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pagemasters toolbox -- classic commonspot

V6 Classic CommonSpot User Guides


We are currently using CommonSpot V8. The differences between V6 and V8 are almost entirely in areas other than what we have documented here, so these guides should still be quite useful.

We have begun the process of updating the documentation; see the V8 guides for classic CommonSpot.



Overview


There are two distinct styles for using CommonSpot at Ohio University: these pages provide user guides and documentation for the "classic" or "traditional" approach. The "manage" approach is documented elsewhere.

The CommonSpot content management system software, from PaperThin, runs in a ColdFusion environment on a Windows server, and uses an Oracle back-end database. It provides for template-based Web site construction, with access control at the site, subsite, sub-subsite, page, and page-element levels. Ohio University Web pages have been and are being migrated into CommonSpot from a number of other servers, including the Static-Page Front Door server, and new pages and subsites are being created in CommonSpot. All of the more than 40,000 pages and documents on the CommonSpot server are accessed with URLs that begin with

http://www.ohio.edu/

Pages on other Front Door servers (e.g., the Static-Page Front Door server) are also accessed with URLs of that form -- all the Front Door servers are behind the same load balancer, and so appear to the world to be one server.

New subsite pagemasters and content contributors should use the links to the left to explore these user guides and the recent news and announcements.

 

News and Announcements for Page Authors


Recent news and announcements are on the "news" page, linked from the "Classic CommonSpot" secondary navigation block at the left. The news and announcements archives are linked from that page.

 

Learning About CommonSpot and Resolving Problems


Please look carefully through all of your own pages:

  • identify any unexpected aspects;

  • report them to servicedesk@ohio.edu; and

  • let us know how urgent it is to fix the problems that you report.

Personal assistance is available from or through the OIT Service Desk - 593-1222 (particularly for help changing your Ohio password).

 

Known Issues


The following items are known to apply to at least some pages:

  • The Rich Text Editor has tool icons organized into four groups, two in the top row and two in the second row. If the RTE window is too narrow to show all of the tool icons in any group, the other available tools can be seen by clicking on the icon () at the right end of that group of tools.

  • Following a CommonSpot upgrade or patch, the Rich Text Editor may not display the Formatted Text Block's content properly (e.g., showing the HTML code instead). This and other unexpected behavior may occur with any browser that was used for authoring with a prior version of CommonSpot; it can be cured by clearing the browser's cache.

    For Firefox, please try the following sequence:

    1. select "View Page as Published" mode from the View menu if not already selected

    2. choose "Clear Private Data..." from the FireFox Tools menu

    3. confirm that the boxes for "Cache" and "Saved Form and Search History" are checked and that the other boxes are not checked

    4. click on the "Clear Private Data Now" button

    5. reload the page

    6. select "Work on this Page (All Changes")" mode from the View menu

    7. try again

    For Internet Explorer 8, please try the following sequence:

    1. select "View Page as Published" mode from the View menu if not already selected

    2. choose "Internet Options" from the Explorer Tools menu

    3. on the General tab, click the "Delete" button in the "Browsing History" section

    4. ensure that the check-boxes for "Temporary Internet Files" and for "Form data" are checked

    5. click on the "Delete" button at the bottom of the window

    6. close the Delete Browsing History window and the Internet Options window

    7. reload the page

    8. select "Work on this Page (All Changes")" mode from the View menu

    9. try again

    For Internet Explorer 7, please try the following sequence:

    1. select "View Page as Published" mode from the View menu if not already selected

    2. choose "Internet Options" from the Explorer Tools menu

    3. on the General tab, click the "Delete" button in the "Browsing History" section

    4. click on the "Delete files..." buttons for "Temporary Internet Files" and for "Form data"

    5. close the Delete Browsing History window and the Internet Options window

    6. reload the page

    7. select "Work on this Page (All Changes")" mode from the View menu

    8. try again

    For all browsers, if the above doesn't work, then please try the following:

    1. select "View Page as Published" from the View menu if not already selected

    2. click on "Logout" (just to the left of the blue "X" in the upper-right of the full-width toolbar)

    3. quit your browser and all other applications

    4. shut down the computer

    5. wait two minutes and then re-start it

    6. wait an extra minute after the re-start appears to be complete

    7. start your browser and try the above browser-specific steps once again.

    Please let us know your browser and operating system versions if you encounter this problem and none of the above sequences resolves it.

  • Some "Flash" files do not render properly (or at all). Please do use the e-mail link, above, to let us know the URLs of any pages that fail to properly display a "Flash" element.

  • The "Referring Pages" lists are not all fully populated. Until this problem is resolved, please do not delete any pages that have been public. Instead, deactivate them (through the Actions button on the content-spanning toolbar), or mark the content as expired (through the Standard choice on the Properties button of the content-spanning toolbar). If in doubt, use the e-mail link above to contact the Webteam.

  • In order to login to work on your pages, you must have changed your Ohio password since October 1, 2007. If login fails, go to http://www.ohio.edu/oit/services/myaccount.cfm, and take the "Change Your Password" link at the upper-left.

 

Browser Issues


We have collected the discussions of browser issue on a separate page. You may also use the "Authoring Browsers" link in the secondary navigation block, on the left, to get to that page.

 

Other Problems


If you encounter other problems with page authoring or access in CommonSpot, please report them promptly, so that we can work with you to resolve them.

  • Urgent problems should be reported to the OIT Service Desk staff (593-1222 or servicedesk@ohio.edu).

  • Less urgent issues can be reported to webteam@ohio.edu, or by phone to 593-1017.

 

Form Issues


Please be aware that the "simple forms" features built in to CommonSpot do provide for the transfer of information from the reader of your page to you by e-mail, but that transfer is not secure. Therefore, never collect sensitive information, such as Social Security or credit card numbers, using such forms.

If you use an HTML fragment to create a form on your CommonSpot page using the generic script documented at http://www.ohio.edu/oit/webservices/static/append5.cfm, please be aware that the same statement applies, because those e-mails are also not encrypted.

 

Documentation


The online user guides are linked from the secondary navigation block at the upper-left. If you follow an old link or search engine hit and end up on a page whose title includes V5, there is a more up-to-date equivalent that incorporates the changes needed to be accurate for V6.

The one-page CommonSpot Quick Reference Summary is available online as a 56 KByte PDF file (for V4.6.1, updated July 7, 2008 -- parts of this are out of date, but other parts may still be helpful).

 

Training for CommonSpot


Web Services is in the process of re-implementing CommonSpot, which includes re-working the training process, sessions, and reference materials. While that work is in progress, we will not be scheduling small-group seminars, but we will maintain the existing guides, linked on the left, and we will provide one-on-one training by arrangement. The materials linked on the left are available for reference and for use by those who have not yet attended training.

If you are interested in learning how to use CommonSpot, please contact OIT by E-mail to servicedesk@ohio.edu, or by phone to 593-1222.

As you can see from inspecting the Full Contents (also linked from the secondary navigation block at the left), we have combined here the formerly separated materials for "New Pagemasters," "Content Contributors," "Intermediate Pagemasters," and "Advanced Pagemasters."

 

Credits


The original work developing these pages, including team-teaching the first several months' offerings of the Intermediate Pagemasters and Content Contributors seminars, was done by Sarah Rist (then Sarah Lude) and Dick Piccard. Zeenath Sheikh wrote the first version of the Quick Reference Guide and worked with Dick Piccard to teach many offerings of the Intermediate Pagemasters and Content Contributors seminars. Tasha Knutsen assisted multiple offerings of those seminars, and Peg Ratajik taught both series of seminars multiple times.