Through this site I hope to build a series of reflections on issues that interest me from time to time. Some of the pages to come will take the form of essays; others will just be brief outlines of issues and the extent to which the achievements described here address them.
When this site began in 2003, it was then very much a "work in progress". The site was intended to evolve as my fancy took me. My intention was to start small and lean, and grow as time permits and issues arise.
Time has been a significant constraint, but as experience showed in developing a commercial site along the same lines as this one, this site was then, and has remained, pretty much at the limits that could be supported by the widely used browsers. The changes to the style of the site in this most recent upgrade have been minor accommodations to the latest W3C standards. The latest essay has been some years in gestation.
The site is an experiment in, and a tool for learning about, the effective use of the WEB as a communications tool. It illustrates published and evolving guidelines for navigation, and for style and structure of a WEB site in the context of evolving rights management and META-data. The simplicity of page design is deliberate, to ensure compatibility and accessibility in older browsers (and to overcome "bugs" in relatively new browsers that are not fully W3C standards compliant), and to minimise the download time. But it is deceptive too. Older browsers will not display the layout as it appears in the newer browsers, because the structure is entirely semantically specified in a style sheet: there are no tables providing structural elements on the page. The technology is starting to push boundaries, not in the standards, but even in the current browser implementations. While the pages will display correctly in the most modern browsers, printing is problematic in most of them. (It seems that the browsers have implemented reasonably up-to-date display engines, but the print engines have not quite kept pace!) That too is part of the experimental nature of the site. But the content will display in a readable form in browsers that don't correctly implement style sheets or that don't recognise style sheets at all. The underlying style sheet is evolving as part of the experimental nature of the site, and the "meta" tags conform to the latest emerging meta-data standards for effective rights management and efficient knowledge management.
I hope you enjoy taking this journey of exploration with me.