A brief description of the Ringlink approach
The webring concept is about linking together websites of similar contents to
"rings". Ringlink is a CGI Perl program for building and running such rings,
and the Ringlink approach to the webring concept is made up of the Ringlink Program and
the Ringlink Project.
If you are interested in why and how Ringlink was created, you may want to read the story "The Birth of Ringlink".
The Ringlink Program
The Program is available for free to download and use. It's an open source software, distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
These are the intended fields of application:
- Install the Program on your own server or webhosting account, and run one or a few
- Install the Program on your own server or webhosting account, and provide a
small-scale ring service, offering a few other ringmasters to run their rings at your
The Ringlink Project
Ringlink is also a living open source project. One goal is to uphold a core group of
Ringlink developers, who
- maintain the Ringlink homepage and related resources,
- provide user support, and
- lead the further development of the Program.
The Ringlink homepage, including the Ringlink area at SourceForge, includes means of
communication and other resources to support the community of active Ringlink users, and
encourage them to help each other and exchange ideas. To be able to recruit quite enough
developers, a reasonably large number of active Ringlink users is an end in itself.
The ring community
The ring community consists of all those people who like and support the webring
concept, irrespective of which software and/or service they make use of for running their
rings. Ringlink is part of the ring community, and the active Ringlink users are
encouraged to participate in the general ring related discussion on the mailing
World of Webrings and lists.topica.com/lists/ringmgr.
Why choose the Ringlink approach?
Ringlink offers at least these advantages over those services which make use of
- Independence - If you have installed Ringlink yourself, you are in control.
- Unlimited customization possibilities for the advanced user
- As for advertisements, the Ringlink hosts can opt between offering ad free rings, or
arrange with advertisements from which they benefit themselves.
And in relation to other ring scripts, some of which are free and some not:
- Ringlink is free.
- Ringlink is open source, which means that the community of active users are in a
position to ensure that the development of the program does not cease.
- And last but not least: Ringlink is "created by ringmasters for
ringmasters", which should ensure that the program's features are selected and
designed in the interest of the ringmasters and their members.
These are a few features that distinguish Ringlink from some of the other ring
When you list sites in a ring, it appears as if the ring has no beginning or end. If you
include a site ID when you call the list.pl file, like you do when you click
"List" on a site's navigation bar, the list begins with the site of the stated
site ID; otherwise it begins with a random site. This means that you avoid any
concentration of ring traffic to the "first" sites in the ring.
Separate URL for the page with the
A webmaster can register both a "Site entry URL" and a "HTML code
URL". The first URL is the location to which ring traffic is directed, while the
second location is the page with the HTML code. This makes it possible to let the
validity checker do its work, even if the HTML code is not located at the same page as
the one to which the ring visitors are directed.
Ringlink is distributed with a number of alternative program languages, and it's
designed so that translations to further languages can be easily accomplished.
The ringmaster can save customized settings for
- the HTML code,
- the page shown when a new site has been added,
- the message sent to the webmaster when a new site has been added,
- the comment preceding the code at the page where the webmasters can get their
customized HTML code.
Besides these possibilities, the ringmaster can customize "on the fly" the
email messages that are sent to the webmaster when a site is activated, deactivated or
removed (or decide not to send any message).
The ringmaster can also customize the appearance of the list page. The maximum number
of sites per page can be set to 5, 25 or 50, the colors can be modified (including a
possibility to use background images) and the URL of a ring logo can be registered.
The administrator of a Ringlink installation has access to a "Master admin"
menu, making it possible to reach and edit all rings and sites without entering more than
one admin password.
It's possible to run Ringlink under Apache mod_perl, and with that reduce the server
load and improve performance.