[thelist] Am I being BS'd?

Robert Goodyear rob_goodyear at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 20 12:40:11 CST 2002


As indicated by another evolter, your solution lies in a
modular architecture. The site structure, navigation, and
constants need to be wrapped up into includes, database
calls, or HIGHLY segregated and commented sections of the

Since you mention FrontPage and MS Word, I'm going to go
out on a limb and throw some ideas at you that are

At the low end of complexity (well, that depends on your
perspective, really) would be HTML pages that are nicely
commented and segregated, so that a user could open the
pages in a visual editor and clearly see what's theirs to
play with and what's not.[1]

In the middle range I could forsee a simple (read:
inexpensive) system that allows your users to edit the
existing content via the web such as...


...each page would probably need to be predefined to
properly call includes and nav, as these aren't robust from
a CMS standpoint, but affordable and easy for the end user
to edit content within.

At the high end, you could go with a site that's fully
dynamic, including the rendering of your navigation based
on the addition and organization of pages. The admins could
have an interface to design a page template, the users
could have a place to build a new page based on those
aforementioned templates, and a place to organize the
architecture so that the nav is built correctly. A bit
expensive to implement but pretty much self-maintaining and
easiest for the end user.

Moreover, with newsletter articles, you're -- by definition
-- describing a publishing environment. The site should
have been built from the beginning with dynamic, flexible
content snippets in mind, and the size (within reason)
should be irrelevant to how the pages are rendered. The
design should accomodate either incredibly flexible sizes
of content, or article summaries with jump pages.

[1] But all this aside, it seems that your biggest problem
is the tool being used. Word creates the most bloated and
funky code I've ever seen. FP is equally squirrely. GoLive
isn't too bad, and the latest version plays nicely with
server-side scripting technologies, such as ASP, JSP and
CF, and also allows document versioning and collaboration.

Hope my $.02 helps. Would love to continue this thread.


--- Janet Green <JGreen at desmoinesmetro.com> wrote:
... One of our internal departments has a website,
> designed and now hosted by a local firm, which was
> supposed to be easy for a non-HTML expert to go in and
> make changes to using Front Page. The gal in charge of
> updating the online newsletter portion of this site is
> having trouble making each month's articles fit into the
> nested table layout. One of the problems I pointed out to
> the designers was the fact that their code is not
> terribly tidy

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