Thursday, September 07, 2006

September? huh? what happened to summer?

As you can see from the title of this entry - I'm a little confused - how on earth can it be September 7 already? (that means I'm only days from my birthday, anxiously hoping for an end to the birthday curse that hit me three of the past 5 years...)

I disappeared for a while, but here's some of the things I've learned recently:
(1) when using include pages (a FrontPage Web Component - similar but not equal to other types of server-side include statements), you need to (a) make sure that you don't have the startspan clause in the statement - if it appears there, you'll have to remove the whole statement & re-add through FP... someone who doesn't use FP the way that I do tried to copy the include statements the way they looked in the source code of the pages served up online - but those served up pages added the span segment of the code... all content disappeared after that header include statement as a result... what I did to fix it was to find the original .htm files (pre-addition of the include statements), copy them to the server (used the FP import function), then added the FP Web Component - Included Content - Page once they were there; (b)make sure that you're using an absolute & complete URL if you're doing a scheduled content include (through the FP Web Components) - e.g., show on October 5th through 9th (then automatically return to show the original content) actually, it turns out that the big problem with scheduled include pages, like the scheduled images function in FP, is that FP requires you to republish the file for it to change the scheduled image or page - which makes that function effectively useless, as far as I'm concerned. The point, for me, was to create a schedule ahead of time that would move content into place for a holiday weekend and remove it the moment the holiday was over. Since there is no "cron" on a Win box, I thought that this would be a good server-scripted solution, but it looks like it requires enough manual intervention that I may as well follow my usual workflow, which only takes a few seconds, but requires my manual intervention.
(2) when running the WordPress blog software on an IIS installation, don't forget that last little detail of adding index.php to the default documents for the homepage. If not, you'll get a 403, access Forbidden type error.

So I've successfully gotten the combo of PHP, MySQL, and IIS to run on a test machine. I just have to figure out how to customize the look of the WordPress blog (using their custom CSS). I'll also have to double-check the security of PHP, MySQL, and Wordpress and learn what settings would work on a real server, test them on the test machine, then intranet here we come. (along the way, I'll have to document the process so I can repeat my successes and avoid my original mistakes). There are already three outstanding blog projects awaiting a solution using our own servers. There will likely be many more once the proof of concept is demo'd.

and yes, I've been busily working on getting large content projects up (legislative tutorial, agencies pages, library board meeting minutes and reports) and meeting with people who are at various stages in their content creation projects. The museum is among my next big things to get online, as is an h & g project. There are others in the pipeline - don't get nervous if I didn't mention yours! My kingdom for a true CMS. But the right one...

In the meantime, the web team is being formed by the powers that be - the sooner it's up, the better, even though it means more work for me. I'd like to run the museum options past them for feedback. I'd also like their opinion on our survey results & perhaps on the web statistics issue.

No comments: