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  Plato Web Infrastructure FAQ -- "DESIGNING"    

What do I need to decide, in order to request a Plato site ?

This page defines the essential decisions that need to be considered before setting up a Plato web site. Plato sites are created by the Plato Administrator , who takes into account a number of factors such as the plato site namespace and available resources. This page defines the minimum information that needs to be sent to the current Plato Administration team (email plato-setup) or use the New Site Request link on the left.

Items that must be supplied are in BOLD CAPITALS; items that cannot be changed after site creation are marked in RED.


CHOOSE A SUITABLE NAME FOR THE SITE, bearing in mind that it will appear in large text in the header block of each page. It also appears in the page title, which is normally is used by the browser to identify the page. (It can be changed later).

Location and domain

If the domain name is the standard corporate site (, the Document Root (below which all pages reside) is /web/top. You then need to decide where under the Document Root the site will appear. You can leave this to us to choose, unless it needs to fit in with existing pages. If you are using a virtual site hosted on our server (such as the Document Root will differ. Once defined, this cannot be changed later. If you have requested that webmaster sets up a URL alias to your site, that can be supplied in place of the default. We CAN change this at a later date.


The key decision here is whether there is a public level (no password required) as well as protected level(s). Read the description in the Visibility FAQ first to see an explanation and then describe how many levels you need. If you decide on one level only, this cannot be changed afterwards. The levels are numbered 40, 30, 20, 10 and are initially given the tags Public, All member, Forum, Working Group. You can change these tags yourself (as maintainer) and request that we suppress or unsuppress levels at a later date.


Mailing Lists

A mailing list can be associated with each level (and this is MANDATORY for level 10). The list must be created in Sophocles before the Plato site is set up.

Access Control

You must supply the SET OF SOPHOCLES ACCESS (MAILING) LISTS that constrain access to each protected level. As one progresses from levels 30 through 20 to 10 you will allow fewer people through - but remember that people at level 10 must be allowed in at the higher levels too !
These access lists must be web-enabled lists; email-only lists are not visible to the web server.

The Plato administator can supply a standard set for level 30 for "Open Group members".

In addition, there is a maintainer level. These people can modify much of the look and feel of the site, such as the name/introductory text etc.
This defaults to staff+contractors, but you can restrict this further if you are concerned about it. You may not know that many staff have a list of the format "c.french.archive" which has only themselves on. This is used for automatic email archiving but could be changed to a web-enabled list and used to define the site maintainer.

So to summarise: for each level you should tell us the following :

  • IS THE LEVEL NEEDED ? If so - the remaining questions are :
  • The tag for that level
  • For levels 10 - 30, can this level create/update items ? (By default only level 10 can do this)
  • The name of the mailing list associated with this level (MANDATORY for level 10 only)
  • For levels 10 - 30, the SET OF SOPHOCLES ACCESS LISTS that allow access to this level.

And tell us the SET OF SOPHOCLES ACCESS LISTS that allow maintainer privileges.

The remaining information can be added by you (or modified) after the site is in place (assuming you have maintainer permission). There is an FAQ on Changing Plato site parameters. But you will also see there that there are some changes for which you will have to come back to the Plato setup team.

If you need changes to the normal layout, such as a tailored look and feel for a consortium or external project, we will need to discuss that at more length.

Chris French - 26 Feb 2004








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