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SSI (Server Side Includes)

"Random" Content with SSI by cian
Posted: 9 Jun 03

Introduction
This guide will explain one simple method for displaying random content on a webpage using SSI.


The most obvious way to do this is to make use of SSI's ability to configure the time format. By using the code
<!--#config timefmt="%S" -->
we can configure the time to seconds and include the content based on that second the page is called. In otherwords whatever second the page is called a certain file is included.


This example should explain it better:


<!--#config timefmt="%S" -->
<!--#set var="rand" value="$DATE_LOCAL" -->
<!--#if expr="$rand = /00/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_0.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /01/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_1.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /02/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_2.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /03/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_3.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /04/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_4.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /05/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_5.txt" -->
<!--#else -->
<!--#include virtual="fall_back_content.txt" -->
<!--#endif -->


What this basically does is format the time to seconds and then includes the contents based on the second the page is requested. This is obviously a shortened example, I only coded it for the first 6 seconds but you could code it for the full 60 seconds or alternativly you could base it on the second digit only by replacing the first digit with a 'period' such as:


<!--#config timefmt="%S" -->
<!--#set var="rand" value="$DATE_LOCAL" -->
<!--#if expr="$rand = /.0/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_0.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.1/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_1.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.2/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_2.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.3/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_3.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.4/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_4.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.5/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_5.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.6/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_6.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.7/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_7.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.8/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_8.txt" -->
<!--#elif expr="$rand = /.9/" -->
<!--#include virtual="rand_content_9.txt" -->
<!--#else -->
<!--#include virtual="fall_back_content.txt" -->
<!--#endif -->


In this case you only need to code the expressions up to .9 seconds.

This is not exactly 'random' but the best we can do!



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