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October 2008 Web Standards Change Log

Log for all Web standards changes that were implemented in October 2008.

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Web Design Standards Changes

Section
(Heading)
Old Standard New Standard
File Names
(Non-Web Applications Directory Names)
N/A

<Add>

Use of "AP" as a folder name is not allowed except for Web application directories.

Layout and Formatting
(Web Applications)

Approved templates, headers and footers must be used on all Web application pages that are displayed for users. Applications located on any CDE WWW server should link directly to the /includes/webapps/ directory for the header and footer includes in most cases. There will be exceptions on a case-by-case basis. For example, some reports do not lend themselves to headers and/or footers. In these cases, the text "California Department of Education" needs to be somewhere on the page.

Approved headers and footers must be used on all Web application pages that are displayed for users. Applications that are posted to CDE Web sites must link directly to an appropriate header and footer located in the /includes/webapps/ (Internet) or /includes/intrawebapps/ (Intranet) directory roots. If the needed directory is not available to the Web application developer, then the appropriate header and footer includes must be requested from the CDE and must be placed in and referenced to a central location.

Most Web applications will utilize the same basic header that we call the “Image” header. DataQuest applications will generally use a variation of the Image header that is augmented with the word “DataQuest” on the right side of the header. Web applications that are highly integrated into the functionality of the main CDE Web site may use the appropriate one of eight different “Topic” headers that correspond with the colors of the different topic areas of the main CDE Web site. Specific pages within any Web application (except the main page and/or logon pages) that require a shorter header height, or that require a header layout that is more appropriate for printing, may use the “Report” header.

The appropriately sized standard footer must be used in combination with all of the approved header types except the Report header, which has its own recommended corresponding Report footer that is used instead of the standard footer.

Web application pages that are on CDE Web sites must use an approved header and footer combination for every page of the Web application.

Headers/Footers Approved Use

All layout table-based (non-CSS) headers and/or footers.

May only be used by legacy applications that are not to be significantly updated.

CSS Image header and standard footer.

Used for most Web applications.

CSS DataQuest header and standard footer.

Used for Web applications that are part of DataQuest.

CSS Topic headers (eight styles that correspond to each topic area on the main CDE Web site) and standard footer.

Used for Web applications that are highly integrated into a specific topic area on the main CDE Web site.

CSS Report header and Report footer.

Used only for specific CDE Internet pages within Web applications that need a shorter and more simple header and footer. Use of the Report footer is recommended, but can be omitted so the page has no footer if appropriate.

Report Header and Footer

The Report header and footer combination is only to be used for specific CDE Internet pages within a Web application that require a shorter and more simple header. Examples of pages that can use this header and footer are Web application pages that include report results, pages that are specifically intended to be printed, or signature/confirmation pages that are designed to be mailed back to the CDE.

The Report header include has two lines available for text, which must be limited to the following:

  • The first line must always include only the following: “California Department of Education”.
  • The second line is recommended, but optional. If used, the second line must be limited to the name of the Department’s division, office, or unit that is responsible for the content of the page. If this optional second line is not used, then contact information following the standards and layout (but not style) for the Questions Line must be included in the content area of the page. Contact information within the content area of the page is always recommended.
  • No other information may be included in the header.

Breadcrumbs are not required on pages using the Report header, but may be included if they utilize the standard style for breadcrumbs and if they are included on the first line of the page below the Report header.

A page title using an <h1> heading must be used at the top of the page immediately below the Report header and breadcrumbs (if they are present). No other <h1> headings may be used on a page. See the Headings section of these Design Standards for more information.

In addition to the standard CSS files that must be used, all pages using the Report header must use the CSS files that have been created specifically for use with these pages.

Layout and Formatting
(Web Applications)

External cascading style sheets (CSSs) are required for applying text and other styles to Web pages. HTML font tags are not allowed. External CSS are recommended for layout of Web pages.

Use W3School's CSS site (Outside Source) for reference and a tutorial.

