Webmaster Committee Meeting Minutes
August 13, 2002
Members Present: Jill Lenz, Mary Pridgen, Erin Napier, John Chandler,
Tom Harmon, and new member Charlie Kerlee, who will replace Diane Devilbiss as the representative from Clinical Sciences.
Reviewed progress on new combined department web pages. Jill is working with Mary to assist her with getting her new pages structured and linked properly and they anticipate being ready to post a new main page for ERHS after their next session. Biomedical Sciences pages are looking very good, and MIPS has made tremendous progress, but still has second-level pages under construction. Charlie expressed concern about what he was getting into, but was reassured by other committee members that his job would be much less complex as the content and links of his pages will remain the same, and his task will be to bring the existing pages into the current style sheet format.
Viewed the sample of the captioned QuickTime movie that Jill’s Assistive Technology committee is working on. Jill downloaded the latest version of QuickTime Plaer (v.6) to the laptop where the movie was not playing at the last meeting. This version is not yet supported and may cause other unknown problems, but Jill hasn't experienced any. Transcription for the textbox captioning currently has to be typed in, but they are working on using Dragon software to see if it can use the audio tracks from the video to generate the text.
Jill announced that she will be attending the Photoshop World Conference in Tampa FL in September, and showed us the conference schedule at http://www.photoshopworld.com in case anyone else is interested. John Chandler enthusiastically endorsed Photoshop Version 7 and says the “Healing” tool is worth the price of the upgrade alone. Support for version 7 is planned for Spring 2003.
Having received 2 requests for this change, Jill has altered the Cascading Style Sheets to allow alternate background colors to be used in table rows and table cells at our discretion, instead of mandating all white backgrounds. This can be effective for highlighting a section of text such as a chart, and enhances legibility as well as offering some style flexibility.
Larry Cobb came to discuss the possibility that we could use Front Page as an authoring tool as an alternative to Dreamweaver/ColdFusion Studio. Our server could now support its functions, but he would prefer that we not use Front Page as the technology it employs makes it more susceptible to problems, of either malicious or ignorant natures. As no one but Tom Harmon has expressed a particular interest in using Front Page, the consensus within the group was to go along with Larry’s preference that we continue to use Dreamweaver/CFStudio, and that if anyone needs to design pages such as interactive forms (which FrontPage will write the code for automatically) that we request individual help from Network Services staff instead. He emphasizes that this individual help will be available only to Webmasters, not the whole college. Tom Harmon suggests that if once we get a demo of the new software being considered for one central webmaster’s use, that the option of them using Frontpage be reevaluated, as the access would be more restricted. Jill indicated that Jamie Bethel had tried a couple of times to contact Thom Hadley regarding the College Web Author position but has received no response from him to date, so we are uncertain about if that will actually come to pass.
JPEG “War”: Jill alerted the committee that there is currently some legal debate going on about using JPEGs, and one company is trying to suggest that they hold the “copyright” to the JPEG process, and want premiums paid by scanner and camera manufactureres for products that use JPEG technology. This will most likely amount to nothing—some time ago there was a similar debate over GIFs, and it apparently never was resolved in favor of anyone making a claim to the process. Jill just wants us to be aware of it and not to worry about it at all.
Jill informed us that “Bobby” has moved again to http://bobby.watchfire.com/bobby/html/en/index.jsp, so if anyone has links to Bobby still on their pages, they are outdated. The current college standard is to use the Web Accessibility Icon on our pages instead, with a link to an informational page at http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/webmaster/access.htm about Web Accessibility efforts by the CVMBS Webmasters.
Jill went through the process of eliminating the superfluous “_notes” files from Dreamweaver file lists. In Dreamweaver, click on Site > Define Sites (choose the defined site from the list) > Edit > and choose the category "Designer notes". Uncheck the two checkboxes marked "Maintain Designer Notes" and "Upload Desginer Notes to Share". If you are prompted that notes will be turned off or that existing notes will be deleted, answer "yes".
Tom Harmon called our attention to a list of Browser Testing Links that can be used if you need to find out if you have software installed on a computer to play various media. If you come up with something you’d like added to the list, he can do this for us. The list is found on the Network Services page, next to last link on the page (http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/netserv/samples/). We checked out several—there is quite a variety of subject matter included, from frog dissection videos to audio clips from CasaBlanca. This is a handy link to know of if you are in a new room and need to find out if the computers there will handle your media for a presentation.
Next meeting will be 9/10/02. A new chair for the Web Committee needs to be selected—please let Jill know if you are interested.
Submitted by Mary Pridgen
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