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Future Web Editors

Next Meeting October 10

Looking at Editors

Kompozer - Pat

SeaMonkey - Adrian

The application offers a free, integrated editing solution that works with WebDAV. It's the current, open source incarnation of the long-running Netscape application suite, so it seems to have an established developer community.

(SeaMonkey is the project name for the old Netscape and later Mozilla “Composer.” Composer is the editing component of the SeaMonkey application suite.)

It's very simple to use, and would likely be easy to teach to content administrators. The user loads a page he or she wants to modify using the SeaMonkey browser, hits CTRL/COMMAND + E to go into edit mode, makes changes in design or source view, then selects File → Publish.

If the user is WebDAV-enabled for the directory he or she is connecting to then the server will allow SeaMonkey to save the file over the existing one.

Here's a nice article about WebDAV editing with SeaMonkey,

One question concerns our desire to isolate parts of the page to prevent them from being edited.

The SeaMonkey solution could work if we modified our content management architecture so that the content section for each page is a simple include (i.e. individual pages are containers that call a separate content file, but requesting the content file in your browser does not call the template), and WebDAV-enabled only the directory containing the content files.

SeaMonkey can be downloaded at

Contribute - Jen

(Salve Regina uses this - we can contact them)


April 25

  • CMS Demo by Jolee
  • CMS & PHP Demo by Kevin

FrontPage Functionality

  • Themes
  • found on www in admission/cardinalkey, gis, nps, eventscheduling
  • found on condor for many faculty in wescourses (maybe frm webtechs?)
  • Shared Borders
  • need to run program to look at who has a _borders folder
  • Forms
  • Dreamweaver will do frontend but not back end (Jen & Ryan)
  • TSS writing this - not out of realm of possibilities - requires a bigger conversation

Possible Editor Solutions

  • Contribute (Jen- has it installed for testing, Ryan, Pat)
  • * good editor for departmental homepage updating
  • * can't edit .htt files
  • Microsoft Expression (Pat has it installed for tesing)
  • * only a PC package
  • Blogging Software
  • * Pat still looking into this - how to include dynamic elements onto blog pages


  • needs further discussion - CMS does not provide all that we want out of the box
  • if we were to build one - use FrontPage screens as a starting point
  • in addition to user setting permission would be nice to have global controls

Meeting Apr 11

FrontPage Functionality

We need to see what parts of FrontPage people are using so we can evaluate what they will need

  • Michael & Pat - look for use of frontpage bots (<!–webbot bot=“Timestamp” or <!–webbot bot=“HitCounter”)

Michael Loegering

Here are the stats for the htt pages1):

Total Pages 39257
Webbot tags 2511
ConfirmationField 83
HitCounter 23
ImageMap 12
Include 102
Outline 1
PhotoAlbum 18
SaveResults 436
TimeStamp 174
Validation 1382
  • Michael & Pat - look for use of themes (_themes in log or _themes folder)
  • Pat - find out what is created for shared borders - can we see something in the log or a specific folder

FrontPage Forms

  • try to find a form frontend and backend
  • Jen & Ryan - look into forms with DreamWeaver
  • Michael & Pat - talk to James about the possibility of TSS writing this type of program

Possible Editor Solutions

  • Jen & Ryan - look at DreamWeaver
  • Jen & Ryan & Pat - look at Contribute
  • Kevin - look at NVu
  • Pat - look at blogging for simple websites

NVu could never be our sole solution, because it does not support sftp or webdav. On the other hand, depending on how we use Xythos, NVu could work well in certain circumstances. We can set up index pages on our own servers that include content via http. We could then use Xythos to farm out responsibility for certain includes. The index page would call in content from the pages stored in Xythos. The individual content providers would be able to edit the includes, and only the includes, using whatever tool they like. If the Xythos drive is mounted, NVu will open an include as if it were a local document. In that case, Xythos offers a relatively straightforward editing environment for the uninitiated. It sounds complicated, but it's quite easy in practice, and I have tested it with success using PHP for the includes. By the same token, any of the other tools we are considering can presumably work in the same way, so the only things to recommend NVu in particular are cost (free) and intuitive simplicity. I'm not sure that it's a net simplification to introduce a tool that is only a partial solution, but it's hard to beat free. NVu update: Some brief testing of the above hypothesis uncovered a number of pesky difficulties. NVu can open and edit files in the Xythos “finder” but the filenames did not show up correctly in NVu. NVu did not want to allow me to edit files with .inc extensions and there did not seem to be any place to change that. By default, NVu adds <html>, <head>, <title>, and <body> tags to any document with an .htm extension. Although this feature can be overridden, it would be tedious to deal with it in practice. I think we can safely exclude NVu from our serious consideration. –Kevin

