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Website and Webmaster

Intro

As I mentioned to the Committee Members in October and in the recent round robin email it is my intention not to continue as Webmaster beyond October 2022 when the site hosting will need renewing

In the meantime I will use this page to describe how the site was developed and what the role of Webmaster has become for me.

At the same time I will display the code used, for each section, so anyone wishing to take over can see how a page is created.

Part of the code is common to all pages:

The code for these does not have to be written again; I just opened the History page, in Notepad, Saved As website.html and deleted all the content relevant to the History page. Then I changed the Title in the Head from History to Website. I'll show the code for these later.

I won't be writing a tutorial on html (HyperText Markup Language); there are websites dedicated to that. However I'll just point out that, so far, I've used seven tags: h3, blockquote, p, ul, b, li and img (inside greater and less than symbols). These are the instructions to the browser: h3 is heading size 3, blockquote creates an indent, p is paragraph, b is bold, ul is unordered list, li is list element and img is image

Each of these is closed with the inclusion of a forward slash. In the case of img I've used two attributes: src which is source (of the image) and width (of the image).

I replaced the Footpaths hyperlink with the Website hyperlink on the Navigation Bar, and added Footpaths to the History page. The changes to the Navigation Bar were made on all the site pages.

As I have already assembled the structure of the site it may be possible for my successor to maintain it by modifying the existing code: deleting, overtyping, copying and pasting. If a new structure is required in one page, something similar can be copied from another page and then altered to satisfy the requirements. To do this you will need to know enough html to recognise where the changes are needed and how to make the change. I hope this page is of some help but you will need to be committed and prepared to spend the time and effort.

As this is to be a story I could write it all in paragraphs, but then I would not be showing many aspects of the language. So I will contrive to introduce other tags, even when not wholly appropriate. It won't always be written linearly, so when the opportunity arises I will alter the code of earlier passages to give further coding examples.

I intend to publish updates periodically (cf Charles Dickens) so any follower won't be overtaxed, and while on the Dickens theme,
this page is like Madame Defarge's knitting - done as a pastime, but if a use is found for it, use it. (Not as sinister as the knitting though.)

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In The Beginning

Discussions were held at Committee Meetings in 2003 regarding the possibility of the Club having a website. Nobody had any idea how to do it or how to go about it. So a few interested Committee Members including:

Joe MooreBrian JoynsonBill FinneyMike Everill

said they would investigate, pool ideas, discuss and report back to the Committee.

I first had a look at Frontpage 2000, the in-house Microsoft Office web page builder. Vince Morley, a club member, had a personal website, so, one day on a walk, I asked him the best way to go forward, expecting him to give me tips on using Frontpage. However, he said he had taught himself html coding from library books and suggested that was the best way, and not too difficult. So I set out on a voyage of discovery. A few weeks later we convened a meeting where we pooled any knowledge we had gleaned:
All had ideas:
  • lists of what the site should contain
  • drawings of page layout
  • some misgivings about putting personal details on the web.
Joe had designed a Home page in Publisher using some pictures, clip art and text boxes but when we converted that to a web page it became a massive file, taking up a lot of memory on the PC hard drive, which was of limited size in those days. The code listing was pages long, containing style definitions of every pixel, recording all the properties each pixel had and all those it did not have, before then using these properties to place each pixel in place. The page took a while to load in the Internet Explorer browser on the PC, and we suspected it would take minutes to display online. We were on dial up then - no fast broadband. One of the approaches I had used, with my newly acquired, but very limited coding knowledge, was to link 4 dummy pages together with hyperlinks, the major concept of the worldiwide-web. Shortly afterwards I was able emulate Joe's design using his pictures and clipart in a code-written page, which consumed a tiny fraction of the HD memory the original took and loaded instantly - this was the way to go.