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Need recommendation for web authoring software

P: n/a

I am technical advisor for a new group of middle-aged people that want to create a web site for historical information about our local area. They want to scan in a lot of old photos, include information on schools, cemetaries, etc. The web server is NT4 running IIS 4.0. Pages are uploaded via FTP. I personally use Dreamweaver 3, and am learning Dreamweaver MX. I feel that Dreamweaver is too much for this group to learn. I had early experiences with Microsoft Front Page and was very much un-impressed. I need a recommendation for a modestly priced web authoring program that can be used by several users in this group. Ease of learning and ease of use are paramount. A built-in FTP feature would be a plus. Assume that all users have Windows 98 or newer.
Jul 20 '05 #1
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4 Replies


P: n/a
On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 14:23:10 GMT, C. Smith <cs*****@hotmail.com>
wrote:

I am technical advisor for a new group of middle-aged people that want
to create a web site for historical information about our local area.
They want to scan in a lot of old photos, include information on
schools, cemetaries, etc.
I'd suggest Access, or some similar database program.

This is _not_ a HTML authoring problem, it's a curatorial and
cataloguing problem, followed by a very simple HTML export. To be
successful, and particularly to be successful long-term, I would
regard the "data capture" phase and the initial data model design to
be crucial, with the web publishing very far behind. After all, with
a good data store you can (and will) redesign the web site with
relatively little effort.

Things you should study before proceeding are (most of all) Dublin
Core, and also past projects like the OAI (Open Archives Initiative),
or any number of museum metadata projects (including my own). My
colleague Paul Shabajee publishes (and indexes) rather better than I
do, so here are some starting links.
http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/~edxps/index.html
I've built a bunch of these. One day I'll build a toolkit for doing
it, and open-source the thing. Manyana....

My route is as follows:
Design a data model. This is based on Dublin Core, with the
qualification mechanism used to make several sub-classed properties
based on the "subject"

Define vocabularies. These are lists of controlled terms, such as
"Parson's Green Orphanage", "Old Mill, Penge" or a list for
"Agricultural/Harvest", "Schools/junior" etc. This is the main part
that's project-specific. Some of these vocabularies are standard and
pre-existing (this is best), such as MPEG-7 for technical details of
photography. Others are project-lists of terms from a world
vocabulary, such as the Getty Thesaurus of placenames.

One major question is how to handle lists that must expand as new
articles are added, and that need new values. How are these
synchronised / distributed / checked for overlap with existing values?

Build a simple Access data-entry tool. This integrates "article"
entry, attaching "media" objects (usually scanned photos, with their
own metadata). This is _really_ easy - it's no big deal at all.

Enter data

Export to XML. This is usually a combination of RDF and DC, but RSS1.0
and DC works too (it's amazing what you can hammer into the
<description> element)

XSLT transform this XML to HTML (this and the preceding stage are
donw with MSXML within Access)

The site structure is based on a simple tree, derived from the
vocabularies.
Any more questions, then I'm happy to go into more detail (but not
before Easter)

I need a recommendation for a modestly priced web authoring program
that can be used by several users in this group. Ease of learning and
ease of use are paramount.


TextPad, or other similar text-mode editing program.

You need web skills to build the site, no matter what you use. If you
have a good architect, and a good CSS designer, then you can turn the
authoring task into a boilerplate exercise. Offer standard "empty"
pages, and advice on how to insert "body" into them. With CSS, then
you only need to add a class on the <div> and <p> elements to
integrate it into the overall styling - you can teach this level to a
web-naive group of WP-literate people.

Ignorance is not stupidity. If you can convince your users that the
mouse doesn't bite, then you may be surprised how capable they are at
following a task that is explained well.

--
Smert' spamionam
Jul 20 '05 #2

P: n/a
On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 14:23:10 GMT, C. Smith <cs*****@hotmail.com>
wrote:

I am technical advisor for a new group of middle-aged people that want
to create a web site for historical information about our local area.
They want to scan in a lot of old photos, include information on
schools, cemetaries, etc.
I'd suggest Access, or some similar database program.

This is _not_ a HTML authoring problem, it's a curatorial and
cataloguing problem, followed by a very simple HTML export. To be
successful, and particularly to be successful long-term, I would
regard the "data capture" phase and the initial data model design to
be crucial, with the web publishing very far behind. After all, with
a good data store you can (and will) redesign the web site with
relatively little effort.

