FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions:

Use the FAQ to ask questions publicly. Submit a "Question to FAQ" Include that you would like replies by e-mail or Public posting to web FAQ. If you would like to ask a question of the "Web Author Group" that was created use the following address: web.authors@uth.tmc.edu.

  Question / Answer
10/10/02 Question - Professor of Pediatrics NEW UT-Houston Search Engine is available for Public use.

The NEW UT-Houston Search Engine tool will be incorporated into the existing home page some time soon.

I'm not sure what the goal is here, but it looks like a big step backward for our web pages. We have previously made arrangements (using abstracts and keywords) so that our web pages (the one for the Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine and the one for the Division of Neonatology) were quickly and easily found by searching for "clinical research" and "neonatology" respectively on the health science center home page. When I use the new system, these terms yield a huge number of sites most of which are not particularly relevant to these subjects. If our pages are in there, I haven't seem them.I did what you asked in your email on 10/3. I have not done anything with the series of emails from the 7th because they're confusing and there is no listing for the Center on the site you referenced in the last of the emails. If I need to do something to solve this problem, please let me know.
Answer - George If you author web pages within the UT-Houston web site (www.uth.tmc.edu), you will need to add additional "Meta Tags" to your web pages for focused searches.

The "OLD" CWIS search tool only searches 10 percent or so of all web pages within UT-Houston. It searches only pages that were submitted into the database. Most web pages are never submitted to the CWIS database. That is why your pages were found in such a short list.

The "NEW" UT-Houston Search tool searches across all 100,000 plus (and growing about 400 pages per week) web pages (without being submitted) located on over 6 web servers across the university now. In order for your pages to be found on a narrow focused search you will need to implement "Meta Tags"" within all of your web pages.

Meta Tag seminars are now being provided by OAC at no charge a couple times per month. October classes are now scheduled and I am taking reservations.

You will not be able to TAG your pages properly without attending the short seminar.

I am sorry that the emails in the past have confused you. They were intended to support the training provided in the Meta Tag seminars and located additional web authors like yourself that need the training.

I look forward to working with you in this area. Please try to attend a seminar soon.

The "OLD" CWIS search tool will be replaced with the "NEW" UT-Houston Search tool soon and we want your pages to be presented properly by the search tools.

A new search for the phrase "clinical research" locates 659 files. (None were from your web site)

A new search for the phrase "neonatology" locates 16 files. (None were from your web site)

A new search for the phrase "Center for Clinical Research and Evidence-Based Medicine" locates 11 files. (None were from your web site)


The new web crawler that collects information from the web servers only crawls web servers by permission. Your web server is not in the list to be crawled at this time.

If you want the web server (http://ped1.med.uth.tmc.edu) crawled, the web server administrator needs to contact Dr. Weems (#3503) to be included in the crawl list.

09/23/02 Question - Behrang Telnet does not seem to work from outside UT (e.g, dsl), so I just used password from the secure shell client. Why is all this necessary? Are we constantly under hacker attacks? Most system break-ins are from within organizations (disgruntled employees, etc.) and making people change passwords that they can't remember and will have to write down doesn't really increase security.
Answer - George Most IT security break-ins originate at open ports within universities and propagate to other networks from there.

For the time being, most university networks are easy to get-in because employees and students share user id's and passwords.

UT-Houston is hardening up the IT systems with multiple methods, one of the methods is the changing of passwords every 90 days.

Additional methods include:

1) Terminating FTP and Telnet access from outside the UT network.
2) Using digital ID to authenticate outside the university.
3) Requiring SSL connection by VPN or SSH for server access outside of UT network.

08/23/02 Question - Liz

Before I redo a lot of work and find that I need to do it all over again, I have a ?

1) If I used library items (Dreamweaver) as headers (for links/logo) and footers, do the library items need metatags if there are metatags in the headers of the html pages?

2) Also, is there a URL for guidelines (other than the graphic guidelines: http://www.uth.tmc.edu/graphicguide/) for web page development?

Answer - George

1) You can use library items as headers but the meta tags have to be in the original html file.

Library items go into the body of the HTML page <body> </body>.
Meta tags go into the head of the HTML page <head> </head>.

2) You can use the "Web Guidelines Handbook" that I wrote last year and the "Web Site Design Questionnaire" that I created. These should some guidance.

