to view any
file on your site that had read permission.

I would like to ask whether this security hole applies to all installations of
ht-Dig v. 3.1.1 and, if not, how one can determine if it applies to a
particular installation. It isn't clear to me how a user could use htsearch to
view files which aren't Web pages which are indexed by the search engine's
database. This is of concern because there are other installations of ht-Dig
v.3.1.1 at this institution and we need to evaluate their security.

Are there other improvements in security in v. 3.1.5 over v. 3.1.1?

Also, I would like to ask how the later version improves stability.

> >in a Web page which the search engine reaches (the top-level, actually). Th
is
> >line allows a pull-down menu of hyper-links with the contents of the file
> >menu.html which you can then select. Pulling down the menu does not
> >change the Web page; pulling it down and selecting a link does.
>
> I'm assuming that you're doing this through either a form or
> JavaScript. In either case, AFAIK no search engine can follow the
> links. There is no way for the search engine to know that a
> particular form is for navigation or for something else (i.e. you
> won't want it indexing a shopping cart!).

The menu bar which this brings up is an advantageous way of offerring links to
other pages. You can view the choices in the menu bar some of which are links
and some of which are pull-down menus and you can pull down the menus and view
their lists of links without invoking a hyper-link and changing to a different
Web page. Thus you save the time of loading a new page and the time of going
back if you want to do that and you preserve your display of the page with the
menu bar until and unless you select one of the links from the menu bar or its
pull-down menus. Simple hyperlinks wouldn't do as well. They take up much
more space and to get a menu, you'd have to switch to the page with the menu
through a hyper-link and then, if you want to get to a page listed on the menu,
switch again through another hyperlink. I don't know if the kind of menu bar
we're using, called by a line like

<!--#include virtual="menu.html"-->

is how shopping carts work.

> If you'd like to point a spider towards particular URLs, I suggest
> using the <LINK> tag in your header. (This could be an SSI include if
> you want). See <http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/> for more details--it's a
> standard HTML tag.

We have tried the <LINK> tags and they work. We used them in the page which
includes the call to the menu bar to reference the pages called by the menu bar
and the search engine now finds them. However I could find no mention of these
<LINK> tags in the Web page http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/ you cite. Is there
another reference or did I miss a link or something?

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
Douglas Kline

========
Douglas Kline
kline@head-cfa.harvard.edu

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