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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]].


Accessibility refers to the design of web content for people who experience disabilities. The web offers many opportunities to people with disabilities that are unavailable through any other medium. However, if a site is not created with web accessibility in mind, it may exclude a segment of the population that stands to gain the most from the internet.


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 with their Title and Summary presented. 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 "+ Add Content" in the top black toolbar, you see your available asset factories.


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)

An asset (page, folder, etc.) contained within a folder.


The W&M website is structured into three main columns. The first column is the left side of the page, housing your menu and social media buttons (if applicable). The second column is the middle of the page, housing your main content. The third (optional) 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 Digital Measures, so Law folks should look into that.)


Events from the W&M Events system can be displayed in a listbox or listing block 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.

Folder Navigation Tree

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


Formats support the use of both XSLT and Velocity and are used to manipulate and transform blocks by doing things like applying filters or sorting XML records.

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 appropriate type for your content (for example, a Listing Folder - Announcements 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, recent (news) stories, blog posts or other feeds. Unlike widgets, another right column element, listboxes do not utilize images.

Parent Folder

The folder that contains an asset (page, folder, etc.).

Example photoset on


Photosets are the large images with a caption box you find at the top of many of our news and feature pages. Photosets can only be placed on News Story and Feature page types. A photoset can have one photo or many. If there are multiple photos, navigation elements are added to allow scrolling through the images.


Cascade Server is not the public web server. You can create, edit, save and preview assets in Cascade, however they are not visible on the public website 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 visit them, you immediately get bounced somewhere else. A Folder with 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

Related links are defined on each page. As you provide the appropriate links, an automatically formatted box appears in the right-hand column of your page. Add a link for a page, story or other web location that you think relates to this page or has a similar target audience.


Assets that "line up" at the same level in the folder structure, and are located in the same Parent folder, are siblings. Folders can have sibling folders. Assets inside a folder (files, pages, etc.) 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.

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.


Widgets are those snappy things you see in the right 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 have a playable YouTube video instead of a picture. A widget lives on its own and can be included on any number of pages. They are similar to listboxes, another right column element, but listboxes do not use images or videos. Learn more about creating Widgets and YouTube Widgets.