Approved styles and formatting must be used on all Web application pages that are displayed for users. Applications that are posted to CDE Web sites must link directly to an appropriate standard cascading style sheet (CSS) file located in the /css/ folder at the directory root and must utilize the standard CSS styles. If this directory is not available to the Web application developer, then the appropriate CSS files must be requested from the CDE and used as external CSS for all pages in the Web application.

Use of HTML font tags are not allowed.

CSS must be used for page layout. Tables may not be used for page layout. See the Tables section of these Design Standards for more information on acceptable use of tables on CDE Web sites.

Tables
(Data Tables section heading)
Data Tables (non-layout) Data Tables
Tables
(Table Header-row or Columns)
Table header-rows and/or columns must be used and they must utilize the appropriate site colors.

Heading styles (e.g., <h1>, or Heading 1) may not be used in a data table header-row.

Table header-rows and/or columns must be used and they must utilize the appropriate site colors.

Heading styles (e.g., <h1>, or Heading 1) may not be used in a data table header-row.

Each individual data item in a table cell must relate directly to the appropriate table header label(s).

Tables
(Table Header-row or Columns for Web Applications)
Use the standard cascading style sheet (CSS) for the CDE Intranet Web site or for the appropriate section of the CDE Internet Web site. There is a CSS associated with each topic on the CDE Internet. For tables on Internet Web pages using a generic header (not associated with a particular topic), the site colors for the Resources topic of the CDE Internet Web site must be used.

If multiple table-header rows or columns are used, headers and sub-headers must be associated with table data using table elements and attributes.

Use of the correct cascading style sheet (CSS) is required. This will ensure that table header-rows and columns are styled correctly (including using the appropriate background color).

If multiple table-header rows or columns are used, headers and sub-headers must be associated with table data cells using table elements and attributes.

Tables
(Table Justification)
Use left or center justification only. Tables must be either left justified or centered on the page.
Tables
(Table Titles section heading)
Table Titles Table Titles and Descriptions
Tables
(Table Titles and Descriptions)
Table titles that are outside and above the table must have a text heading style applied. That is Heading 2 (<h2>) through Heading 6 ( <h6>). Table titles must be either left justified or centered to match the alignment of the table. Tables must either be introduced in the content preceding the table, with a heading placed above the table, or with a HTML table caption. Headings placed above the table (e.g., Heading 2 <H2> through Heading 6 <h6>) must be either left justified or centered to match the alignment of the table.
Tables
(Text)

The text in table cells must be the normal CDE font, size, and color. Applying heading styles to cell text is not allowed unless the table is for layout purposes only. See the Layout Tables below, or the Text Styles section of the Design Standards for more information.

The text in table cells must be the normal CDE font, size, and color. Applying heading styles to cell text is not allowed. See the Text Styles section of the Design Standards for more information.
Tables
(Layout Tables)
Layout tables should not be used if the same affect can be made with structural markup (e.g. <div>, <p>, or CSS).
Blank Columns and Rows

Do not use blank columns or rows for spacing.

Nested Tables

Nested tables are not allowed. See the sample nested-tables page for more information.


Tables may not be used for page layout on CDE Web pages. Cascading style sheets must be used for page layout. Tables must be used for tabular data only.
Tables
(Web Applications)

In Web applications, use the title and summary attributes for all tables that are used to display data (not used for layout purposes). (Recommended Only)

In Web applications, use of the title and summary attributes is recommended.
Hyperlinks <Broken link fixed only>
N/A
Link Notations

<Remove link>

STAR California Modified Assessment (CMA) English-Language Arts Blueprint Preface (DOC; 27KB; 1p.)

<Add link>

2008 STAR Program Summary of Results (DOC; 372KB; 16pp.)

Web Documents (Section 2 title) Section 2 Standards for Approved Use of Web Documents Section 2 All Web Documents Must
Web Documents (Section 2, sub-section

<Remove>

All Web Documents Must:

N/A
Web Documents (Web Documents That Can be Used table) *PDF documents that have been scanned, rather than converted from an electronic document must always have an Accessible Alternative Version.

