InterLab 2002 Site Reports
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InterLab 2002 Site Reports. What are the site reports good for? Letting our fellow web developers and managers know what's going on at their sister institutions Providing a starting point for helpful information exchanges and inter-site cooperation

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  • What are the site reports good for?

  • Letting our fellow web developers and managers know what's going on at their sister institutions

  • Providing a starting point for helpful information exchanges and inter-site cooperation

  • Planting the seed of an idea, a new approach, a collaboration, or an opportunity to lend someone a hand



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Number of staff using your internal website

The number of staff using internal websites ranges from about 100 to 13,000. The average-size internal site has about 4000 users.


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Total IT budget for Laboratory

About half the sites have something to report in this area. Responses break down into two groups: folks who seem to be reporting site-wide totals come up with figures that range from $20-65M. Those who seem to be reporting funding levels for "core" or "central" site support offer figures that range from $175-350K. To get a real handle on the funding issue, we would probably have to ask a lot more questions, define a lot more terms, and involve a lot more people.


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Percentage of Laboratory IT budget outsourced

Most sites didn't report in this category. The ones that did were divided evenly among those who outsource from 0-5% of their IT and those who outsource 30-50% of their IT.


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Number of static (HTML, PDF) pages on Laboratory's internal site

Responses in this category range from 1000 pages to 500,000 pages. The average response is about 100,000 pages.


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Number of static (HTML, PDF) pages on Laboratory's public site

Responses in this category range from 500 pages to 285,000 pages. The average response is about 145,000 pages.


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  • Level of staff effort spent encouraging or enforcing website standards

  • Central web staff often have responsibility for "core" or high-level pages. In these cases, peripheral (divisional, departmental) sites are usually the responsibility of line management.

  • Other sites have a committee or organizational representatives that oversees standards.

  • Sometimes responsibility for standards is so distributed that no one seems to have responsibility.

  • Sites that answered in terms of the number of staff devoted to standards enforcement indicated that two to seven individuals were involved to some extent.



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Tools for Users standards


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Browser(s) and version standards

The vast majority of folks are using either IE 5 or later and Netscape 4.7--with a smattering of more recent versions of Netscape and Mozilla. There is an obvious trend toward Explorer and away from Netscape. There also seems to be a small undercurrent of Mozilla adoption.


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Email client(s) standards

We're a pretty diversified group in terms of the email clients we use. The most popular clients are various forms of Microsoft Outlook, Netscape, and Eudora. The most obvious trend in this area is a gradual migration to Outlook.


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Site search engine(s) standards

A surprisingly high number of our sites use Inktomi to index their public or internal sites. Other search products include Verity, SQL Server, Infoseek, FrontPage, and home-grown solutions. There seems to be an interest in investigating the Google enterprise search product.


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Anti-virus software (desktop) standards

About 40% of the reporting sites used a Norton product as their desktop anti-virus solution. Other choices include TrendMicro, McAfee, NAV, Virus Scan, Net Shield, Virex, and InnoculateIT.


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Anti-virus software (server) standards

The most popular response in this area was "no response.“ That could mean we're not using much in the way of server-based anti-virus software; however, it seems more likely that respondents just weren't able to locate this information in time to respond. Among the sites that did respond, Norton was the most popular choice. Other solutions include VirusWall, Bro, Sophos, TrendMicro, InnoculateIT, Exchange Server, Sybari, and PMDF stripping.


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Anti-spam software (desktop) standards

Apparently the vast majority of our respondents either don't use desktop anti-spam tools or aren't sure what users at their sites are doing in this area. A number of folks indicated that this is a subject that's under consideration.


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Anti-spam software (server) standards

As with desktop spam solutions, server-based solutions are currently being considered by a number of sites. The sites that have implemented solution use, in no particular order, Spamwall, Brightmail, TrendMicro eManager, and combinations of manual and mail administrator techniques.



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WYSIWYG web page development tool(s) standards

Most sites report fairly heavy use of Dreamweaver, FrontPage, and HomeSite. Other tools include GoLive, Composer, Word, and WebTop.


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Text web page development tool(s) standards

The hardcore code crunchers among us will be happy to know that the feature-free Notepad is the most commonly mentioned text tool. BBedit and HomeSite are also commonly used. Other text editors mentioned include Emacs, Cold Fusion Studio, WordPad, Word, PfEdit, and TextPad.


