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VTML Tag Definitions Version 2.03 - 1999-04-22
Tips and Techniques


The VTML language, used to write define Visual Tag Editors and WIZML, used in the processing of both Tag Editors and Wizards, were still new and under development when HomeSite 3.0 and ColdFusion 3.0 came out. With the release of HomeSite 4.0 and ColdFusion Studion 4.0 the VTML acquired some new features, WIZML new functions, and it became possible to define your own Wizards. In the latest versions of HomeSite and ColdFusion Studio, VTML 2 is now also used to support Tag Insight and the new Tag Inspector.

Still, the documentation that comes with HomeSite and ColdFusion for these languages continues to look like it's written for people within Allaire who already know how to use the language: it's rather terse. And for someone who isn't familiar with ColdFusion it doesn't really help to refer to that product when talking about WIZML or functions - especially not when you realize that for instance some functions available in WIZML are implemented totally differently from those with the same name as implemented in ColdFusion!

Only extensive trial and error revealed the differences between the WIZML functions and the ColdFusion functions as documented in the documentation for ColdFusion which can be downloaded from the Macromedia site outside link .

I've created a set of documentation files which not only corrects errors in the original documentation but at the same time is trying to fill in the gaps: together these files represent the current extent of my knowledge about VTML 2 and WIZML 2. This set includes a complete reference for syntax and usage of all functions currently available in WIZML: nothing like this is available with older versions of HomeSite and ColdFusion Studio but this documentation is now included with the 4.01 maintenance release!
To allow the documentation to be used in combination with HomeSite 3.01 or ColdFusion 3.11, all extensions for VTML 2 and WIZML 2 are clearly marked.

These documentation files are included with the set of VTML tag definitions and will be installed along with the VTML Tag Definitions/Editors. This set of VTML tag definitions has also been completely updated and expanded to support all new features in VTML 2; they link to these same documentation files from their TAGDESCRIPTION section.

Much of my experience in writing these and the HTML Tag Editors and Definitions is now documented on the Tips and Techniques pages; revision dates are always indicated on these pages and the download page.  to menu


VTML Tag Definitions

That's right: Tag Definitions for VTML, not just tag definitions written in VTML (they all are).

Most (or all?) of the original set of VTML Tag Editors published with HomeSite and ColdFusion Studio 3.0 were contributed by Wil Genovese and Kevin Davis; the set included with HomeSite and ColdFusion Studio 4.0 was updated only to include information for Tag Insight and Tag Inspector and they are now written in the new "XML-compliant" syntax. But their TAGLAYOUT sections still do not actually write this syntax - and the set was not expanded: none of the new tags were supported, even some of the tags already in VTML 1 were still not supported in version 4.0.

I've completely redesigned and rewritten all VTML tag definitions, and added many new ones as well, including definitions for all of the new VTML 2 tags. All VTML tags that can have attributes are supported. There are even Tag Editors for WIZLOOP, WIZIF and WIZELSEIF with a simple condition builder to help you (re)create syntactically correct and fairly complex conditions for these WIZML statements.

In fact, this set is more complete than any included with HomeSite or ColdFusion Studio prior to the 4.01 maintenance release. It's also more complete than anyone else offers. And they are also much more powerful: No one else has generators or condition builders; no one else has Tag Definitions for Wizard Tags - except of course the 4.01 maintenance release which includes these same Tag Definitions!

And when used with HomeSite 4.0 or ColdFusion Studio 4.0 this set features full support for Large Fonts in the layout of the the editors themselves. Used with any version they also have in a unique facility to automatically calculate the correct LFWIDTH and LFHEIGHT values.

If you write or update Tag Definitions or Wizards, you'll soon find you cannot do without these Tag Definitions!

All of these tag editors link to my own, also completely revised and extended VTML documentation. The installation program will install this documentation along with the VTML Tag Definitions.

Most VTML Tag Definitions are simple enough to use, but I've created a page with descriptions anyway: some Tag Definitions do need some explanation about how they work. The page can be read on-line here (so you'll have an idea what these editors will do for you) but the page is also included with the Tag Definitions themselves: it will be included it in your Help tree by the installation program. There is also a version history page here for the VTML Tag Definitions.  to menu



There are several files available for download; which one you should choose depends on which program (HS or CFS) and which version you have. All include the HTML Tag Definitions / Editors as well.

The download page has short descriptions of these files. A new installation program will let you choose to install the VTML set or the HTML set or both; files that might be overwritten will be backed up automatically. No more lengthy installation instructions!

Any revisions of the downloadable material are always clearly indicated - so check back regularly!  to menu


Tips and Techniques

Documenting a language is one thing. How to use it in practice and get the most from it is quite something else. The Tips and Techniques page is intended to document tips and techniques for VTML. Soon: Tips for Tag Inspector!

I have started these pages with my own discoveries and insights, but if you have anything to add, please let me know through the e-mail link on that page: All useful contributions will be added to the page, with proper reference to the contributor, of course! All new additions and updates will be clearly marked; come back often to see if there are new tips!  to menu