SPIDER Database Specifications by ljm64622


									SPIDER Database Specifications
Last updated 5/31/2002
by Jenny Cool

This document is online at:

Table of Contents
Section 1.0    Overview
Section 1.1    Design Prototype
Section 1.2    Document Meta Data Entry Form & Script
Section 2.0    SPIDER Database Functionality Requirements
Section 3.0    Production Environment (Notes only, draft to come)
Section 4.0    Client Side Requirements (Draft only, to be completed)
Section 5.0    HTML Guidelines (Draft only, to be completed)
Section 6.0    User-Interface Style Guide (Notes only, to be drafted)

Section 1.0: Overview
SPIDER (Shared Pedagogical Initiative: a database of electronic resources)
began with the creation of online pedagogical materials for instructors and
students in lower division writing courses at UC Irvine. These materials are
currently accessible at 11 separate UC Irvine writing web sites:
The present phase of the project involves designing an online database for this
collection of materials in order to make them accessible beyond the writing
courses for which they were originally developed. The purpose of this document
is to specify in detail the desired features and functionality for the SPIDER
database. Separate, but related project documents include:
 SPIDER web site design and content plan (drafted)
 SPIDER editorial policies and procedures (drafted)
 SPIDER intellectual property and legal policies (to come)

Section 1.1: Design Prototypes
Functional Prototype
The SPIDER Team has built a functional prototype with HTML & cgi scripts that
allows you to search for actual SPIDER documents. It is a work-in-progress as
we are still entering meta data records for the approximately 2,000 documents
in the collection. As of May 2002, 222 had been catalogued. You can search
them by several of the search criteria outlined in this specification. Exploring the
functional prototype will aid in understanding this document and the overall
SPIDER vision, but please keep in mind that this is just a prototype, not the
actual database, and as such it does not fully match the design specifications.

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HTML "Look & Feel" Prototype
Prior to building a functional prototype, we built an HTML-only prototype to
simulate the proposed SPIDER database. Though the following are only static
mock-ups, they give a better idea of some desired "look and feel" elements than
the functional prototype and show the different pages to be designed. "Search
by Related Reading," which is not part of the functional prototype, is
demonstrated here.
 Search by Related                   eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/reading2.html
 Search by Pedagogical               eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/pedagogic-
 Use                                 use2.html
 Search by Type of                   eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/document-
 Document                            type2.htm
 Search Results Page                 eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/results-
 Display Document Page               eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/mock-4step.html
 Display Document with               eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/mock-4step-
 Document Information                info.html

Section 1.2: Document Meta Data Entry Form & Script
SPIDER Prototype
A preliminary meta data scheme has been developed and project members have
begun to enter meta data for each SPIDER document via a web form. A
demonstration version of that form is viewable at:


The metadata.pl script creates XML documents with the information that project
members enter about each SPIDER document. We decided to begin gathering
meta data information -- even though we know our data scheme will evolve and
change -- so that our schema and taxonomy can be further refined as we input
meta data for an actual set of SPIDER documents.

Proposed Meta Data Entry Form
A version of the proposed meta data entry form that matches our design
specifications more closely is viewable at:

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Section 2.0: Database Functionality Requirements
Documents in the SPIDER database will be searchable by the following criteria:

 Year 2:                                   Year 3:
 Basic Search criteria                     Additional Search Criteria
  Pedagogical Use                          Course for which document
                                             was originally created
  Type of Document
                                            Subject Area
  Related Reading

The database must support multiple criteria searches. For example, searches for
documents with a specific pedagogical use that are also a specific type of
document, for example, worksheets; or searches for documents related to a
specific reading that are also appropriate to a specific pedagogical use or type of
To support this search functionality, the plan is to create document information
records for all documents input to the SPIDER database. These records will
categorize each document according to the following meta data scheme and will
contain additional non-searchable information about each document.

