Training Issues for maintenance of web-sites

This initial document is a discussion of the training issues that result when we turn over web sites to their owners. Later we can expand it to include maintenance of large sites such as the Political Science Department's.

Background

The training materials need to be generic and fairly all-encompassing. The results of a recent survey show that 80% of campus professors work on their web sites at home. Hence, we cannot assume any standardization of web site tools, computing power, software packages, etc. 

We have agreed to limit the tools we use for developing  web sites to those that are easily understood. For example, Fusion creates "unreadable" html and should not be used when developing sites for professors.

Materials

At hand-off, professors should receive the following customized information::
 

Generic materials available to all should include:
  Information covered in manual/presentation

A. Revision issues
1. How to point communicator at web page and issue file/edit page command.

2. Explain that the file is saved locally and will need to be uploaded when done.

a. Explain the difference between servers and PCs.
b. Explain the difference between public and non-public directories.
c. Explain the function of the CHMOD command in UNIX.
d. Walk them through several UNIX commands.
3. Explain the basics of HTML
a. View source
b. Explain the basic structure of HTML files
c. List common style tags: heading, paragraph, break, ruler
d. Discuss common link tags: image, href, email.
4. Give examples of how to make some changes to the code via text editor and WYSIWYG editor.
a. Add some text
b. Edit text and spacing
c. Add a link and image
d. Change some colors
5. Upload the file via three methods:
a. Use the publish command
b. Use the browser as an FTP client
c. Use a real FTP client like WSFTP or RapidFiler
6. Explain how to view posted results
a. Browser needs to point at the distant site
b. Need to reload page so as to clear cache.
B. Trouble shooting issues

1. Changes in appearance of documents between browsers

a. Differences between Netscape vs. MS
b. Differences between HTML 3 and 4
2. Difficulties with three letter extensions.
a. Composer changes title of index.html when moved locally
b. WSFTP truncates .HTML extension to .HTM on upload (ditto RapidFiler)
3. Problems with FTPing
a. How to determine true path to one's directory using finger
b. Common failures of the "publish" command: wrong path; bad bug
c. How to move files that are in the wrong directory
d. How to remotely add, delete, and rename files and directories
4. Problems with links
a. Explain relative vs. absolute links
b.Composer "Preference" setting that mangles all relative links on upload
c.Web CT
Creation of these materials could get out of hand if we try to throw in everything we all know. We should keep it short and very targeted to our audience. An example of how part of the manual might look follows:
 
Basic HTML

All Web pages share a simple and common structure. HTML code is indifferent to case, so feel free to type in lower case, upper case, or mix and match up a ransom note. The code uses a simple toggling scheme. All tags have an inception tag and a closing tag that uses a slash. However, there are three tags that can currently stand alone: <p> gives you a double return, <br> gives you a single return, and <hr> gives you a ruler. This exception will change as Web publishing migrates to XML. XML and its superset SGML require that all tags have answering closing tags..

<HTML>

<HEAD>

<TITLE>Enter a descriptive filename here</TITLE>

</HEAD>

<BODY>

Text and tags.

</BODY>

</HTML>

Notice that this page of code is divided into two clear sub sections: head and body. The head section will be invisible to surfers, but carries important information for the browser such as creator, comments, Java code, scripting code, and metadata that describes the document for browsers and search engines.

The body section contains all of the information that you wish to publish. It generally contains text that is formatted by tags. It also contains tags that establish links to other parts of the same file (anchors), links to other web pages (links), or links to different media (resources), such as pictures, sounds, or movies.

Once you have typed in the basic HTML code and personalized the body area with some witty remarks, close and save the file using the PICO menu at the bottom of your telnet window. You can do this in two ways. If you plan to return to edit some more, you "write out" the file.

Control O (saves the file onto the hard disk of the host computer)

Enter (confirms the name of the file that you are saving)

If you plan to close the file or create a new file, you exit.

Control X (closes the file)

Y (type yes to the save request)

Enter (confirms that the file name is index.html)

Now view your work using a browser. Launch a Web browser like Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. Use the open location command or location header to enter the URL.

Common tags for a basic page

Your homepage should probably begin with your name. Although you could just type it into the body area, it would appear as small, plain text. To format your name in large bold type, enclose it within a heading-level one tag.

<h1>John Doe</h1>

There are six levels of heading: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6. They get smaller as the number increases. You could also achieve the same effect by using separate bold and size tags, but heading levels are faster and simpler.

To make your name stand out, you might wish to set it off from the following text with a ruler. This will require a heading-ruler tag and some spacing tags. Separate the line from your name with one or both of two return tags: <p> gives you two returns; <br> gives you a single return. Then type the ruler tag <hr> and some return tags after to separate the line from subsequent text or images.

<p>

<br>

<HR>

<p>

<br>

A simple link that allows viewers to mail you information.

<A HREF="mailto:yourID@your email address">Send me mail.</A>

A link to a file

<A HREF="resume.html">Check out my resume </A>

This line of code tells the browser to load a page that is titled resume.html and is found in the same directory as the index.html page. One can also link to other directories or servers by typing a path before the file name. For example:

<A HREF="http://www.yahoo.com">My favorite directory </A>

 

 

etc. etc. etc.

Training Outline

Training Modules
*Site Planning
-Defining goals: how will the site support your class?
-What level of expertise are you designing for?
-Should you design for least common denominator in hardware/software?
-Assessing resources
~staff availability/workload
~staff knowledge & ability
~facilities/equipment
~budget

*Site Maintenance/updating
-Where _are_ my files
-Backing up files
-Transferring/FTP'ing files
-Editing text
-Inserting images
-Inserting hyperlinks
-Where to go to learn more...
-Software tools: Mac & Windows
-Using WebCt
~Is it for you

*Site Enhancements
-Password protection of content
-Online Forums
-Live discussion groups

*How to Assess your Site
-Are your needs being met?
-Class survey
-Public survey

*What type of delivery system for user training?
-traditional classroom training (inc. video-teleconferencing)
~may be best for one-time class or w/specialized needs
~could be impractical for large class
~may need a mixture of both stand-alone & classroom
-text
~written instructions: how to log on, etc.
-web-based training - fixed costs can be large, marginal cost small
~internet, can be sluggish
~intranet - fast, easy to update, rising star in business training
~may be too costly/impractical for small budget