SAS Guide to Publishing on the World Wide Web

Contents:
  1. About This Guide
  2. What Is the World Wide Web?
  3. The SAS Web and You: Where We're Headed
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Web
  5. Resource Guide for Web Providers
  6. Content and Style Guidelines and Recommendations
  7. Policy Statement: The Fine Print
  8. Glossary of Terms for the Non-Specialist

1. About This Guide

This Guide explains how to publish information about your SAS group on the World Wide Web. It includes information about the Web, specific instructions for publishing on the Web, and resources to help you. It provides our current guidelines, recommendations, and policies.

An electronic version of this guide can be found on the World Wide Web at this location: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/www-guide.html.


2. What Is the World Wide Web?

The World Wide Web (WWW) consists of an incredibly large number of electronic documents, called "pages." Users can view these Web pages, assuming they have an Internet connection, by using a World Wide Web browser, such as Netscape or NCSA Mosaic. You use the browser to connect to WWW servers, the computer systems that are the sources of information on the Web. The SAS Web Server is our server.

The World Wide Web allows links to connect pages to one another easily. For example, if you are looking at this document on the Web, the word "browser" in the previous paragraph is a link to a document which lists a number of World Wide Web browser programs. Web pages can contain links to other pages, to text files, to sound files, to animations and graphics, and even to programs! An organized group of linked pages is called a "web" or "web site."

The links between Web pages make it very easy to explore the Web. You can find a lot of information just by tapping an arrow key or clicking a mouse a few times. This power and ease of use is easier seen than described. If you do not have a browser, call your computer support person and request one.

Much more information about WWW is available by using your favorite browser to connect to http://www.w3.org


3. The SAS Web and You: Where We're Headed

The
University of Pennsylvania plans to make its entire admissions process electronic within the next few years. Students will be able to examine University webs to see if they are interested in attending Penn. They will even be able to apply for admission electronically. This will save a lot of paper. It will also mean that each department must have an up-to-date "web" (its own small part of the World Wide Web).

More and more students are already using the World Wide Web. Thousands of people from around the world consult SAS webs each day. Therefore the School of Arts and Sciences is encouraging you to publish information about your group (your department or other recognized group) on the Web. Both Penn and SAS have the beginnings of a wonderful web, but we need you. Your web will be a vital part of the SAS Web.

A departmental web will work like an electronic bulletin. You can publish basic information about your department: undergraduate and graduate programs, course listings, class schedules, faculty descriptions, and calendars of events. You can also publish other information that would never fit in a paper bulletin, such as faculty projects, pictures of your staff, or course materials. You can even publish news and announcements. Any information you currently have in PennInfo or on a Gopher or in printed brochures and bulletins can now be accessible in one place -- your group's web. You can include text, pictures, sounds, and even small video clips.

There are several advantages to having this information on the Web.

You can put nearly any information on your web, at any time, and you can change it almost instantly. It's an exciting prospect, and its time has come.

Fortunately, it's easy to move information onto the web, and we'll show you how. SAS Computing staff are providing training and support to allow each department to create and maintain its own web. The rest of this guide explains how you can be a part of the SAS Web. If any of this Guide seems difficult at first, remember that we can train you how to do each step.


4. Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Your Web

There are six primary steps involved in getting the information about your group published on the World Wide Web. They are:
  1. Identify a Web Provider for your group
  2. Identify a Web server that your group will use
  3. Collect the information you want to publish on your web site
  4. Convert the information into HTML
  5. Test your documents
  6. Announce your web site to the world
Now let's go through them one by one.

  1. Identify a Web Provider for your group
  2. The Web Provider is an individual who should be more or less permanently associated with your group. The responsibilities of the Web Provider are:

    The Web Provider could, of course, delegate tasks to students or other individuals. Web Providers and their delegates are eligible to receive training (see "Resource Guide for Web Providers" below).

  3. Identify a Web server that your group will use
  4. All groups within SAS are eligible to use the main School of Arts and Sciences Web server, www.sas.upenn.edu. In order to use that server, the Web Provider for the group must have an account on mail.sas.upenn.edu. Note that certain restrictions apply when using www.sas as your server.

