Web documents on the Birmingham system

Author: L.S.Lowe. File: webdocs. This update: 20121001. Part of Guide to the Local System.

This describes the three different areas where members of this group can contribute web pages.

Writing official documents for the group web server

The official group web server www.ep.ph.bham.ac.uk has its own file system, for security and efficiency.

If you are an approved author of documents on the group web server, then you can access these web pages for the purposes of adding to or modifying them; first enter the webshell command, and when you have finished, enter the exit command.

When you enter the webshell, you are connected to the web server's file system, and the current directory is changed to /home/webmain/html. You can then cd to the sub-directory you want to work on. Different parts of the web server's file system are owned by different approved authors, and so you can only update documents which are allowed by the normal linux ownership rules.

Alternatively you can edit the documents using your web browser: for example by using the Edit facility (Ctl/E) of mozilla or seamonkey. But you will need to get write access by using webshell separately, at the point where you want to Save the updated document.

If editing by hand, remember that XHTML is preferred: lists should be enclosed by LI and /LI tags, for example.

The group TWiki

We run a wiki for local documentation associated with experiments we are involved in and for local computing. The software we use is called TWiki, and like most wiki software this allows the easy creation and editing of web pages from within the browser.

If you want to create web pages that will be generally useful to the group and maybe to the experimental wider community, and are happy for such pages to be potentially (and thoughtfully) contributed to by other members of this group, then feel free to use the TWiki. You will need to have your digital certificate installed in your browser if you want to create or edit documents.

Links to the TWiki will be found on our external and internal group web pages.

The user work web pages

You can have your own personal web pages in a directory called $HOME/public_web. You will need to tell Lawrie Lowe so that he can put the appropriate entry link in his table.

The URL to use to access your pages usually looks like /user/surname/, and omits any reference to public_web. For example: http://www.ep.ph.bham.ac.uk/user/lowe/.

The contents of web pages on the Particle Physics Web server must be related only to your research. More general personal web pages should be put elsewhere - for example, on MySpace or FaceBook.

The user web pages are on a different web server from www.ep.ph.bham.ac.uk, and this other web server can in principle see all users' files. So for security reasons, user should not expect file types such as perl and php and cgi to be available. See LSL in cases of difficulty.

You can edit the documents using your web browser: for example by using the Edit facility (Ctl/E) of mozilla or seamonkey. Alternatively if you know HTML you can create or modify documents by hand using an ordinary editor.

A note on browser caching

When you modify a page of yours on the web-site, you will want to check that your changes look OK. But your browser may already have a version of that web page in its cache, so if you simply go to that page afterwards, you may be looking at the cached copy. The solution to that is to force a reload of the page using the Reload button of the browser. If that doesn't work (let me know), then you can clear your whole browser cache: one way is to use Tools -> Clear Private Data and tick just the Cache item, then Clear.

Of course, that only affects your browser and doesn't have an impact on other people's view of that page, and they also may have the page in their cache. See this article about caching rules in browsers.