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Home > Roman Numeral Text Counter


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Like many counters, the Roman Numeral Counter keeps track of how many people have viewed a given web page. This one counts in Roman numerals instead of the typical Arabic numbers. This script should be pretty easy to set up if you've successfully installed an SSI on your page before.

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Help File - Table of Contents

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System Requirements

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Installation and Configuration

Either download the file with everything, or download the script directly as If you download the text version, rename it to at some point. Treat the script as straight ASCII text for downloading and editing.

This script has one variable. The variable points to a writable directory that holds your counter data:

$directory = 'data';

After setting this variable, make sure the script is executable and the directory is writable:

chmod 755
chmod 777 data

To include a counter on each page, add the following HTML code:

You are visitor number <!--#exec cgi="" -->.

You may have to name your files index.shtml instead of index.html. You may have to make the HTML files executable with chmod -R 755 *.html or chmod -R 755 *.shtml. The -R flag is for recursive; this will get all HTML files in your main directory and all sub-directories. You may have to talk to your provider to find out whether SSI is supported on your system.

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This script has been designed for easy installation and troubleshooting. There are a finite number of ways that the script can fail, and the more common are addressed here.

If the count is not appearing, choose "View Source" and see whether your SSI tag is present. If so, that means your server is not supporting SSI. There are a few ways to turn it on - talk to your administrator.

If the words [An error occurred while processing this directive] appear, check your SSI tag. The path to the CGI should be equivalent to what you would use for a relative link. For example:

Script is at
SSI Call is <!--#exec cgi="/~user/cgi-bin/" -->

Script is at
SSI Call is <!--#exec cgi="/" -->

The script might also output an error in the form of an HTML comment. If you view-source and see:

<!-- could not write to $Document, permission denied -->

then you will need to make all files in the $directory writable, with chmod -R data.

If all else fails, go to the URL of the script itself. If you see a chdir(/path/to/counters/) failed - no such file or directory message, then your variable must be changed to reflect a real directory. If you see a "Document variable not supported" message, that's normal. That's okay.

If you see a 500: Internal Server Error, try to transfer the file as ASCII text or run perl -w to find out where the problem is.

If you see a 403: Permission Denied Error, try changing permissions to executable for all (chmod 755

If you see the "Document variable not supported" message on the web page in place of the count, then you are probably not on an Apache server and this script won't work.

If you see the "Directory Invalid" message on the web page in place of the count, then double-check your directory variable.

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Notification of Updated Versions

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Roman Numeral Counter
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Credits and Stuff

This script is basically a scaled-down version of Matt Wright's text counter, with most of the advanced features stripped out. Thanks Matt.