The Center for Academic Computing (CAC) offers Web space to all Penn State students, faculty, staff, colleges, departments, schools, and official organizations.
This article presents general information for aspiring Web developers who use the CAC's Web services. Additional information is available at the following URL:
To get started, you need the following:
1. High-speed access to the Internet. See the publication Internet Access Guide at the following URL: http://cac.psu.edu/internet/
(Printed copies of the guide are available at CAC Help Desks in 2 Willard Building and 215 Computer Building, or can be obtained by calling 814-865-4757 or by sending e-mail to email@example.com.)
2. A computer on which to compose your files.
3. Software for processing your files (a word processor, text editor, or HTML editor and also an FTP client for transferring your files to the Web server).
4. A server, or computer on which your files will be stored.
5. Ability to use HyperText Markup Language (HTML) or an HTML Editor tool.
Individuals are responsible for managing their personal Web space. In the departments and colleges, however, a computer support person, system administrator, or editor may serve as "Webmaster"the person who manages the Web site. For many organizations, a group of people help to manage the Web site using their various areas of expertise. A Web site typically requires a system administrator, programmer, editor, and perhaps a graphic artist. Sometimes one person can do it all, but if the Web site is large and complex, most departments find that additional highly skilled staff are needed to keep up with the demand for high-quality presentation, content, and site maintenance. How this is handled depends on the resources and staffing of each department or college.
The following options are available for Web publishing:
No matter which of the above options you may choose, we welcome you to attend seminars offered by the CAC that focus on Web development. See the following URL for details: http://cac.psu.edu/training/
An Access Account is required in order to apply for CAC Web space. Student accounts will remain active during periods of continuous enrollment (fall and spring semester) and for six months after graduation. (Accounts are kept active during the summer for students who are expected to return in the fall.) Faculty and staff accounts will be closed upon termination of employment.
Personal Web space is required for anyone who uses any other CAC Web services, such as department or course Web space.
Individuals can apply for a home page by completing an on-line application form at the following URL: http://www.psu.edu/webspace/
Your personal directory and home page will be generated in
about three business days (notification is not sent). Students and staff get
two megabytes; faculty get six megabytes. Your URL will be formatted
(where xyz123 is your Access Account user ID)
Personal Web space for students will remain active during periods of continuous enrollment (fall and spring semesters) and for six months after graduation. (Web space is kept active during the summer for students who are expected to return in the fall.)
Personal Web space for faculty and staff will be closed upon termination of employment.
Penn State student groups or organizations can apply for
Web space on the Student Activity Server at the following URL:
Official university units can purchase Web space through a P-account. Space costs $0.34 per megabyte per year plus a $10 processing fee annually and each time a request for additional space is processed.
When you apply for Web space for a college, department, or other official unit, the supervisor of the account selects the last part of the URL on the application form. The URL is in the form
where deptname is the name or abbreviation you selected (restricted to thirteen characters). This will also be the name of your Web directory. Please note that if someone else has already selected that name or abbreviation, you will be asked to select a different one.
Before applying, each person who will be using the Web space should obtain personal Web space. See the previous section "Personal Web Space" for instructions.
The form Application for Academic Computing Account Services (Acrobat PDF format) can be downloaded from the CAC's Account Services Web site at http://cac.psu.edu/accounts or can be obtained by contacting the Computer Accounts Office, 230 Computer Building, University Park, (814) 865-4772, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two types of Web space are available for course development: the Course On-Line Account (COLA) and the Student On-line Development Account (SODA).
The COLA provides faculty with 10 megabytes of Web space for course development and presentation. COLA space is continued indefinitely as long as the instructor continues to teach at Penn State, but must be renewed each semester. COLA account owners will receive e-mail when their space is established, and will also receive a renewal form by e-mail before the end of each semester.
The SODA allows faculty to request five megabytes of additional personal Web space for each student in a course to use for course assignments. This space is added to each student's personal Web space. SODA space is available for one semester.
To request COLA or SODA space, faculty need to fill out the form Application for Academic Computing Account Services and select the appropriate option on the "Course-Related Services" section of the form.
To apply for course space, an instructor must:
1. Have an Access Account
2. Be an instructor of a Penn State class
3. Have personal Web space
Additional course space can be requested at no charge; however, the CAC reserves the right to limit disk allocations. To request additional space, send e-mail to email@example.com or use the form Application for Academic Computing Account Services.
To obtain a COLA or SODA, complete and submit an application form. An Acrobat form can be downloaded from the CAC's Account Services Web site (at http://cac.psu.edu/accounts) or can be obtained by contacting the Computer Accounts Office, 230 Computer Building, University Park, (814) 865-4772, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A utility for finding out how much space you have used out of your allotment is provided at the following URL: https://www.work.psu.edu/
Select "Directory quotas" at the above URL; then enter your Access Account user ID and password. The amount of personal space used will be displayed on the Web page. To find out how much space you have left in your department or course directory, you will have to use the "change directory" function. In that field enter
(where "department" is your department's directory name)
(where "course" is your course name, "course999" is your course name and number, and "xyz123" is your user ID)
Students and staff get two megabytes of personal Web space; faculty get six megabytes. This amount is free of charge. Additional space must be purchased, as detailed below.
Departmental Web space and additional space for other purposes costs $0.34 per megabyte per year plus a $10 processing fee annually and each time a request for additional space is processed.
If additional space is needed, the application form mentioned above should be used to request additional space. Three business days are required for processing requests. After requests have been processed, charges cannot be refunded.
Student Personal Space
Two megabytes are provided at no charge. Students who request additional Web space authorize the CAC to charge additional Web space fees to their Bursar account. Charges then appear on the next tuition or interim bill from the Bursar's Office.
Faculty/Staff Personal Space
Faculty get six megabytes at no charge; staff get two megabytes at no charge. Faculty and staff can purchase additional Web space for their personal directory through a departmental P-account.
Web space for course development is provided at no charge; however, the CAC reserves the right to limit disk allocations.
Colleges and Departments
Web space for colleges and departments is charged to a department P-account. Application forms are available from the Computer Accounts Office.
Student organizations using the Student Activity Server must apply for additional Web space at the following URL: http://www.clubs.psu.edu/
One of the most exciting features of the Web is its capability of including images. New Web developers are often eager to incorporate a variety of images in an effort to make their pages unique and interesting. However, when too many images are included on a Web page, the page can be very slow to load, look cluttered, or be very difficult to read. Following are some tips to consider when using graphics on your Web pages.
1. File Size. The smaller the file size of your graphic, the faster it will load to your reader's machine. Many people will wait only a few seconds for an image to load before moving to a different Web page. You should try to keep your graphics files as small as possible while maintaining good quality. Image size is determined by pixel height and width as well as color depth. If you link to larger graphics (over 25K or so), you should label the links with the file size so that the user will have some idea of estimated load time.
2. Save your graphics to screen resolution. Computer displays have a resolution of 72dpi. A file size with resolution over 72dpi is overkill and needlessly increases file size. Remember that all Web/HTML measurement units are in pixels, not in inches or picas. Set your image editor's preferences for "Units" to pixels so you won't have to change the units every time you use the editor's "Size" box. Your images should never exceed 586x350 pixels since many monitors running Internet browsers will not display more than that without scrolling. Netscape's default width is 472 pixels.
3. Work on your images in a high resolution. Work on your original images in the highest resolution and color depth possible. When you are finished SAVE AS another filename to a GIF or JPG format, as appropriate. Keep a copy of your original image in its high resolution format for further modifications or printing (at 300 or 600 dpi).
4. International Usability. Remember this is the World Wide Web. People from anywhere on earth may access your pages. Be careful of using icons or graphics which may be offensive to those of other cultures and don't assume they will understand all the visual puns and jokes that Western users might.
5. Include Appropriate Information in Your HTML Anchor. Providing image width and height information in your HTML anchor reference will help your image load much faster because your browser will allow space for it when laying out the page. Adding an ALT tag will provide those using a text only browser (or those who have disabled autoloading of images) a description of your image. A good HTML image anchor would resemble the following:
<IMG SRC="Example.gif" ALT="photo" WIDTH = 472 HEIGHT = 192></A>
6. Avoid long scrolling pages. Few users will scroll beyond the information that is visible on the screen when a page comes up unless you give them a good reason to do so. All critical content and navigation options should be on the top part of the page. Try to separate long pages into shorter ones so your readers can access your information quickly with minimum scrolling.
7. Be consistent. If your site contains more than one page, use a consistent style for headlines, logos, navigation aids, etc. to visually hold your site together. Remember that once a graphic is downloaded the browser keeps a copy of the image in its cache and it does not need to be downloaded again. You can reuse the image without increasing your reader's download time.
8. Avoid visual noise. Just because you know how to add animations, a garish background, or blinking graphics and text, don't add these features to your pages unless they enhance the content. People are primarily interested in content. Layout and design should be used to help the reader find information.
9. Respect copyrights. It's very simple to copy text and graphics from the Web. However, before you use it, make sure you have permission from the author. Links to policies, guidelines, and laws are available at the following URL: http://www.psu.edu/computing/policies
10. Test your page. About 90% of all World Wide Web users use Netscape or Microsoft's Internet Explorer as their browser. Test your pages with at least the most recent versions of each of these as well as a text browser. This should ensure you will accommodate most of the people who may visit your site.
