New Site Links

Hi, you’re viewing our new installation of WordPress 3.o (multi-site). Multi-site went online Thursday afternoon, July 29, 2010.

Links to the 10 old site departments should automatically be redirected to the new URL addresses. Read more below.
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HOME Acquires “What’s New” content

Merging of all the What’s New department archives into our new HOME department has been completed. You can browse Archives by date or Category listings from the sidebar popups on this very page.

These archives go back to January 2004. As you know, site content and organization has changed a lot since then! So, as long as we were updating all those post pages anyway, we updated old page links in the What’s New posts to their current equivalent WordPress page URL’s. So the links should work again.

The only content actually lost was a couple of Computers subject references, which lived in the old YaBB bulletin board. We took down that board in 2006 because of excessive maintenance time wasted on spam.

Now, you won’t have to go to a separate department just to find out what’s new – it’s all right here. The old links to What’s New will probably be removed by the time you read this.

History: What’s New originally started as a table on an HTML page some time in the 1990’s. We converted it to a dedicated WordPress department on Monday, May 16th, 2005, going back just to January 2004. We never supported that new department like we meant to, trusting readers would just use “At A Glance” (it’s still a great intuitive tool) to cover for us. We hope to do better in the new HOME installation, and we do sincerely hope you find the new What’s New posts more useful and accessible.

Tech Note: The conversion itself turned out to be automatic. For those interested, details are found in the Docs. Turn your RSS Feed post content from “Summary” to “All”. Export to an XML file. Import in your new WP installation. The posts come in clean, but you will have to re-do your category and tag assignments unless identical in the old site.

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HOME taking over What’s New

Effective today (more or less), The Summitlake HOME page will start taking over the function of reporting “What’s New” on our site. Look for “new” site news near the top of the HOME index page.

This could be our last post in the older What’s New department. We haven’t figured out an easy way to move all the posts from their old database to the new one, though we may in time. So, for the time being at least, we’re leaving What’s New right where it is now, for its archival value.

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Updated Recipes Department

Similar to what we did for the Humor department, we updated all 211 Recipes pages to work in a php format with the new Rainbo frames replacement. The recipes are the same, but the pages are rewired to let you browse the entire collection within a single browser window.

We still have frames for large articles elsewhere in the department, but this is the last of the two departments that replied on the cumbersome (and sometimes annoying) old Frames technology.

All site links and menu bars have been updated for the new Recipes URL. Bookmark and Google cache users being pointed to the old index page are automatically rerouted to the new one.

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Humor Department Conversion

We’ve converted our HUMOR department to a new format. You don’t really need to bookmark the change, because all the sidebar links and Tigra Menu and CoolMenus links have been changed already.

But what was it converted to? It’s not the old Frames format. And no, it’s not WordPress either. It’s CSS – cascading style sheets, Javascript and PHP, a web coding language.

It’s the same 160 jokes and humorous anecdotes, with a new skin. When you click a humor page link in our familiar AutoMenu, the page that you get is really a page, not a frame. You can see the URL of the new page in your browser’s address bar, and you can bookmark that page ,or send a link to a friend. The old frames technology presented content from within its special browser frame, so you couldn’t see the name or address of the page, and you couldn’t bookmark just that one single page.

It’s hard to beat framesets for presenting a large number of pages and a scrollable menu in a single browser window, but we think we have that beat. Frames are old. They’re balky, cause browser and maintenance problems, and they look more than a little bit dated.

As much as we love WordPress, we can’t enter links to 160 pages in the sidebar, and you don’t want to see a page 100 yard long, if we do. The new technology presents a scrollable list. We populate the list by including our Perl “autolist” cgi program so we don’t have to manually add or update links in a directory.

Credits: We found this new technique with a Google search on the phrase “CSS frame replacement”. We found an article “Scroll area with overflow in CSS“, by Ove Klykken, whose home page is at do media. If you’re interested in web tech, just check it out. If you’re into web development, all you’ll have to do is examine Ove’s code snippets and demo for a few minutes and you’ll see how it works. Many thanks for his excellent presentation!

