QTool Demo

This page demonstrates QTool for fictionary pencil products. The following features of a pencil are identified to be important: Based on the above list of features that are of interest with regards to pencil products, a formal questionnaire has to be written. The various questions are grouped in sections. The schema of the questionnaire can be edited through the QTool administration page. Once the schema of the questionnaire is defined, the various functions of QTool can be invoked through CGI invocations. E.g., submitting a new pencil product is a simple hyperlink to /cgi-bin/qtool.cgi?PROFILE=PENCIL&ACTION=NEW. This will create an empty form that allows the user to submit a new product profile.

Most of QTool's functionality can be reached through Server Side Includes (SSI). This technique allows you to write an HTML page with your preferred editor. Whenever you want to interface with QTool (e.g., to include a product list) you insert special SSI-directives. Those directives are processed by the web server before the HTML page is sent to the user. Therefore, the user never sees the SSI directives. E.g., the following line within the HTML-document:

  <!--#include virtual="/cgi-bin/qtool.cgi?PROFILE=PENCIL&ACTION=INDEX" -->
will produce the following list (which reflects the current content of the Pencil product database):

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

QTool generates HTML that is inlined to produce the above list of submitted product profiles. The parameter ACTION=INDEX tells QTool to generate an index. Using a similar technique, QTool can generate a product matrix (ACTION=MATRIX) that gives a nice visual overview in form of a feature matrix. The following line in the HTML-document:

  <!--#include virtual="/cgi-bin/qtool.cgi?PROFILE=PENCIL&ACTION=MATRIX&COLS=eraser@sharpener" -->
Yields the following matrix that is automatically generated by QTool:

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Note that the COLS parameter gives a list of columns to be be displayed. The names Eraser and Sharpener correspond with the question-ids of the schema definition of the pencil questionnaire. The color scheme of the matrix has the following meaning:

Symbol Category
Yes - feature is supported
No - feature is not supported
Planned - support for feature is planned