Friday, March 7, 2008

Of domains and filenames…

Quick and dirty overview:

When you make a link to a page on our library web site, use the full domain name:


When linking to an index (or default) file within a folder (often index.html) and you omit the index/deafult file name to shorten the URL, make sure to terminate the URL with a trailing slash.


Okay, a bit more for those interested (or looking to while away a Friday afternoon):

I just wanted to make a quick post about URLs for library web pages (I am deep into finishing up our ARL Spec Survey right now, so I'll make a longer regular update this weekend). There are a myriad of external policy influences that play into this, as well as internal systems issues at play (which I will detail in an upcoming best practices documentation in the CMS and off my WTCC web site) but what it boils down to is this: when you are preparing communications that include links to the library, keep two things in mind. First, the proper domain name to use is (currently, you never know when we may have an external policy decision that changes this):

Although library ISD has done their best to catch all variations of this, like the most common one, (and trust me, there are many more variations, and I'm not going to list them, mostly because I don't want the mere mention of them to accidentally perpetuate their use) we all should really use from now on. Although in some (maybe even most) cases a variation of this domain will work, to ensure that it will 100% of the time, regardless of if your content is on the the old web server or the new CMS, use the full domain, .

A related issue arises when we publicize truncated URLs when people are linking to the index.html page within a directory. For instance, let say we have a top level folder called "myfiles" and an index.html page within that folder. The proper URL to publicize in that case is:

Again, ISD has implemented several helper applications on our various web servers to push variations of this (like ) to the correct file, but not all of the systems we use will catch this 100% of the time (again, look for future best practices documentation for the long-winded and technical explanation of why this is), so please do not use these incorrect approaches in the future just because they _seem_ to have worked in the past.

On a related note, it's a good practice to have your web sites/folders/pages posted for testing before distributing documentation that includes URLs, even is this means simply putting up a page stub that you'll complete later.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Web Technologies Survey in your email

The web technologies survey I mentioned has just been sent out on the library faculty list-serv. Just in case you aren't on this list-serv, I am going to include the "survey" here (it's less a survey than a call for free-flowing stream of consciousness feedback, I _promise_ so please don't just chuck it in the delete pile because I've mentioned the dreaded S word... ;) . Feel free to either comment back with our replies, of email them to me, Robert Slater ( ). By the way, there were 2 mistakes in the version I emailed out (corrected below): (1) I'd like to have these returned to me by this Friday, _March_ (not February) 7 if possible. However, if any of you can time travel and get it to me last month (without rending the fabric of space time now or creating any paradoxes...) that would be awesome, and (2) the library blogging software is (and always has been) Movable Type, not WordPress (okay, begin the pillorying).

The Office of Web Technologies and Content Coordination is collecting information about web technologies that are being used around our libraries (which will all be posted on the Web Tech site). A major focus of the survey is on Social Software, which we will use to prepare our answers for the ARL SPEC Survey on Social Software in Libraries, but we also want to cast a broader net than that and provide a comprehensive view of any web technologies beyond the "plain vanilla" variety that you are using (or planning to use) in your libraries. Although we do need specific answers for the ARL survey questions (below), don't hesitate to tell us about any cool web related technologies you are using or projects you are planning. If at all possible, please email your responses to Robert Slater ( by this Friday, March 7. You need not provide information about all the technologies listed below, just the ones you are using or are planning on using. When possible, please let us know when you first started (or plan to start) using the software/service (you need not be exact, the year would be sufficient), if you are no longer using it then when (and why) you stopped, what you are/were using it for and, if possible, the URL of a page using the technology.

Social networking sites (like MySpace or Facebook)

Media sharing sites (like YouTube or Flickr)

Social bookmarking or tagging sites (like and LibraryThing)

Wikis (Wikipedia, Library Success, pbwiki, libGuides, etc)

Blogs (like LiveJournal, Blogger, and our library Movable Type blogs)

RSS (From any service or medium, including blogs, twitter, etc to either gather other sites feeds into your own pages, or to publish your own news, events, podcasts, etc)

Instant messenger services (like AIM, googleTalk, for either connecting with patrons or for interoffice communication)

VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol like voice chat on AIM, Google Talk, Skype)

Virtual Worlds (like Second Life, World of Warcraft, etc)

Web Widgets/Objects/Embeds that can be embedded into your web pages (like MeeboMe or Plugoo for adding chat functionality to your web site, but this can be any type of widget, not just IM widgets)

Thank you very much for your time and assistance!