XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS - FAN FICTION REVIEWS
Changes To The Site Effective 6/12/99
Reviewer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
First of all - an explanation as to why I made these changes. Accessability has always been a primary goal of mine in constructing this site. I want the pages to be accessible to people using different browsers and I want the pages to load as quickly as possible. In order for the load time to remain reasonable files have to be kept small - a challenge when it comes to a site like this one with review files that are forever expanding. Recently I noticed that some of those review files were getting much too large so among the changes you'll read about below was a break-up of these larger files into smaller, quicker-loading ones.
Another long-standing goal with regards to the site has been to try to make it relatively easy to manage so I can continue to do so long term. Recently Simplenet (the hosting service where the site is located) enabled a new feature called SSI (Server Side Includes) which should make managing the site much easier but in order to take advantage of this I needed to change the extensions on most of the files therefore that's another of the changes mentioned below. For those of you unfamiliar with SSI, it's a neat feature that allows you to include one file WITHIN another by simply adding a line to the first file's HTML code. If you're familiar with my site you'll notice that I use templates quite a bit - I use a footer template at the bottom of each file which provides links to all the other major pages at the site so visitors can easily navigate regardless of what page they're on. The problem with something like that is that if you have 1200 files as this site currently has and you then need to make some change to the templates, you have to make that change in 1200 files - a daunting task even if you use search/replace programs because, depending on the change, your PCs memory will typically only allow you to execute the change in a couple of dozen files at a time and after that you still have to spend time verifying that the change has been executed correctly throughout the site. With SSI I now no longer have to include the templates in each file. I have a separate file for the templates and within each of the 1200 or so files there's just one single line of code reading something like this...
...which calls up the template and places it in the appropriate location whenever someone visits one of the pages. When I need to make a change to those templates it means changing ONE file instead of 1200 :)
Another BIG advantage of SSI for me is that it makes all the files smaller because the 150+ lines of code that make up some of the templates are no longer in the individual files. This cuts back considerably on the transfer time when I have to update files.
For visitors to the site, the SSI feature is invisible. Anyone who brings up one of the pages at my site will see the complete page with whatever templates are included. If a visitor chooses to save the page on her/his PC, the templates will be saved along with the file so the HTML code for the file on the local PC will NOT have the SSI code line in there reading <!--#include file="footer.php"-->. Instead the locally saved file will have the full HTML for the templates - a nice thing because this allows users to save the pages on their PCs and use them from there if they want to - the templates will be included and the links will work if the user maintains the same directory structure the files are in at my site.
WHAT WAS CHANGED
With the exception of the main file "index.html", ALL other files at the site have been renamed with a new extension - this includes the review files, the files featuring special features like the BETA READERS DIRECTORY, BARD'S REFERENCE LIBRARY, etc. and the files featuring the individual fanfic reports released through May 1999.
BARD'S FAITH (A) by L. Fox --> altb_a.php (Title begins with B and A)
QUEEN by LN James --> altq_u.php (Title begins with Q and U)
I DREAM OF XENA by Watcher --> alti.php (Title just begins with I)
INFINITY SERIES started by Redhawk --> alti_n.php (Title begins with I and N)
SUGGESTIONS FOR WEBMASTERS ON HOW TO UPDATE THEIR LUNACY LINKS
If you manage a web site with links to mine those links will not work after these recent changes I've made. The ONLY link that will continue to work is a link to the main page at http://lunacyreviews.com or http://lunacyreviews.com/index.html. If you just link to that then you're set - you don't have to change anything at your site. However, if you link to any of the individual reviews or to one of the special features like the BETA READERS DIRECTORY, BARD'S REFERENCE LIBRARY, etc., or to any of the author pages, then you will have broken links at your site right now. Here are some suggestions as to how to go about updating those:
If your site only features a few links to mine then changing those manually in whichever of your files are affected will likely be the most efficient method. You will have to change the extension of the filename referenced from .htm to .php. For example - if you have a link to my review of Wishes' story TIME CHANGES that should be changed from:
Notice that ONLY the filename extension is affected - everything else remains the same.
If you link to a review of an alternative story then not only will you have to change the file extension - you will also have to rename the file itself according to the naming convention I specified earlier. The filenames for the alt. reviews are easily recognizable because they all begin with alt. A link to my review of B.L. Miller's story A QUEEN'S SACRIFICE would need to be changed from:
The filename altq.htm becomes altq_u.php while everything else remains the same. As another example, the link to the review for Friction's SOMEWHERE IN TIME would go from:
If you manage a big site with lots of links to my reviews then I would suggest you use a search/replace technique for changing several links at once. A number of HTML and Text editors include search/replace features but they tend not to do a very good job when the strings to be changed are slightly different across the files. One program that I used to make most of these changes at my site and which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND if you need to make lots of corrections in many files at once is called SEARCH AND REPLACE and can be found at http://www.funduc.com/search_replace.htm. It's a shareware program but at $25.00 rather inexpensive for the potential time it can save you. The unregistered version only lets you change 5 files at a time. The registered version has no limits - you can change all the files in a directory. To correct your Lunacy links you can tell the program to search for the REGULAR EXPRESSION:
change it to http://lunacyreviews.com/%1.php%2
and VOILA all the your links to my site will have the correct filename extension (remember if you link to the main Lunacy page to keep that filename as index.html if you use the filename in the URL). The %1 tells the SEARCH AND REPLACE program to keep whatever strings were in front of the .htm and the %2 tell it to keep whatever strings came after the .htm
If you use this method to change the extensions then the only other thing you'll have to do is change the filename for any links to alternative reviews you may have at your site. With those I do suggest you go in and manually change the URL so that the filename corresponds with the first two letters of the title for the story reviewed. An alt. story beginning with the word WARRIOR would get the filename altw_a.php, another one beginning with the word BARD would get altb_a.php. Everything else stays the same. The SEARCH AND REPLACE program miiiiight be able to automate this process for you but trying to get the right search expression and the right replace expression is tricky. You could end up accidentally changing a number of other things at your site so I would be careful with that. I just changed those manually myself.
The SEARCH AND REPLACE program does allow you to specify a backup directory where copies of your old unchanged files are kept when changes are made. I would strongly suggest you make use of that feature so that if you do end up accidentally doing mass changes to things you didn't intend to change your old files will be available.
To you webmasters out there - my apologies guys for the added work these changes create but unfortunately, as some of you I'm sure already know, with an ever expanding site comes ever changing filenames and file structures. I'm HOPING these changes will keep the site manageable at least 'til next year. I might make some other small changes in the coming months but nothing this extensive again for a while.
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