New WWW website news

New WWW website news

It’s been one of those weeks when so much has been happening, when too much has been happening, but it’s difficult to explain to other people what exactly ‘it’ is that has taken up so much time and effort. On one level this is simple: every single one of the existing pages on the WWW website has been edited, some completely rewritten, and most also re-focused to fit into the new structure of webpages now finally taking shape as the beta-version of the new research-focused website to be hosted by HRI Digital. On another level, what that doesn’t really convey is that this has been a massive job. This stage of the work started a few days before Christmas and has involved long working days since then including all of the so-called holiday, culminating over the last week in working like demons so as to finish and then deliver it all when HRI staff resumed work after the break. This was done on Wednesday by rendezvous-ing midway between they are based and I am, which turned out to be a hotel in Carlisle. Circa 500 new webpages and hundreds of JPEGs were ceremonially handed over. Thank goodness for memory sticks.

As I write, Michael Pidd who heads the HRI end of things, is working on fitting the pages and JPEGs of documents into the webpage structure, and making sure that the beta version of the editorial tools all work as they are supposed to. A few problems have already been identified, so this may take a week or so. After that is done and also the new site design put in place, we will be harmonising the editorial content and the theoretical and analytical work on the data-set, which is composed by all the databases for the individual collections and will also be searchable across them. Then…

Then at long last the new research-based WWW website can be launched with a fanfare. I think we are all surprised at how long it has taken. What is responsible for this is the huge size and particularly the complexity of the different databases and getting them to fit together in a way that will allow searches across the entirety while preserving the integrity of the individual collections and all the many many individual letters that compose them.

And in the meantime, one of the small problems that has been spotted concerns what the email system does to JPEG files when they are sent, which is to decrease file size by appearing as thumbnails rather than actual files. In consequence we’re having to replace some images in the editorial pages. This has something to do with us using Macs, one of their few downsides.

Now, enough blogging, back to identifying and replacing image files!

Last updated: 12 January 2018