Meta: Websites Template

OpenPKG Meta provides the uniform page canvas template for all OpenPKG websites. The canvas template provides both a uniform visual representation and the various generated elements (navigation tabs on the top, navigation bar or bread crumbs on the top and right hand side, navigation cross-references and walk-through paths on the right hand side, etc). It is also flexible enough to provide both 1-pane or 2-pane layouts and a fixed or variable width content area. Finally, it plays some DHTML tricks with CSS and JavaScript to provide unobtrusive but noticable semi-transparent effects.

Canvas Template Requesting

The uniform page canvas template is available under the URL It provides the following major URL QUERY_STRING options:

Canvas Template Content

The resulting content is a HTML page containing three markers:

Canvas Template External References

The generated HTML page references various additional data (JavaScript, CSS, graphics, etc) from via the local URL prefix /meta/.. This is important as some browsers do not allow referenced content to be loaded externally (e.g. Internet Explorer doesn't allow to load JavaScript from an external URL).

Hence to use content on a website the URL has to be transparently proxied to This is usually achieved by using Apache/mod_proxy and the following two configuration directives in apache.conf:

ProxyPass        /meta/
ProxyPassReverse /meta/

Canvas Template Consumer Frontend

For convenience reasons, there exists a consumer PHP frontend script meta.php which can be used on the consumer website via PHP to easily use the central canvas template transparently. For this, download and save the script into the consumer's website document root. Then configure the Apache 1.3 webserver to process *.php files with PHP 4.1. Then you can create consumer pages which use meta.php. See sample.php for a sample consumer page.