Each member project in WASA can establish a "mini-site" where they can publish online documents related to their particular project.
In order to facilitate the quick publishing of documents online, WASA has developed the following instructions or protocol for how documents should be submitted by projects.
At present, there are five main categories of general content (i.e., not data) that can be added to the Web site. These are:
This is an important news item which is placed on the Home Page.
A project should coordinate this through the WASA regional coordinators.
If approved, the text and required links can be submitted in an email and WASA
Web site personnel will add the content to the HTML pages manually.
A regular posting of news.
This consists of a simple block of text and an optional image.
An item gets plonked at the top of a page of items.
It is planned that news items can be submitted via a Web form which
automates the publishing process.
The core pages which act largely as navigational or promotional
pages. An example is the Research projects page where the member projects
are listed and hot-linked.
When a project joins, it provides a project description page.
These pages have a fairly set structure and content and a template file will be supplied
to the project.
Each project can add documents in the form of articles to the site.
These are generally single pages, which can nevertheless be long,
and may comprise text and photos.
These page documents must be submitted as XML documents (details below).
If the content is extensive and can be logically arranged into "chapters",
one page per chapter, then it can be published as an online book with
navigation functionality added to move between chapters,
such as a Table of Contents, and forward and back buttons.
The expedition reports from ISBP seem to be a logical "book"
where each day's activities is a chapter.
The document is submitted as a series of XML files together
with images (details below).
In addition to the types of documents that a project can add to the site, members can add content to the existing online field guide. The guide is organized as an online book, one chapter per species. Each species account consists of text organized into sections, and one or more images with captions. Each species account is atributed to one or more authors who "adopt" the species and are responsible for maintaining and revising the account. A member is free to add a new shorebird species account to the guide, or work with the author of an existing account.
Content for the guide must be submitted in XML format. See details of XMl tags below.
A Web site is largely a collection of HTML pages which comprise text content and style (layout) information. So when we talk about adding a document to the Web site we usually talk about adding HTML pages. The problem is that this means the creator (often a biologist) has to provide both text content (the important part) and style!
Rather than store content and style in one document and expect users to be knowlegable about both, we separate the style from the content and manage them separately. We use Extensible Markup Language (XML) to store the text content, and we use XSLT files to store the page layout instructions. Then when it comes time to create an HTML page with both parts, we do this automatically using special software.
So, the users are asked to submit their text content in XML format. The documentation here will help the user to prepare such documents. By preparing XML files, the process of publishing the content on the site is speeded up tremendously, which means that there can be very fast turn-around times on new documents.
The basic steps are:
When a user is starting to create a new document for the Web site they should think carefully about what type of document is best. The expedition reports from ISBP seem to be a logical "book" where each day's activities is a chapter.
An XML file is simply the text content wrapped by XML elements or tags. In this way it is similar to HTML, except that the tags are structural not stylistic, and they (the tags) can be customized. We have developed a WASA set of XML elements which authors must use if they want us to create HTML documents for the site..
There are two basic kinds of elements: block elements start a new line when formatted (e.g., section). Block elements can contain inline elements which do not force a line break but modify text (e.g., emphasis).
The following table lists block and inline elements for a WASA XML file.
|Table 1: WASA block and inline XML elements|
<page id="into" lang="en">...</page>The root element for a page document. The attribute "id" is optional. The "lang" attribute specifies the language template which should be applied. In this example the document is in English. Other values are: es (Spanish), pt (Portugese), fr (French).
<article id="ch01">...</page>The root element for a book chapter. The attribute "id" is optional.
<page> <title>The structure of XML</title>... </page>This is the page title and it is centred in orange at top of page.
<sect1 id="elements"> <title>Block Elements</title>... </sect1>This is the top-level section. The attribute "id" is optional. A title within sect1 is bolded and left aligned.
<sect1 id="elements"> <title>Block Elements</title> <para>The block element is ...</para> </sect1>This creates a block of text
|itemizedlist||List of items where order doesn't matter.||
<itemizedlist> <listitem>A list of two items</listitem> <listitem>another item</listitem> </itemizedlist>
|orderedlist||List of items where order does matter.||
<orderedlist> <listitem>Step One: prepare</listitem> <listitem>Step 2: Go</listitem> </orderedlist>
<sidebar> <para>text put in a shaded box</para> </sidebar>Sidebars are shaded boxes containing paragraph text and lists. They can have titles.
<note href="http://www.noaa.gov" img="../images/logos/noaa_logo.gif" <title>Inline elements</title> <para>The inline element is...</para> </note>Use a note when you want to put content in a one-row table. In this example the "href" attribute is used to hot-link the note title (it is an inline HTML tag). The "img" attribute (inline HTML tag) will put an image in the first cell of the note.
<note-list> <note><para>The tag we use...</para></note> <note><para>The next tag we can use...</para></note> </note-list>Use a note-list when you want one table with several rows (one per note) formatted with images in each row.
<mediaobject align="right"> <objectinfo> <title>Red Knot</title> </objectinfo> <imageobject id="ibp01"> <imagedata fileref="images/rekn-hand0.jpg" width="270" align="right" srccredit="M. Dennison"/> </imageobject> <caption> <para> Red Knot in Delaware Bay </para> </caption> </mediaobject>This element wraps an image, or a videoclip, or sound file. Use the "align" attribute to specify where on the page to place.
|object-info||object information||See example for mediaobject (above). Text here is used for the "alt" tag.|
|image-object||image object||See example for mediaobject (above). This element wraps the image file details.|
|imagedata||image data||See example for mediaobject (above). This element includes attributes which specifies file path and who created it.|
|caption||caption||See example for mediaobject (above). This text will be centred under the image.|
A few tips when you create the XML document.
The following tips can help when you prepare images to accompany a document.
Once the document files and images are ready, they can be compiled into a single package such as a zip file and then sent to WASA Web site. Put the images files into a sub-directory called images.
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