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Pedagogical Use (required)
All SPIDER documents must be relevant to at least one of the following 31
pedagogical use categories. The typical SPIDER document is likely to pertain to
no more than a few, but some documents might have a greater number of
pedagogical uses.
Editorial board should develop guidelines and norming criteria for categorzation.
Feedback from spring 2002 Focus Groups has not yet been incorporated into
this specification.
 Process/Drafting                          Logic/Argument
 Understanding the assignment              Causal Analysis
 Prewriting                                Counterargument
 Discovering and Developing a topic        Critical Reading/Textual Analysis
 Drafting                                  Defining terms
 Thesis Development                        Image Analysis
 Topic Sentences/Paragraph Level           Logic
 Developing Transitions                    Position Paper
 Style/Syntax                              Proposal Paper
 Peer Review                               Rhetorical Analysis
 Editing (editing logs, correction
 symbols etc.)
 Submitting the Paper (manuscript
 Sources/Research                          Student/Instructor Resources
 Abstracting/Paraphrasing                  Classroom Strategies
 Evaluating/Annotating Sources             Grading
 Library Instruction                       Language, Grammar, ESL
 Documentation                             Plagiarism
 (MLA & CMS)
 (Library & Internet)
 Using Quotations

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Type of Document (required)
All documents must belong to at least one of the following 17 categories.
Feedback from spring 2002 focus group had a number of useful and simplifying
suggestions for type of document. Those suggestions will be incorporated into
future revisions of this specification.
 Advice for Instructors        Example Student Material Online Activity
 Advice for Students           Grading Rubric            Peer Review Exercise
 Assignment                    Group Exercise            Quiz, Test, Exam
 Computer Lab Exercise         Handout                   Reading Questions
 Checklist                     Homework Exercise         Worksheet
 E-Mail Exercise               In-Class Exercise or

Related Reading (optional)
Any SPIDER document can be marked as having related readings. A maximum
of ten related readings can be associated with each document. For each
reading, the following information will be recorded.
 Author                         Author_lastname        Author_firstname
 Title                          Reading_title
 Information (optional)
 Is reading required for
 use of this SPIDER              Yes, it's required.
 Is reading online?
                                 Yes, it's online.
 If online, at what URL?
 Get more Librarian input on this section. Linking to online versions of readings
 needs more consideration. One suggestion is to link only to online material
 hosted by "content partners," such as the California Digital Library. Both
 editorial and legal/copyright teams need to review this issue.

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Original Course (required)
All SPIDER documents must be categorized by one and only one course for
which they were originally created. Currently only documents created for the
following 6 UC Irvine Writing courses are being entered in to the prototype.
As SPIDER expands its partnerships to other departments and campuses,
documents will need to be marked with both campus and course of origin.

 Writing 39A/A+                            Writing 37

 Writing 39B                               Writing 139

 Writing 39C                               Humanities Core Course

Subject Area (required)
All SPIDER documents have the default subject tag "Writing/Composition".
In addition, any document can have any of these other 10 subject tags
associated with it:

 Arts                          Literature                  Social Sciences

 Business                      Mathematics                 World Languages

 Education                     Philosophy

 History                       Science & Technology

 The logic here is that, if the SPIDER document base is ever correlated with
 another database of instructional material, documents will be marked as relating
 primarily to writing/composition. The logic of marking SPIDER documents with
 any or all of the following subject tags is to support writing across the curriculum.
 In Spring 2002 Focus Groups it was suggested that subject areas be correlated to
 Library of Congress Subject Headings. Further librarian input would be helpful.

Document Title (required)
All SPIDER documents must have one and only one title.

Document Author (required, can list Anonymous)
All SPIDER documents must have at least one author and can have a
maximum of ten authors.

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Adapted by (optional)
All SPIDER documents can credit an instructor or instructors for adapting a
teaching document originally authored by someone else. For many lessons and
exercises, original authors are unknown, so the name of the instructor who
adapted the material becomes important.

Last Revised by (required)
Since documents will be edited, formatted, and corrected when errors are
found, each record should note who last revised it. The difference between
"adapted by" and "revised by" is that the former involves substantive changes
to the lesson or exercise, whereas the latter refers to the person who last edited
the document in the SPIDER database.

Date of Last Revision (required)
Since documents will be edited, formatted, and corrected when errors are
found, and in the course of normal maintenance, each record should note the
date of last revision.

Online Location (optional)
Most SPIDER materials are currently online at 11 UC Irvine web sites
(eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/sites/index.html). As we work to revise and edit
these materials in preparation for input to the database, it will be helpful to
know their original online location.

