During the saga of getting Print from My PC working, I had to build some pages to help people set the whole thing up. Predictably, this included clobbering some HTML and CSS around (and for the record, I still hate ASP with a burning passion).
Why am I blogging about this? Well, firstly this is a blog which in part aims to let you look behind the scenes at what’s happening. Secondly and most importantly, however, the code is specifically designed to be incredibly portable between various services. I envision there being yet another subdomain (sorry!) such as common.lincoln.ac.uk, which exists purely to store objects shared by all services. The stylesheets, the images, the scripts. The result once properly implemented would be ultimately beneficial – it would improve caching, reducing hits to services. It would enforce consistent appearance. Applying a code or styling fix would need to be done once and would be replicated to all services using it. Finally and most importantly, it would get people into the mindset of “data should only exist once” which is a key part of the Web 2.0 way.
Still, mindless code changes for such a minor improvement would be senseless. Which is why I’m going to suggest the following: create common.lincoln.ac.uk, add the resources to it, and when new services are created or services are updated make them use the common resources. It’ll be slow, but it’ll be worth it.