Web Page Engineering
IEEE Distinguished Visitor Presentation
James D. Isaak, Senior Member IEEE

Link to Handout

Creating web sites is easy; kids can do it. Web sites can be flashy and fun. However, a poorly engineered web site can be expensive to maintain, difficult to navigate, and even a legal liability. As with so many aspects of engineering, "do it right the first time, or do it over (and over and over)." Building on the work of the Web Consortium and the Internet Engineering Task Force, and drawing on the experience and insight of a wide range of real-world web site developers and web-masters, the IEEE CS Internet Best Practices working group has documented the best practices for web page engineering (IEEE Standard 2001-1999) and is currently revising this work to accommodate both rapid changes in the technology and better understanding of what techniques exist.

This talk will provide an overview of recommended web page engineering practices that aid in the creation of web sites that are productive and maintainable. Topics include: Design and Life cycle Considerations; Audience and objectives; Client/Server technology, (X) HTML, CSS, XML - Versions and Variations; Legal Implications (Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, Trademarks, Proprietary Information); Accessibility – for disabled persons, privacy; Server, HTTP - performance, metrics, robot exclusion, ease of use; Metadata -- Dublin Core, PICS, Robots, Keywords, bandwidth impact; Dates - Year 2000, Maintenance; International considerations -- language, practical considerations, and legal awareness.

If experience with the POSIX standards is any indication (after introduction of the IEEE POSIX standards a decade ago, the market for UNIX systems expanded by about $80 billion), wide-spread use of the documented best practices for web page engineering should contribute greatly to the value and utility of the web, especially given the broader application and longer period of impact that this work will have.

The presentation will take place at WPI on April 24, 2001 in Room AK 116 (Atwater Kent) from 6PM to 7:30 PM.

Sponsor: IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Visitor Program with IEEE Worcester County Section and WPI Chapter

James D. Isaak (http://Jim.Isaak.com/), a Senior Member of the IEEE, was most recently the Director of Information Infrastructure Standards at Digital Equipment Corp. He is currently a member of the Computer Society's Board of Governors and has served as Vice President for Standards (1995-1998) and Techinical Activities (1999). He has authored numerous articles on open systems and one on the Information Highway as early as 1978 (Computer, Oct. 1978).