Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the creation and maintenance of personal web pages.

Contents

Do I have a computer account?

Where will my home page be located?

What program should I use to create my home page?

How do I get my home page document from my PC or Mac computer to Panther?

How will other people find my page?

What is appropriate content for my web pages?

What does the Activate command do?

Can I use CGI scripts in my personal web pages?

Can I have several files and subdirectories in my public_html area?

Why am I denied permission to view my web page?

How can I share files with others from my web page?

Does Western support a web page counter service?

Do I have a computer account?

Yes, more than likely you do. All faculty, staff, and students at Western are eligible to have a personal computer account. Students have an account automatically created for them. If you do not yet have a personal computer account, please see About Your Western Identity to find out how to obtain your account.

Where will my home page be located?

Your home page will be stored on http://publish.uwo.ca/. All staff and faculty with a Personal Computer Account are allotted 50 megabytes of disk space on this server, and students are allotted 25 megabytes of disk space. Part of this disk space can be used to store your web documents. Before you can put a home page on this server, you will need to activate your personal web space. For more details about this, please see How do I... Create a Personal Home Page at Western.

What program should I use to create my home page?

You can use Dreamweaver, a word processor like Microsoft Word, or an editor like Notepad. Whatever program you use, you must make sure that the HTML document you create is a plain text file (also called an ASCII or ASCII DOS text file).

How do I get my home page document from my PC or Mac computer to the publish server?

A secure file transfer program is used to move the document from your computer (or a lab computer) to the publish server. If you are using a PC with Windows, you can use the S-FTP program to perform the file transfer; if you are using a Macintosh, you can use the Fetch program.

How will other people find my page?

Anyone, anywhere on the Internet will be able to access your home page.

The server has been configured so that your web address (also called a URL for Uniform Resource Locator) will be in the form:

http://publish.uwo.ca/~login-name/

e.g. http://publish.uwo.ca/~jdoe/

Your home page can be viewed with any web browser,  such as Internet Explorer or Firefox.

It is up to you to publicize your web page. A good way to let people know about your web page is by including its URL in your e-mail signature file.

What is appropriate content for my web pages?

  • Western faculty, staff, and students may create electronic pages on the World Wide Web to disseminate information relevant to their roles in the University's Mission.

Individuals (faculty, staff, and students) will be responsible for the content of personal pages. Materials and services made available via this service must meet the content policies defined by the Western/ITS Unix Systems Services Acceptable Use Agreement. which you signed when you first activated your account.

  • Remember that Web pages are public; don't put in information that people could use to hurt you, but don't be overly cautious either. Your Web pages describe you and your interests to the world so put some thought into how you represent yourself. Consider that potential future employers may read your Web pages.
  • The Publish template gives you some ideas.

What does the Activate form do?

When you submit the form at Activate My Personal Web Space, it performs the following:

  • creates the directory public_html in your computer account
  • adjusts the permissions of the folder to allow web browsing
  • copies a sample home page template into the public_html directory

The Activate form can be executed every time you add files or directories to your public_html area. It will then check all files (and folders) in the public_html directory and change their permissions to allow web browsing.

Can I use CGI scripts in my personal web pages?

User CGI scripts are not currently available on the publish.uwo.ca web server. This is a restriction primarily for security reasons -- in general CGIs on a web server can expose a server to abuse by computer criminals.

cgi-email is available on publish.uwo.ca if a person wishes to process a form with e-mail. The document How do I ... Process Web Forms with E-mail describes this routine.

Can I have several files and folders in my public_html area?

You can have multiple files and multiple folders in your public_html area. The index.html is a good starting point for links to your other pages (make sure these files all have .html or .htm extensions).

When you create new files and new folders, revisit the Activate form again so that files and folders will be given the correct permissions.

Why am I denied permission to view my web page?

When I try to view my web page, or a new file I added in my public_html area, I am denied permission. The error message is:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access the requested URL on this server.
If this is a personal page, try http://publish.uwo.ca/~loginname

Check to make sure you are viewing the page from the publish.uwo.ca server rather than from www.uwo.ca and that the permissions of all the files in the public_html area are set correctly. They should be set to allow world readable access. The Activate form will set all the correct permissions in the public_html directory and any folder beneath it.

How can I share files with others from my web page?

To have people download files from your web area, do the following:

  • Create or copy the files you want to share to your public_html folder.
  • Submit the Activate form again to set the correct permissions.
  • Optionally, create a link from your index.html file (main web page) to the files you want to share.

A person can enter the file's URL directly such as http://publish.uwo.ca/~jdoe/shared.fil to view or download it. Or if you have created a link to the file, others can get to the file from your home page by clicking on the link.

Does Western support a web page counter service?

We neither support page counters locally nor do we encourage web page counters on Western pages. Basically they slow the page down and put a big burden on the web server and even the client (since they tend to be made up of 5 or 6 separate images). Page counters may also open a security hole on the server. However, while we actively discourage page counters we don't go so far as to prohibit them from Western pages.

For pages that are on one of the central Western web servers (publish.uwo.ca, instruct.uwo.ca and www.uwo.ca) we do provide statistics. For example, please visit http://www.uwo.ca/Usage/. The Checking your Stats links there allow you to get the summary statistics for the current and last 11 months for a page or a group of pages. These counts are significantly more accurate than a page counter since they include even those that aren't using an image-based browser and those that have turned image loading off. We also count hits to pages when they are in a user's cache which a normal page counter will not. Typically, statistics are accessed by the page owner, the person that is interested in this information, rather than by every visitor.

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