    Alternatively, some departments (the Economics Department, for example), maintain their very own Web servers. If you are unsure what servers are available for you to use, check with your local computing support person or contact SAS Computing.

  5. Collect the information that you want to publish on your web site
  6. The next step is to begin assembling all the information that you want to publish on your web site (your web). Good sources of this information often include whatever printed materials you hand out about your group (e.g., brochures, newsletters). Additionally, SAS Computing has compiled content guidelines (see below) to help you identify what types of information should be included on your Web site.

  7. Convert the information to HTML
  8. Once you have assembled all the information you want to publish, you need to convert it to a form usable on the Web: HTML. (HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language.) There are many on-line references that explain HTML, how to write it, and list the many tools available to you as a Web Provider. See the "Resource Guide for Web Providers" below for some links to help you get started.

    Additionally, see the "Resource Guide for Web Providers" below for information on training, scanning, support, etc.

  9. Test your documents!
  10. Once you have completed the conversion to HTML and placed your documents on whichever server you've chosen to use, it is critical that you test your documents with a WWW browser (or two) to check that all the links in the document work, and that the information in the document is accurate and appears as you planned.

  11. Announce your web site to the world!
  12. Depending on how widely you want to advertise your information, you may wish to contact the following to ask that a pointer to your Web site be included:

    You also may want to consider publishing the address of your Web site in your group's future printed materials (for example, brochures).


5. Resource Guide for Web Providers

SAS Computing provides the following resources for SAS Web Providers:

Training

SAS Computing will offer WWW training in both group workshops and individual consultations. For department Web Providers, the following workshops will be offered:
  1. How to Use WWW Browsers
  2. How to Create a Home Page
  3. How to Develop and Maintain a Departmental Web
Individual HTML training by SAS Computing staff, as well as on-line tutorials, will be offered to supplement the group workshops.

If you desire training, contact webmaster@sas.upenn.edu.

The SAS WWW Server

SAS Computing provides the use of the web server www.sas.upenn.edu for all SAS departments and groups. Each department will be given disk space on the server to use for their department page. SAS Computing also provides a variety of software to assist in building HTML pages. Among these are various HTML editors and icon libraries. For more information on these resources, contact webmaster@sas.upenn.edu or the webmaster at the web server you have chosen.

SAS Computing strongly encourages the use of the central server, www.sas, or other SAS-administered department machines (i.e. Math, Economics, Chemistry, English) for web server use. If, for whatever reason, your department or group wishes to use another machine as its web server, please contact webmaster@sas.upenn.edu. One of the SAS Web Administrators will contact your department to determine whether or not this is feasible.

Educational Technology Services (ETS)

SAS Computing also provides the facilites to copy pictures, sound recordings, printed text and short video clips into a format suitable for a web page. All SAS faculty and support staff are encouraged to use these services, which are free of charge, at the ETS Prep Center, located in 633 Williams Hall.

The Prep Center is open weekdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. You may call the Prep Center at 898-9892.

In addition, Muk Rao from Multi-Media Services, is available by appointment for consultation on Web publishing and other related topics. You may call Multi-Media Services at 898-9892.

Other Web Resources

There are many on-line references for help in creating web pages. Here are some links to get started:

web-builders@sas.upenn.edu is a mailing list for all SAS Department Web Builders. It will be used by the Web Staff to provide up-to-date SAS Web information. To subscribe to this list, send mail to majordomo@sas.upenn.edu, with only the following line in the body of the message:


6. Content and Style Guidelines and Recommendations

  1. Know Your Audience: Content Recommendations
  2. Style Recommendations
  3. Departmental Web Templates
  4. Selected Style Guides and HTML Tutorials on the WWW

  1. Know Your Audience: Content Recommendations
  2. A departmental web is an information resource for various groups with very different needs. Some of these groups may be:

    You should include information in your web that will be used by as wide an audience as possible.

