These production notes are provided as a reference for future Handbook editors and webmasters. The Handbook site was produced using Dreamweaver MX software. Changes made using a program other than Dreamweaver may corrupt the templates and library items in the site. Consequently, all changes to the site should be made using Dreamweaver exclusively.
The white-bordered columns that constitute the menu and text areas on site pages are all separate layers. For convenience, the three dark-backgrounded columns on the home page are referred to here as Column A (leftmost column), Column B (middle column), and Column C (rightmost column). The white-backgrounded double-wide column in which you are now reading text is Column BC, with Column A to its left. Each column has a fixed size and position but expands downward (as on this page) to contain overflow text. See more on layers below.
All pages are derived from and linked to templates. Changes made to the main template (A_primary.dwt) result in corresponding changes to all pages and to all other templates in the Handbook site (except for the home page—see the following paragraph). All other templates were created from the A_primary template. Pages with text in Column C were created from one of the "C_" templates: C_about_Handbook.dwt, C_about_UNCW.dwt, and so on. Pages with text in Column BC (such as this page) were created from template BC_all.dwt.
For reasons affecting the photos (see Photos below), the home page of the site (index.htm) is created from the template A_primary_index.dwt. This template is similar to the A_primary.dwt template but, unlike the other templates, is not automatically updated when the A_primary.dwt template is changed. Consequently, any change to the A_primary template needs to be manually changed in the A_primary_index template as well.
On saving changes that affect the A_primary template, an error message will appear ("Cannot copy the 'Show-Hide Layers behavior....") This message should be ignored. Click OK as many times in succession as needed (usually nine, one for each layer) until the message no longer appears.
The main template (and, consequently, most everything else in the site) is linked to an external cascading style sheet (handbook.css). Pop-up footnote pages and other pages without the green background are linked to a different style sheet (outside.css). Changes to the style sheets effect changes throughout the site.
Each column occupies a separate layer (or <div>). Within each layer is a one-celled table that provides the border for the column. Within each table is an editable region in which text appears. For example, the text you are now reading was written inside an editable region, which is located within a table, which in turn is located within a layer. Changes made to any text inside an editable region in a template will not affect any text inside that same editable region on existing pages linked to that template.
Visible and hidden layers
Each page contains many layers, but whether or not a particular layer is visible depends on whether its visibility attribute is "visible" or "hidden." In the page you are now viewing, the A and BC layers are visible, and all other layers are hidden (but still present in an invisible, ghostly way).
Although there is only one layer for Column A, one layer for Column C, and one layer for column BC, there are multiple layers (each with a different menu) for Column B, all of them occupying exactly the same position on the page, but only one of them visible at any one time. On the home page (or any page in which all three columns appear), moving the mouse pointer over the links in Column A will cause different B layers to become visible. (See Behaviors below.)
Names of layers will not appear in Dreamweaver's Advanced Layout window because they are fixed items in a template (A_primary.dwt). Consequently, the layers themselves are not editable outside that template, but their "DIVstyle" attribute (which includes visibility) has been made an editable attribute. Consequently, the visibility of any layer can be changed in any of the other templates or in any page made from the A_primary template. (In pages made from one of the other templates, it is fixed and cannot be changed.) To change the visibility of a layer in Dreamweaver, select Modify > Template Properties and change the DIVstyle property of that layer from hidden to visible or vice versa.
Any text that appears on more than one page or in more than one layer has been made a library item. For example, a "printable version" of a longer page (such as this one—see link above) is also created via a library item. A change to the library item (file with .lbi suffix) will change the text in all pages or layers in which it appears. Any editing to a page must be done in the linked library document rather than in the page itself, in order to assure that the change is made consistently to every page that uses the library item.
On all pages in which Columns A, B, and C are visible, behaviors are attached to the menu items in Column A: when the mouse pointer rolls over them, the behaviors alter the visibility of layers in Column B. On the current page, however, (or on any other page in which Columns A and BC are visible), those behaviors are not attached to menu items in Column A. Column A menu items with the behaviors are found in library item A_HBKmenu_showsB.lbi. Column A menu items without the behaviors are found in library item A_HBKmenu_links.lbi.
Changing layer height
All layers are set at a default height of 340 px, but they expand downward automatically to accommodate overflow text. Should you wish to change the default height on every page, some work is involved. Open the A_primary template, and, in code view, find and replace each instance of 340px with the desired new setting. Save and updates all dependent files. Repeat the process with each and every template. You will be need to save each template a second time and to update dependent files a second time. The one file that does not change through this process is the main index page. Open a new file based on the A_primary template and (without making any changes) save it as the replacement index page.
Photos in the C column appear at random from a set of photos.
The three-column menu structure of this site was inspired by the Yale University home page. Anyone who compares html will see, however, that the architecture of this site differs markedly from that of the Yale site, for various reasons, not least of which is the fact that the creator of this site is a self-taught amateur who thought it great fun to figure out how to build these pages on his own.