Creativyst(R) Glossary
Frequently Asked Questions.

How do I get Creativyst(R) Glossary
for my web or intranet site?

How many terms can glossary hold?

There is no real limit theoretically. How many you can hold depends mainly on your system and how many resources your hosting service allows. On my host (this is a guess, since I've never tested it) it's probably around 7-10 thousand definitions per each of the 26 letters, and another 7-10 thousand for the # category, or about a quarter million overall.

Can I use fancy fonts and other special
formatting in the text of my definitions?

Yes. - Creativyst(R) Glossary is fully CUF™ compliant. CUF™ codes are simple tags that allow your non-technical glossarists to format their definition text exactly as they want. It can be a simple as just typing text into the form field or more complicated if desired. For example to place the bolded phrase this is bold in a definition field, glossarists type "[b]this is bold[/b]" when typing the words into the definition field. CUF tags go from very simple (type your text) to very advanced capabilities. Somewhere, closer to the simple side, there are tags for [font], and [size], just to name a couple.

Can I include images and tables
in the text of my definitions?

Yes. - As mentioned above, Creativyst(R) Glossary is a CUF™ compliant application. With more advanced CUF tags, your glossarists will be able to include tables, images, images that link to other glossary definitions, and images that link to outside resources. There's much more.

Can I include links to other glossary
terms within my definitions?

Yes. - As stated, by using special formatting codes called CUF™ codes in Creativyst(R) Glossary, your glossarists can add many advanced features and resources to the text of their definitions. In the case of links to other terms within your glossary, glossarists simply use a [glossary] tag. The term "SQL" for example can be embedded into the text of a different definition by including it like this: "the term [glossary=SQL] is related to this term..."

How about links to outside web sites and

Yes. - Creativyst(R) Glossary's support for CUF™ formatting codes allows glossarists to include URL links to outside resources in their definitions.

Can I embed links INTO my glossary
from the text of documents on my site?

Yes. We can (for example) include a link for the term glossary here in this page.

There is also example JavaSript code included in the distribution that will allow page visitors to highlight a word anywhere in the page, and hit the 'g' key (for glossary) to display the glossary entry for that term. To see this feature in action go to our Accessibility question here in this FAQ.

You may also include a search field for glossary terms within your site's pages.

Can I make Glossary's displays look
just like the rest of my site?

Yes. - Creativyst(R) Glossary's displays are based on template files. You can use a page from your site as a template file, formatting it exactly as you would any other page on your site. You simple tell the glossary script where to put the various parts of the definitions within your page. This is done with special HTML comments, which will be replaced with the various fields for the display of the term and its content. We include SSIText template fields so you can even make your SSI based site work right.

Do I have to set up my glossary in
HTML frames like the glossary at
Creativyst's web site?

No. - We set up our glossary in HTML frames to show that it can be done in frames if you'd like. It is just as easy to set it up as a single non-frame page with a variety of options. For instance, you can have your page display all the words in a given letter along with their definitions. You can also set up your non-frame page to list all the words in the letter, but to only display one word's definition text at a time.

We have a Non-frame example page to display our normal glossary database. This also demonstrates how a single database of terms can be presented in a variety of different ways by specifying different templates.

I want the links in my glossary to increase
my google hits ... will this software help
me with that?

I don't know for sure. A lot of creativyst.com's page-views/hits are in the glossary, but whether it produces Google "rank" really depends on if a bunch of other web-sites decide to link to it. As for traffic, at least part of that can be explained in the nature of a good glossary. Other glossary terms within a given definition are links back into the glossary itself for pages that display definitions of those terms.

We currently keep our list of terms
and definitions in an Excel spreadsheet.
Can we load these into Creativyst Glossary
without having to re-type them?

Yes. - Creativyst(R) Glossary will import CSV files containing its terms and their definitions. Excel lets you save your spread-sheet as CSV which you can then import in one felled swoop, into Creativyst(R) Glossary.

Can we download the list of terms and
definitions from Creativyst Glossary so that
we can work with them in Excel?

Yes. - Not only does Glossary IMPORT CSV files from your Microsoft(tm) Excel program, it also EXPORTS CSV files so you can work on them in Creativyst(R) Glossary, and then get them back into your Excel spreadsheet.

Will Glossary accept words that have
letters with diacritical marks?

Yes. - Creativyst® Glossary will faithfully display characters with diacritical marks. For sorting purposes, Creativyst(R) Glossary will map letters with diacritical marks into the 26 base letters in the western alphabet. Important: Creativyst(R) Glossary uses the international standard 8859-01 for letters with diacritical marks. Microsoft uses a nonstandard range of character-codes to represent letters with diacritical marks, so you may have to make some adjustments if you are moving your glossary over from a Windows(tm) environment.

What if a term a user is looking for isn't
in our site's glossary database?

two things can happen - Both are optional of course.

