README File for Faculty Homepage Template

Overview

The pages contained within this directory comprise a template we've created for faculty home pages. If you wish to supplement your information as it exists on the main departmental webpage with additional materials, we would like to offer the use of this template for the layout. It has been designed to have a similar feel as the BME departmental website but has more basic navigation to allow more flexibility and easier creation.

As you will see, the pages of this template have been created using Dr. Vashishth's information as an example; if you wish to create your own homepage, simply replace his specific content with your own. Please take notice that this example is not fully complete; we encourage you to expand your homepage beyond your departmental pages with additional materials - the sky is the limit! But, for example you may want to include an expanded biosketch, more detailed research information, additional publications, some highlights of your teaching endeavors, etc.

With these topics in mind, we have chosen the major headings for the homepage template to include: Welcome, Biographical Sketch, Research, Publications, Educational Initiatives, Downloads, and Contact. We hope that these headings are general enough to allow most, if not all, of your intended content to be placed appropriately. If you have suggestions for additional headings, please feel free to let us know (or create your own; see images below).

For an example of the detail pages, look at the Research section. In the example, the first page is a Research Overview with links within the text to pages that provide greater detail on several specific research focus areas. These types of detail pages can be added to any of the major headings as needed. It is suggested, however, that the detail pages never delve more than one page away from the major heading. This will help prevent the user from getting lost.

Technical Details

HTML Creation

The template pages were all created with Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0, currently rated by many as the best web authoring software package. You may use virtually any editor for your pages. Update: We highly recommend that you use Dreamweaver to edit your pages. I have recently discovered that other "wysisyg" html editors, such as Netscape Composer, do not fully reproduce the look of the template pages, and some manual editing may be required to fix the problems. For example, Composer appears to strip out the "paragraph" tags which cause some formatting to be lost. If you do not already have Dreamweaver, you can download a free, 30 day trial version at (http://www.macromedia.com/software/dreamweaver/trial/). In addition Dr. Spilker has offered to have the department purchase a copy for anyone who's interested. If you are, please see him.

Also you may notice that the template pages make use of a Cascading Style Sheet (bmestyle.css). This sheet is used to maintain the style of the text. For example, all links will be rendered by the browser in a shade of green and without underlining. Also the heading and paragraph tags (p, h1, h2, etc.) have been redefined so that many of them are rendered in "BME blue". As such you do not need to apply these colors, etc., yourself, but by using the appropriate tags, the style will appear automatically. Examples are shown below.

Heading 1

Heading 2

Heading 3

Heading 4

Heading 5

paragraph text

Link

Images

The images, in particular the left navigation "rollover" buttons, were created with Macromedia Fireworks 3.0. If you require additional buttons, you can ask me to create them or create additional ones using the Fireworks source file (left_buttons.png) provided in the template/leftbuttons directory. Fireworks makes it very easy to create and modify "rollover" buttons. Images other than buttons, may be created with virtually any software.

If you wish to get your picture from the department pages to use on your homepage, the easiest way is to view those pages in your browser. Then right-click (Mac:ctrl-click) on the image and choose: "Save image as..." from the pop-up menu. Naming the image "fac-image.jpg" and saving it inside the "template" folder (see download template files, below), will cause it to appear on all of the template pages.

Template Layout

To open the template, open the index.html file contained within this directory. By default, this file will setup a left navigation frame (templeft.htm) and a main frame that initially contains the Welcome (welcome.htm) page.

Download Template Files

To quickly download all of the files in the template directory, they have been placed in two self-extracting zip archives, template.exe and buttons.exe. Just right-click both of these links in-turn and choose "Save link as..." to save each file to your hard drive. Then double-click the file to extract the files to a new folder on your desktop called "template". (Windows)

Mac users should be able to ctrl-click on the links above, and choose "Save link as..." from the pop-up menu to download the files. Then drop the files into Stuffit Expander to decompress the files within.

Important: The files contained with the template.exe archive should be placed inside a folder called "template" while the files within the buttons.exe archive must be placed inside a subfolder of "template" called "leftbuttons". This should happen by default with the "template" folder appearing on the Windows desktop. If it does not (or for Mac Users) you should establish this file hierarchy manually.

Homepage Placement

This template is designed to help you build your own homepage. While the department pages will remain primarily constant, you will have the freedom to modify and update your homepage as much as you like. To allow this kind of access, we recommend (for the moment; see server below) that you store your homepage on your RCS account, inside your public_html directory (i.e. upload everything inside the "template" directory on your computer to your public_html directory). Once you have posted something you like, simply let us know so that we can establish a link to your homepage from your department pages!

Server

While this process of bolstering our online presence is now well underway, we are already planning for the future. Currently the department is in the process of purchasing and setting-up its own web server. This server will give us the flexibility to offer a wider variety of services to our website users. For example, we plan to make use of interactive forms which will allow us to automatically collect data from current and prospective students. In addition we will be exploring how we can allow you, the faculty, to use this resource to host not only your personal homepages but also those of the courses, projects, etc., that you are involved with. Stay tuned for upcoming developments!

Contact

If you have any questions, on any of the topics described above, or need any sort of assistance, please do not hesitate to ask me.

Good Luck!

Joe

 

 

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