About this web site

A feature of the old WCSO site was that it was founded with the intention that new webmasters should never remove old pages. This was mainly intended as a way of stopping potentially embarrassing material from being removed, should a new webmaster be the one being embarrassed . . .

However, this policy eventually led to the site being full of conflicting styles and variable HTML as specifications became stricter. With the change of name of the orchestra, I felt it was appropriate to attempt to create a single look and feel for the site, whilst incorporating as much new material as possible.

A compromise has been reached - no information has been removed from the site, but the pages have been re-written in the new style and the HTML tidied up to meet XHTML-transitional specifications. I have personally mirrored the old site in its state immediately prior to being retired, and renewed the old domain name so people can still see it.

The new site has been designed with the following specifications in mind:

  • Consistency
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Ease of navigation
  • Ease of addition of new material
  • Ease of re-design

Each page in the site is created from a simple template, using Server-Side Includes (SSIs) to apply the layout and meta tags, and a cascading stylesheet (CSS) to select colours, fonts and formatting styles. Everything was written using plain text editors (notepad under Windows; nano, ed and nedit under Linux).

Templates and scripts are available to allow the generation of photo and mail indices with little manual intervention, and new pages can be created with minimal knowledge of HTML as long as the HTML is well-formed. In addition, the look and feel of the entire site can be changed instantly through alterations to the template files and stylesheet. Nasty HTML hacks have been kept to the bare minimum necessary to overcome bizarre browser-specific bugs...

My own founding principle in this site is similar to Charles' many years ago. As long as server space allows, no-one should remove any information from the site. I believe that the look and feel should be kept unchanged to allow the site to be stable - however if this is truly impractical any changes should be made consistently (by using the templates...). Current XHTML (or later) specs should be adhered to, and it should always be possible to use any browser within reason (including console browsers such as Lynx) to view the site.

- David Welchew, July 2002

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©UCPO 2002-17, design by David Welchew