Webmasters Committee Meeting Minutes
February 13 , 2007
Present: Tom Harmon, Charlie Kerlee, Jill Lenz, Erin Napier, Linda Tarnoff, Sallie Varner, Merry Wright.
Merry Wright, Chair, started the meeting at 9:03 am
Links to e-Insight and Insight magazine on the College Home Page - we only addressed part of this issue, redesigning the Insight index page to make a distinction between e-Insight and regular Insight, but we never discussed the elimination of links to both on the college homepage as mentioned in Jamie's original email. We just have a link to the index page.
Discussion followed. It was agreed two break tags will be added before the last sentence "E-Insight is published monthly on-line for faculty, staff and students" and the word "E-Insight" will be a link to the current version. Tom will make these changes and keep this link current as new monthly editions become available. (Note: Per Carol Borchert, there will not be a February issue.)
The meeting concluded at 10:08 am.
- Jill reviewed the suggested readings for background info on validating your HTML. These articles touch on the topics of valid markup and semantics, two distinct things we need to be aware of as web designers.
Using the following pages as examples, each page was run though the W3C Online Validator at http://validator.w3.org/ to generate an error report, then each page was opened in Dreamweaver to fix the errors. All these pages are now error free except the VTH Home Page, which only has a missing alternative text attribute for the image on the page, easy for Charlie to fix.
Once in Dreamweaver, we first ran Dreamweaver's internal validator to see how many errors it finds. Typically, the W3C validator will find more errors than Dreamweaver. Second, we let Dreamweaver tackle the problems before we put a lot of effort into it. From the menu, choose Commands > Clean Up XHTML.
This should fix most syntax errors. This command can only be run on one page at a time. Run Dreamweaver's internal validator again and see how many errors are left. Note that Dreamweaver's validator can be run on one page at a time, selected files or the entire current local site. Once error free in Dreamweaver, try the W3C Validator again. We encountered many typical errors and corrected them all. As you continue to work through the rest of your pages, if you get stumped on an error contact Jill for help. As we saw, some of the error messages are cryptic and fixing one error many times fixes related errors.
- Review of the W3C online validator’s extended interface at http://validator.w3.org/detailed.html to "Show Outline" is a good review of semantics. Although the College Home Page and MIP Home page pass for validation, the use of headers (semantics) could be improved.
Tom and Jill discussed this for the College Home page and Jill is working on coding the text in the top banner to an H1, which is involving some changes to the CSS for this page only, not the CSS files for the department home pages. This will also need to be done for Linda's CSS file in the cvmbs directory.
Merry would like to continue this topic next month. She mentioned how the outline interface can be a non-confrontational tool when thinking about structure of the content with our content providers, especially faculty. Perhaps a checklist could be developed to help facilitate the process of acquiring content. We often run into the Catch-22 situation where someone wants a page built or to learn how to build a page but hasn't thought through their content yet. Food for thought: Jill mentioned a new colleague she met at a conference last week doesn't start designing a web page until a story-board (outline) and all content is created, complete and approved.
The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 13th, 9:00-10:00 am, Environmental Health Building Conference Room 120. Please note this new location. Merry provided a map with a note showing the most convenient door for close entry.
Minutes submitted by Jill Lenz.
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