Before You Begin


Welcome to the Interchange Catalog Building Tutorial. Interchange originally started as an electronic cart and database display system, but over time it developed into a general application server. Interchange is written in Perl programming language, and it gives you the full power of Perl in Interchange pages. While being familiar with Perl (or programming languages in general) is definitely an advantage, you do not have to be a programmer to use Interchange. Interchange offers elegant and convenient, HTML-like, ITL (Interchange Tag Language) tags to access its features.

The simple Interchange catalog you will create during this tutorial should give you a feel of the basic Interchange system. The catalog should also be considered a stepping stone to a more complete and functional Interchange-enabled website. We will rely on default settings as much as possible, to accentuate ideas instead of implementation. We will use a small number of Interchange features and still create a usable website (an on-line store in our example). The resulting site will be simple but usable. The value of this tutorial is in the explanations of the general Interchange ideas and small ready to use examples to get you up to speed.

To make the most out of this tutorial, we recommend that you create the files used in this tutorial yourself, instead of copy-pasting the examples.

Writing a complete tutorial without the feedback from the audience is hard. Please jot down your notes and remarks as you digest this tutorial and e-mail authors with your comments.

Interchange Installation

For installation instructions, see Interchange Guides: Installation.

Test Server Hostname

We recommend that you always use your full system name (such as myhost.mydomain.local) instead of localhost. The HTTP State Management Mechanism (RFC 2109) specifies that cookies can only be set when the domain name contains at least two dots. Interchange does work even with client cookies disabled, but your session will be dropped every time you leave the catalog, since the session ID (which Interchange then embeds in the URL) will be lost.

If your system does not have a suitable name, and you're not going to bother yourself with establishing one, there's the /etc/hosts file you can tune for the desired effect. Simply modify:       localhost

to become       localhost myhost.mydomain.local mydomain.local

and you'll be able to use myhost.mydomain.local as your server name.

Interchange Daemon and Catalogs

To control the Interchange daemon, use the init.d script supplied with the RPM and DEB packages. For example, to start Interchange, run /etc/init.d/interchange start or /etc/rc.d/init.d/interchange start. To stop or restart Interchange, simply use stop or restart as arguments.

For more detailed information, see Q: .

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