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ToC2. Becoming a web site owner in UCC

There are just a few things you need to do before you actually start:

  1. Make sure you have access to a computer connected to the Internet. You can use a home computer if it has a full Internet connection (broadband or dialup): it's slower than UCC's connection but many people prefer to develop their sites in the evenings at home this way.

  2. Install a HTML editor or web site creation program (see section 3.2, ‘Creating and editing HTML’), and a graphics editor if you want to create or edit your own images (pictures, icons, etc—see section 3.2.7, ‘Other web development software’).

  3. Make sure you're using a machine that you have permanent access to (ie not shared with others in a lab, where the software and your files might get wiped off); or arrange to store your copy of the site on a floppy disk, CD-ROM, USB stick, CF card or other removable device.

  4. Read Walt Howe's advice on how to avoid making your site a turn-off for readers.

  5. Read the Accessible Site Design Guide for information about how to make your pages work in all browsers.

  6. Read the Irish National Disability Authority IT Accessibility Guidelines and ensure that your pages are viewable by those with disabilities.

  7. Test your pages (and other people's!) in the script at http://www.ucc.ie/cgi-bin/blind.

  8. Read the article by Jeffrey Zeldman, 99.9% of Websites Are Obsolete, to see why designing for a single browser only is a bad idea.

  9. Apply to the Webmaster for an account on the web server. See section 2.6, ‘Applying for an account’ below for details.

Up to start of section2.1. Roles and responsibilities

As a site owner, your role is to create and maintain your web pages, to help others who are contributing pages to your site, and to take responsibility for the content, appearance, and usability of the site. You also have a responsibility to UCC to present your site to the world in an appropriate manner and to keep it up to date. The description in section 5, ‘Netiquette’ explains in more detail how you can achieve this.

⇛ The Computer Centre provides the networking infrastructure, connectivity to the Internet, and backups; and the Electronic Publishing Unit looks after the running of the web server, including support for technical queries. Training courses in web page creation are available from the Computer Training Centre, but the Computer Centre does not have the resources to design or write your pages for you: you have to do this yourself.

Please note that the Computer Centre cannot make changes to your web pages for you except in emergency circumstances: running your own web site means you (or your department) must acquire the skills to do these tasks yourself, and make provision for continuity when trained staff leave. This is particularly true if you use additional facilities beyond HTML (eg PHP, JSP, MySQL, XML, etc).

Please check with the Webmaster  before you start work on a new site or new developments, especially if you are using an external designer, so that appropriate arrangements can be made for any special requirements.

Web site owners are reminded that the disk space and email facilities are provided for the relevant department/project/society and may not be used for other file storage or personal email. All work on UCC computers is subject to the Acceptable Use Policy.

Up to start of section2.2. Using an external designer

You may want to hire an external designer to help with the layout and even the day-to-day production of your site, but you still need to plan what each page is going to say, and how they all link together. If you do decide to use an external designer (or even an internal one: there are many students who do web sites), please be aware of the following:

The web is first and foremost an information system, and the information in your web site (your text) is more important than the appearance (style) that you may give it from time to time. The design is very important as a means of making the information comprehensible and easy to find, but it is not more important than the information itself. Be careful to pick a designer who understands how to balance these requirements: some designers still think the web is made of paper, or believe that flashy layouts with blinking lights and animations are a substitute for hard facts (see some examples of poor design!).

Up to start of subsection2.2.1. External designers working in the new CMS

If you use external designers to update or [re-]implement your web site in the new UCC style using the Content Management System, they will need a separate UserID for SiteManager which we can give them. Do not under any circumstances give them your own SiteManager UserID because we need to keep the records of their and your activity separate.

We are contractually required to inform TerminalFour Ltd of anyone from outside UCC who is working on the system. You must bring this to the attention of all external designers and developers and ensure they understand that the details of any SiteManager system or documentation they use must remain confidential.

Breaches of these rules will result in the individual or company being barred from doing web work for UCC.

Please bring this to the attention of your manager, head of department/project/section, or committee of your club/society. This does not affect external designers working exclusively on normal HTML, XML, PHP or other pages outside the Content Management System.

Up to start of section2.3. Intranets

Intranets are just parts of a web service which are restricted to departmental or on-campus use: they cannot be accessed from outside the organisation except by special arrangement. They can also be protected by username/password entry or by IP address if further security is needed, for example to restrict access to named individuals or groups such as committee members.

The UCC server can provide Intranet services both with and without username/password or IP security. The usernames and their associated passwords can be allocated either on an individual basis or on a group basis. See section 4.10, ‘Restricting access’ for details.

Pages on the old Intranet server will eventually be moved into the new system, using the CMS. No new Intranets will be created on the old server.

Up to start of section2.4. Secure serving

The main UCC web server does not currently support encrypted data transfer (https/SSL), such as is used by companies for passing secret information or by e-commerce sites for transferring credit card details. Secure serving is in use elsewhere within UCC: if you think you may need this service please contact the Webmaster. Discussions are ongoing with the Finance Office about enabling web-based credit-card or other payment systems but there is no facility available at the moment.