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Programming language(s) for web applications standards

The most commonly reported programming languages are Java, Perl, ASP, Cold Fusion, and JSP. Other solutions include C+, Javascript, Basis+, Rexx, J2EE, Web Services, PHP, PL/SQL, VBScript, Lasso, and Tango.


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Programming tools for web applications standards

Cold Fusion Studio is used at about a third of the sites. Other less widely used tools include Dreamweaver, Visual Interdev, Visual Basic, JDeveloper, Eclipse, Lasso, Tango, and Visual Studio.


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Databases for web applications standards

Most sites indicate that they used Oracle, Access, or some variety of SQL for their web applications. Other choices include Ingress, FileMaker, Basis+, and Sybase.



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Describe webserver environments standards

Various flavors of Windows (NT, W2K, XP) seem to be the most common server operating systems; however Unix seems to be the OS of choice for central servers. IBM was also mentioned in the OS category. Webservers seemed to be predominately Apache and IIS, with iPlanet, Linux, and IES also being mentioned.


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Is your site management distributed or centralized? standards

We're pretty evenly divided between labs that classify themselves as centrally managed and those whose site management is distributed. Several respondents indicated they had a centrally managed "core" on their public and/or internal sites, but that responsibility for the rest of their web resources was distributed.


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What content management tools are most often used to manage your site?

A wide variety of content management tools were reported--most of the non-enterprise variety. Dreamweaver and FrontPage were mentioned most often. Other reported tools include HomeSite, varieties of FTP, Stellant (in a pilot project), NetObjects Team Fusion, Visual SourceSafe, CVS, and home-grown tools. Several sites indicated they were in the process of looking for enterprise-scale content management solutions.


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Does your site use portal software? your site?

Only LLNL and LANL have implemented portals. Those sites contemplating portals seem most often to be aiming at a broad initial implementation followed, perhaps, by more specialized applications.


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Are portals implemented enterprise-wide or are they used in selected areas?

Of the two implementations, LLNL's is enterprise-wide and directed at all employees; LANL's is enterprise-wide and directed at managers. As mentioned above most of the sites considering portals seem to be leaning toward a broad initial implementation.


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Describe any tools you use for evaluating and testing sites (usability, accessibility, compliance with HTML coding standards, checking links, etc.)

Of the many quality assurance tools mentioned in the site reports, only Bobby, W3 Validator Tools, and Dreamweaver appeared in multiple reports. The others include Webtester, Cold Fusion Studio HTML Validator, Watchfire, WebTrends, Dr. HTML, Jaws, LinkBot, HTML Tidy, VisCheck, WAVE, CSE HTML Validator, Astra Site Manager, FrontPage, and various custom scripts.


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  • How has your site approached compliance with accessibility standards (Section 508)?

  • Progress toward compliance with 508 standards comes in many shapes and sizes:

    • Paying little attention

    • Evolving toward compliance

    • Applying standards inconsistently

    • Linking 508 efforts to search engine optimization

    • Developing strategies and requirements

    • Encouraging developers to make a good faith effort

    • Providing guidelines

    • Providing training

    • Using text-only pages and tab-enabled forms

    • Making 508 compliance part of the review process

    • Requiring designers to use 508 testing tools

    • Requiring Bobby compliance


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  • Describe test and development environment for web sites, beyond individual desktop workstations.

  • There seem to be several different kinds of test and development environments:

    • Development and/or review environment that mirrors production

    • Non-mirror development and/or review environment

    • Mirror site for testing/version control of non-executable content

    • Two- or three-tier environment for application environment


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What software/tools/utilities are are used to manage the "publishing" of finished sites?

Managing the publishing of finished sites is handled in a variety of ways. The most popular options include home-grown review/approval/publishing applications and several flavors of FTP. It should be noted that, while FTP is often used to publish sites, a number of sites are discouraging its use or phasing it out. Other publishing tools/utilities (some of which are also FTP-based) include FrontPage, Dreamweaver, SCP, WinSCP, TelnetSSH, CVS, Unix rsync, PVCS, WebDav, and OpenAFS. Several sites also reported using "filer" software that enabled them to copy content from the desktop to the server or to edit files on the server.



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