Company: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum, Inc.
Webmaster: Craig Hein, craig.hein@HOK.com
Craig Hein describes the project:
Frontier allows me to deal with the content separate from the design and HTML code. The content is broken up into objects (bodytext, sidebars, titles, graphics, navigation) and pieced together based on where a page is located in the object database. To change the design of the entire site all I have to do is change a single template or a few scripts.
This is similar to how active server pages and database driven sites work. However, since Frontier writes out HTML pages, I am not concerned with a performance hit whenever a user visits our site. (I cringe every time I visit a page that has ".asp" instead of ".html".)
The major problem I had to solve as I imported the site and redesigned it in Frontier was, "How could I differentiate our many Focus Groups from the main HOK section but let our users know they are still within the same overall site?" I wanted to use the functionality of frames but much of our audience uses non-frames capable browsers. The solution turned out to be quite simple. Using Frontier's scripting capabilities, I wrote a script for each section which writes out the navigation bar on the right. Every main section has its own navigation (and background image) on every page but the links are maintained in one place. (The benefit of frames navigation without using frames! Examples 1, 2, 3)
I'm also able to work quite fast now that the entire site is imported and setup. For example, I was given 110 Word files (exported from a database) and was able to create a site in two days (that's approximately 8.5 minutes per page). After importing the text files, I wrote a few scripts to extract the titles and body text as well as write some HTML into the body of each page. Another script traversed the object database and created an outline/navigation page linking to all 110 pages.
Frontier has allowed me to build and update a 950+ page site which is flexible in design and easily maintained...Oh, did I mention all my CGI's are in Frontier also.
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