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23 Feb 2017
Reverting to the original format

During the whole of 2016 I used a new type of web publishing software called RapidWeaver to provide additional content for bbceng.  The background to this is given in the posts below.  Unfortunately this trial has been a failure and I have now reverted to Microsoft FrontPage.  All of the content that I added during 2016, which appeared in a different format, is now incorporated within the traditional Frontpage format.

FrontPage is obsolescent, but it seems to work satisfactorily with the Windows 10 operating system and the resultant web site still displays correctly on all the browsers and devices that I have tried (Edge, IE, Firefox, Safari; PC, MAC; iOS and Android).  I know that it produces dreadful code that does not comply with modern web standards, but the web site is simple so perhaps this explains the lack of problems.  I am familiar with FrontPage, so I have now decided to keep on using it for bbceng.  If compatibility problems occur in future I will consider ways of overcoming them, but I am not going to spend a lot of time converting all the content to a different format.  I plan to keep bbceng running for the foreseeable future, but if it becomes unusable due to compatibility problems this might result in the web site being frozen, closed down or taken over by someone else who is willing to solve the compatibility problems.  I've been running the web site for 11 years, but it is a low priority activity for me.

During the trial in 2016 I used RapidWeaver running on a MAC Mini.  RapidWeaver is a good product for anyone wishing to create a new template-based web site. My reasons to stop using it for bbceng are:

  1. It's rigorous approach to the generation of standards-compliant code, makes it rather cumbersome for adding and uploading large numbers of PDF files.  It is not good practice to create a web site with a predominance of PDF files, but this is needed for bbceng due to the old documents involved.

  2. It is capable of creating websites that are far more elaborate than bbceng, but I don't want to spend the time needed to get a better understanding of its features.  I find FrontPage simpler and quicker to use.

  3. By embedding the original website within a new website with an entirely different format, I had made bbceng rather confusing for users.

  4. During 2016 I still needed to use FrontPage occasionally to make changes to the original part of bbceng. 

  5. I started using RapidWeaver on the MAC Mini at a time when I was unhappy with Windows 8.1 and I was thinking of moving to Apple for all my computing requirements.  However I eventually upgraded to Windows 10 and was pleasantly surprised, so I decided to continue with it.  It is now inconvenient to use the MAC Mini for bbceng as all my other work is on my Windows PC.  (RapidWeaver does not presently run in Windows.)

The posts below no longer refer to the present situation, but they give some background information.

8 Aug 2016
New content appearing

On the old website I put new content in the appropriate part of the organisational structure and listed the addition on the New Items page. However I am now adopting a different approach. I am putting all new items under top level menu descriptions which show approximately when they were added (e.g. "Added: Jan-Feb 2016"). Returning visitors simply need to look in these locations in order to see anything that has been added recently. This arrangement reduces the time that it takes me to add new content.

Each February I will distribute the previous year's new content to locations within a logical structure. This structure will evolve, based on the subject matter concerned.

5 Jan 2016
Development of bbceng from 2016

I've been running bbceng for ten years and I have recently made some fairly significant changes. All of the old content will remain, but future content will have a different format. I am doing this because the obsolescent Microsoft Frontpage web publishing software that I have been using, produces code that fails to meet modern web standards.

After using Windows and Frontpage for many years, I am now using Apple MAC and RapidWeaver. Time will tell, but I think that RapidWeaver might live up to its name and enable me to develop the web site without having to spend too much time on it. I am happy to continue with the web site, but I do have a life and I want to keep web development work to a minimum!

I have decided to keep most of the web site's existing files as they are, in their old locations, because It would take far to long to convert all of the pages to the new format. Also, Google links to pages in the existing structure and users have probably bookmarked them.

I have not yet decided exactly how to develop new pages, but I will probably use the new format for future "Information Exchange" items, "New items" etc. In general the pages that are in the old format will be frozen and the new structure will develop according to the subject matter that is added. I appreciate that this is not ideal, as visitors might have to look in the old and new pages to find the required information, so I might gradually duplicate some content from the old format.

I need to learn how to use RapidWeaver, so expect to see some changes as I find my way. This is very much a background activity for me, so the changes will happen gradually!

8 Nov 2015
Development of bbceng prior to 2016

I have used Microsoft FrontPage 2002 to build this website. FrontPage is now obsolete and the code that it generates is notorious for its lack of conformance with modern web standards.  At present (8th November 2015) it still runs on the Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, but I might have problems if I have to change to Windows 10.

There doesn't seem to be any program available to convert FrontPage code into standards-compliant code, and it would be far too time consuming to do this manually, so I have decided to leave the present web site as it is.  As the pages are simple, they work on all browsers and hopefully will continue to do so.

My plan is to freeze the existing pages and use a different method to generate new pages with a different format.  This approach will also provide a clear distinction between the pages sent to BBC Archives (today) and future developments.