Instructors-only (required)
Once a login and authentication system has been built, it will be possible for
SPIDER to offer instructor-only access to certain documents and features (see
2.7 below). If a document is intended only for instructors, it must be tagged

Links (optional)
Certain SPIDER documents link to web pages and Internet resources beyond the
SPIDER web site itself. In order to keep these links updated, it is useful to track
where such dependencies exist and record these URLs. The planned SPIDER
database will need to track links in document meta data records.
In addition the Editorial Team will want to develop guidelines for sites that are
acceptable to link to versus those that are not. Possible criteria include:
copyright/fair use status of linked material, stability of the URL, quality of the
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Readiness for Input to SPIDER Database (required)
Preparing SPIDER materials for audiences beyond the courses for which they
were originally developed involves a certain amount of revision and
contextualizing. Our strategy is to begin with documents that are most easily
adapted for a more general audience, and continue to add to the database as
more and more materials are revised.

Each SPIDER document must be marked with one of the following 3 document
readiness tags:
         Ready now
         Some revision needed
         Extensive revision needed

Notes/Comments (optional)
Document records may also be appended with notes and comments to aid in the
administration of the database, or note special cases, etc.

Any SPIDER document can also be tagged as an "Editor's Choice" selection.
This functionality has not been implemented in the current prototype.
Search results are to be displayed according to how closely they match search
criteria. Within groups that have the same degree of closeness, results should
listed with documents identified with the "Editors Choice" tag at the top. After
that, the listing within groups should be alphabetical by document title.

SPIDER HTML documents will be tagged with the following meta data to
facilitate indexing by web crawlers and support keyword searches:
    description (HTML meta name = "description")
    keyword (HTML meta name = "keywords")
Document data and meta data records will be created in the SPIDER database
via a web form, so SPIDER development will include building a basic web
publishing tool to support, via a web interface, both:
       The initial population of the database, and
       On-going database administration, including adding, deleting and
        editing documents and document meta data records in the database
This functionality has been prototyped for creation and editing of SPIDER
document meta data records, but not for inputting the documents themselves.

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Each SPIDER document will display as an HTML 4.0 document and will link to an
associated HTML document containing its meta data information (see page
prototype at: eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/mock-4step-info.html). In
addition, most SPIDER HTML documents will have the following "child"
documents associated with them:
 Download-ready HTML version of itself, stripped of information specific to its
  location on the SPIDER site and appended with copyright (or copyleft) and
  end-user license information, as well as comments telling instructors how to
  customize the document for use on their own web sites. For example,
  including placeholders in the HTML along the lines of "YOUR NAME HERE,"
 Printer-ready versions of the document itself and/or associated "Printables",
  that is, printable documents in any of the following formats:
      Microsoft Word (.doc)
      Rich Text Format (.rtf)
      Microsoft Excel(.xls)
      Adobe Portable Document Format(.pdf )
Once the functionality described in items 2.1 - 2.6 above have been
implemented, a second phase of development is planned.

Login & Authentication System
The vast majority of the SPIDER database will be accessible to anyone on the
Internet (students and teachers alike). However, in the future we plan to add an
"instructors-only" restriction to certain documents and develop additional
features, such as message boards, reviews/recommendations, and the "My
SPIDER" functionality described below, which require login and authentication.
Development of the SPIDER database will start with public SPIDER pages so the
first phase of development will not require any form of password protection or
login/authentication system.
However, it is vital that we design in Phase 1 with an eye to adding, in Phase 2,
a system of permissions that will restrict access to certain documents and allow
for the editing/reclassification of any SPIDER document should its status change
from "Public" to "Instructors-only" or vice versa.
The following is a conceptual model of the SPIDER database web site showing
the different levels of access that would require us to develop a login and
authentication system for SPIDER.

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Designing and developing such a login and authentication system for SPIDER is
a rather substantial undertaking in and of itself. Essentially it entails developing
a parallel database of user information. Plans must be made, and tools built, for
the on-going maintenance of this database as well. However, there are
numerous benefits to developing such a user database. These include a broader
sense of community participation, the ability to gather more useful user
demographic and usage information, and features such as those outlined below
in item 8.

In addition to restricting access to certain SPIDER material, a login and
authentication system would enable the following features to be developed
around the SPIDER database.

