SIPB Web Server: Activities guidelines

The MIT SIPB World Wide Web server document "Organizations and Activities" indexes many of MIT's student groups, campus organizations, and activities.



The Activities page was first maintained by Wilfredo Sánchez, Below are a couple of simple guidelines on how to set up your home page for optimal service via our server. The webmasters have no rules as to what you may put onto your groups pages, and we have no plans to institute such rules. Therefore, none of these guidelines are requirements; instead, they are suggestions for how to make things run more smoothly.

It is assumed that at this point you have played around with the Web enough to have a general feel for what it's about, probably by using a program (a Web browser) like Mosaic. If not, we strongly suggest that you do some exploring before you continue.

How to set up a World Wide Web page for your group

Step 1: Learn some HTML

The first thing you should do is learn a bit about the World Wide Web. Specifically, you should read the HTML Primer, which will provide you with information on how to write HTML (HyperText Markup Language) documents.

Create an html file to play with. Make some lists. Everyone seems to like lists. Put in some pretty pictures. Have fun. You can access the file via afs:

The above is called a URL (Uniform Resource Locator). In Mosaic, you can open a URL by selecting the "Open URL" menu item and entering the URL into the window provided for it. In this case, it is a "local" URL, meaning a file on your local disk. You can also open a file by using the "Open File" menu item.

Step 2: Figure out what you page should look like

You can get some great ideas by checking out some other activities pages and other documents on the web. Try to avoid making a page of links to other pages elsewhere on the net. Everyone has pointers, and they reveal little to no insight to what your group is about. Try and provide some original information pertaining to your group.

You can always change what's on your document, even after a link to it has been made on our server; we don't keep a local copy of the file.

Step 3: Make the header

First, you should create a header for your page. The header contains information about the document itself. Below is a sample header for "MIT SIPB":

<!-- MIT SIPB page -->
<title>MIT SIPB</title>
<link rel=made href="">
<link rel=owns href="">

The <!-- and --> on the first line are comment delimiters. Therefore, "MIT SIPB PAGE" will not appear anywhere in the actual document.

The delimiters <head> and </head> mark the beginning and end of the header.

The title of the page is marked by <title> and </title>. In browsers like Mosaic, the title appears at the top of the window and is often used to index pages that a user has been to recently. The name of your group may be a suitable title.

The two lines containing link commands specify the creator (rev=made) and the maintainer (rev=owns) of the document. Some browsers allow users to send mail to the maintainer of a page with comments, etc.

Step 3: Add the body of your document

Oh, joy! Now you can put in all of the good stuff you thought of in Step 2. You should surround the body of your page with the <body> and </body> delimiters. At the end the body, you should also include address information, surrounded by <address> and </address>. Address information varies by author, but it is generally a good idea to include an email address. Below is an example body for "MIT SIPB".

<h1>Welcome to MIT SIPB.</h1>

We are the MIT Student Information Processing Board.
We provide many computing services to the MIT community.
One of these services is a <a href="">
World Wide Web server</a>.

MIT SIPB | W20-557 | x3-3788 |

Finally, you should surround the entire home page with <html> and </html> tags so that your document is of the form:
Header goes here...
Body goes here...

Step 4: Put the file some place appropriate

If your activity has its own Athena locker, we suggest that you store the html files for that group in its locker. It is OK to have them in a personal Athena account, but keep in mind that such accounts have a tendency to expire after the owner graduates. We do not maintain the Athena AFS cell activity lockers. Email for more information on activity lockers.

It is probably best to keep all of your html files in their own directory. We suggest ~activity/www, where ~activity is the locker in which the files will be kept. If you have several html files, one of the files should act as a "home page" for your activity. You may want to either call that file home.html or made a symbolic link called home.html to that file.

Remember to make your html directory world readable. Our server will not be able to access a document unless the permissions on your directory allow it to. Assuming that you used ~activity/www as your html directory, the following command will set the proper permissions (anyuser read access) for AFS files on Athena:

	fs sa ~activity/www system:anyuser read

Note that the SIPB server does not require that you place the files in any particular location, nor that you have a file called home.html. These are just suggestions so that you will have a similar setup to most groups.

Registering your activity with the SIPB webmasters

The SIPB Activities page provides a small bit of information about each group on our list and a link to that group's home page. The informative blurb included with the link must be short (short remains undefined, but see the Activities page for an idea of what's expected) in order to avoid cluttering up the page. Optionally, we will include a small inlined image (up to 25 pixels tall and 100 pixels wide) to go with your blurb. We strictly enforce the inline image dimensions, not the area.

We reserve the right to edit any information provided in order to suit the format of the Activities page. Sometimes this means moving the name of the group to the beginning of the blurb, sometimes shortening the text, etc. We try to be reasonable.

We try to give all groups equal billing on the page. New groups are usually added in alphabetical order to the designated category. Exceptions to this rule are quite rare.

Each group should select a category to be placed into. At the moment, we do not place groups in multiple categories. Select the category that fits your group best. If no existing category is appropriate, suggest a new category for us to put you into. You will be initially added under "Miscellaneous" until we add the new category. This is to prevent our having too many categories with only one group in them.

We do not automatically add activities into our Activities page. If you wish to be added to our page, please send email to with the following information, or fill out the form below.

  1. The name of the activity.
  2. The email address of the contact person(s). May be a list.
  3. The name of the category into which you would like to be placed, if any. If no category suits you, we will place you under 'Miscellaneous' until one that does is created.
  4. The location of the home file. If it's on Athena, provide the filename. If it's elsewhere, provide the URL. All other files should be accessed by that file (with relative links, where possible).
  5. A short blurb describing your group. One sentence should do, but you may need two.

Fill Out Form

  1. Activity name:
  2. Contact Email Address:
  3. Category:
  4. Page Location:
    This location is a: URL, AFS path
  5. Icon Location:
    Optional icon must have a maximum size of 25 pixels high by 100 pixels wide.
    This location is a: URL, AFS path
  6. Blurb: remember to include the activity name as specified above at the beginning of your blurb.


If you have any questions or comments, send them to