So, again I’ve been too busy to blog much. The web conversion project is moving along nicely, but is eating up almost all my time. If any of you are waiting on me to do something and I haven’t responded in some time, please feel free to bug me again. I know I’ve made some people wait too long for stuff; I apologize for that. Of course, these days we all know what it’s like to be understaffed; people have been understanding, for which I’m grateful.
Anyway, we’ve made major headway on phase one of the process, which is creating the rough-draft PHP files. I have five UCS students working on this, who all deserve mention for their hard work: Jonathan Guillen, Ronni Luchterhand, Mark Lyons, Michael Orr, and Courtney Wehner. Read on for more about the project…
The page creation system (AKA “websmith”) is just about ready to go. We’ve got a few people using it on a test basis already. In the new system you don’t create pages by copying an existing one; you go to websmith and enter in a few details like the page location, the title, the search engine keywords, and so on; you also get to choose which set of side links you want, and what basic template you want for the page. The page is then created for you in the location you specified. (Naturally, you can only create pages in a location you have X: drive access to; there’s no way anybody can break the whole site if they make a mistake.)
And tonight I’m working on the script to search out and change links in the whole website. This will be a vital part of phase two, where (after departments have given their approval) we move the HTML files in a given area into an archive folder, and make the PHP files into the real website.
We can’t do this all at once, naturally enough; it will go piece by piece, and will take months. But progress will be steady; you may have already seen the changes in the Admissions and Financial Aid pages, and many others of use to prospective students. More pages will be converted in the next weeks and months, until the entire site is converted. We hope to train people in each department to work on their own web pages in the new system, which will help things move faster.
Note that personal web pages in your P: drive (formerly known as public_html) will not be affected at all. As the process nears completion, we will offer help to anyone who wants to use the new system for their P: drive website, but nobody will be required to convert those pages.
If you have personal pages on the X: drive, we strongly encourage you to move them to the P: drive. Eventually, all pages on the X: drive should be in the new system; if you don’t want your personal pages converted, they will need to be moved to the P: drive. However, there’s no fixed deadline for this; we are avoiding personal folders that we find on the X: drive for now. When the time comes (probably several months from now), we will ask for your decision; if you want to move the pages to the P: drive, we will help you with that; if you don’t, we will help you convert them to the new system.
Anyway, that’s all for now. I have miles to go before I sleep, and I need to quit writing and get back to work.