Associate Engine : Revisions History : v5.12.17  
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v5.12.17 (December 17, 2005)

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Upgrade instructions

IMPORTANT: The following are upgrade instructions. For first-time installation instructions, see Installation instructions instead. If you are still using v2.12.28 (or less), upgrade to v3.06.27 then to v5.12.17.

  1. Download the Associate Engine .zip distribution file and unzip it into a temporary directory on your computer, such as into c:\ae

  2. Upload ae.pl to your webserver's cgi-bin directory (or to whatever directory you normally put script in). Note: If necessary, edit the first line so it indicates where Perl is on your server; default is #!/usr/local/bin/perl Note: Be sure to upload in ASCII mode and set the file permissions (i.e.: CHMOD 755 which is rwxr-xr-x).

  3. Optional: Edit the ae.ini configuration file. See the comments there for an explanation of each variable. Then upload ae.ini to the same directory where ae.pl is located.

NOTE: If you find that ae.pl stops working after an upgrade (either you see "500 Internal Server Error" or nothing shows up because you're using <script> or SSI tags), then the first thing to always do is re-upload ae.pl in ASCII mode and then re-enable the execute permissions (CHMOD). This is the most common upgrade problem. See solutions.



Revisions

Associate Engine v5.12.17 is the formal release of v5.12.15-beta. This release contains revisions, fixes and improvements since v4.05.31. We strongly recommend that you upgrade to this version.

Below is the revision history up to this release.


v5.12.15-beta:

  1. IMPROVEMENT: store.include.sidebar.* added. The templates have been revised to make it easer to include a common block of HTML before/after the sidebar. Similar to the other store.include.* configuration variables, the following new configuration variables have been added:


v5.11.22-beta:

  1. FIX: Works with more Toys browse nodes. More browse browse nodes in the Toys section are now recognized. Such as browse node 171471 (Barbie toys). When accessing an unrecognized node, the user is redirected to that browse node at the Amazon website (with your associate ID).

  2. FIX: Works with browse nodes that have \ in their title. Previously, when viewing a browse node that had a \ (backslash) character in its title at Amazon, a fatal "500 Internal Server Error" would be reported. This bug has been fixed. The \ characters are converted to / (forward-slash) characters.

  3. IMPROVEMENT: Leading / added to store.img.url. A leading / character is automatically added to the store.img.url configuration variable if missing. A leading / is required since this variable specifies a relative URL path.


v5.11.01-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: "Buy from amazon" buttons can go to Amazon without adding to cart. The new configuration variable addto.addcart specifies whether the "Buy from Amazon" buttons will:


  2. FIX: "Buy from Amazon.com" buttons not used for amazon.co.uk. If the locale is amazon.co.uk, the addto.graphics configuration variable is automatically set to no. Thus, if the locale is amazon.co.uk, the "Buy from amazon.com" graphical buttons are not used, and instead the "Buy from amazon.co.uk" text buttons are used.


v5.09.20-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Limit blended search via blendedmode parameter. The new parameter blendedmode allows you to specify which modes are included or excluded from a blended search (type=browse&mode=blended). For example, to limit a blended search to just DVD's and VHS videos, add blendedmode=dvd,vhs to the URL. You can specify multiple modes; separate each by a comma. If you want all modes except certain modes, then preceed the list by a minus sign (-). For example, to search all modes except for DVD's and VHS videos, add blendedmode=-dvd,vhs to the URL. See list of modes. Note: The special value "-" (just a minus sign followed by no modes) means use all modes (i.e.: everything subtract nothing is everything).

  2. NEW FEATURE: Limit blended search via blendedmode configuration variable. Similar to the blendedmode parameter to limit blended search to certain modes (see point 1 above), the new configuration variable blendedmode allows you to specify a default value for blendedmode. For example, to make blended search default to searching just DVD's and VHS videos, set the blendedmode configuration variable to "dvd,vhs". Use a minus sign (-) to exclude modes. If a blendedmode parameter is also specified, it takes override the setting of the blendedmode configuration variable. Note: If you have set the blendedmode configuration variable and want a particular search to for all modes, use the parameter blendedmode=- (i.e.: use the special value "-").


v5.09.05-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Limit "More Results" button. The new configuration variable prevnext.max allows you to specify the maximum number of results that the "More Results" button is to appear on. For example, if a search has over 1,000 results but you want the "More Results" button to stop at the 100th result (so no further results are visible), then set the configuration variable prevnext.max to 100. If prevnext.max is zero or undefined, the "More Results" button appears as long as more results are available.

