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Practical Development Environments by Matthew B. Doar

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Creating the Web Site

This section discusses the process of creating a web site for a project. As with many parts of a development environment, the simplest possible solutions are often the best. There are thousands of complicated web sites that describe how to design and build complicated web sites. To me, this seems like too much hard work for a site whose aim in life is to help communication between project members.

Let's assume that you know how to write basic HTML and already have a web server such as Apache (http://www.apache.org) running on a machine. The web server reads files from a group of directories and returns them to the visitors to the web site. You will also want to be able to run some other tasks on the same machine, mostly for generating dynamic web pages.

The first thing to make sure of is that you have a process for updating web pages in a controlled fashion. To make this easy, I suggest using an already familiar tool such as your SCM tool to control your HTML files. Some writers may be more comfortable with HTML editors that have built-in support for copying files to and from a web server. Even so, they should keep versioned copies of the sources to their web pages using an SCM tool.

Static Web Pages

The simplest solution that I have found for web pages that don't change very often starts with a small number of HTML files. Static files make life easy for a web server: they take less work to return to visitors and they can be mirrored on multiple web servers for ...

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