    1. Faculty
    2. The web is a wonderful academic resource for teaching and access to research materials. Jim O'Donnell, Classical Studies, has developed New Tools for Teaching, materials which describe using Internet-based resources for teaching. Other course materials are accessible on the Philae web server. You may also wish to explore some of the available virtual libraries for useful, discipline-specific subject matter:

      SAS Computing maintains a list of academic resources available on the School of Arts and Sciences Web.

    3. Undergraduates
    4. The College of Arts and Sciences requests that specific information be made on departmental webs which will help them present a coherent structure to undergraduates. These recommendations are:

    5. Graduate Students
    6. As with the web area for undergraduates, a separate page for graduate students would be helpful. The following are suggestions for inclusions on this page:

    7. Prospective Students
    8. The departmental web should contain an admissions area which contains the brochure and printed material currently distributed. Additional links to other areas of your web may be useful:

    9. Prospective Donors
    10. You may wish to contact the Office of External Affairs to discuss their recommendations for your group's web site.

  3. Style Recommendations
  4. It will make sense to consult these recommendations after you have learned a little HTML.

    The single most important style consideration when developing a web is that all browsers do not have the same capabilities, and an effective web design should work well with the spectrum of browsers available. In particular:

  5. Departmental Web Templates
  6. We have prepared a collection of files that you are welcome to copy and use as templates when developing your department's web. The template's home page contains the links to the full collection of files.

  7. Selected Style Guides and HTML Tutorials on the WWW
  8. A Beginner's Guide to URLs
    NCSA's guide to the addresses used on the World Wide Web. A good place to start, particularly the HTTP section.
    A Beginner's Guide to HTML
    NCSA's tutorial for learning HTML.
    HTMLQuickRef
    NCSA's Quick Reference Guide for HTML.
    Style Guide for Online Hypertext
    Tips from CERN about how to organize hypertext materials.
    Composing Good HTML
    Williamette's Do's and Don'ts of HTML composition for improved readability.
    Netscape Extensions to HTML
    Information about new HTML features, such as centering, font sizing, and backgrounds.

7. Policy Statement: The Fine Print

No official document would be complete without some disclaimers and policies -- the fine print.

Applicability of These Policies

The policies outlined in this Guide apply to all individuals and groups within the School of Arts and Sciences that publish information on the World Wide Web via PennNet.

"Individuals and groups within SAS" are defined as:

University-Wide Policies Apply

Any and all University-established policies with regard to publishing information apply to this policy statement. Please see:

Copyright Concerns

As in any medium where information is published, attention must be given to applicable copyright laws. For more information, see:

Appropriate Use Statement

Because PennNet and University- and school-owned computing resources are shared resources, restrictions may be placed on their use.

With regard to publishing information on the World Wide Web, users or groups may be required to remove materials from a PennNet-connected Web server if:

With respect to information published on SAS-owned equipment, SAS Computing will be the sole arbiter of what constitutes excessive bandwidth and academic value.

Other Restrictions

SAS Computing will limit the initial allotment of disk space on www.sas to 10 megabytes for academic departments, 5 megabytes for other academic groups. Requests for additional disk space should be sent to webmaster@sas.upenn.edu, and will be handled on a case by case basis.

For security reasons, support of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) scriptson www.sas will be restricted solely to scripts and utilites written or approved by the SAS Web administrators. SAS Staff will review all CGI programs written by Web Providers before use.


8. Glossary of Terms for the Non-Specialist

Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
a system by which a Web server can access local computer programs to create new Web pages

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)
a method of using tags to format a plain text document for the World Wide Web

page
a document on the World Wide Web

Web
the World Wide Web

web
any organized group of linked pages on the World Wide Web

Web browser
a program that lets a user see Web pages and interact with them

Web Provider
someone who puts publishes and maintains a web

Web server
a computer system that contains HTML files and converts them into Web pages

web site
another term for a web

World Wide Web (WWW)
a hypertextual delivery system for information on the Internet

Universal Resource Locator (URL)
the unique address (location) of any Web page; for example, the URL of this page is http://www.sas.upenn.edu/www-guide.html

Last updated 3 August 1995
SAS Computing. Email: webmaster@sas.upenn.edu
Questions specifically related to this document can be sent to sasweb@ssc.upenn.edu.