Up to start of section2.5. A brief UCC web history

The service began unofficially in 1991 when the Computer Centre started Ireland's first World Wide Web server (the 9th in the world) for use with the then CURIA project (now the CELT project). At that time it was already accessible to anyone on the Internet, but in UCC this was limited to users of the old Bureau VAX service, and a few other (Unix) computers with Internet connections.

In 1994, an ad hoc committee under the chair of Prof Máire Mulcahy requested the Computer Centre to start a formal pilot scheme. The takeup increased rapidly during 1995–99 as more and more users were connected to the Internet, and the pilot rapidly developed into a standard service.

Currently, all staff and postgraduates are entitled to direct access to the Internet from within their own departments. Undergraduates have access from public terminal rooms, the Library, the Internet café, and wireless hotspots around the campuses. Some departments also provide student labs of their own with external access. The Computer Centre is constantly trying to increase the provision of computing facilities for students and staff, but on a campus of this nature, physical space is limited.

Up to start of section2.6. Applying for an account

Any College department, faculty, office, project, unit, or student club or society wishing to become an information provider and run their own web pages can be allocated an account on the main web server which they can use to announce and advertise themselves, publicise events, provide information to members and non-members, and conduct their network-based activities.

To apply for an account, send email to the Webmaster.

⇛ Security

You must use your UCC email address for this and all messages about the running of your site. For obvious security reasons we cannot accept queries or applications from non-UCC addresses. All site owners must be contactable via their UCC address: you can read your UCC mailbox from anywhere in the world using our staff web mail and student web mail.

Up to start of section2.7. Taking over a abandoned site

If the former owner of your department, faculty, office, project, unit, or student club or society has gone away or moved on to other things without passing on the details of the site and how to maintain it, you can apply to take it over.

To do this, send email to the Webmaster specifying the site name, and we will then contact you to verify that you are in a position to succeed to them as the new site owner.

See the warning on the warning panel ‘Security’ before you email the Webmaster..

Up to start of section2.8. Changing your password

Passwords expire every 90 days by default.

You should change your password from time to time before that deadline in order to help ensure it does not get guessed by crackers, security snoop programs, spyware, colleagues, enemies, etc. You do this by logging into the server with SSH (SSH is required as it is encrypted so your password cannot be sniffed). See the documentation for how to use SSH and where to get it.

The command to change password is  passwd . This asks you for your existing password again, then your new password, and then a repeat of your new password to make sure you spelled it right (see the example below).

  1. Log in with SSH

    Either type  ssh username@www.ucc.ie  or run your SSH program and type www.ucc.ie in the box for the name of the system to connect to.

    If this is your first time connecting from the computer you are using, it may ask you to accept the security key of the machine (answer Yes or click OK).

  2. The system will then ask for your web site password. Type it in and press Enter

    In  ssh , passwords do not display at all, not even as dots or asterisks.

    If you typed the password correctly you will be logged in. If not, you get another try.

    If it rejects a password you know to be correct, then the password has expired too long ago to be changed: contact the Electronic Publishing Unit to have a new password set.

  3. If your password has very recently expired, you will be logged in one last time and asked immediately to change your password. If this is the case, go to step 4 in this procedure below

    To change the password manually, at the system prompt ($) type  passwd

  4. Type your current password when asked.

  5. Type a new password when asked.

  6. Retype the new password when asked. It must be identical to the one you just typed. This is to make sure you typed it correctly.

  7. If all went well, it will say that ‘all tokens have been updated’. If not, you must start again from step 3 in this procedure above.

  8. Log out by typing  exit

    Please don't forget to log out. Failing to do so means you are leaving your account open for the next person at your computer to abuse.

Terminal Commands
_=X
	$ ssh ontology@www.ucc.ie
The authenticity of host 'www (143.239.1.60)' can't be established. 
RSA key fingerprint is fc:10:cc:1e:54:53:f3:03:46:58:6c:0f:32:e3:5f:79.
Are you sure you want to continue (yes/no)? yes
Warning: Permanently added 'www' (RSA) to the list of known hosts.
ontology@www.ucc.ie's password:       
Last login: Mon Jul 21 10:21:35 from tantamount.ucc.ie
This system is restricted to authorised users only.
If you are not authorised, you are committing an offence by logging in here.
[ontology@nina ontology]$ passwd
Changing password for ontology
(current) UNIX password:	      
New password:       
Retype new password:       
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully.
[ontology@nina ontology]$ exit
Connection to www.ucc.ie closed.
$

You should change your password at irregular but frequent intervals. Do not under any circumstances tell other people your password or give them hints about how you make up new passwords. Do not use personal names, pets' names, dictionary words, or any term related to your site subject, as these are too easily guessable. Include at least one capital letter, one digit, and one punctuation mark.

Please note that it is impossible to find out what a current password is. If you lose or forget your password, we can reset it for you, but it will be a different password.

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