Re: Management of Web pages

Subject: Re: Management of Web pages
From: Yvonne DeGraw <yvonne -at- SILCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 22 May 1996 09:37:13 -0700

Sally Yeo <sallyyeo -at- execpc -dot- com> wrote:
> If anyone has had experience using a document management system to
> manage the creation process on a large Web site with multiple writers, I
> would like to know what tools you use and any comments you have about them.

> The site we are currently developing has about 200 pages and about 10
> people working on it. At any given time, some 5 people could be
> accessing the same page. We especially need the check-in/check-out
> feature of doc management systems, at a low cost. ...

I suggest talking with some software developers about what they use for
source code control on your platform and network configuration. ASCII files
are ASCII files, whether they are C++ code or HTML. (Some source code
control systems also manage binary files, so you could also manage GIFs,
etc.) What platform are you using? On UNIX, rcs is a good, inexpensive
choice.

Web authoring tools will soon provide support for multi-author
environments. For example, the authoring tool I'm documenting (GNNpress)
will support version checking and file locking in it's next release. These
features are dependent on having a server that also supports the versioning
and locking features of HTTP/1.1. The authoring tool will let you lock a
file. Then, other authors will be warned that the page is locked when they
try to edit it. Also, if you try to save a page that has been changed by
someone else since you last loaded it, you get a warning. (Images don't get
locked.)

GNNpress (and probably many other authoring tools) also lets you look at
the structure of your site and the links between files -- helpful when you
have 200 pages.

GNNpress 1.2 is currently in Beta at http://www.tools.gnn.com/. You can get
GNNserver at the same location, but I think you'll need GNNserver 2.1,
which isn't in beta yet, for the locking feature. (Both products are free,
and they will probably go back to being called NaviPress and NaviServer
soon.)

Anyway, I expect other HTML authoring tools and Web servers will be
supporting these features soon.

Yvonne DeGraw, Technical Services o Web Authoring
yvonne -at- silcom -dot- com o Technical Writing
http://www.silcom.com/~yvonne/ o Database Design and Publishing
Tel: 805/683-5784 o User-Interface Design
(Check out my latest project--the NanoTheater at http://www.di.com/)

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