Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Alex's Personal Reflections 2

As the work on the project continues, we learn how to make the transfer of the pages quicker, but also we come across new difficulties and challenges.

An important enhancement of our work was done when we started using templates for creating new pages. By default Google Sites offer the users a few templates: Web Page, Announcements, File Cabinet and List. However, the users may easily create new templates to suit their needs. For the purpose of the website 8 new templates were created – one for each of the main menu items: Business Performance, Creative Services, Enterprise Development, Networking & Good Practise, New Product Development, Process Improvement, Recruitment & Development and Technological Services. Each template contains a decoration bar with the picture of a tube line and a submenu of appropriate colour. Thanks to this there is no need to spend time on creating every page from the scratch – it can now be done by just one click. It is planned to create a similar template for other sub-pages.

After solving the problem with inserting JavaScript by using gadgets, it seemed that everything would go smoothly from then on. However, I discovered that the website actually does use some simple server-side scripting to process user input – the authors provided forms that allow contacting HEIs (Higher Education Institutes) via the website. Unfortunately there is no way of implementing this on Google Sites. Therefore the contact forms element had to be dropped and replaced with a Contact page, containing the contact details of all HEIs. This seems to be the best and most reasonable solution.

As the website contains many pages to be moved, it will require a lot of time to finish the project. Nevertheless, thanks to creating new templates and solving the issue with the server-side forms, transferring new pages should go more efficiently.

This work has been supported by funding from JISC. The site can be viewed at https://sites.google.com/site/emknorg/

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