XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS - FAN FICTION REVIEWS
Changes To The Site Effective 6/12/99
Reviewer can be reached at lunacy@lunacyreviews.com


REASON FOR CHANGES

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...

<!--#include file="footer.php"-->

...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.

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:

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.

Lunacy


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