The Research and Development of the Informatics Web A Development Methodology Explained Next Page

Process 4: Implementation

(Parallel information and resources are also available at

Within this process, all the information from the previous processes and web elements are gathered together and used as the basis for the implementation of the web. In this section of the book, December talks mainly about the HTML language, which I find no reason to discuss in this report. December does, however, give other practical advice concerning the implementation of a web.

Directory Structure

Implementors must be sensitive to issues of server and file naming. In particular, if server name or filenames change, then users bookmarks and links to the web will become invalid. Implementors are advised to use a consistent, stable server name, such as "", even though the actual machine which runs the server software may change.

Filenames should allow for growth, for example, instead putting the latest files in the top directory, "" implementors may consider creating a sensible directory structure, "", which should require little or no restructuring over time. Catching abstraction in naming, that is, creating the URL in such a fashion that it relays a short description about the nature of the file, helps orient the user. Implementors may consider using the packaging diagram as a basis for the directory structure.

Implementors may also consider using a "source code control system". This is a software system which will maintain concurrency, hold a history of changes and users, as well as other facilities. Implementors may find that this is essential for large-scale webs where many people are involved.


Layout ties in very closely with layout in the design process. However, during the implementation process, implementors must keep in mind that they cannot control how any particular browser displays graphics. December suggests creating a vertical grid pattern, to suggest an information hierarchy. This is similar to the structure and appearance of a thesis, with sections, e.g. 1.1, 1.1.1, indented appropriately.

Implementors may make use of typographic and HCI conventions to guide the user's attention. Photographs, drawings, icons and colour will quickly catch the user's eye. Bold type, large fonts, and empty space are also useful, but less effective techniques. Implementors must, therefore, decide where they would like the user's attention to flow. Again, implementors must remember that different browsers display these aspects differently, and may wish to view the web through a variety of browsers.


The majority of information transferred in web pages is presented in the form of text. Implementors should, therefore, bear the following points in mind when composing prose;


Once all the necessary information has been gathered together, implementors may want to create a web prototype. HTML templates (empty HTML documents) are created based on the generic look and feel diagram for the whole web, as well as a number of different templates for more specific pages. A directory and file structure tree is created, based, perhaps, on the package diagram. The templates are then linked together using the packaging diagram, which form a working, but empty web.

This web can then be tested and criticised by implementors, designers, potential users or other personnel, who must ask the questions;

At this stage the web will be ready to be filled with real information.

The Research and Development of the Informatics Web A Development Methodology Explained Next Page