MINOS Web Guide - Editing Pages


It's always easier to start with an existing page, and go from there, rather than start from scratch. Thus the provided Templates. See Page Templates for the correct procedure to obtain a copy.

If you have an old-style page with most of the content you want, then cut and paste the content portion into the Template, where you see the comment <!-- Content Starts Here -->. Then go through your pasted-in code, and convert it to XHTML - this will mostly be a matter of changing tags to lower-case, and putting quotes around attribute values. See the XHTML syntax page for details.

If you need to create a new page, you can fetch a template as above, and start typing. Look at the XHTML syntax page and make sure you understand what it means to code correctly. Every Template page has the same sample content - examples of the correct XHTML syntax for you to use. All the usual tags are there. The Template contents also give examples of the correct methods of emphasizing your text using color or bold-face. All this to help you create a page which has correct XHTML syntax and is Web Standards compliant.

If your original content is contained in a MS-Word file, or some other MS-Office program, PLEASE do not use the MS-Office Save as a Web Page feature - it creates highly non-compliant code. Instead, cut and paste the text content into a Template, and insert tags in the appropriate locations.

MAKE PDFs. If you have an Office document, or even just a text file, and want to post it, then by far the best thing you can do is convert the file to a PDF file, and post the PDF version. PDF files are readable on any platform, because Adobe distributes Acrobat Reader for free. Even a text file will appear better as a PDF - as a text file it is subject to the font list available on the viewing machine, while as a PDF the file's format is uniform across all machines. To create PDFs, you have to purchase the full version of Acrobat; the cost is low, and if you are going to do any amount of web-posting, then you will get your money's worth.

And don't forget - - -

There a few other things to edit in a page besides your content. Remember to rename the Template page before you place it into it's web directory. Fill in the <title> tag appropriately, AND use a similar title for the <h1>Displayed Page Title</h1>. Adjust the contents of the <meta name="keywords"> tag if you want, or delete it altogether - web robots will examine the content of your page for indexing, whether or not you also use a <meta> tag. See Page Code Defined for further description of these items, if you need.

If you are editing locally (ie not on fnalu), and view the page in a browser, it won't look the way it will when served from the web site. This is because we use Server Side Includes to load the Style Sheets, Header, Footer, Sidebar, and these probably are not on your local machine. There is no way around this; get used to it.

The Site disk space is not a Storage Area

Everything located under the top html/ directory is, by definition, potentially viewable by the rest of the world. While some directories are password protected for web access, this is not a strong protection. Since the web disk space is a public space, you should not treat it as a code development area. It is for the current version of your page, not all the old versions, nor for long-term storage of unused files. Please do not take a previous version of mypage.html, rename it mypage.OLD, or mypage.Feb04html, and then leave it in the web disk space. If you want to keep versions of your old pages and files, then copy them to YOUR home area. The web disk space also should not be the working space for CVS management of web files - that should be done in a shared access disk space elsewhere on fnalu or minos01. The web site holds THOUSANDS of files, many of which are surely duplicates & backups, in addition to outdated and obselete material. Don't contribute to the clutter.

Files which are worth saving, for historical or other reasons, are copied to the site archive, located on the NuMI Windows Server, in the Share Area. If you don't have access to this system ask Cat or Liz to archive files for you which you want placed there.

Syntax and Error Checking

If you use an editor with spell checking, please enable and use that feature. If you use a fancier web editor which will check for syntax errors, use that as well. Be warned that not all such editors will correctly flag errors in XHTML - they might treat the code as HTML-4 and won't know incorrect XHTML. There are tools to tidy up non-compliant code. See Editing Tools for various web page editing and checking programs.

Once you've checked it, copy the page to it's location in the Site (if it wasn't already there), bring it up in your favorite browser, and take a look. First off, if there is any large size red text, then you forgot a closing tag. The Style Sheet has a feature to assist in flagging missing closing tags. If, when your page is displayed, your text turns from black type like this to

larger red type like this,

then you forgot a closing tag in that location. However, this flagging does not work in all cases, so if you don't see any red text it does not necessarily mean all your tags are closed. You should validate, which will also find any errors.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page when it is dispalyed in a browser from the web site - down to the page footer. In the lower left, there is an icon-link that says W3C XHTML 1.0 with a check mark, and text "Validate after Editing". Click on the icon-link. Your page will be sent to the W3C validation service, and it will list for you any errors in XHTML which it finds. Repair your page in the web area, refresh it in the browser, and repeat the validation - and keep doing that until it says your page validates (congratulations!).

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