Web Document Standards
Conforming to these standards helps assure the quality of our
Web site. Where possible we want to build tools to automatically
check for conformance to these standards. And, of course, we want
to think about the quality of these standards themselves: are
they worth it? do they add value? do they address the real issues
from a user's perspective?
- The only unique identifier for many documents is its URL.
- We will avoid an external control point, for example, that
tries to link HTML pages and "source pages". In other
words, for hand-made documents, the document that is edited is
the actual HTML.
- When generating files from a dataset or a report, the filename
is constructed using a logical key from the dataset (e.g., the
job class code plus '.html').
- HTML titles (<title> tag in the header section)
- Titles are important because they are the basis for indexing
and easy recognition of bookmarks
- Should match the H1 header exactly.
- Domain-specific considerations determine which identifier
is used for an HTML page. Examples include:
- Use data element names in the context of data element dictionary
- Use Record or Table name in the context of the Record dictionary
- A "complete titles" for many pages would require
"University of Colorado" and other descriptors that
make sense but are relegated to subordinate titles for purposes
of indexing, etc.
---- The following items were added 30nov1998 to encourage a concise
and therefore more inviting and useable TOC:
- Keep titles to 40 characters or less. Omit 'IRM' from the
title unless it really seems warrented - remember that the
toolbar will provide cues to the user that the page is an
- Go ahead and use common acronyms in the title, like SIS or
CIW. Use an H2 or H3 tag on the page to explain/expand
the acronym if necessary.
- Use relative references when creating anchor tags (links)
whenever possible. (Remember that the log will show actual,
complete URL anyway.)
- Each page should have the standard IRM toolbar at the top,
and the toolbar at the bottom, followed by the standard irm footer.
The IRM toolbar provides such things as:
- "IRM Home" button -- always.
- A "Comments on this Page" button -- always.
- An "Up" button -- if applicable.
- Buttons for "Prior" and "Next" pages --
- -uc toolbar option will put an "under construction" message
on the page. Use this feature sparingly. It's really meant for
when you are making changes to a page directly, which you should
only do if the changes take less than an hour to complete.
- Other buttons as needed
- Standard IRM Footer should be the last thing on the page.
The footer provides:
- the UNIX date and time stamp when the HTML was last updated
- The document's URL. (Netscape will print as much of the URL
as will fit on the top of a printed page, but it's nice to simply
write it down at the foot of the page because some browsers do
not provide this feature and Netscape actually truncates the
URL if the path is long.)