Notice of Works

Posted on Thursday 19th October 2006 at 00:00
< ![CDATA[Just to let you all know, today is the day I've designated for doing some maintenance work on the site. I have three projects to complete today and all three of them could potentially affect your viewing of the website.

Firstly I am going to be compressing and tidying up the site scripts. This will allow faster loading times and more economical bandwidth usage, as well as making it easier for me to update the site in the future with minimal disruption to service.

Secondly I'm going to convert the site to CSS. For those who are non-technically minded I will try to explain this in laymen's terms. When you design a site you have to specify how various things will look. For example you might say that this piece of text is going to be blue or that table will have a 6 pixel wide boarder etc. Every time you add something to the site you have to specify how it will look. Now, if you want the text to be blue in several places on each page and on several pages of the site you find yourself writing out the same set of instructions over and over, which is not only very annoying, it also makes the pages very big which means they take longer for you to download them.

Cascading style sheets (CSS) allow you to offload all of that coding into a separate file which contains all the instructions for how the entire site will look, neatly labelled up. Then in the main site page, every time you want the text to be blue you just refer the page to the style sheet for instructions on how to display the text. It also means that if you get bored of blue and want red instead, you only have to change the instructions in the style sheet and the change will be applied to all your pages at once.

Thirdly I want to create the long awaited text only version of the site, which will be faster loading while still hopefully looking reasonable and will be aimed at those readers using dial up or with particularly strict bandwidth allowances.

In order to minimise disruption I shall be doing the bulk of the work in a clone of the site which will then be loaded onto the main site when it is ready. This shouldn't cause too many problems for you guys but in the event that something does go wrong and you start getting error messages, slow loading times or pages that don't display properly, please bear with me and keep refreshing the page until it looks right.

I appreciate your understanding and cooperation at this time.


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