The "Web Guidelines Handbook" was reviewed and edited by the "UT-Houston Web Coordinators". It is for design reference and is not approved by the university. It was written based on operational methods within the university though.

12/12/01 Question - Jeff

Can you help with this question:

How do I assign a digital ID when using Eudora Pro?

I am a throwback; I use version 3.0 (under the assumption that simple is usually better).

Answer - Eudora is not support by the university.

Both Internet Explorer and Netscape are supported by the university and both support Digital I.D.'s.

I would recommend you start using Internet Explorer or Netscape so that you can become security compliant and get the email support UT-Houston offers for Internet Explorer and Netscape.

12/11/01 Question - anonymous What is a Digital I.D. used for and do I need one?
Answer - Typical OAC support phone call before Digital Certificates:

Caller: I forgot may OAC Unix password, can you reset it.

Support: If you show up at our office with a picture I.D. and another
government issued I.D.

OAC support phone call with a Digital I.D. (no visit to OAC needed)

Caller: I forgot may OAC Unix password, can you reset it.

Support: Send an e-mail to either Gayatri.Oswal@uth.tmc.edu or
Fagon.M.Istre@uth.tmc.edu requesting that they change your password to "*******". The e-mail must be sent encrypted and signed with your Digital I.D.

Note: Your password can be processed without you having to visit the OAC office for identification verification if you are using a Digital Certificate with encrypted e-mail. Nothing will be processed if the email is not encrypted or digitally signed.

11/27/01 Question - anonymous What is the policy of having UT web pages off site. We have had the neurology channel at our doorstep often and they have a webpage for neurology not on line. We had problems prior to this because the webpage was being paid by a company who displayed their logo. They say the logo is no longer being displayed.
Answer - There is no official policy yet.

There is one in the works that will cover the following:

1) All UT-Houston web sites shall reside on UT-Houston web servers. (Reason: There are no procedures or staff to manage or police web sites maintain off campus. Security issues, backups, confidential information issues would not meet policy or guidelines if maintained off campus.

2) UT-Houston does not provide maintain for off campus web servers or
authoring to off campus web servers.

3) UT-Houston Search tools under development now will not search off campus servers. This would prevent any off campus web site to be included from the UT-Houston database.

4) Spending state funds for something outside the university when a FREE service is available is a WASTE of state funds. This could be a problem during a State Audit which will occur.

5) Allowing departments, clinics and schools to go to any ISP to host a web site lowers the reliability factor on the UT-Houston site as a whole.

The non official guideline is NOT to host a web site off campus.

06/25/01 Question - anonymous Who can change the ownership of web site directories or modify the web author group set up to edit departmental web pages on OAC?
Answer -

OAC provides multiple levels of support for individuals publishing to the OAC web servers. The support is as follows:

  1. OAC will help web authors publish to the directories and web sites that they are listed on within there web edit group.
  2. The web edit group contains names of web authors, these web authors are decided by the department or clinic web site manager or coordinator.
  3. Ownership and responsibility of a departmental or clinical web site is that of the department. The dean, officer, or manager of the department or clinic will designate manager or coordinator (owner) for the site.
  4. The web site owner will manage both content publishing and content editing access for web authors.
05/30/01 Question - McMillan What charges are incurred when moving a web site to OAC?
Answer -

To move a web site to OAC there are no charges.

To host a site at OAC there are no charges.

Any systems administration web support provided by OAC will be at no charge.

To have "The Scriptorium" rework or redesign web pages there will be an hourly charge of $55.00

To change the back end programming for any existing forms from ASP, CGI, Perl, FrontPage Extensions to Java Server Pages to comply with HIPAA or FERPA mandates will be $65.00 hour.

Back end programming for database connectivity will be $65.00 per hour.

05/30/01 Question - McMillan When I move a web site from a remote web server to OAC will I have access rights to to assign write access to web folders for the web site? Or, do I need to contact you?
Answer -

When moving a web site to OAC web servers there are a few questions to answer to establish who will assign access rights. The questions are as follows:

1) If you are creating web pages in Dreamweaver or FrontPage and using WS_FTP to publish to the web server. This requires a unix shell account in which a unix publishing group is established. Only unix level systems administrators of OAC add and delete people in those edit groups. Request are processed through me to keep track of web authors publishing to OAC servers.

2) If you are creating web pages using Netscape Composer and use Publisher to publish files to the web server. This allows the web site owner to administrate there own edit groups through Active Control Lists in Publisher.

