Mklesson Template File Format Information

The mklesson program uses an auxillary file called `template' to generate tutorials. Many changes to the format of the resulting tutorial can be made by merely changing this file (instead of modifying the program mklesson itself).

File 'template' is in turn a series of `chunks'. Each chunk starts with the following format:

===== NAME =====

The 5 equal signs before and after name, and the spaces, are required; the equal signs must begin the line.

Each chunk is used to generate the files. Here is a rough sketch of how mklesson generates each file from the contents of file "template":

A section, file sLESSON-SECTION.html is:
 TEMPLATE-CHUNK section.head
 LESSON-FILE section text
 if (there's a question)
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK section.question.head
  LESSON-FILE question text
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK section.question.tail
  LESSON-FILE question choices
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK section.no_question
 end if
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK section.tail

A response file sLESSON-SECTIONrRESPONSE.html is:
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.head
  if correct-response then
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.correct.head
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.incorrect.head
  end if
  if reponse-defined then
    LESSON-FILE response text
  elsif not reponse-defined and this-is-correct-answer then
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.correct.default
  else (not reponse-defined and not this-is-correct-answer)
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.incorrect.default
  end if
  if this-is-correct-answer then
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.correct.tail
  else (not this-is-correct-answer)
    TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.incorrect.tail
  end if
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK response.tail

The outline file lessonLESSON.html is:
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK outline.head
  generate a list of each section, linked to the sections.
  TEMPLATE-CHUNK outline.tail

The chunks have a set of macro variables like this: [AUTHOR_NAME]. Each macro variable begins with `[', ends with `]', and has upper-case letters inside possibly separated by underscores. Case matters, and it must be an underscore, not a dash (-). These macro variables are replaced with real values when the program runs. Eventually the list of all possible macro variables should be documented here, but for the moment, look at the existing template file and the program 'mklesson', subroutine `substitute_and_append'.

As an example, [AUTHOR_NAME] is replaced with the (text) name of the author.

The default template requires graphics files up.gif (pointer up), previous.gif (pointer left), next.gif (pointer right), and tinyhome.gif (an image representing the tutorial home page) to be in the same directory as the generated tutorial files.

More information about mklesson is available in the mklesson user guide.

David A. Wheeler (