Penn State Images
The CAC is working with the Office of University Publications to provide a library of Penn State images for Web developers. Meanwhile, please refer to the Penn State Licensing Manual and Visual Standards Guide for information regarding the use of Penn State logos and images. The guide can be obtained from the Office of University Publications by calling (814) 863-1870.
Putting An Image On Your Web Page
Photographs or images can be scanned at one of the
scanning resource locations listed at the following Web site:
After you have scanned the photograph you must make certain that the image size is set to 72dpi and the dimensions that you desire.
Save images in "gif" or "jpeg" formats. When you transfer image files to your directory, make sure they are transferred as "raw data."
Free Icons and Art
There are several locations on the Internet that offer icon and art libraries. Your best option is to utilize one of the many internet search sites available and seek out the kinds of graphics you are looking for. See the CAC's training site at http://cac.psu.edu/training/outlines/indexgraph.html for links to some good sources. Please note that you are responsible for following the use agreement that is posted with the graphics at most of these image libraries.
To make an image map, create a .map file and use the NCSA httpd 1.5.1 server imagemap support. There are other ways to do this, such as some Netscape-specific tags. NCSA has a good tutorial at http://hoohoo.ncsa.uiuc.edu/docs/tutorials/imagemapping.html.
Scripts, or Common Gateway Interface (CGI) programs, can
affect server performance and security for all users. These programs are
not necessary for Web publishing. However, for those who wish to
use scripts, a library of general-purpose CGI scripts that have already
been evaluated and tested are available on the CAC's Web server.
Persons who write their own scripts should test and debug them
on the CAC's test server at
http://scripts.cac.psu.edu/ after which they may submit them to email@example.com for approval and installation. The Web support group requires approximately two weeks to process these requests.
For further information see the following URL: http://www.personal.psu.edu/faq/cacweb.html.
There are two counters available: one text and one graphical. Following is the text counter that is included in the template page created for individuals:
<HR>This page has been accessed
<!--#exec cgi="/cgi-bin/counter"--> times since Sep 10 1998.<br>
You are the <!--#exec cgi="/cgi-bin/counter-ord"--> person to access this.<HR>
For more information about counters, see the URL http://www.personal.psu.edu/faq/web-weenie.shtml.
You are expected to exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using the University's computers, information, networks or resources. This applies, of course, to your use of Web space. Penn State Web space is reserved for University-related use.
Content of Web pages must not violate Penn State policies or federal, state, or local laws. These include laws or policies pertaining to libel, slander, threats of bodily harm, pornography, and sexual harassment. By using your Access Account, including the CAC's Web server, you agree to abide by these laws and policies.
The CAC does not monitor the content of Web pages. However, if inappropriate materials are discovered or reported, the CAC reserves the right to block access to such files until the author removes them or until competent authority grants access. Disciplinary action, including referral to the Office of Judicial Affairs, police, and suspension of account are possible.
Generally, laws that apply to the printed word apply in the electronic medium as well. Publishers should be concerned with issues related to copyright, libel, and liability. If you use copyrighted materials (such as text, photographs, images, video, or audio files) you must have permission from the copyright holder. Photographs require signed photograph clearances. Always ask permission from the author if you would like to use files you find on the Web. At many Web sites you will find restrictions and guidelines for use of the material published there. When in doubt, get written permission.
Commercial use is not allowed
Web space is for University-related use. Don't use your Web pages for purposes such as selling a product, a profit-making business or sales position, or in conjunction with mass mailings. If you wish to use the Web for purposes unrelated to Penn State, use a commercial service. Many companies known as Internet Service Providers (ISPs) offer Internet access, including e-mail, for a fee. Some examples are America Online, Compuserve, and AT&T. One method of finding an ISP is to enter "ISP" in the search field at Yahoo's site, http://www.yahoo.com/ on the Web.
Electronic surveys must comply with policies
Penn State researchers know that all research performed on human subjects must be approved by the Office for Regulatory Compliance. However, they should also be aware that Internet surveys are subject to the same regulations. Whether conducting a survey on paper or on-line (by using e-mail, the World Wide Web, and other Internet resources) researchers must comply with all policies, including Policy SY22, The Use Of Human Subjects In Research.
All researchers and the students who work for them are expected to exercise responsible, ethical behavior when using Access Accounts, the University's computers, information, networks or resources. See the following World Wide Web sites for additional information:
The Office for Regulatory Compliance may be contacted at 212 Kern Graduate Building, University Park; (814) 865-1775; Fax 814-863-8699, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related Policies and Guidelines
Please read the University policies related to computer use. These are available at the following URL: http://www.psu.edu/computing/policies