WebMake Documentation (version 2.4)

The <sitemap> Tag

The <sitemap> tag is used to generate a content item containing a map, in a tree structure, of the current site.

It does this by traversing every content item you have defined, looking for one tagged with a isroot=true attribute. This will become the root of the site map tree.

While traversing, it also searches for content items with a metadatum called up. This is used to tie all the content together into a tree structure.

Note: content items that do not have an up metadatum are considered children of the root by default. If you do not want to map a piece of content, declare it with the attribute map=false.

By default, the content items are arranged by their score and title metadata at each level. The sort criteria can be overridden by setting the sortorder attribute.

Note: if you wish to include external HTML pages into the sitemap, you will need to load them as URL references using the <media> tag and use the <metatable> tag to associate metadata with them. t/data/sitemap_with_metatable.wmk in the WebMake test suite demonstrates this. This needs more documentation (TODO).

The <sitemap> tag takes the following required attributes:


The name of the sitemap item, used to refer to it later. Sitemaps are referred to, in other content items or in out files, using the normal ${foo} style of content reference.

The name of the template item to evaluate for each node with children in the tree. See Processing, below.
The name of the template item to evaluate for each leaf node, ie. a node with no children, in the tree. See Processing, below.

And the following optional attributes:

The root content item to start traversing at. The default root is whichever content item has the isroot attribute set to true.
Whether or not all content items should be mapped. Normally dynamic content, such as metadata and perl-code-defined content items, are not included. (default: false)
The name of the template item to evaluate for dynamic content items, required if the all attribute is set to true.
Perl code to evaluate at each step of the tree. See the Grep section below.
A sort string specifying what metadata should be used to sort the items in the tree, for example "section score title".

Note that the root attribute is deprecated; use rootname instead.

The sitemap can be declared either as an empty element, with /> at the end, or with a pair of starting and ending tags and text between. If the sitemap is declared using the latter style, any text between the tags will be prepended to the generated site map. It's typically only useful if you wish to set metadata on the map itself.


Here's the key to sitemap generation. Once the internal tree structure of the site has been determined, WebMake will run through each node from the root down up to 20 levels deep, and for each node, evaluate one of the 3 content items named in the <sitemap> tag's attributes:

  1. node: For pages with pages beneath them;
  2. leaf: For "leaf" pages with no pages beneath them;
  3. dynamic: For dynamic content items, defined by perl code or metadata.

By changing the template content items you name in the tag's attributes, you have total control over the way the sitemap is rendered. For efficiency, these should be declared using the <template> tag instead of the <content> tag.

The following variables (ie. content items) are set for each node:

the content name
the content's Title metadatum, if set
the content's Score metadatum, if set
the text for all children of this node (node items only)
whether the content is a node or a leaf (1 for node, 0 for leaf)

In addition, the following URL reference is set:


the first URL listed in a WebMake <out> tag to refer to the content item.

Confused? Don't worry, there's an example below.


The grep attribute is used to filter which content items are included in the site map.

The "grep" code is evaluated once for every node in the sitemap, and $_ is the name of that node; you can then decide to display/not display it, as follows.

$_ is set to the current content item's name. If the perl code returns 0, the node is skipped; if the perl code sets the variable $PRUNE to 1, all nodes at this level and below are skipped.


If you're still not sure how it works, take a look at examples/sitemap.wmk in the distribution. Here's the important bits from that file.

Firstly, two content items are necessary -- a template for a sitemap node, and a template for a leaf. Note the use of $(url), ${title}, etc., which are filled in by the sitemap code.

	<content name=sitemapnode map=false>
	    <a href=$(url)>${title}</a>: $[${name}.abstract]<br>
	    <!-- don't forget to list the sub-items -->
	    <ul> ${list} </ul>

And the template for the leaf nodes. Note that the ${list} reference is not needed here.

	<content name=sitemapleaf map=false>
	    <a href=$(url)>${title}</a>: $[${name}.abstract]<br>

Finally, the sitemap itself is declared.

	<sitemap name=mainsitemap node=sitemapnode leaf=sitemapleaf />

From then on, it's just a matter of including the sitemap content item in an output file:

	<out name=map file=sitemap_html/map.html>

And that's it.

This documentation includes a sitemap, by the way. It's used to generate the navigation links. Take a look here.

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