The Basic Meeting List Toolbox

Simple Table Data Display

You have the ability to generate very simple, easily-styled displays of meetings without all the bells and whistles that the BMLT displays for its main, interactive searches.

The idea is that you can present what appear to be static tables (like a simple table of meetings), that still draw from the BMLT root server, and have all the advantages of using the BMLT, without having to put up an interactive search. This would be especially attractive for very small ASCs or Co-Ops.

Basic Example

Here is a very simple example. We will add the following text to this page:

Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAIt's Casual by the Lake8:00 PMTuesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins AvenueO,D,RF,St
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USARecovery in Ronkonkoma7:30 PMWednesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins Ave. (@ Lakewood)O,BT,Pi,SD,BK
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USA12 Steps To Serenity8:00 PMThursdayIslip Town Beach Pavilion, 299 Rosevale Ave.C,D,St,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAShe Recovers7:30 PMFridaySt. Mary's Church, 315 Lake Shore RdRF,Rr,W,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USASteps by the Lake10:00 AMSaturdaySt. Mary's Episcopal Church, 315 Lake Shore RdO,BT,Rr,St,WC

The display directly below this text is “live.” It is not code inserted in the page. The only text we inserted was the above shortcode. The BMLT plugin actually went to the New York server, and asked it to return a simple table of meetings that gather in Ronkonkoma (or any town that has “Ronkonkoma” in its name):

Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAIt's Casual by the Lake8:00 PMTuesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins AvenueO,D,RF,St
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USARecovery in Ronkonkoma7:30 PMWednesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins Ave. (@ Lakewood)O,BT,Pi,SD,BK
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USA12 Steps To Serenity8:00 PMThursdayIslip Town Beach Pavilion, 299 Rosevale Ave.C,D,St,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAShe Recovers7:30 PMFridaySt. Mary's Church, 315 Lake Shore RdRF,Rr,W,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USASteps by the Lake10:00 AMSaturdaySt. Mary's Episcopal Church, 315 Lake Shore RdO,BT,Rr,St,WC

These are the meetings that occur weekly in the town of Ronkonkoma, New York. This shows how this capability can be used to create extremely simple, narrowly-scoped lists that are a lot less intimidating to site visitors than the classic BMLT search. Clicking on the address takes you to the Google Maps location of that meeting, allowing the visitor access to things like Street View and directions.

Calling the Root Server

The way that the “simple” table response works, varies, depending on whether or not you are directly calling the root server, using a CMS plugin, or using the standalone satellite class.

Directly Calling the Root Server

This will return a simple HTML fragment (not a complete page). This fragment will consist of the code displayed in the next couple of pages (a <div>, containing either a <table>, or more <div> elements). Even though it is an incomplete page, the fragment is 100% XHTML 1.0 Strict/XHTML 1.1-compliant. This simply means that it will work well in any page in which it is used.

The URI needs to be constructed in a way that instructs the root server to do a search and return this fragment.

The URI

The following URI will give you this result (That link will deliver a very simple page of results):

https://bmlt.magshare.net/stable/main_server/client_interface/simple/index.php?switcher=GetSearchResults&meeting_key[]=location_municipality&meeting_key_value=Ronkonkoma&block_mode=1

We’ll use colors to denote the parts of the URI, and discuss each one:

  1. If you are using a CMS plugin or the standalone satellite (Basic BMLT), the red part of the URI will not be necessary (It is already included in the plugin).
  2. The next part of the URI is where you specify the actual search parameters. The parameters and values are exactly the same as those described in the Semantic Interface Discussion; but you only have 2 switcher values available: GetSearchResults, and GetFormats.
  3. The last part of the URI is only included if you want the response to be block elements (<div> elements), as opposed to a <table>. If this is not provided (no value is necessary), then the response will be a <table>.

NOTE: In version 2.1.3, we added a very nice new capability to the switcher=GetFormats parameter for this shortcode. If you now append the criteria that you specified for the search, the response will include only those formats that appear in the response. This avoids a long format legend with a bunch of formats that don’t apply to the listed meetings. For an example of this in action, visit this page.

New Capability for Root Server 2.4.5 and Above

In Root Server Release 2.4.5, we added a new parameter to the [[bmlt_simple]] shortcode: weekday_header=1. If you add this to the end of the argument list, the results will be returned in sections wrapped in a weekday (with a displayed weekday name at the top). This will only be available for block_mode=1. It is meant to help give you a “one shot” table of meetings, and makes the page load a lot faster than seven individual calls.

You can also add a parameter that allows the meeting names to become links to their meeting record in the standard [[BMLT]] shortcode. However, this is a bit “dicey,” and may need some testing in your own setup.

In order to do this, you should add, as one of your first parameters, single_uri=<URL ENCODED URI TO YOUR [[BMLT]] PAGE>%3Fsingle_meeting_id%3D (The “%3F” is the URL entity for the question mark -“?”, and the “%3D” is the URL entity for the equals sign -“=”).

For example, we’ll send these to our default [[BMLT]] demo page, which has a URL of https://bmlt.magshare.net/what-is-the-bmlt/sample-bmlt-searches/the-standard-bmlt-shortcode/:

[[BMLT_SIMPLE(switcher=GetSearchResults&single_uri=http%3A%2F%2Fbmlt.magshare.net%2Fwhat-is-the-bmlt%2Fsample-bmlt-searches%2Fthe-standard-bmlt-shortcode%2F%3Fsingle_meeting_id%3D&meeting_key=location_municipality&meeting_key_value=Ronkonkoma)]]

Which gives you:

Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAIt's Casual by the Lake8:00 PMTuesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins AvenueO,D,RF,St
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USARecovery in Ronkonkoma7:30 PMWednesdayHoly Cross Lutheran Church, 307 Hawkins Ave. (@ Lakewood)O,BT,Pi,SD,BK
Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USA12 Steps To Serenity8:00 PMThursdayIslip Town Beach Pavilion, 299 Rosevale Ave.C,D,St,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USAShe Recovers7:30 PMFridaySt. Mary's Church, 315 Lake Shore RdRF,Rr,W,WC
Lake Ronkonkoma, NY, 11779, USASteps by the Lake10:00 AMSaturdaySt. Mary's Episcopal Church, 315 Lake Shore RdO,BT,Rr,St,WC

Note that each of the meeting names is now a link that will take you to that meeting’s individual display in the standard [[BMLT]] example page on this site.

As noted, this is sort of an advanced topic, and may not work in all conditions. Some CMS systems do a great deal of manipulation and interpretation to URIs, so you may not be able to get away with it.