  2. FIX: Fixed browsing of some browse nodes. Some browse nodes stopped working and would redirect to amazon.com (with your associates ID). Browsing of those browse nodes has been fixed.


v5.08.28-beta:

  1. FIX: Variable modifiers work for {mode}. Variable modifiers now work correctly for all values of {mode}, e.g.: {mode+}


v5.08.16-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: New script parameter: title. The page title can now be specified via the new script parameter title, for example: /cgi-bin/ae.pl?type=browse&mode=dvd&title=My+Favorite+DVD's   If title is not specified, Associate Engine picks a reasonable value for the title. The title appears in the template where you have {title} or where it is indirectly specified such as {cfg.store.pagetitle.text} (see store.pagetitle.text configuration variable).

  2. FIX: < and > in product descriptions. Product descriptions containing HTML would appear chopped at the first < character if the closing > was encoded as &gt; Previously, Amazon.com used to use the characters < and >; now they use &lt; and &gt;. The characters are now handled correctly whether they are & encoded or as is.


v5.08.02-beta:

  1. FIX: Spaces in virtual URL's as +. In virtual URL's, the space character is now represented as + instead of %20 (the ASCII encoding of a space). Some users were reporting that %20 in virtual URL's cause their server to report 500 Internal Server Error (this is a server problem; not Associate Engine).


v5.06.30-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: {includeVIA detail} added. You can now include an include file based any of the product's details, such as the author's / musician's name. For example, if you have a music CD website, you could create ae-include/norah-jones.html and then have Associate Engine automatically include it for all Norah Jones CD's by using <!--includeVIA artists--> in your details template. For example, this Come Away with Me CD webpage and this Feels Like Home CD webapge both use the same include file (the two sections "Norah Jones" and "Related Aritsts" are from the include file ae-include/norah-jones.html). Previously, an include could only be done based on the product's ASIN ({includeASIN}). Some useful product details to use in the includeVIA are:


  2. IMPROVEMENT: Spaces in SSI allowed. Server-Side-Include (SSI) statements may now contain spaces before the --> characters. For example, <!--#include virtual="/cgi-bin/ae.pl?ssi&....." --> with a space before the --> characters now works. Previously, the SSI would not be recognized.


v5.06.18-beta:

  1. FIX: Correct mode used to display bestsellers grid. Amazon.com recently changed their website (probably around Wednesday June 15, 2005) and this caused the incorrect mode to be used thus causing the bestsellers grid to not appear. This version works with the latest amazon.com website and the bestseller grid now appears again.


v5.06.05-beta:

  1. FIX: {includeASIN} works. The template substitution variable {includeASIN} now works properly to include a file based on the current product's ASIN. Type {includeASIN} into your details template where you want the include file to be included. The file included is cgi-bin/ae-include/ASIN.html where ASIN is the ASIN of the current product. For example, if the current product's ASIN is B0007VRRUI, then {includeASIN} would cause file cgi-bin/ae-include/B0007VRRUI.html to be included. The filename can also be in all lowercase, e.g.: cgi-bin/ae-include/b0007vrrui.html

  2. IMPROVEMENT: Include filenames can be uppercase or lowercase. When including a file using {includeASIN} or {include FILENAME}, the name of the file on the hard drive can be uppercase or lowercase. Previously, only lowercase would work. For example,  cgi-bin/ae-include/B0007VRRUI.html  or  cgi-bin/ae-include/b0007vrrui.html

  3. IMPROVEMENT: Configuration files can be named NAME-ini.txt or NAME-key.txt. Configuration files can now also be named  NAME-ini.txt  or  NAME-key.txt  such  ae-ini.txt  or  ae-key.txt. The .txt filename ending makes the file easier to edit.


v5.04.27-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Browse nodes can be renamed. The name of browse nodes can be renamed. By default, the name of a browse node is taken from the Amazon.com website. By defining browse.rename.NUMBER, you can rename browse node NUMBER. For example, to rename browse node 504358 (top selling books) to "Top Selling Books", you would use:

    browse.rename.504358 "Top Selling Books"

  2. IMPROVEMENT: Default search now says "Top Selling Books". If no search parameters are specified, the default search is "top selling books". On the results page, the search is now titled "Top Selling Books"; previously, it was titled "Formats" (this is the name that Amazon.com's website provides).


v5.04.21-beta:

  1. FIX: Correct URL when redir = yes. The correct URL now appears in links when the redir configuration variable is yes. Previously, the link would redirect to the amazon home page (with your amazon associate ID). Now, the link includes the product's ASIN and redirects to that product at the amazon website (with your amazon associate ID).


v5.03.31-beta:

  1. FIX: Correct URL in "Buy from" international links. The correct URL now appears in "Buy from" international links. Associate Engine v5.03.22-beta used an incorrect URL.


v5.03.22-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: "Buy from" international links do keyword search. If the "Buy from" international links are shown, the links now do a keyword search (based on the product's title) rather than doing an ASIN search. Note that one product's ASIN may not necessarily be the same on an international amazon website (e.g.: amazon.com and amazon.co.uk use the same ASIN's for only some of their products). A keyword search is more likely to show relevant results. To turn this new feature off, set the new configuration variable addto.buyfrom.keyword to no (default is yes).

    Note: To enable "Buy from" international links, set addto.buyfrom to yes and set amazonid.* to your international amazon associate ID's.

  2. NEW FEATURE: Related products in description are linked. When displaying product details for products from amazon.com, the product description may contain images of related products (see example). The images of those related products are now linked back to Associate Engine so that the user can click on them for product details. Previously, the images were not linked at all.

  3. NEW FEATURE: "Buy from" on UK installation works. The "Buy from" links are now supported on amazon.co.uk websites.

    Note: To enable "Buy from" international links, set addto.buyfrom to yes and set amazonid.* to your amazon.com ID and/or international amazon associate ID's.

  4. NEW FEATURE: cfg.locale.uk and cfg.local.us added. Read-only configuration variables cfg.locale.uk and cfg.local.us have been added. They allow formatting codes to determine which locale is being used. For example, <!--if cfg.local.uk--> this is a UK site! <endif>, or <!--if cfg.locale.us--> this is USA site <!--endif-->

  5. NEW FEATURE: {details.url.us} was added for amazon.com URL. On an international website, you can link to the current product on the amazon.com (USA) website via {details.url.us} such as: <A HREF="{details.url.us}">Buy from amazon.com</A>

  6. FIX: Grid cells now wrap. When grids were viewed using some browsers (e.g.: Firefox), grid cells would not wrap and would be extremely wide. Grid cells now wrap at the correct width. The HTML attribute nowrap was removed from the formatting codes: format.grid.cell, format.grid.cell.empty, format.grid.cell.under, and format.grid.cell.under.empty


v5.02.16-beta:

  1. FIX: Default search works with Virtual Directory. If a default search is defined (see search.default configuration variable), the "More Results" link now includes the parameters defined in that default search. Previously, the "More Results" would show page 2 of the built-in default search which is Bestselling Books rather than page 2 of the search defined in search.default.


v4.12.08-beta:

  1. IMPROVEMENT: "[no image]" text is now linked. If the "[no image]" text is shown (because a product has no image), the "[no image]" text is now linked just like a regular product image would be linked. Previously, the text was not linked.

  2. IMPROVEMENT (over v4.12.07-beta): "No image" graphic is now linked. If the "[no image]" graphic specified via the configuration variable image.none.url is shown, the graphic is now linked just like a regular product image would be linked. Previously, the graphic was not linked.


v4.12.07-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: "No image" graphic URL. If an item has no image, then "[no image]" text is shown instead (Note: For some amazon.com products, amazon.com supplies a blank graphic and in that case it appears that nothing shows up). If you want to show your own custom graphic to represent "no image" then set the new configuration variable image.none.url to the URL of your image, such as: http://www.domain.com/images/none.gif or /images/none.gif

  2. FIX: Apparel items with no image show "[no image]". Apparel items that have no image now show "[no image]" rather than a broken [x] graphic.


v4.11.23-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Selective browse nodes can be deleted from browse index pages. To delete a particular browse node NUMBER (type=browse&mode=NUMBER) from browse index pages, set configuration variable browse.delete.NUMBER to yes (e.g.: browse.delete.163357 = yes would delete browse node 163357, "DVD > Comedy", from the "DVD" index page.

    Note: If a deleted browse node is accessed (type=browse&mode=NUMBER), for example because the URL was bookmarked earlier or it is in a search engine, Associate Engine will redirect to that browse node at the Amazon.com website (with your amazon associate ID).


v4.11.18-beta:

  1. IMPROVEMENT: Configuration Report Rx Test tests host and reports time. The Rx Test of the Configuration Report now also tries to access Associate Engine itself (via http://). During normal operation, Associate Engine will call itself (via http://) to handle sub-requests on the current page, such as Topsellers (on browse pages) or Similar Products (on details pages). Note: such calls occur only if ssi.include and ssi.script are both yes.

    The Rx Test now also include a "Time" column to indicate the approximate number of seconds it took to access the specified URL.


v4.11.17-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Selective browse nodes can be redirected to Amazon. To make a particular browse node NUMBER (type=browse&mode=NUMBER) redirect to Amazon, set configuration variable browse.remote.NUMBER to yes (e.g.: browse.remote.163357 = yes would redirect browse node 163357, "DVD > Comedy", to that browse node at the Amazon.com website).