Amaya is very interesting but ultimately inappropriate for our needs, I believe. It connects to the server by a highly idiosyncratic “http PUT” method that is, by the W3C's own admission, not supported by many servers. Because of this we cannot easily test Amaya's remote connection capabilities. Amaya does manage to some extent to feel like a browser that let's you edit what you see, but some of the rendering is strange and not in line with how mainstream browsers render pages. Javascripts will not run, and even some relatively simple CSS declarations seem to go unheeded. A quick glance at the Wes home page will suffice to exemplify the rendering inadequacies. Furthermore, it seems unlikely that Amaya will ever lend itself to working with widespread forms of server scripting. Instead, the W3C is promoting its own templating scheme called XTiger. I think we would be ill-advised to adopt such an idiosyncratic approach even though it is open source, cross platform, and very inviting in theory. –Kevin


  • needs further discussion - CMS does not provide all that we want out of the box
  • if we were to build one - use FrontPage screens as a starting point
  • in addition to user setting permission would be nice to have global controls

User Base

Content Only

  • .htt editors
  • tend to be in acad or admin offices
  • often the AA or someone in office responsible for the website
  • often working with a university template

Content and Design

  • tend to be faculty working on research, wescourses, course material, professional info
  • some staff with professional societies
  • not working with university template
  • used to accesing in many different ways (fp, sftp, samba, afp, golive, and others)
  • students have multiple needs in this area
  • * WSA groups (get webspace to set up own sites)
  • * WSA groups that set are sponsored by a department
  • * class assignments


  • need access to multiple peoples sites
  • can use anything to design, but must be sure it all works in supported editor(s)


  • need to give collaborators access
  • need access to other sites to assist in changes
  • often the designers, web admin
  • could be expanded to ACMs and Operations

User Needs/Requirements

Content Only

  • cross platform
  • collaboration
  • wysiwyg (xhtml & configurable so it will work with our css's)
  • file management - new folders etc…
  • pages need ability to include channel maker
  • pages need ability to include calendar items
  • pages need ability to include other's pages in their skin (htt_process)
  • ability to use web as editor for documents (dept_description for wesmaps and student handbook)
  • accessible from home (with or without use of VPN)
  • need a solution for frontpage forms (confirmation page, email and spreadsheet)

Content & Design

  • all the items needed by Content Only users
  • cgi's – perl (php & mysql may be offered on a different server?)
  • javascript
  • css


  • collaboration with access to all sites (all may mean acad & admin sites, not personal sites)
  • need ability to create templates (assuming still htt templates, but if not then other kinds of temoplates
  • can use any software they choose to design as long as end result allows user to edit what they need


  • collaboration with access to all sites (acad, admin and personal)
  • spread out access granting to others

Moving From FrontPage

What bots are people using that we need to replace?

  • * last update date and
  • * page counter
  • * include a page in a web page
  • * include a picture
  • * include a photo gallery
  • * marquee
  • * hover button

Forms are a special bot and are widely used

  • * frontend - a wysiwyg way to create forms, in frontpage we create fields and set field parameters including javascript limits
  • * backend - currently we can email data to multiple users in multiple formats and save the data to a file (especially .csv)

php script

list of php & perl scripts

php program

Who is using themes and shared borders?

  • * Pat will find a way to identify them and work with Michael for a script
  • folders generated when using shared borders
  • _borders
  • _derived
  • _fpclass
  • _overlay
  • in log _themes show up - could search for that

Solutions to Consider


(first two seem like big packages)
* webmin (
* C-panel (
* Adobe Version Cue CS3 (



  • any desktop client (no collaboration)
  • Dreamweaver & FTP (no collaboration)


sharepoint designer and Office Sharepoint

  • SharePoint Designer relies heavily on the workflow and document management features available in SharePoint Server (as the name would imply), and requires more IT involvement in the management and development of the subsites and site features

MS Expression Web Designer

Which Tool Is for You?

Use Office SharePoint Designer 2007 if you are a solution creator and content author working using SharePoint technologies. Office SharePoint Designer 2007 will enable information workers to develop applications and solutions on top of the SharePoint platform to enable organizational agility, business process automation, and get the full value of Microsoft Office applications on the SharePoint platform.

Use Expression Web if you are a professional Web designer. It is a professional design tool to create sophisticated standards-based Web sites that deliver compelling user experiences. Expression Web is targeted at designers who are building broad reach HTML Web sites.

Office SharePoint Designer 2007 for the enterprise information workers and Expression Web for the professional Web designer.


Content Management

The numbers don't quite add up because searching for 'webbot' doesn't always return perfectly formatted tags
its/web_editors.txt · Last modified: 2007/10/08 10:04 (external edit)