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Welcome to Rocket 0.2

A Framework for Creating XML-Based Web Sites.

tarting as a small project in my column in Web Techniques, the Rocket XML framework is taking a life of its own. Sporting multiple style-sheet selection, document validation, improved browser detection, and more, Rocket now allows your users to select their own interface on the fly. (Because this site is running a Beta version of version 0.2, you can test this feature right now by clicking on “Change Themes” in the navigation bar.)

Also, Rocket is easy to install and integrates seamlessly with your existing HTML Web. In short, Rocket is much improved! Here’s a rundown of the new features:

User-Selectable Themes. Rocket includes four predefined themes that alter the look and feel of your site. This means your users can choose which interface they wish to use on a per-session basis. This feature is also extensible: You can add your own themes by simply creating new style sheets with your favorite look and feel.

Easier Navigation Maintenance. Because the original version of rocket started as a project in my Beyond HTML column in Web Techniques, it lacked features that would make it easy to maintain. The most glaring was that navigation was maintained in individual style sheets making it difficult to add, modify and delete entries in the navigation bar. Now, however, Webmasters can update the entire navigation system from a single, easy-to-edit file.

Installable in Any Directory: In version 0.1, Rocket had to be installed in the root directory of the Web server. Now, Rocket can be installed anywhere off the root. By default, Rocket is installed in wwwroot/rocket. However, you can install it in any directory by setting a single configuration variable. This means Rocket can co-exist with your existing HTML Web.

More Robust Browser Support. Rocket uses XSL style sheets to tailor HTML that is sent back to the user. Now Rocket includes support for Internet Explorer 3, 4, and 5, as well as Navigator 3 and 4. Other browsers are supported by a generic style sheet. Of course, you can add support for your favorite browser by simply customizing an existing style sheet.