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PBIO(BIOL) 3660L Plant Biology Intensive Lab
THE PLANT BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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ABOUT THE WEBSITE


Research Sites and People




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This site is for PBIO(BIOL) 3660L, Intensive Plant Biology Laboratory, an integrative undergraduate course offered since Spring 2008 by The Plant Biology Department at The University of Georgia. The chief purpose of this course is to expose students to field, bench, and informatics methods in a larger context of outstanding questions that might be answered within one semester, but more likely over several years. This requires institutional memory and this website provides it.

So these pages record some of the activities of its students and provide opportunities for them to learn basic web design, data managment and perhaps promotion and branding, but they serve primarily as the repository of what we have found. This requires complete control of the entire site by each of its students and to do this we operate outside of University servers through Startlogic.com and the overbroad domain name. Many files and a few directories have been lost along the way, but not yet the entire site. Assuming some attention to backups, I highly recommend using a site for collaborative work, in particular the types through which many participants pass. Most students thrive in this sort of situation; others are otherwise at a loss if not being assigned a specific responsibility such as here organizing data, publishing pages, or writing new features. Perhaps contributing panels to a community quilt is among the better analogies of what different participants bring to and receive from such projects.
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Being independent of University servers, we have complete control over the look and functionality of the site. This is not trivial: do we use html, xtml, depreciated tags and attributes, tables, javascript, css, Flash, slideshows, SQL, shopping carts, high-level programming, proprietary converters, among other choices? We try to be as simple as possible and reluctantly write for IE, the most literal and idiosyncratic of browsers, and for dial-up viewers, may they both pass from memory. FireFox is the course-supported browser but we use IE to see how most of the rest of the world will see the product and in some cases use its developer tools to improve code. My poor writing skills have depended in large part on seeing in View/Page Source how others accomplish particular objectives so I have tried to be as transparent as possible for others like me. We use lots of annotated tables for pixel-perfect format and excessive comments for ease in dropping new content into template pages by novice writers. I will hopefully have retired by the time tables, and other tags/attributes, have passed from depreciated to unsupported. Link, font, and table cell style have repeatedly changed and these are now handled with an external .css file. Side links continue to expand to provide one-click access to each subsubject and once within one of them, to all of its pages. Following best practices, the link to the page you are viewing is inactivated on that page through a page-specific modification to the rendering of links provided by an external javascript file. The viewer should also have complete and easy control of what the brower sees. With the novice in mind, however, with warning I violate that policy by opening some external sites and some internal pages in a new window. Additional information about the design of the pages can be found under Web Operation.

We need not follow the branding and other requirements of University-served pages. But we follow them in our own way, more than do most of its own subdomains, in our more elegant left and bottom bars and are proud to do it, the boiler-plate disclaimer in small font at the bottom of each page not withstanding. Call it promotion, branding, advertizing, or bragging; it and the integrity of what it protects are as important in science as anywhere else.
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GLENN GALAU, THE DEPARTMENT OF PLANT BIOLOGY, MILLER PLANT SCIENCES BUILDING, THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA, ATHENS GA  30602-7271
PHONE 706 542 1859    FAX 706 542 1805
MODIFIED ON 13 FEBRUARY 2010. WEB DESIGN BY GLENN GALAU

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Content and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia