Welcome to the ARDA website development directions pages! We will be using NetObjects Fusion to manage the site.
NetObjects Fusion is a high level web development application, by which I mean that you wonít be touching HTML, unless you really look for it. Instead, youíll be using the tools provided by NetObjects to turn the development process into something closer to using a drawing program.
Because NetObjects is such a high level development tool, many of the most common tasks, such as creating pages, managing style sheets, and building navigation bars have been greatly simplified. Most if not all of what you will need for managing the site falls under this category. There is a cost for this convenience though: a loss of fine control over the development process. At times, you will find that there is some design or function that NetObjects does not provide or just doesnít quite generate correctly. You might be able to coaxe NetObjects into doing what you want, or you might not. Itís the tradeoff made whenever the basic code is hidden.
Setting NetObjects aside just for a moment, itís important to note now that ARDAís web development process will place a fair burden on the individual web developer. Here, the client and the web developer are one and the same, and there is no layer between the developer and the public website. That is, as soon as you make a change to the site, you can publish it to the web for public viewing. While this allows changes to be made quickly, the caveat is that if you mess up the site and publish it, you might end up embarrassing yourself and the department. So please always check your work before you publish it!
Finally, youíll note that this directions site was also made in NetObjects. NetObjects is NOT supported by SLAC. Since this is very much an open source process, you will need to depend on one another for help. I hope that as you and your colleagues discover your way around NetObjects, you will add to this directions site as well and share your know-how.
Whew! All right, letís get started!