Q & A

My site works great in all browsers, but things just don't quite line up in Internet Explorer, any ideas?

Internet Explorer is just full of surprises. One of those is that it is two browsers in one. That is, it has two modes, a standards compliant mode and a more forgiving mode. This more forgiving mode is called Quirks mode. Essentially it allows IE to deal with poorly developed Web pages by making assumptions about how it was supposed to be designed. This is great for amateurs, but causes headaches for professionals.

The good news is that which mode IE uses is dependent on a simple bit of code at the top of the Web page. That is, the Web page determines the mode IE is in. IE will default to Quirks mode if the very first thing on the Web page is anything other than a properly defined DOCTYPE statement. So, if you just make sure you have a properly defined DOCTYPE statement as the very first thing on the page (even before the <html> tag), IE will behave more like a mozilla type browser. Note, you cannot even put comments before the DOCTYPE statement for this to work properly.

Here is an example of a proper DOCTYPE statement and its associated html tag:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/
1999/xhtml" lang="en">

My fonts do not increase now that I'm using CSS, how is this accessible?

It all depends on the fonts you use. I recommend using ems for your default values, although percents and relatives (e.g., x-small) are also okay. You should avoid mixing font types in a document unless absolutely necessary.

The Home Page features changed, how do I get someone on there?

Send any requests for people to be featured on the Home Page to Gail Hairston in Public Relations, 257-1754 or gghair2@email.uky.edu


Web Policy Review

Introduction, Scope and Definitions

Sections I, II, and III of the Web Policy are for obvious reasons the most straightforward. Section I specifies that all Web pages are subject to this policy under the authority of the Web Advisory Committee and also to other University policies, indicating which ones. This section also highlights the intent that this policy not interfere with our commitment to academic freedom. Finally, Section I provides brief historical context for the policy.

Section II of the Web Policy read as follows in entirety: "This policy governs any electronic documents made available via standard Web protocols which represent an official unit or activity of the University, are hosted on University resources, or bear marks, logos, or symbols that might imply endorsement by the University regardless of where they are hosted."

If it is an official activity of the University and it is on the Web, it is covered.

Finally, Section III provides definitions of terms used within the policy, specifically accessibility, logo, primary unit, site review and the various types of Web materials.

Custom 404 Pages

404 is the computer code for "File Not Found." That is, a Web server has responded at the address you provided but it did not have a file of the specific name you requested. All Web servers have a generic page they provide to indicate this, however, these servers also provide the option to have a 404 page just for your site and not for the entire server.

The advantages of making your own 404 page are several. First, you make it clear that it is not your site that is missing just the one page. Second, you can have the same visual appearance as the rest of your site. Third, you can offer tools such as navigation and search boxes, directed specifically at your site rather than an entire server.

For example, if I want to find application information at one of our departments on www.uky.edu and they do not have their own 404 page, then I will be directed to the general UK 404 page. This gives me access to the search box, but if I type in application I will be searching against every department on that server. On the other hand, with a custom page, I can give the option of searching just my department's pages and putting less of a work burden on the user.

A Custom 404 page is no different than any other page. All you need to do is create an HTML page with a statement that the file the person is looking for is not found and providing them the tools they need. Mostly likely this page will be in the template of your existing site.

If you are on www.uky.edu and you wish to enable this page, you need to create a file called .htaccess (nothing before the . this is the entire name of the file). The file is not an HTMl file so it should be completely blank. Then add a single line such as this:

ErrorDocument 404 http://www.uky.edu/FineArts/error.html

You would of course change the URL to be the complete URL for your custom error (404) page.

If you are on www.mc.uky.edu, you will need to contact Terrie Ashley and advise her that you need to have the error page for your site changed and give her the URL of your page.

If you are on another server, you will need to contact your server administrator to find out how to set up your custom error page.

To see a sites error page, just type in their address plus the name of a file you expect to be non-existent such as gobbledygook.html. The following colleges are currently using custom error pages:

Alternate NAVBAR Draft

As many of you know the navbar was designed many years ago and is built around fixed width concepts and table based design. Although we've updated the code so that it is XHTML Strict compliant, the concept is still somewhat inflexible.

Additionally, the bright blue of the navbar has caused problems for a number of folks around campus whose site designs are in pastels or grayscale.

Consequently, in Spring of this year, the Web Advisory COmmittee approved the development of a new version of the navbar to address these issues. While not yet near ready for use, we thought we should give you a peek at how this new bar will work. Please bear in mind that this is an attempt to make the navbar more flexible. At this time, there is no plan to change the basic use of the navbar as our online branding element and it is still required as per the Web Policy. Additionally, this new navbar is not a replacement for the old navbar. Rather it is in addition to. Finally, we will be offering a version of this new navbar in blue before the end of the year for those who like the old color scheme, but do not wish to be hampered by the fixed design.

You will notice that this new navbar is much faster to load than the old bar because it does not depend so much on graphics:


Creating Accessible Page Layouts


A good summary, easy to read.

Site Reviews

No Site Reviews were available at the time of the meeting this month. Apologies.


Unicode Code Converter

Using the bottom two converters, you can render e-mail addresses into code values that spam harvesters may not recognize as e-mail addresses. Web browsers and e-mail clients will convert the codes back to regular characters so there will be no confusion for the end user.

5-Second Tests: Measuring Your Site's Content Pages
Safari passes the Acid Test
Web site traffic monitors: Count them out! (handout)

Why do we put counters on our Web sites? Usually to show our bosses that the Web site is doing something. The consumers of our sites almost universally do not care about the number of hits especially as without context the number is meaningless to them. Save yourself the clutter and do not put counters on your site. Those on www.mc.uky.edu can get a regular report of their hits. Those on www.uky.edu can go to the Stats page to find out how to view hits.

Approved Corporate Logos

These are the logos approved under the exception clauses of the Web policy. If you have a logo which has been approved and do not see it here, please contact Web Services immediately. If you are using a corporate logo and it has not been approved, you must remove it. To request an exception under the conditions of the Web Policy, please contact Web Services.

Vivisimo Clustering - automatic categorization and meta-search software
Google Content Blocker

(Just for fun)

Notes from Campus

Public Relations

It is a new fiscal year, make sure to update any pages associated with the new year. Don't forget pages with information about members serving terms, whether Trustees, senators, committee members, etc.

Web Services

New accessibility guidelines are on the way. You should be prepared to start working with WCAG Level 2 as a guide. If you don't know what this is, you have home work. :-)

Starting in September we will be offering a multi-session course where we will walk through designing and implementing a new site form the ground up. We will show you how to do this site so that it is XHTML Strict, CSS 2, and WCAG 3 compliant. The site will be fluid and work on multiple devices. We will address issues such as using multiple style sheets and when it is okay to use tables and <b> tags. If you would be interested, please send us your thoughts on what to include. Even if you have advanced skills you should consider attending as you may be able to offer us a better way of doing things.


Important Dates

register: http://www.uky.edu/

South on August 15, 2 p.m.
116 Morgan Biological Sciences Building

North on August 16, 2 p.m.
115 Grehan Journalism Building