Work has progressed quite nicely on The Althing. I continue to get new content loaded on a regular basis. In some respects, it’s like doing genealogical research (something I’ve engaged in for over thirty years), in that I can never envision a time when I will be done, excepting getting run over by a beer truck, or some similar misadventure. I keep thinking of new things to investigate for possible inclusion. Among the things that will definitely be coming are a calendar of events, and new layouts for such things as books, movies, and music. I need to find a way to integrate brief but good artist bios, book and film summaries, etc. Not yet sure if I want to open things up for ratings as that would be redundant, although I would like to pull ratings from other sources, like Rotten Tomatoes.
About the time I shifted to pure HTML/CSS, I also began to consider the benefits of PHP, or others of that ilk. Now, I have the classic “basic template”, to which I add my content to generate the different pages. As there are over twenty pages, with many more to come, I am faced with the associated classic problem – things such as a menu change must be executed over twenty times. Of course PHP would allow me to change one file, and have the change propogated across all the pages. Tempting. I could also then integrate tools to allow visitors to add comments, do searches, filter results. I have browsed many online sites that purport to tutor on PHP and MySql. A lot are poorly done. Many spend too much time at a very basic level, while others launch right into the expert stratosphere. Few offer practical examples of how to use those tools. Though there are some good sites, and I was gradually picking it up, it became apparent I would need to break down and buy a book. A lot of research led me to “PHP Solutions: Dynamic Web Design Made Easy” by David Powers. My research was good, because my first look at the book tells me it is going to be a very valuable source for the future development of the Thang.