Operations > Computing > FAQ

Setting Up Class Web Pages

Requesting Web Space

If you're a TA or a professor, it's easy to get web space set up for a class home page. Just that contains the following information:

The webmaster will create the directory and put in a placeholder page, then link to it from the class home pages list. You'll then be given full control over that directory. When you've got your main page ready just overwrite the placeholder page - it's already linked!

Creating and Editing Your Web Pages

If you have been given the task of managing a course web page, be sure to discuss it with the instructor, since he/she may have specific ideas regarding what they want to appear on the page. Often they may direct you to use a previous quarter's page as a starting point. Even if the instructor doesn't have any stated preference, you may find it helpful to review those archived class pages - especially if you haven't worked on web pages before.

Web pages can be created and edited many ways. Some people prefer to edit the code directly using a text editor like TextPad, Notepad++, or BBEdit. Many others prefer using a program that lets them edit the page graphically, much like using a word processor. One such option available to ECE faculty, staff, and students is Microsoft's Expression Studio (or Expression Web) software, which can be downloaded for free from our MSDN donated software site. Other possibilities include Apple's iWeb and Adobe's Dreamweaver - the ECE department does not provide these software titles for you, though.

A couple additional options are listed at the bottom of this page under "Other Resources".

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do NOT use Microsoft Word - or any other word processor - to create web pages under any circumstances! Pages created with a word processor often behave strangely and do not display correctly on all web browsers. Such broken pages are not easily fixable - you'll probably have to start completely over to solve the problem. The webmaster will not help you fix web pages that were created using Microsoft Word or any other word processor.

It is not important what you name your page files, except for the main page - that should be named "index.html". Please remember that web page names should not have any spaces or odd characters in them such as commas, pound signs, or ampersands.

Also note that your class directory includes a subdirectory called "protected". This subdirectory can be used to hold materials you may not want available to the world at large, since access requires logging in with a valid ECE account. The default is to allow anyone with an ECE account to log in, but that can be changed. Instructions for making changes or temporarilly making files in "protected" invisible are given in the file "00_README.txt" that's in that directory. You also might want to read the FAQ page Controlling Access to Web Pages.

All files in "protected" will only be accessible via the web, except to the people who manage your particular class directory - usually this means the professor and any TAs.

Putting Your Pages Onto the ECE Webserver

You can copy pages over to the webserver using secure file transfer (sftp) or secure copy protocol (scp).

If you're running Windows, you can transfer files using WinSCP. There's also a graphical secure file transfer program comes with SSH for Windows. You can download either of these programs from the ECE software download page

If you're using Mac OS X, a command-line sftp program is built into the operating system. You can also use a graphical sftp program such as Fugu or FileZilla, if you prefer.

If you're using Linux, Solaris, or another UNIX-like operating system: you probably already know how to use sftp and scp. If not, don't hesitate to contact the ECE helpdesk.

We also have a detailed step by step tutorial available - Moving Files To/From an ECE Server.

Other Resources

If you're the registered instructor for a UW course, you have access to the UW Canvas web site. Canvas can be used to set up class web pages, online discussions, set up quizzes, manage grading, and many other course-centric activities.

There are also some handy tools UW provides for instructors and TAs over at the Catalyst web site. You can set up an electronic drop box for homework, online discussion boards, web-based quizzes, and more! There's even a "Shared Spaces" tool that can be used to create simple web pages.

Note that Catalyst is the older system, and is not really being actively developed any more. Canvas will eventually supplant Catalyst.

Another option is to use UW's hosted Google Sites tool. It's a very easy-to-use way to create a simple web site for your class.

If you end up choosing to put your class page on a server other than our ECE webserver, so a link to the page can still be included on our main class pages list.

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