  1. The term the user was searching for may be logged -
    This will allow you to see what terms you might want to add to improve your glossary for your users.

  2. The term may be looked up in an alternate dictionary -
    It doesn't have to be Creativyst® Glossary. Well, if you want to check more than one, then all but the last one you try has to be from Creativyst.

There is one caveat: If you run your glossary in frames (like we do here at Creativyst), REST purists may consider you non-compliant. This is because the term and definition in the frame you've set aside for it will be coming from a site other than yours (though this will be apparent to the viewer).

We can make a convincing argument that such a set up is still REST because:

  1. The BACK button will still work as it should, and
  2. all the surrounding functionality will continue to work properly.
These are two good arguments that even with chaining, a framed version will continue to be REST compliant.

In any case, if you set your entire glossary up in non-frames pages, this point is moot.

Is Creativyst® Glossary accessible?

Not nearly as accessible as I would like. But it's always improving in this area. Here's what we do provide.
  • Can be frames or non-frames - so you can set up your site as you wish.

  • Our licensing permits both - our licensing is based on the number of distinct term databases at a distinct site, so if you'd like, you can produce two different presentations of the same database.

  • Using the <noframes> tag is easy - because Glossary will automatically fill both the framed and non-framed sections with the same or different term information and indexing information.

  • We also provide example JavaScript functions for accessibility that you can use right out of the box. - So your site pages can allow viewers to:

    • hit the letter 'g' on their keyboard to invoke the glossary (try it!), or
    • highlight a term and then hit the letter 'g' (or click on a link) to invoke the glossary for the highlighted term (you can try this by highlighting DTMF and hitting the 'g' key now).

    This particular functionality was requested by a very good guy and added to our Glossary distribution. We know there's much more we can do though, and rely on suggestions from people like you. If you have a suggestion to make any of our software more accessible, please let me know.

    By the way, this will work with any key you choose (in case you'd prefer 'd' for dictionary for example). Also, though it has been scrunched up here to improve page-load times, the distribution includes fully commented and formatted JavaScript code so you can modify it how you'd like. The licensing allows you to use it at the same server where your purchased Creativyst® Glossary database resides and is used.

    You may also have noticed that we provided a very simple non-frames layout example when you press the 'g' key with no term highlighted. This demonstrates just one of many different ways you might choose to format a non-frame glossary display.

    Note to I.E. users: It seems like every add-on, tool-bar, and plug-in for I.E. these days comes with its own pop-up blocker that may block this example. Some examples of I.E. add-ons with pop-up blockers include tool-bars like Google, Spyware like Alexa, even Netscape's dial-up service has one. Lastly, I.E. itself could have settings for pop-ups. Be sure you shut off all such blockers for this site. Don't worry, we don't display those anoying pop-over and pop-under ads here.

Will Glossary work with Unicode languages?

No. - Not at this time. Sorry.

Will this work on my site that is
constructed using Server Side
Includes (SSI)?

Yes. One of the template fields provided by Creativyst(R) Glossary is <!--~:SSIText ... -->. If your site is constructed using Server Side includes, you can use this template field to include SSI text components directly in your glossary display pages, just as you would use the <!--#include virtual --> tag in your static pages.

Can I run this over my office LAN
without connecting it to the Internet?

Yes. - When you have an intranet web-server running on your office LAN and a free application called Perl is installed. On most platforms, Perl is included as a matter of course. On Windows servers, you will have to download Perl (it's free) and install it.

Is source code included?

No, not really. - Well, it is, but it's been scrunched up into a tight little wad to improve run-time performance. More importantly, the licensing terms don't permit you to make modifications to the source code beyond configuration, so it is effectively closed source.

Is this software PC compatible?

Yes, but there are two parts to the answer that can be instructive to explore:

1. Compatible data formats? Yes.: It will read lists of terms and their definitions from Office Excel, so you can maintain a list using Excel if you'd like. It will also output Excel files so you can maintain your glossary online and also import it into MS-Office.

2. Can it be run on Windows? Yes: Creativyst(R) Glossary is a platform-independent application that runs on a web. In this case, that means it will run on any platform that has Perl installed.

Caveat: Windows(tm) is one of the few O.S.'s in existence that doesn't come with Perl pre-installed. You will have to install Perl yourself to make Windows run this, or any platform-independent application. That's not really a problem, Perl for Windows is a free download on the Web.


This article is © Copyright, Creativyst, Inc. 2005 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Links to this article are always welcome.

However, you may not copy, modify, or distribute this work or any part of it without first obtaining express written permission from Creativyst, Inc. Production and distribution of derivative products, such as displaying this content along with directly related content in a common browser view are expressly forbidden!

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© Copyright 2005, Creativyst, Inc.

Written by: Dominic John Repici