Associate Engine : Revisions History : v4.05.31  
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v4.05.31 (May 31, 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 less), upgrade to v3.06.27 then to v4.05.31.

  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: 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: Browse index feature works again. Browse index pages such as type=browse&mode=dvd work again. recently changed their website and caused the browse index feature of previous Associate Engine versions to stop working.

  2. NEW FEATURE: Brief details in grid results. Details in all grid results can be made brief (e.g.: thumbnail image and title only) by setting the new configuration variable grid.brief to yes (default is no).

    To show brief details in particular grids, use the new brf grid option, e.g.: /cgi-bin/,brf,p

    Note: The formatting library ae-format/library.fmt has been revised to implement this feature (see format.grid.cell and format.grid.cell.under formatting codes).

  3. NEW FEATURE: Easy way to determine version & key expiry date. To determine the version of Associate Engine that is installed, use the version parameter, e.g.: /cgi-bin/ The Version Report also indicates: the current released version, the expiry date of your Associate Engine key file, and whether the cache or image cache directories are missing. (FYI: for a complete Configuration Report, see Verify Loading of Configuration).

  4. NEW FEATURE: Relative local links. Configuration variable links.relurl has been added. If links.relurl is set to yes (default is yes), then links that refer back to Associate Engine use relative links (e.g.: "/cgi-bin/") rather than absolute links (e.g.: ""). To turn this new feature off, set links.relurl to no or use the new absurl parameter.

  5. NEW FEATURE: Fix braces. In all template and formatting files, the three characters "%7B" are now replaced by the one character "{", i.e.: opening curly brace. Similarly, "%7D" is now replaced by "}", i.e.: closing curly brace. This new feature is helpful since some HTML editors replace "{" and "}" in HREF's with their ASCII values, i.e.: %7B and %7D, respectively., but this replacement by the editor prevents Associate Engine from recognizing those formatting code delimiters. To turn off this "fix braces" feature (and thus leave braces broken), set the new format.fixbraces configuration variable to no (default is yes). The Configuration Report indicates if braces have been fixed in a file.

  6. IMPROVEMENT: Page size default is now 10. The pageSize configuration variable now defaults to 10 rather than 25. A lower page size reduces the amount of time it takes to display a page since less data is fetched from per page.

  7. IMPROVEMENT: Handle incorrectly encoded accented characters. Accented characters (e.g.: é, ç) in some products are not encoded correctly at's servers (e.g.: é, ç). Associate Engine now corrects the incorrect encoding and displays the intended accented characters. For example, see ASIN 2070419347 at and via Associate Engine.

  8. FIX: Wireless phones and Audio Downloads. When viewing a wireless phone or audio download product, the "Buy from" button now links to the product's detail page at the website rather than adding the product to the shopping cart. Such products can only be added to the shopping cart from the website (since wireless phones require the user to enter their Zip code, and Audio downloads are only available through's partner

  9. FIX: Old browse nodes removed from templates. The basic templates (ae-template/basic/) and the stores templates (ae-template/stores/stores.html) have been revised. The link "Spa & Personal Care" (browse node 510204) has been removed since that node is no longer available at

  10. FIX: Browsing/Bestsellers fixed. Browsing and bestsellers of various browse nodes has been fixed.

    1. Browse classical music. Browsing of the classical music section works again, e.g.: type=browse&mode=classical. Previously, all the links would be grouped under the "Browse more..." heading.

    2. Bestsellers Audio & Video. Bestsellers of Audio & Video (browse node 1065836) works again.

    3. Bestsellers Furniture & Decor. Bestsellers of Furniture & Decor (browse node 1057794) works again.

  11. FIX ( only): £ in "You Save". The currency symbol in the "You Save" {details.yousave} variable is now £ instead of $.

  12. FIX ( only): Availability of unavailable items. The availability {details.availability} of unavailable items once again shows up as "new & used" (set by availability.notavailable.text) rather than "we are currently unable to offer this title. It may be out of stock with the publisher or out of print. If you would like to purchase this title, we recommend that you occasionally check this page to see if it has become available."

  13. FIX: PowerSearch sub-parameters. PowerSearch sub-parameters (e.g.: now no longer require the powersearch parameter to also be specified. Previously, powersearch.* sub-parameters were not recognized if the powersearch parameter was not also specified.

  14. FIX: Internet access fixed. Internet access in Associate Engine v4.04.04 was changed to use less memory but caused Associate Engine to fail on some servers because those servers had a non-standard version of the Perl module IO::Socket::INET. Associate Engine should now work on those servers.

  15. FIX: Windows webservers. Associate Engine now works on Windows webservers that have unusual webserver configurations (i.e.: webserver environment variables PATH_INFO and PATH_TRANSLATED).

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