[thelist] RE: Web Based Employee Directory

John.Brooking at sappi.com John.Brooking at sappi.com
Wed Sep 15 07:29:56 CDT 2004

Ken Chase said:
>I'm lacking inspiration today and need to create 
>an employee directory for my company. I can't seem 
>to find anything very elegant in my searches. 
>Here's the criteria:
> - 25-30 employees
> - I don't have access to a database. Everything must be static HTML
> (valid)
> - Accessibility is very important
> - JavaScript is the only programming option
> - Fields: First Name, Last Name, Job Title, Job Description, E-mail 
> Address, Telephone Number
> - The e-mail address must be a link which populates an e-mail form (I 
> really don't like using "mailto" I guess this means using 
> JavaScript/DOM).
>Does anyone have any suggestions, advice or links 
>to inspiring work of this nature?


   I think Shoestring CMS might work for you, if you are willing to install
Perl. Obviously this violates your "JavaScript is the only programming
option" criterion, but that is the only problematic one I see. You would set
up your employee file with whatever fields you want (it's a modified kind of
CSV text file), write a template for the static page it will generate (so
you can make it as valid and accessible as you want), and initially generate
it. For maintenance, an admin (maybe you, but not necessarily) will log in
and modify the employee list through an HTML editing form, and upon saving,
the static page (or pages; you can use the same file in many different ways
in multiple pages) will automatically get refreshed. See
http://www.shoestringcms.com for details, a demo site, and to download the
Perl code. You can direct questions to me off-list.
   As to the contact form to replace the mailto link, that's a separate
issue from Shoestring:
Andreas Wahlin said:
> <- The e-mail address must be a link which 
> populates an e-mail form (I really don't like 
> using "mailto" I guess this means using 
> JavaScript/DOM).>
> Is there anything wrong with mailto-links? Just 
> curious, not critizining in any way.
> Andreas

Spam-bots visit your site and pick up email addresses for spamming purposes.
The list archives have *MUCH* past discussion of this. My opinion is that a
contact form is really the only way to go. You can configure a contact form
page to allow selection of one of a number of contact people, and even have
client-side JavaScript to select one from a query string. This allows you to
replace "A href='mailto:mary at domain.com'" with something like "A
href='/contact.html?To=Mary&Subject=Hi'". To me this is a lot easier than
remembering entity values or obfuscating JavaScript, two other solutions
that are sometimes suggested. (Plus it is still usable by those without
JavaScript, it just doesn't automatically populate the To and Subject
fields.) If the "To" field only passes a key value to a server script, you
can store all the addresses on the server and never expose them to a client
at all. I have written such a server script, and notes about creating a
suitable client form, see http://www.pobox.com/~JohnBrook/codelib/.
- John

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