* PDF documents must adhere strictly to the standards in Section 2 of this document (see below).

Web Documents (All Web Documents Must, Item 3)
N/A

<Add>

d. All content (text and graphics) that conveys information must be available as text or alternative text, or an Accessible Alternative Version is required.

Web Documents (All Web Documents Must, Item 5b)
N/A

<Add to end of item>

Web document forms that are intended to be filled-in may use smaller fonts as appropriate.

Web Documents (All Web Documents Must, Item 6e) Scanned PDF documents, which are not accessible should not be posted to CDE Web sites unless absolutely necessary. Whenever a PDF document has been created using a scanner instead of converting from another electronic format, an Accessible Alternative Version (AAV) must be posted along with it. PDF documents that have been scanned rather than converted from an electronic document must either have an Accessible Alternative Version (AAV) or utilize Adobe Acrobat's OCR feature. If the OCR feature is used, the Downsample Image Mode must either be "Formatted Text and Graphics" or "Searchable Image (Exact)". In either mode, all text from the scanned original must be available as selectable text, be setup to read in the correct order, and be free of OCR errors.
Web Documents (Additional Information table)

<Remove>

PDF Guidance (CDE Intranet)

Provides instructions on how to tag, optimize, and add alternative text to images for Web documents posted on the CDE Internet and Intranet in Portable Document Format (PDF).

N/A
Web Documents (Additional Information table)

<Remove>

Preparing Web Documents for Posting to the CDE Web Site (CDE Intranet)

Provides step-by-step instructions on how to prepare a Web document for posting to the CDE Web and meet all Web document standards.

N/A
State Board Web Pages and Documents

<Broken links fixed only>

N/A
CMD Parental Notification Documents

<Broken links fixed only>

N/A
Exceptions (Building Guidelines)
N/A

<Add>

Building Guidelines on the CDE Intranet may be posted as Word Documents even though they are less than 15 pages in length.

Exceptions (Old Letterhead)
N/A

<Add>

Existing Word documents that use letterhead with a previous State Superintendent of Public Instruction indicated, are not required to use the current Web page template for letterhead.

Exceptions (Word Documents in RFAs)
N/A

<Add>

The 15 page Web documents requirement does not apply to Web documents used in RFAs that are posted using Contribute in the appropriate "R" folder and where the primary link to the Web document is from the funding Request for Applications page.

Exceptions (Existing "AP" Folders)
N/A

<Add>

Existing non-Web application folders named "AP" do not need to be renamed despite the requirement that only Web application folders may be named "AP".

Exceptions
(Staff Photos)
N/A

<Add>

Layout tables may be used on the CDE Intranet for layout and placement of staff photos.

Exceptions (Management Bulletins, Information Alerts, and General Information Sheets)
N/A

<Add>

Layout tables may be used on the CDE Internet for the layout of the top "header" portion of Management Bulletins, Nutrition Services Division Information Alerts, and Nutrition Services Division General Information Sheets.

Exceptions
(Web Applications)
N/A

<Add>

In Web applications, layout tables that are created by .NET for layout of radio button lists (RadioButtonList control) and checkbox lists (CheckBoxList control) can be used.

Web Application Development Standards

Section
(Heading)
Old Standard New Standard
Development Technology, Programming Language, and Database section

The development standards for Web applications require the use of:

  • Microsoft ASP.Net 2.0
  • Microsoft VB.Net 2.0 (server-side)
  • Microsoft IIS 6.0 Web server software
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (if a database is used)

The development standards for Web applications require the use of:

  • Microsoft ASP.Net 3.5 excluding LINQ and AJAX
  • Microsoft Visual Basic 2008
  • Microsoft IIS 6.0 Web server software
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (if a database is used)
Questions:   Web Services Office | tsdweb@cde.ca.gov
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