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Technical Specifications

Version

This is version 0.3 of the AUT Web Page Technical Specifications, dated January 10th 2001. This document will be regularly updated. Please ensure that you have the latest version.

Use HTML Version 4.0.

It is recommended that web authors producing pages for www.aut.ac.nz and other AUT web servers use the HTML 4.0 specification and avoid deprecated  features of HTML. The HTML 4.0 specification is available at:

http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/

Write for Netscape Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 5.

Web authors producing pages for www.aut.ac.nz should use only those features of HTML 4.0 that are supported by both Netscape Navigator 4 and Internet  Explorer 5.       A simple script can be provided to do this with no interaction required from the user. A summary of supported features is available on the web at:

http://www.ncdesign.org/html/list.htm

Web Content Accessibility

All pages within a sub-site must conform at level A to the World Wide Web  Consortium's "Web Content Accessibility Guidelines". Version 1.0 is available at:

http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/

Conformance at higher levels, double A and Triple A is desirable.

Index pages

All sub-sites must have an index page. The filename for that page should be  either index.html or index.htm or if the page incorporates server-side includes,  index.shtml or index.shtm.

File and Directory Names

Lowercase

AUT operates its Web servers from UNIX platforms.  All file-names and file-name references under UNIX are case-sensitive. If you have created the files under MSDOS, Win3.1x, Win9x or WinNT then we strongly advise you to keep all file-names and file-name references in lowercase to stop case mismatches causing errors while navigating your site

Spaces

Avoid  spaces in file-names.

Images

Please make use of our collection of images (including AUT crests) which are available on the WWW through the Web Centre upon request. Do not alter these branding / graphic elements in any manner

Frames

Currently, frames are not to be used on any of the top-level pages on www.aut.ac.nz  (i.e. within one hyperlink or "click" of the homepage http://www.aut.ac.nz).

Frames may be used on a departmental sub-site provided that the sub-site uses  a navigational frame and that frame has a prominent link back to the AUT home  page http://www.aut.ac.nz.

Links to web pages outside the frame-set (i.e. external to the sub-site) should include the attribute TARGET="_top" to remove the frame-set.

Font, Colour Background and Text Properties

These properties for web pages on www.aut.ac.nz are controlled by predefined style-sheets developed by the Web Centre. You must not include tags  or tag properties in your web pages that attempt to alter these properties.

Use the Correct Style-Sheet on All of Your Web Pages.

Style-sheets are used on www.aut.ac.nz to set font, colour, background and text properties and thereby achieve a consistent style across distinct areas of the AUT website. Style-sheets are also used to make web authoring easier by  standardizing presentation issues so that web authors can ensure that their presentation meets the required standard.

AUT web authors will find style-sheets easy to use. These are being developed as part of the new Web redesign and will be available online for easy access

Document Types on the AUT Website

Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and executable files may  be uploaded to www.aut.ac.nz and your users are supported client side if they are using a WINDOWS/NT environment with OFFICE installed. LINUX users may experience some problems but usually are aware of how to remedy this situation. Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and executable files were previously banned as they were susceptible to macro viruses. However all ITG supported machines now run virus checkers.  If you wish to host executables, these files need only to be scanned and checked for malicious content

Format HTML Coherently.

Space out your HTML so that it is easy to read and edit. Use indents for subsections and blank lines to separate sections. Use a consistent format style  across all of your sub-site.

Broken Links.

Broken or unreliable links on your web pages need to be removed. The Web Centre will notify you about links that are broken or unreliable and you should remove them or fix them within ten working days.

HTML Verification

Use an HTML Verification service to check the syntax of your web-pages, e.g. Dr HTML at:

http://www2.imagiware.com/RxHTML/

CGI Scripting

All Web authors must discuss their scripting requirements in the first instance with the Web Centre and before they develop any  cgi-scripts for use on www.aut.ac.nz. Scripts developed without prior  consultation will not be accepted for use on www.aut.ac.nz. During this consultation you will be  issued with guidelines to which the scripts must be developed. All scripts will need to be tested before they can be used on www.aut.ac.nz. Plan for a period of at least two weeks for testing scripts and  be aware that there is an hourly rate of $70/hour will apply for script testing. It is recommended that  web authors let Web Centre staff develop any cgi scripts that may be required. The hourly rate for such development is currently $35/hour.

Web Pages Integrated With Databases.

Web pages integrated with databases can be used to both display stored data  and to collect new data. Course information, for example, can be stored in a  database, searched by prospective students and then displayed on a customized  web page. Or course application requests could be input from a web page into a  database for processing. After processing course application forms would then be  automatically mailed out to prospective students. Staff are  available to assist with the development of integrated web-page/database applications. Please consult the Web Centre Manager who in turn will discuss your requirement with the ITG Operations Manager, before planning any web/database development work.

Use of Web Forms

The Web Centre can provide facilities for emailing submitted web-forms back to an email  address. Please consult one of our staff if you want to use this facility.

This is a working  document. Please contact the Manager - Web Centre if you would like further clarification.