Peter Gaunt’s dawnsun website

New server

The site has moved to a new server. At the moment I am slowly bringing it back to life after it was frozen on 6 July 2019. At the same time I am attempting to make it more mobile phone friendly.

The weblog is a pain to navigate at the moment though it is all available.

My apologies to those looking for up to date Moon and Sun times. Those features are frozen as they were on 6 July 2019 at least for the moment.

The gory details
or ‘Too much info’

For many years the site lived on a virtual private server (VPS) but I’ve now moved it to a managed server over which I have less control but from which I get less hassle.

I downloaded the database and scripts which ran the site so in theory I can put it back together again at some point.

The old site

Before closing down the old server I downloaded the entire site as flat html (thanks to the SiteSucker app) in various different ways. I also downloaded everything using FTP so that I’d still be able to use the scripts which ran it so that I can resurrect the site as I feel fit.

The version on oldsite now is based on the flat html I downloaded with the ‘handheld’ style sheet on 6 July 2019 at around 12:40.

I’ve now worked out how to switch stylesheets depending on the screen width of the browser. After much faffing around and thinking that I might have to resort to Javascript I discovered I could have done the whole thing in an absurdly simple way which involved changing the names of three existing files and creating three files with the same name each of which contained two lines of code. If I’d known about this I could have implemented it years ago.

Of course I still haven’t changed the handheld stylesheet which smartphone browsers get but at least desktops get the full three column styles. The handheld sheet itself is still very much from a year or two before the advent of smartphones.

I need to work out what to do about the main menu. I’d like for it to display as a drop down but I’d like to do it entirely via the stylesheet if possible. I wonder if I can do that? Hmm.

Worked out how to present the main menu as a drop down on narrow screens. Needs a bit of work on presentation and usability but it works just fine.

I’ve now managed to re-learn enough PHP (it’s coming back to me) to extract the blog items from the Scribblings weblog html files and store them along with info about them in individual XML files. I will now treat both sets of files as the definitive versions not to be changed under any circumstances. I’ve not yet entirely decided what to do with these files. I’m torn between writing a script to use them directly and using them to create a MySQL database.

The front page’s ‘dynamic’ bits other than the moon phase are now working again. It now knows what part of the day it is and again works out how long there is to go to certain dates. The dynamic part of the ‘About me’ page (my age) is now working again too.

The pic of me on the front page and those on the ‘About me’ pages now float right on both desktop computers and mobile phones.

This is a slow process but my ageing brain still seems able to cope with it, which is a blessing, even though it is somewhat slower than it used to be because of advancing age. Still, since I’m retired I also have more time for the thinking to get done in so it all kind of evens out.

I’ve now worked out what I need to achieve in order to get the pictures in Scribblings to ‘float’ left or right nicely on phone screens. I need to get rid of the ‘width’ and ‘height’ attributes in image tags and I think that to do that on all the files at once will mean using regular expressions which is something I always balk at. After that I’m pretty sure it just needs a smallish change to the stylesheet. I hope.

I now have all the data from from the July 2019 html files in a database. This contains all the data from the database on the old server with the exception of the hidden keywords although I may be able to restore them from other sources.

I have begun the Scribblings Resurrection Project. Currently all this does is display a list of blog article titles with a link to each one which displays it in the browser. Best used at the mo in conjunction with the browser’s back button. I intend using this to develop the navigation system and the style sheets. Pages with pictures should now display better on mobile phones than those on oldsite.

Been fiddling around with the internals. Rewritten the html to xml conversion code so that it produces xml with much less redundancy — they are now minimalist but provide exactly the same info to the database and the scripts as they did before. Rejigged the xml to sql code to suit, replaced the database table with a new one and tidied up the web facing display test script.

3 September 2019