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DESCRIPT File Guidelines for VM Download Library

The basic idea of a DESCRIPT file is that it's a little fragment of HTML describing your package. The DESCRIPT file is your opportunity to supply release notes, a general description of your package, and other things you think visitors might like to know about your package before downloading it.

It's important to point out that your DESCRIPT file is not supposed to be an entire HTML page. Your DESCRIPT file is to contain the HTML for just the page body. Our CGI script that displays your DESCRIPT file wraps your markup in page headers, footers, and other HTML tags to give it the "look and feel" we want for our site. Note: if your DESCRIPT file appears to contain no HTML at all, then we'll present it to browsers as a flat file.

It's difficult to anticipate what a submitter might think is important about his package, so it's difficult to write a "skeleton" for a DESCRIPT file. However, the following points come to mind:

  • To start a new paragraph, use <p>.

  • To make an unordered list, write your markup like this:
    <ul>
    <li>item_text
    <li>item_text
    </ul>

  • To make an ordered list, use <ol> and </ol> for the list beginning and list end. The list item tag remains <li>.

  • To make a place where a visitor can click to send you mail, use a mailto, like this:

    <a href="mailto:your_e-mail_address">your_name</a>

Here's a complete example of a DESCRIPT file for a hypothetical package.

==== Top of File ====
<p>
From <a href="mailto:you@yourcompany.com">Your Name</a>:
 
<p>
This package lets you count widgets.  It contains a
widget-counting EXEC and a Pipelines filter to
postprocess the widget count log files.  A help file
is included, too.
 
<p>
You could adapt this package to count other kinds of
things if you know how to write in Rexx.
==== End of File ====

Good luck, and happy writing!