The object of this set of facilities is to allow statements that trigger further actions to be put into served documents. The same results could be achieved by CGI scripts—either shell scripts or specially written C programs—but server-side includes often do what is wanted with a lot less effort. The range of possible actions is immense, so we will just give basic illustrations of each command in a number of text files in ... /htdocs.
The Config file for this site (... /site.ssi) is as follows:
User webuser Group webgroup ServerName www.butterthlies.com DocumentRoot /usr/www/site.ssi/htdocs ScriptAlias /cgi-bin /usr/www/cgi-bin AddHandler server-parsed shtml Options +Includes
The key lines are indicated in bold print.
shtml is the normal extension for HTML scripts with server-side includes in them, and is found as the extension to the relevant files in ... /htdocs. We could just as well use brian or #dog_run as long as it appears the same there, in the file with the relevant command, and in the configuration file. Using html can be useful—for instance, you can easily implement site-wide headers and footers—but it does mean that every HTML page gets parsed by the SSI engine. On busy systems, this could reduce performance.
Bear in mind that HTML generated by a CGI script does not get put through the SSI processor, so it's no good including the markup listed in this chapter in a CGI script.
Options Includes turns on processing of SSIs. As ...