Choosing and Building Portal Websites

This page gives very simple instructions on setting up portal websites that serve as the introductory front-end to your Oracc corpus.

The options | Making a portal | Linking portal and corpus | Listing portal projects

The options

There are four different ways to create a portal for your Oracc corpus, depending on your particular needs:

  1. If you would like a site that looks like K&P [], GKAB [], and AEB [], you should use ESP to build your portal site in situ in your project's 00web/ directory. This is our recommended option.

  2. You can ask your project liaison to create a separate project on Oracc to host your portal site, and build it using ESP. This is particularly useful if the project and corpus have different remits, managers, funders, etc. In this case, your html files will live in your portal project's (not your corpus project's) 00web/ directory on Oracc, with subdirectories as dictated by the structure of the website.

  3. You can create and maintain a portal site on a different server and have your Oracc project link to it by editing the configuration file. This can be helpful if, for instance, your university or funding body expects you to have a web presence on their server (e.g., Assyrian Empire Builders [] on the UCL website, as a portal for SAAo []).

  4. If you choose none of the options above, the 40-word blurb and a 320×240 pixel image in your project configuration file will by default serve as your project's front page on the Oracc website (e.g., CAMS []).

N.B.: If you choose any of options 1 to 3 you must still complete the image and blurb entries in your configuration file, and also set the public status appropriately in the configuration file; read the section on Listing portal projects for more information.

Making a portal

Setting up ESP

ESP files come pre-installed on every Oracc project. But you will need to follow these instructions to set up template pages, schemas and Emacs (if you do not already have it) in order to make an ESP site.

Uploading ESP pages to Oracc

If you are creating ESP pages on your own computer to upload to Oracc, you can either use a Unix terminal such as Putty (PC) or Terminal (Mac), or a more interactive FTP browswer, such as Cyberduck [] (free for PC and Mac).

Put all static resources for your site—images, PDF files, Google Earth files, etc.—into your project's 00res/ folder on the Oracc server. There are separate subfolders 00res/downloads and 00res/images/; you can add further subfolders within these if needed.

Put all your XML files (which wil become HTML pages) into your project's 00web/ folder.

Static and editable ESP content are kept separate like this because images, PDFs, etc. are typically much bigger than text files, and take much longer to upload. You rarely need to upload them more than once, whereas you may repeatedly want to upload new versions of your XML files, particularly when setting up your portal site. This way you don't have to wait for big files to upload when you're only correcting little ones.

Rebuilding the portal

You can do this independently of building your project's corpus (if it has one).

Linking portal and corpus

For both options 1 and 2 above, you will need to edit the pager-back-button and pager-back-url options in your corpus project's configuration file in order to link the two together.

Listing portal projects

Portal projects that are hosted on Oracc (i.e., option 2 above) are included in the public Project List by default. You can set the blurb and image in that list by editing the your project's configuration file.

If you would like your non-Oracc portal site (i.e., option 3 above) to be included in the Project List, then you need to make a configuration file for it, following this model:

<project xmlns="" 
  <name>Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire</name>
  <blurb>This website presents Neo-Assyrian scholars' letters, queries, and 
  reports to their kings in seventh-century Nineveh and provides resources 
  to support their use in undergraduate teaching.</blurb>
  <image-alt>An Assyrian king with his scribes and scholars, as imagined 
  in the mid-19th century. (A.H. Layard, A Second Series of the Monuments 
  of Nineveh, London 1853, pl. 2 detail, after a sketch by J. 

Copy this text, edit it in Emacs to suit your portal, and save the file as config.xml. Email it, together with a suitable 320×240 pixel image, to your project liaison for him or her to install it in the projects listing directory on Oracc.

18 Dec 2019 osc at oracc dot org

Eleanor Robson

Eleanor Robson, 'Choosing and Building Portal Websites', Oracc: The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus, Oracc, 2019 []

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