[thelist] XP: Doing Things Right

Villano, Paul VillanoP at usachcs-emh1.army.mil
Tue Jul 18 09:45:53 CDT 2000

Forgive the cross-post.  I'm trying to get a wide opinion from as many HTML
gurus as possible because this is a philosophical question.  

Here's the issue:  Should I "fix" coding from a third party's site while
saving it for the responsible organization on CD?  What would you do?

We have a database where many people input training information.  A third
party pulls that information and generates web pages from it (using MS
products).  The pages have errors input by people into the database which
are too numerous and too frequent to be caught before the third party pulls
the information.  And, of course, we all know about what MS sometimes does
to code.

I am correcting the information, page by page (77 pages) and combing through
the code, cleaning that up as well.  The snag I'm running into is the format
the pulling organization chose to use.  They have their files stored in a
CGI-BIN directory on their server.  I wanted to follow their format so
they'll only have to copy my files and the only thing that will change will
be the content.  However, because of their BIN files, if someone clicks the
"DOWNLOAD" button, they will be getting an *old* (unedited by me) version,
won't they?  In addition, saving all of these pages made a folder (77 of
them!) for each page with the graphic (same graphics for each page) stored
in all of those folders.  In other words, rather than 1 copy of each button
.gif I've got 77 copies of each of three buttons in 77 folders!  

I'd like to clean up the above by just having one example of each button
.gif and getting rid of all those folders and getting rid of the CGI/BIN
references to preclude download of the wrong files by users of the CD.
Should I?  Is it  unfair to allow users to download an outdated copy of the
information (why they'd want to download anyway when they're looking at it
on the disk as HTML I don't know.  I'd obviously rather they didn't download
a Word file and mess with it.)?  Or is it unfair to mess with the format of
the pulling site (which will probably either disregard my changes and insist
that they all be input into the database instead of HTML or change it back
to their own format.)  I have no problem with them changing the format (not
the content) back.  However, because of the reasons stated before, changing
the entire database won't work, because people keep changing it after me.
(The HTML version is the static, approved, edited version.)

Thanks in advance for your replies, public or private.

Paul Villano, USACHCS, "For God and Country!"
PERSONAL QUOTE:  Make the most of every moment! 

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