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New Page! Module Design


This page describes the thought process on the design of my latest module. It takes the reader through the basics of what was needed to get the design out of my head and on to the computer.

This post has been edited at 2008-02-19 19:55:53

A few updates

I added a link to the oft-mentioned blog software I've been working on, in the model railroad section. It's focus has been either model railroading or itself, so it makes sense to put it there.

Also, I updated the module construction page with a note about Ntrak. It seems you can follow those steps and get an Ntrak-ready module. (Ntrak-ready means you still have to lay track and everything.)

Quick Fix: Added slashes to full names

I added slashes to the areas where I used full names rather than relative URLs. There are two places I used full names: One to link back to my domain's main page (for mirroring purposes) and one to link to the phpBB forums I use. The forums don't work very well when someone's mirrored the site, so it's best to use a full URL for those.

The slashes were made necessary because of the implicit meaning they convey. When you put a slash at the end of a directory name, it apparently says "I want the index at this location." While having no slash means "I want the index for this site." Subtle, but important difference.

New Domain

After losing contact with the guy who set up the puckdroppers .us domain name, it expired and could not be renewed. I now have registered a new domain name, (which if you're reading this you probably know about) puckdroppersplace.us. Once I get the hosting problem solved, it should all work. (Currently the host tries to look up URLs entered in the location bar at the original domain.)

Converting the website code over to the new domain was easy. There were only 7 changes made to about 40 source files, all of them were menu templates. Avoiding use of explicit paths and making use of templates has made the maintenance of the website much easier.

Hm... Looks like the next update I make will be to upgrade to the latest "blog" version for the updates list.

Navigation Changes

According to Usability Expert Jakob Nielsen (http://www.useit.com), no site should have a link that links back to itself. So there should be no link to the main page if you're already on the main page.

This update reflects that idea, so rather than get a link to the page you're already on you see plain text.


If you wish to comment here, you must register. If you were registered over on the weblog/newspaper, you'll have to reregister. The databases are NOT the same, and I don't plan on making it that way. All 4 registered users will just have to reregister.

Major Overhaul

As regular visitors to the site have no doubt noticed, this site has recieved a major overhaul. Gone is the ice background, in favor of a dark green. The entire site has been rewritten to take advantage of PHP's require and include commands, which means changes to the entire site can be implemented quickly and reliablely tested.

I "stole" the updates scripts from the "blog" section (which is more of a newspaper section--but it's not linked to from the rest of the site.) A few SQL statements, and the code moved over nicely.

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