Things you should study before proceeding are (most of all) Dublin
Core, and also past projects like the OAI (Open Archives Initiative),
or any number of museum metadata projects (including my own). My
colleague Paul Shabajee publishes (and indexes) rather better than I
do, so here are some starting links.
http://www.ilrt.bris.ac.uk/~edxps/index.html
I've built a bunch of these. One day I'll build a toolkit for doing
it, and open-source the thing. Manyana....

My route is as follows:
Design a data model. This is based on Dublin Core, with the
qualification mechanism used to make several sub-classed properties
based on the "subject"

Define vocabularies. These are lists of controlled terms, such as
"Parson's Green Orphanage", "Old Mill, Penge" or a list for
"Agricultural/Harvest", "Schools/junior" etc. This is the main part
that's project-specific. Some of these vocabularies are standard and
pre-existing (this is best), such as MPEG-7 for technical details of
photography. Others are project-lists of terms from a world
vocabulary, such as the Getty Thesaurus of placenames.

One major question is how to handle lists that must expand as new
articles are added, and that need new values. How are these
synchronised / distributed / checked for overlap with existing values?

Build a simple Access data-entry tool. This integrates "article"
entry, attaching "media" objects (usually scanned photos, with their
own metadata). This is _really_ easy - it's no big deal at all.

Enter data

Export to XML. This is usually a combination of RDF and DC, but RSS1.0
and DC works too (it's amazing what you can hammer into the
<description> element)

XSLT transform this XML to HTML (this and the preceding stage are
donw with MSXML within Access)

The site structure is based on a simple tree, derived from the
vocabularies.
Any more questions, then I'm happy to go into more detail (but not
before Easter)

I need a recommendation for a modestly priced web authoring program
that can be used by several users in this group. Ease of learning and
ease of use are paramount.


TextPad, or other similar text-mode editing program.

You need web skills to build the site, no matter what you use. If you
have a good architect, and a good CSS designer, then you can turn the
authoring task into a boilerplate exercise. Offer standard "empty"
pages, and advice on how to insert "body" into them. With CSS, then
you only need to add a class on the <div> and <p> elements to
integrate it into the overall styling - you can teach this level to a
web-naive group of WP-literate people.

Ignorance is not stupidity. If you can convince your users that the
mouse doesn't bite, then you may be surprised how capable they are at
following a task that is explained well.

--
Smert' spamionam
Jul 20 '05 #3

P: n/a
"C. Smith" <cs*****@hotmail.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:if**********@nwrddc01.gnilink.net
I am technical advisor for a new group of middle-aged people that
want to create a web site for historical information about our local
area. They want to scan in a lot of old photos, include information
on schools, cemetaries, etc. The web server is NT4 running IIS 4.0.
Pages are uploaded via FTP. I personally use Dreamweaver 3, and am
learning Dreamweaver MX. I feel that Dreamweaver is too much for
this group to learn. I had early experiences with Microsoft Front
Page and was very much un-impressed. I need a recommendation for a
modestly priced web authoring program that can be used by several
users in this group. Ease of learning and ease of use are paramount.
A built-in FTP feature would be a plus. Assume that all users have
Windows 98 or newer.


You didn't really specify your needs, but maybe some free and open source
CMS will be the solution : SPIP, Xoops, ... They can be used on a NT4 server
with a few software installations/configurations. By the way, be really
aware of security patchs !!

Jul 20 '05 #4

P: n/a
"C. Smith" <cs*****@hotmail.com> a écrit dans le message de
news:if**********@nwrddc01.gnilink.net
I am technical advisor for a new group of middle-aged people that
want to create a web site for historical information about our local
area. They want to scan in a lot of old photos, include information
on schools, cemetaries, etc. The web server is NT4 running IIS 4.0.
Pages are uploaded via FTP. I personally use Dreamweaver 3, and am
learning Dreamweaver MX. I feel that Dreamweaver is too much for
this group to learn. I had early experiences with Microsoft Front
Page and was very much un-impressed. I need a recommendation for a
modestly priced web authoring program that can be used by several
users in this group. Ease of learning and ease of use are paramount.
A built-in FTP feature would be a plus. Assume that all users have
Windows 98 or newer.


You didn't really specify your needs, but maybe some free and open source
CMS will be the solution : SPIP, Xoops, ... They can be used on a NT4 server
with a few software installations/configurations. By the way, be really
aware of security patchs !!

Jul 20 '05 #5

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