Website Maintenance

Basic Structure of SIMS Website

All of the pages described here use php. The file format corresponds to HTML version 4.01 strict (the most recent standardized version of HTML as of writing). The page format we use has a php include to include both a file to go into the header and one to format the page. The header file, common_files/header.php, does common header things like link to the various CSS and provide many of the non-page specific header tags. The page file, common_files/format.php provides the lists that through one of the CSS file linked to in the header, common_files/common_styles.css, is turned into drop-down menus. A second CSS file linked to by header.php , common_files/common_print.css, controls some formatting for printing out the page. Because the format.php file ends with an open <div> tag, either add an include to common_files/end_file.php (recommended) or add a </div> before the </body> and </html> tags.

There are still a couple things on every page that need to be set. In the header, the 'title' tag ought to be set to match your page. Also, the meta 'description' should be updated to be a brief description of what your page is all about.

Pages should be written in HTML, which is simple to learn and use (a list of the major tags is below, otherwise see: W3C HTML Elements). Since most of the formatting is done using CSS, all that really needs to be coded in are paragraph markers, headers, lists, links, superscripts, subscripts, and non-ascii characters beyond ASCII. Writing a plain text file can be done using GNU Emacs. The mmm-mode, which does highlighting for php interspersed in html, css, and javascript, is recommended.

List of Pages

Header/CSS Files

Other Important Files

Useful Background in HTML, php, CSS, and Javascript

We use HTML v. 4.01, php, CSS, and a little JavaScript on various parts of this site. We have striven to make everything compliant with the various relevant standards.

List of useful links

Brief HTML Elements Primer

The following is a brief listing of some of the more useful html elements. There is a complete list at the W3C site.

HTML elements, their use, and their function.
Element Use Function
<a> normally with href="" to link to other webpages For linking to other sites
<b> For making text bold - it is better to use CSS
<blockquote> For large quotations
<br> A line break
<code> this is some literal computer code
<div> can have class="" or id="" Useful for applying CSS format to an area
<em> Emphasis is applied to a topic.
<h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> Various headings
<I> Makes character italic - it is better to use CSS
<img> normally with src="" and alt="" adds an image to the page
<I> Makes character italic - it is better to use CSS
<I> Makes character italic - it is better to use CSS
<li> List item.
<noscript> Some text you want to display if javascript isn't working.
<ol> For an ordered list.
<p> For text paragraphs. Not needed if you are in div elements.
<pre> For pre-formatted text.
<q> probably should use lang="en-us" For quotations.
<span> normally with class="" or id="" For identifying text for use with CSS.
<strong> Indicates strong emphasis.
<sub> Makes something subscripted.
<sup> Makes something superscripted.
<table> Makes a table.
<td> Makes a table cell (put inside a <tr> and <table>).
<th> Makes a header table cell
<tr> Makes a table row.
<u> Makes underlined text - better to use CSS instead.
<ul> For a bullet list.

A comparison of how to enter common HTML, XML, JavaScript, and LaTeX entities can be found at Search Help Page.