Learn RTML

Yahoo! Store/Merchant Solutions is one of the largest and fastest growing storefront systems on the Internet. Originally, the Yahoo! Store platform was developed by a company called Viaweb. In 1998, Yahoo! acquired Viaweb with its membership of about 1,000 merchants. Today, the community of Yahoo! Store merchants includes over 40,000 storefronts.

The strengths of the Yahoo! Store platform are manifold:

  • It is affordable.
  • It provides store owners a complete management interface to control all aspects of their store including inventory management, statistics and marketing.
  • It means inclusion in Yahoo! Shopping, one of the largest online malls on the Internet.
  • It is easy to use yet versatile enough to enable a merchant to create even the most highly customized storefronts.

This last feature, the ability to create stores with a unique look through custom template design, can be implemented using Yahoo! Stores proprietary design language, RTML. While the availability of Yahoo RTML is advertised right on the welcome page of Yahoo! Store, RTML is probably the least documented feature of the service and to make things more complicated, Yahoo! provides no technical assistance for custom templates and RTML -which, by the way, is completely understandable considering that, as you will soon learn, RTML is a programming language, and providing technical assistance to customers to debug their code would be an immense task.

The Yahoo! Store online users guide includes a very general overview of RTML. There is also an RTML command reference - not much more than an alphabetical listing of the various RTML commands - hidden deep within the Advanced Editor Interface (under the Controls section, for those interested). These two resources, however, represent all the documentation provided by Yahoo!. Outside of Yahoo!, there is a Yahoo! Store Users Group at www.ystoreforums.com, and there are perhaps a few other web sites devoted to the subject, but there are no books or any other printed material available - except those you find here at www.ytimes.info.

If you would like to learn RTML, below is a list of books that will help you.

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