Not what you're looking for? Read over our Frequently Asked Questions, at FAQ Beta.

Main Points

Welcome to Earth Chronicle Beta!

We're glad you're here! In the first place, you may have had a chance to look around and feel a little overwhelmed. Need help? You're in the right place. Please stick around long enough to see what we're doing here. There are two kinds of people who help us on the Beta website, and they're both Critical to the success of the entire Earth Chronicle.

In the first place, there are the techies. People who actually know all about and understand web design, server side programming, front end development, web applications, or one of the disciplines integral to the success of a website. Welcome! You are the knights who will do battle with the future and our code to create a better, more powerful, more usable website. We need your help and expertise. Because just like every other aspect of Earth Chronicle, there's no one who can do this alone. Get your hands dirty, build an application, code some webpage content, rewrite the stylesheet, or create a .jpg or .psd mockup of a new design. Contribute your expertise and insights to make sure that Earth Chronicle is... if not as good as it can be... at least as good as we can make it. I will personally be very proud if we can achieve that.

Second, but of equal importance, are non-techies. You probably don't know Java from Javascript... and it doesn't matter. Welcome! The techies generally contribute and talk more here. The non-techies tend to lurk a little more until they jump in with uncomfortable truths that sometimes change the direction of everything we're doing here. So just because you feel like you must be the only one who doesn't understand something, be aware that the techies have an unfair advantage. They know more about the insides of what's going on and therefore have more to talk about. But your input is just as important to what we are doing. You know everything you need to know to contribute on important questions here. What should the website look like? What features should it have? How should it work? What do you want from it? Everything that the techies are working on here, is for you. And everything, Everything will ultimately wind up in the hands of users, of which you are one.

And if you don't like an idea, or some change is confusing and you don't understand what it means for how you'll use the site, Ask! Interrupt! Say something! Don't be shy, this is your website. The survival and health of Earth Chronicle depend on all of us working together.

Using holding pages and the holding link color is one way that we are different from almost every other website. We Want you to know where our site is incomplete. If you see a link in the holding link color, you can avoid clicking on it and wasting your time. But you still know that this is an area we want to explore. Anytime you see a holding link and think "Awwww... I really wanted to learn about that." Great! Please go do it, and then pass that information back along to everyone else. That's exactly how we patch those holding links and make them lead to ever wider vistas of information. You are the one who makes that happen!

[chroniclemaster1, 2007/07/10]

Reader's Guide Tips and Tricks

Testing Pages

There are two types of pages on our website, Testing pages and Core pages. Core pages are marked up with red borders on the navbars, main points section and author and date tables. so you know that no testing is going on. Core pages are the heart of the beta site, they are not devoted to beta testing but providing information and functions for visitors. All links work on core pages - or they should, let us know if they don't. We'll mark them with a holdingLink so people know the page isn't built or fix the link(s).

Testing pages are to check out specific techniques and explain the results of our website testing. They do not have the red borders, and are frozen when complete so that the results of testing don't change. Otherwise, it would be difficult to impossible to understand or learn from the tests. This means that any changes, especially to navbars, are not reflected in testing pages and many if not all links on a testing page will Not work. Therefore we've developed a special workingLinks color to identify tested and reliable links so you don't get stuck. If the borders are red, all the links should be fine, but if not, look for the workingLinks. You will also run into pages that say "Build Me!". We're still working on these pages which are not officially posted. Some web pages we really need you to start them, but it's also possible that these pages are just in testing and being run through checklists, etc. Try adding a tilde "~" in front of the page name, e.g. ~myFile.aspx, instead of myFile.aspx, and you can see the current state of the page, if any. If there's no page, you can contact us about starting it yourself!

Tour

If you're a new visitor, the Reader's Guide is a great place to start. We also recommend the FAQ which is good reading even if you've been here awhile but have questions. Use the contact form to let us know what you think about any of our pages, share your ideas, or jump into Earth Chronicle. Our test page will let you check out your browser and system and see if any of the website display functions are limited.

Beta Development Resources

User Resources

  • FAQ Beta - Our FAQ, obviously.
  • Test Page - See what will and won't work for you on our website, and find out what you can do about it.

Developer Resources

  • Website Log - Our "Honey Do" list of development projects that need to be worked on.
  • Final Checklist - The final checklist for any webpage before it is posted... or reposted! If you're submitting XHTML, it's always a good idea to look over the checklist again as a reminder of the specs each webpage has to meet.
  • Final Criteria - The final guidelines for submission for any webpage, with explanations of the purpose of each point and organized by topic that each point is designed to address. A good way to get an understanding of how to build quality webpages and see why points on the checklist wound up there.
  • Markup / Code Structures - Markup and Code structures that can be used when creating and editing content for Earth Chronicle pages.
  • Ongoing Testing - History of Earth Chronicle Beta's development including our latest testing.
  • ~BetaCorePageTemplate.aspx - View our current basic webpage template for EC Beta core website pages.
  • ~BetaHoldingPageTemplate.aspx - View our current holding page template for pages waiting to be built.
  • ~BetaTestingPageTemplate.aspx - View our current basic webpage template for EC Beta testing website pages.

Not what you're looking for? Read over our Frequently Asked Questions, at FAQ Beta.