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Wheaton College Quarterly
GREAT Frontier Web Site for
May 25, 1998

Wheaton College Quarterly

I liked the ability to use templates, glossaries and preferences to make changes as large or small as I needed them.

Web Publishing Coordinator:David Grenier,

Wheaton College Quarterly David Grenier describes the project:
When I first came to Wheaton a year ago I inherited a website that had been managed by a dozen or so people all with varying degrees of ability in design, technical skill and organization. Continuity was a problem. A recent overhaul allowed me not only to give a much nicer, more organized look to the college, but also to start expirimenting with Frontier.

I liked the ability to use templates, glossaries and preferences to make changes as large or small as I needed them. For example, a few days after the redesign went into place, the college designer and I decided to change the link color on all of the pages. Without having to deal with opening 60 files or even using BBEdits global search/replace feature we made the changes in a snap. When we wanted to add new features to the template, like a search box on every page, it was simple as (Boston Creme) pie.

By the time I had to work on the newest issue of the Wheaton Quarterly (Wheaton's quarterly alumnae/i magazine) I was a bit more confident with Frontier and managed to work wonders with it. I started using more imageRef and includeObject macros which saved a lot of time and effort. I wrote a simple directive that allows me to have the table of contents for a particlar issue in the left hand margin of every article in that issue. I also began seperating the articles themselves into main text and sidebars, keeping track of them in different files and using includes to bring the final page together. This has made editing a real breeze. I had previously always made templates in BBEdit, saved them as stationary and made new pages by changing the title, inserting new text and a new sidebar and changing the date at the bottom of the page. While it worked, and seemed to work pretty well, now that I have seen The Glory That Is Frontier I can not go back. It's amazing how much time I have saved not having to sift through code (no matter how well commented) to figure out what I need to replace where. The Quarterly - a project that used to take me a week or more - just got completed in a day.

I have yet only begun to scratch the surace of Frontier. I have yet to write any great scripts, mostly I have just used it's innate organizational structure and creatively took advantage of templates and glossaries. Simply using those basic features has already saved me time. I think I can cut the Quarterly down to half-a-days project when I figure out how to parse a huge text file and save it as 86 different smaller files (the "class notes" section of the Quarterly, which has information on the members of every alum class from 1912 to present).

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