Maintaining GeodSoft.com Site Differences
With the decision to visually identify the web server and
operating system for each site, the sites are no longer identical.
Some means is needed to minimize the changes between sites
to reduce the amount of manual work in having similar but
not identical sites. Since at some point, I plan to write
a script that will manage the standardization and change
on the sites, this could be tailored to each site. Unless
it cannot be avoided, this is a poor solution as at least
three parallel but different scripts would need to be
There is what seems to be a fairly simple solution for at least
the current problem of different graphics. The graphics files
could be named the same on each system but actually have
different content. The problem here is accidentally replacing
the graphics when updating other graphics that have been changed
or added and are the same across the sites. My solution was to
create a /local directory under the root directory of each site.
In this case I also created a subdirectory named graphics. The
intention is to keep all site specific elements in local or one
of its subdirectories. This should pretty much eliminate,
accidentally replacing site specific contents.
The individual file names were also changed to generic names
so openbsd-pb.gif simply became os.gif. Web.gif was used
for the web server graphics. This makes getting the right
files displayed quite easy but still leaves a problem. It's
my intention to have these graphics on every page of each site.
I'm also planing to use "alt" tags on all graphics but if
you look at the W3C.org
Content Accessibility Guidelines you'll see that just
saying "operating system graphic" or "web server graphic"
doesn't suffice. The guidelines call for "text equivalents"
so that the alt tag conveys the same information that the
graphic provides. In this case the alt tags would need
to be something like "Powered by Apache" or "Run on Internet
This gets us back to site specific content on every page
that needs to be managed. The entire site
could become dynamic via PHP or Zope. ASP and ColdFusion
won't do because they are not available on all the platforms
I'm using. The full version of ColdFusion is also expensive.
This is much more than I wish to do as I still
plan to have a predominately static site. At this point
I'm anticipating placing a configuration file in the local
directory that the standardization script will read to get
all site specific information. This does mean that every
time any pages are loaded to a site the script will
need to be run on them.
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