Web Site

Interestingly after spending over 20 years in IT I have never needed to put together a Website so this is my first attempt at building one. I have probably spent way more time on getting this site looking and feeling the way it does than I should have but that is only because I am an hopeless tinkerer and I'm never satisfied with code unless I have optimised it to death. Just blame the perfectionist in me. :)

The design for this site is loosely modelled on a couple of other sites I visit regularly so I need to acknowledge these sites for there contribution. Firstly there is Bruce Simpson's Aardvark Science and Technology Blog which I visit virtually every week day to see what new and interesting links Bruce has found. Bruce's site has probably had the most influence over the overall look and feel of my site as I find navigating his site very easy and logical.

The second site I used as inspiration for the construction log pages is Darren Crompton's website. Darrens site gave me the idea for the look and feel of the construction log pages. Darren's uses thumbnail images which open to larger versions of the same image when clicked. This is a great way of ensuring the pages download with the smallest footprint and only go to the web server to deliver the full size image if required.

28 July 2008. I have spent the last few days putting together this site. I have just used basic HTML tags to build the pages as I found HTML to be relatively easy to learn and use. Also I have only used a simple text editor to put together the pages rather than using a purpose built Web Page design tool. I initially created a basic template file then just used this as the basis for each new page.

4 August 2008. I have been playing round with the look and feel of the site recently. This fills in time while I am sitting on the train going to work and also while I wait for my plans to arrive. I have changed the layout of the build pages to include a column on the right hand side of the page to fit thumbnails of pictures I take during the construction. The content section of each page is getting a little more complex but the header and trailer part which create the look and feel of the site have been simplified. This should make it simpler for me to maintain each page going forward. I have also added a few more links to the KR Links page.

10 August 2008. Had to revisit some of the pages of the site again today after finding they did not display correctly in Internet Explorer. I use Firefox as my browser and had not tested the pages on other browsers. In the process I found a couple of ways of simplifying the code. I also layed out the code in a more accepted formal method rather than trying to minimise the page size for ease of editing.

05 August 2009. Hard to believe but it has been nearly 12 months since I first created this site. This last week I finally got off my butt and contacted a web hosting company here in Auckland to host the site . The company I am working with is called mothership.co.nz. I transferred the files up to the server and starting testing the site in anger and found that it did not present very well on PC's running screens larger than my laptop. As such I have revisited the formatting code at the top of each page and in the process learned more about how to control the presentation of a web page than I will probably ever need to know again.

07 August 2009. Ended up having to revisit the code again to make the site scale correctly for browsers using lower screen resolutions than mine. Found the site did not display well at lower resolutions. This then resulted in having to revisit the code to make sure it displayed correctly for all the browser types I have acces too. Bit like a multi headed hydra to try and sort out. You get it going in one browser and this causes problems in another which means you have to find another solution. You can end up chasing your tail a bit.

08 August 2009. Spoke with one of the admin guys at the web hosting company and he recommended I add a doctype command to the top of each of my HTML pages to help with browsers decoding the HTML. I did this and ended up having to revisit the code once again to sort out a few problems this caused with page formatting. It did force me to think a lot harder about the coding standard I am using and also means I can be resonably confident the page will display ok in most browsers. I also took the opportunity to add a banner to the top of all the pages while I was there.

28 August 2009. Added the Interesting Stuff page to the Miscellaneous page.

15 July 2010. Major revamp of the site. Removed Misc tab at the top and included all the links from this tab on the home page. Plus redesigned the KiwiKR's page and added the My Flying page and Airshows page.

May 2011. Another revamp of the layout to try and freshen it up a bit and also to move all the formatting out of the individual pages and into a CSS file. This will hopefully mean I can manage the site a little easier. I have also changed the navigation menu's to get rid of the side menu's on each page and use a secondary bar underneath the top bar.