A Cascade Dictionary

What the heck is a Widget?

We thought you would appreciate an explanation of some of the common Cascade lingo. If we're missing something, please let us know at [[creative]].


An announcement is a type of page you can create in Cascade. Announcements often appear on lists, either within a listing page or a listbox. They look a lot like events, only they don't display a date and time or specific location. An example might be something like "Enforcement of parking restrictions in effect all summer."


Pretty much everything in Cascade is an asset: pages, folders, files, formats, references, etc.

Asset Factory

Asset Factories are what you use to create assets. When you select "New" in the blue toolbar, you see your available asset factories sometimes organized in folders called containers.


Blocks are "pluggable" bits of content that can be inserted into a defined page region. You may not have permission or a need to create or edit these, but most of your pages are built with them. There are five different types of blocks in Cascade:

  • Index Block: a listing of assets in XML format (for example, story, feature and event "Listing Pages" consist of a current folder index block in the main content region)
  • Text Block: static text content
  • XML Block: static XML content
  • XHTML Block: static XHTML content
  • XML Feed Block: dynamic XML from a third-party server (e.g. RSS feed)

The W&M website is structured into three main columns. The first column is the left side of the page, housing your navigation. The second column is the middle of the page, housing your content. The third column is the right side of the page, housing widgets, related links and listboxes.


This word is interchangeable with "content." For example, the term "body copy" refers to the content in the body of a page.

Directory Page

A directory page is a type of page you can create in Cascade. Sometimes called "Faculty Bios" (A&S) or "People Pages" (VIMS), use this if you want a page for each of your faculty or staff folks that can be automatically assembled and summarized on a directory listing page. (The Law School builds similar-looking pages from information on the Cardozo server, so Law folks should look into that.)


Events from the W&M Events system can be displayed in a listbox in Cascade. They look a lot like announcements, but they include a date and sometimes a time or specific location. Lists of events show only upcoming events sorted in the order they will occur, with items dropping off as they pass.


A feature is a type of page you can create in Cascade. Feature titles (headlines) often appear on lists, either within a listing page or a listbox. They look a lot like (news) stories, only they have NO by-line or date-line, making them more "timeless" in nature. Lists of features are sorted in "folder order," which can mean either the newest ones come first, or that the site webmaster can choose the order in which they appear.


Formally know as "XSL Stylesheets," formats are used to manipulate and transform blocks by doing things like applying filters or sorting XML records. As of Cascade Server version 5.7, formats support the use of both XSLT and Velocity.

Link text

The actual text of a link—in the left-hand menu, in the breadcrumb or in the body or right column of a page.

Listing Page

This is the term we use for our special page types that produce "pretty" lists of stories, features, announcements or directory pages. A listing page only lists what is in the same folder. If you create a folder with listing page, be sure you select the right type of listing page for your folder's content (such as an Announcements Listing Page for a folder of announcements). 


A listbox is a special asset type in Cascade. You can place an existing listbox in the right column of most pages within Cascade. They often hold a list of announcements, upcoming events, features or recent (news) stories. Listboxes are sometimes confused with widgets, another right column element—but listboxes lack images.

Navigation Tree

In the left region of Cascade is the detailed folder structure of the website. This is commonly referred to as the Navigation Tree. Use it to peruse folders, pages and other assets.


Example photosetPhotosets are the large images with a gray caption box you find at the top of many of our news and feature pages. Photosets can only be applied to News Story and Feature page types.  A photoset can have one photo or many. If there are many photos, small arrows appear to the left and right of the images allowing you to scroll through the set.


Cascade Server is not the web server. You can create, edit, save and preview assets in Cascade however they are not visible on the web until they are published. There are 3 basic ways to publish assets in Cascade: Direct Publishing, Scheduled Publishing and Publishing Through a Workflow.


In Cascade, redirects are physical pages that direct browsers to another page. Redirects are physical in the sense that they are actual web pages on the server with an actual address.  However, when you try to vist them, you immediately get bounced somewhere else. It happens to everyone so don't take it personally ;)  A folder with a redirect is an easy way to include a menu item in your site to a page that lives elsewhere. Redirects can also be used for simplifying URLs and to enable external links in Related Links boxes.

Related Links

An optional third-column box available on most pages in Cascade, related links will show up if anything is there. Add a link for a page, story, or other web location that you think relates to this page or has a similar target audience. Related links are defined on each page.


Assets that "line up" at the same level in the folder structure are siblings. Folders can have sibling folders. Assets inside a folder (files, pages, whatever) can have sibling assets. Most of the time, when you see or hear this terminology it is in reference to folders. In particular, it is referring to what folder Display Names get displayed in the left-hand menu of a page.


SPecial Interest Feature with an extra "F". SPIFFs are typically featured on top-level web pages within the William & Mary site as well as graduate school sites.

Story (aka News Story)

A (news) story is a type of page you can create in Cascade. Story headlines (titles) often appear on lists, either within a listing page or a listbox. They look a lot like features, with the addition of a by-line and date-line. Lists of stories are usually sorted in reverse order by date, with the newest stories first.


Example widgetWidgets are those snappy things you see in the third column of pages with a text top, picture and teaser text (or scrollable set of pics and teaser text). And sometimes, they are YouTube Widgets which differ slightly from a typical widget—they have a YouTube video instead of a picture. A widget lives on its own and can be included on any number of pages. They are sometimes confused with listboxes, another right column element—but listboxes lack images (or videos). Learn more about creating Widgets and YouTube Widgets.


Content can be edited and submitted to an approval process known as a workflow. A workflow can have many steps, but most commonly includes edit and approve. Workflows must be created by Cascade managers and set on folder(s).