Associate Engine : Revisions History : v4.04.04  
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v4.04.04 (April 4, 2004)

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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 earlier), upgrade to v3.06.27 then to v4.04.04.

  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 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: Replace your ae-format/* files with the latest ae-format/* files. Note: If you have modified any of your existing ae-format/* files then skip this step since it is not critical (see point below).

  4. OPTIONAL: If you are using the "Store templates", replace your ae-template/store/* files with the latest ae-template/store/* files. Note: If you have modified any of your existing ae-template/store/* files then skip this step since it is not critical (see point below).

  5. 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 is located.

NOTE: If you find that 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 in ASCII mode and then re-enable the execute permissions (CHMOD). This is the most common upgrade problem. See solutions.

General Revisions

  1. CRITICAL FIX: "Tools & Hardware" section works again. The "Tools & Hardware" section now works using either the new value mode=tools or the old value mode=universal. You do not have to change your links; Associate Engine internally converts mode=universal to mode=tools.

  2. NEW FEATURE: Editorial review added to product details. The product details pages now display editorial review (if available). Note: To get this feature, update to the latest ae-format/details*.html files.

  3. NEW FEATURE: <SCRIPT> tags in templates are converted to "real" HTML. The <SCRIPT> tags (such as the "Best Sellers" sidebar column in the store templates) is run directly at the server and the resulting Associate Engine HTML is inserted and the entire output is passed to the user. Thus the output contains only HTML. To turn this feature off, set the new configuration variable ssi.script to no (internally, the <SCRIPT> tags are converted to SSI statements; see next point).

  4. NEW FEATURE: SSI #include statements converted to "real" HTML. All Server-Side-Include statements (e.g.: <!--#include virtual="/header.txt"-->) are interpretted by Associate Engine and the resulting Associate Engine HTML is inserted and the entire output is passed to the user. Previously, page templates could not have SSI statements. To turn this feature off, set the new configuration variable ssi.include to no. The URL specified in the virtual attribute can be a partial URL (e.g.: "/header.txt") or a full URL even if it is not at the website's domain (e.g.: "" or "").

  5. NEW FEATURE: Browse node searches can now be filtered by keywords. To filter a browse node search by keywords, add "&keyword=KEYWORDS" to the URL (e.g.: "type=browse&mode=2329&keyword=Ansel+Adams" or "browsenodesearch=2329&mode=books&keyword=Ansel+Adams")

  6. NEW FEATURE: Removal of <DOCTYPE> can be turned off. To keep <DOCTYPE> statements, set the new configuration variable packhtml.doctype to no (the default is yes). Note: Since v3.06.27, we made Associate Engine remove the <DOCTYPE> statements because the "tabs" in the store Page Templates were not aligned when viewed using Netscape.

  7. NEW FEATURE: Redirect to if no results in browse index. If a browse index page has no results, then Associate Engine redirects to that browse index page at the website. (A browse index page is a page that shows a bulleted list of sub-categories).

  8. IMPROVEMENT: Uses less RAM memory. The internet access has been revised and now uses about 10% less webserver RAM memory (approx. 7MB per instance instead of 8MB per instance).

  9. IMPROVEMENT: Parameter &nocredit no longer used for "Top Sellers" on browse indexes. If the credit configuration variable is no, then the <SCRIPT> to generate "Top Sellers" on browse indexes no longer specifies "&nocredit" as part of the URL since it is redundant. (nocredit turns off the "Powered by" credit line; it has nothing to do with's sales tracking).

  10. IMPROVEMENT: grid styles passed in grid parameter of More/Previous links. When a grid style is specified in the grid parameter, More/Previous links now use the grid style in the grid parameter rather than using the value of the grid style.

  11. IMPROVEMENT: "Powered by" credit line is now off by default. The default value of the credit configuration variable is now no so that the "Powered by" credit line no longer appears by default. To display this credit line, set credit to yes (the credit configuration variable has nothing to do with's sales tracking).

  12. IMPROVEMENT: Configuration report now tests receiving data from To assist in troubleshooting, the configuration report now reports whether data can be received from the AWS server (or AWS server), the server (or server), and the server.

  13. FIX: "View Shopping Cart" no longer appears in SSI output. When using an SSI to include results, the results no longer contain a "view shopping cart" link. FYI, the "view cart" URL is or

  14. FIX: Zero-stars customer rating works. If the customer rating is zero-stars, then a zero-stars graphic is shown; previously, a 1/2-star graphic was shown.

  15. FIX: {keywords} substitution variable now works. Now returns keyword parameter value.

  16. FIX: Customer Review stars appear again. Customer review stars now appear again in search results and in product details.

  17. FIX: Accented characters in browse indexes now show up correctly. Accented characters in page titles now show up correctly, e.g.: now shows "Décor" instead of "D&eacute;cor".

  18. FIX: ae-2.ini configuration file no longer required. The ae-2.ini configuration file that was used to remap book browse nodes is no longer required. The remappings are now internal to Associate Engine.

  19. See also: v4.01.01 Revisions History for additional changes since v3.06.27.

Page Template Revisions

  1. NEW FEATURE: Global header/footer files supported. New configuration variables store.include.* have been added to all the ae-template/* files to allow global headers/footers throughout all the templates. For example, setting store.include.body.header to "<H1>Welcome!</H1>" would cause <H1>Welcome!</H1> to appear as a header at the top of all the store pages. See: store.include.*

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