    If the NUMBER appears in any of the navbar links, then redirection will also occur. To turn this feature off, set the new configuration variable browse.remote.navbar to no (default is yes).

    Note: FAQ: I click on an ae.pl link that has type=browse and when I end up at amazon.com, the web browser's Address box doesn't show my amazon.com associates ID. Why?

  2. NEW FEATURE: Selective browse stores can be redirected to Amazon. To make a particular browse store STORE (type=browse&mode=STORE) redirect to Amazon, set configuration variable browse.remote.STORE to yes (e.g.: browse.remote.dvd = yes would redirect the DVD store home page to that browse store at the Amazon.com website).

    If the STORE appears in any of the navbar links, then redirection will also occurr. To turn this feature off, set the new configuration variable browse.remote.navbar to no (default is yes). For example, if browse.remote.dvd is set to yes, then all pages (browse pages and product details pages) in the DVD store would redirect to Amazon.

    Note: FAQ: I click on an ae.pl link that has type=browse and when I end up at amazon.com, the web browser's Address box doesn't show my amazon.com associates ID. Why?


v4.11.12-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Template selection when mode is a number. If the mode parameter is a number (e.g.: type=browse&mode=163357), then when Associate Engine tries to determine which template to use, it now also tries to see if a template file exists that matches the mode parameter (e.g.: ae-template/163357.html). See Multiple Page Templates for a list of what templates are tried.

  2. NEW FEATURE: Template selection when mode is a number and browse.NUMBER is defined. If the mode parameter is a number (e.g.: type=browse&mode=163357) and browse.NUMBER is defined (e.g.: browse.163357 "comedy-dvds"), then when Associate Engine tries to determine which template to use, it now also tries to see if a template file exists that matches the filename defined in the browse.NUMBER variable (e.g.: ae-template/comedy-dvds.html). See Multiple Page Templates for a list of what templates are tried.


v4.08.27-beta:

  1. FIX: Redirection to amazon.com (or amazon.co.uk) for unknown store mode. When an unknown store mode is requested, Associate Engine redirects the user to the amazon.com (or amazon.co.uk) home page. For example, requesting mode=books on an amazon.co.uk instllation of Associate Engine will cause redirection since the correct mode to use is books-uk. As of v3.06.27 (when amazon.co.uk support was introduced), this particular redirection did not contain any associate ID but rather redirected to http://www.amazon.com/ (or http://www.amazon.co.uk/). The redierction now contains your associate ID. Note: Associate Engine might also redirect to amazon.com (or amazon.co.uk) if it is unable to process a particular browse node -- in that case, the

  2. NEW FEATURE: SSI includes are now cached. SSI include statements (<!--#include virtual="URL"-->) that are processed internally by Associate Engine are now stored in the cache to speed up repeat requests.

    For example, if a products details page is redisplayed, the similar items on that page are now fetched from the cache thus eliminating the need to run a second instances of Associate Engine to process the sub-request. To turn this new feature off, set the cache.ssi configuration variable to no (default is yes).

    Note: SSI caching does not apply if the URL is for a local .txt file (at the root directory or in a sub-directory), e.g.: /stuff/header.txt.

    Note: SSI include statements are processed internally by Associate Engine only if the ssi.include configuration variable is yes (default is yes).


v4.07.16-beta:

  1. FIX: grid= in navbar links fixed. The grid= parameter in the navbar links is now set correctly to match the grid= parameter value that is specified in the URL. Previously, specifying grid=xgridB (or grid=xb) would cause the navbar links to have grid=b rather than grid=xb.

  2. IMPROVEMENT: navbar links generated for non-standard nodes. Navbar links are now generated for non-standard browse node URL's. Previously, a non-standard browse node URL would cause the entire navbar to be just text (without being linked).

v4.07.08-beta:

  1. NEW FEATURE: Music Artist's name shows up in grid. When showing music results in a grid, the artist's name now appears instead of the manufacturer (i.e.: recording label).

  2. (amazon.co.uk) FIX: Title now set correctly for amazon.co.uk. The {title} of some amazon.co.uk browse nodes was showing up as "Products" (the default) rather the node's actual title. This has been fixed.

  3. (amazon.co.uk) FIX: mode=STORENAME in navbar links. In the navbar links, the mode= value is now the store name (e.g.: books-uk) rather than the store's node number.

End of revisions history. Prior to this point was Associate Engine v4.05.31.





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