Who will assign access rights will be betermined by the publishing software to decide to use. OAC supports both methods.

Note: OAC allows for web pages to be authored by MS FrontPage but does not support any of the advanced functions or FrontPage Extensions. These include counters, forms, etc.

05/30/01 Question - From Michael

George...Thanks for your reply. I think that covers most everything.

Except...That "editing tools that do not write 100% specific HTML code fail standard security measures" seems more theoretical than proven. FrontPage extensions run on all common variants of UNIX...Most of the web sites running FrontPage administered sites are on UNIX servers. I have created and run a number of forms on FrontPage since the days when it was Vermeer's Frontpage...and haven't had any problem with consistent handling or presentation of the forms.

I suspect that our biggest security threat, by several orders of magnitude, is external password acquisition. That is likely to be a problem with anything.

With regard to cost...I can't tell you how much lost income and reputation departments like us have lost because of user-unfriendly web-publishing solutions.

Answer - Mike,

It is a fact that MS FrontPage does not adhere to strict use of HTML Version 3.2. guidelines by the World Wide Web Consortium.

OAC is moving to a standard set of tools which strictly adhere to all WWW protocols which will eliminate unforeseen security holes built into Microsoft products. As a support group OAC is committed in providing the highest level of reliability with the highest level of security with the technology available.

The decision has been made that we will not support FrontPage extensions because of the numerous problems inherent to holes it creates in back end security.

This has been the third company I have worked for that has not supported FrontPage extensions for the same reasons. One company was a Microsoft shop running a full line of MS servers made the decision to not install FrontPage extensions because of security reasons. Instead they moved to Java Server Pages to provide the same functionality that FrontPage Extensions did. OAC is using that same model.

With regard to cost...OAC is moving towards applications and programming styles that allow for template driven development so that departments will have a standard set of tools that everybody uses. This will reduce cost in the areas of development, security, support, training, and the use of proprietary operating systems.

Our goal is to get "The most bang for the buck". Most businesses are having to move toward this mindset. To accomplish this, most business find that a standard set of tools, standard software, standardized forms, standardized security systems, standardized OS, all move to the goal of providing the biggest return for the amount of money spent. Sometime the implementation effects some groups more than others. When you look at it from an enterprise standpoint, the changes have made a positive impact in conserving moneys while providing high quality of service.

OAC cannot please everybody, but we do make decisions that will provide The University of Texas - Houston with the most reliable environment possible for the funds provided to operate with.

If you have any more questions please call.

We are here to support you and help you work through any problems that you may have.

05/29/01 Question - From Michael

George... We have been very frustrated by OAC's long-standing decision not to install FrontPage extensions on the servers...significantly complicating our Website creation/maintenance issues. All anyone can ever say about the decision is that some consultant once said, a few years ago, that there were security issues. Of course neither the consultant or the OAC folks have been able to cite what those were and whether they were still applicable.

I want to be able to create "sub-webs", with unique read/write permissions. We have standardized on MS Office. Not only was the decision to support Netscape preferentially inconsistent...the FrontPage decision seems the same. Everyone needs to be publishing in HTML...and I know of no other tool that offers the same mix of power and ease for the MSOffice user.

Answer -

A quick overview of OAC position about FrontPage support and FrontPage Extensions are as follows:

1. OAC will not support FrontPage extensions now or in the near future.

2. MS FrontPage does not follow the HTML specification 100%. As a result standard security measures fail as a result.

3. Only editing tools that write 100% specific HTML code are acceptable.

4. OAC support authoring tools are Netscape Composer and Macromedia Dreamweaver. Both adhere to HTML specifications 100% and do not rewrite code on their own.

5. Back End Form Handlers written automatically by FrontPage when creating forms which require FrontPage Extensions to be installed on web servers do not fit any known secure environment. Their form handlers are not standard or consistent between one version of FrontPage to another.

6. Microsoft products requires MS servers which are expensive to maintain and do not scale very well.

7. Every solution regardless of its nature has to scale to a large environment and adhere to strict coding requirements.


Question -


Is there, or will there be a "message board" where we can all exchange ideas and advice on web design?
Answer -
The "Web Author Group" is all known web authors publishing to the OAC web servers. You can view the "Author List" at the following link: Web Authors.


George J. Rogers
Web Site Content Coordinator
University of Texas - Health Science Center at Houston