SPIDER message board(s).
Though it is possible to have unrestricted, public message boards, it is not
advisable for a number of legal, practical, usability and community related
reasons. One way to ensure responsible and respectful use of message boards,
and protect SPIDER/UC from liability, is to establish the policy that users are
accountable for their words. Such a policy requires that we be able to identify
and contact any one who posts messages to SPIDER message boards and that
we have on record that SPIDER users have consented to our terms of use
agreement. Having a login/authentication system and user database would
greatly facilitate the collection and management of this type of information.
Message board specifications TBD.

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Review Feature
This would allow certain registered users to publish reviews of SPIDER
documents or groups of documents. It requires a publishing tool that:
    creates an HTML document with the review
    inserts a graphic or text link in to the reviewed document itself
    records the existence of the review and the review URL in the document's
     meta data record
"My SPIDER"/User Pages Feature
This would give users the ability to save their SPIDER bookmarks in an HTML
page that they could make accessible to their students via their own web pages
or by emailing the URL. Use of this feature would require login/authentication.
"My SPIDER" / User Pages feature specifications TBD.
Section 3.0: Production Environment
Notes-only: Technical design still to come.
Our discussions with Shohreh Bozorgmehri of Network and Academic Computing
Services (NACS) indicate that SPIDER should be developed and launched on its
own server. Ideally, the SPIDER server could be hosted with E3 servers and
cost-sharing arrangements could be made between SPIDER and E3 for a
programmer to maintain the site.
The design and functionality specifications need be nailed own more specifically
before beginning the technical design phase. If Year 2 funding is secured, this
will be one of the first tasks for the programmer.

Live Site Server Configuration
 Hardware: TBD
 Software: TBD

Development Server Configuration
 Hardware: TBD
 Software: TBD

Technologies TBD
 Database
 Web Publishing Tools
 Authentication/Login
 Message Board

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Section 4.0: Client Side Requirements
Draft only, to be completed
Determine use of javascript in SPIDER documents.

 Processor               486/66Mhz and above
                         PPC 100Mhz and above
 Operating               Win95, Win98, Windows NT, Mac OS 7.5.5 and above
 RAM                     8MB required
 Video                   No video support needed for SPIDER.
 Audio                   No audio support needed for SPIDER.
 Monitor                 14" or larger
                         216 Colors
 Internet Connectivity
 Bandwidth         28.8 KB minimum,
                   33.6 KB, Cable modem, DSL or other high speed Internet
                   connection highly recommended

 Design pages for browser and platform independence. Minimum required
 browser is TBD depending on whether desired functionality calls for any of the
               JavaScript
                 Frames
                 XML
 Windows            See browser capabilities chart at:
 Systems            http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/reference/browser_ch
 Macintosh          See browser capabilities chart at:
 Systems            http://hotwired.lycos.com/webmonkey/reference/browser_ch
 Is it safe to assume SPIDER need not be tested against AOL browsers? Can we
 just identify minimum Netscape & Internet Explorer versions? AOLers can
 download non-AOL browsers to view SPIDER.

 Performance Targets
 HTML pages     Navigation must load/be available within 6 seconds
                All content must load/be available within 30 seconds
                Page "weight" not to exceed 50k
 Average        TBD
 Search Time
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 No browser plug-ins such as Macromedia Flash, Shockwave, Apple QuickTime,
 Real Player or Windows Media Player will be required to access the SPIDER
 database or web site

 Installers/Downloadable Media
 Currently, documents are available for download on SPIDER web sites in the
 following formats:
     Microsoft Word Documents(.doc)
     Microsoft Excel Documents (.xls)
     Portable Document Format (.pdf)
     Rich Text Format (.rtf)
 Size Restrictions                         Generally, downloads should be no
                                           larger than 1 MB.
 Media Formats                             All downloads should be properly
                                           prepared for each platform. For
                                           example, if you are packaging images,
                                           the Mac download should include pict
                                           files and the Windows download
                                           should include bitmaps.
 Media Types
 Image Formats                             GIF
                                           GIF89a
                                           JPEG
 No Audio, Music, Digital Video, Animation or Client-side Executable Formats are
 relevant to SPIDER.
 Determine use of images, and other media types such as audio and video files.
 If any of these will be included in SPIDER documents, we need to work out
 guidelines for their inclusion.

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Section 5.0: HTML Guidelines
Draft only, to be completed
Note: An enormous number of HTML and URL changes are required to bring the
documents currently on SPIDER web sites in to a standard format. Special
characters, such as curly quotes, and browser tags that are not cross-platform
compatible will need to be replaced. In addition, foreign language characters are
not consistently encoded, so SPIDER editors will also want to standardize this as
they go through the materials.
Therefore, it is proposed that we take this opportunity to edit and revise all
SPIDER documents in preparation for input in to the database.
See also, the Document Formatting Notes Carla drafted.
 HTML 4.0                     All HTML code must be compliant with the HTML 4.0
 Specification                specification as set forth by the World Wide Web
                              Consortium (W3C). The specification can be found at:
 File Naming                  All file names must be in lowercase and contain only
 Conventions                  allowable ASCII characters (UNIX format). If you
                              need to separate words, underscores are allowed, but
                              use sparingly. Names should be meaningful but kept
                              as short as possible.
 Directory Structure          TBD
 URLs                         All URLs must be in lowercase and contain only
                              allowable ASCII characters (UNIX format). If you
                              need to separate words, underscores are allowed, but
                              use sparingly.
                              How will database generate URLs for internal links?
 Cookies                      Will any SPIDER functions require use of cookies?
 Tables                       Tables are allowed but should be used sparingly.
                              Complex and nested tables can severely increase
                              download time.
 Frames                       Will SPIDER require any use of frames?
 JavaScript                   Will SPIDER require any use of JavaScript?
 HTML Popups, or              Will SPIDER require any use of any popup windows?
 New Windows

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 Supporting Search
 Contextual searches of Web pages will return more relevant results with
 proper meta tags. Therefore the following information and tags are required of
 all SPIDER pages:
 <title> </title>                          Viewable by the user
 <body>                                    Viewable by the user
 <img alt="">                              Viewable by the user as the image
                                           loads, and possibly as a roll over, or if
                                           images are turned off.
 <META name="DESCRIPTION"                  Hidden to the user.
 <META name="KEYWORDS"                     Hidden to the user.

Here are some examples and guidelines for each tag.

<title> </title>
The document title is used as a header in search results. The title should give
the user an idea of the larger site of which the page is a part. For example,
perhaps all SPIDER pages be titled in the following way:

<img alt="">
Whenever the site uses images to display text, the text or a summary should
always be included in the image <alt> tag. For example, for the SPIDER logo:
<img src="http://eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/images/spider-icon.jpg"
width="100" height="57" border="0" alt="SPIDER logo>

<META name="DESCRIPTION" content="">
Most search engine indexers will use the <description> tag as the page
summary when displaying search results.

<META name="KEYWORDS" content="">
Do not put too many keywords in this tag. Make sure the keywords used relate
specifically to the content on the page.

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Section 6.0: User Interface Style Guide
Draft only, to be completed
 Global Elements
 Graphical Type
  Headers
  Subheaders
  Navigation Buttons
 HTML Rendered Type

 Text colors
 Page Background Colors
 Link, Active Link, Visited Link Colors

 What global navigation must appear on every page?
 Footer navigation and notices?
 Feedback/comments link?
 It is good Internet practice to include an audience feedback mechanism
 prominently on your site and invite users to email their questions, comments
 and reports of any errors.
Page Dimensions & File Sizes
Each page on the SPIDER site will have a page width of 550 pixels
File size of each page not to exceed 50K.
Page Layout
Layouts for the following pages are yet to be determined (TBD), but some are in
the design prototype phase.
Note: There are many additional pages to be added, including more search
pages, index pages and database administration tool pages. Much fun to come!
 SPIDER Database Home Page         TBD
 Main Search Page                  eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/search-index.html
 Search by Pedagogical Use         eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/pedagogic-use2.html
 Search by Type of Document        eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/document-type2.html
 Search by Related Reading         eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/reading2.html
 Search Results Page               eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/results-worksheet.html
 Display Document Page             eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/mock-4step.html
 Display Document with             eee.uci.edu/programs/spider/ucsb/mock-4step-info.html
 Document Information

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