Tech Note: But you still have to reformat all 160 pages (or however many) to include the links, script, and simple PHP includes. I stored css, php and js resources in a common resource directory on the server. After a test development, I used a DreamWeaver template approach to reformat all the pages at once.

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HOME Department created; new Home Page

The Home Page has a new home. If you didn’t already note the change:

There’s a page redirect to the new page, so those following bookmarks, or expecting an index page at the root level of the directory, will always get routed correctly to the new main page. Please bookmark the new page.

The new page, done in WordPress, lives in its own new HOME Department. Many legacy HTML pages have been converted to WordPress. As elsewhere in converted departments, some legacy HTML pages are merely linked to by the new WordPress departments, while others will probably always remain HTML and never be converted to WordPress.

HOME, the last department slated for conversion in the near future, was actually switched over yesterday. Links to the old home page have been changed on over 581 pages and uploaded, but we expect some may still have been missed.

Last HTML Home Page

The old home page, the last grand old flagship in a fleet of legacy HTML pages, was “retired” yesterday as well. While we will always miss it, we’re excited about both the increased utility and readability the newer WordPress technology lends to our readership, and the possibilities of finally adding new content to a “static” home page — without hauling the whole thing onto drydock for the annual new coat of paint.

And why WordPress, exactly? In addition to all the features evident as you scan these new pages, it’s easier for us – as easy as writing and sending an email. No more page layout, typesetting and uploading to produce even the shortest of new “pages”. We may add graphics to our post, or we may not. And then, instead of a Send button, it’s Publish – and you’re reading it.

Lastly, we certainly hope you do enjoy our new home page and HOME department as much as we do! You might want to check out the short Welcome post we wrote for our new HOME department. That post features a screen shot of our first (and oldest) home page, with a layout done in “image map” technology … in 1995!

The image above is a screen shot of our last HTML home page. Her old banner still flies proudly at the very top of the new WordPress pages. Take a careful second look above at the top of this page.

Time to press the Publish button.



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New Home Page

Welcome to our new “home page”. It has become a “Department” – in WordPress, no less!

After all these years, we have finally converted all our major site Departments to WordPress. It was time to convert the venerable old index.shtml page and many of the legacy “root” HTML pages as well, but we wanted a design and format we felt was better than the old one.

We think this one fills the bill. We hope you agree, but we’d like to hear from you too.

There’s more to do. The “What’s New” department only existed because the old home page was static – there was no place to post news and articles. It will be fine right where it is, for now.

Look around at the features on the main page, especially the sidebar. Navigation is new but strangely familiar. You’ll find all the regular departments listed. You’ll find new tools to see “what’s new” right on the home page – without necessarily going anywhere!

We found the artwork for our original 1995 home page. We and our boosters were very proud of it in 1995, but we’ve come a long way.

1995 Home Page

Thanks for your support!


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WRITING Department Converted

Our WRITING department has been converted over to WordPress. Some pages are newly reformatted for WordPress pages or articles. Legacy HTML stories, reflections, poems and letters have been relinked to the new WRITING home page. Guest articles have been linked, but have not been moved or reformatted.

I hope you enjoy the new format and find it easier to browse.

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In a nutshell, we’re rather excited to announce both departments have finally been revamped with new gallery viewers, links and article formats.

OUTDOORS has been converted to WordPress. If you kept bookmarks to features in this department, you may need to update them. But you don’t need them. All the permalinks are on the sidebar. Just bookmark the page, or bookmark and go anywhere from the site’s home index page.

PHOTO Notes has been remodeled with sidebar permalinks to 13 Galleries. Some of the old HTML pages have been retired. Some have been archived and you can access those via the “HTML Archives” sidebar permalinks.

RETIRED PAGES: old HTML pages may have been deleted or moved. When a page is considered “major”, like a department HTML index page, or the Friend’s Gallery HTML entry page, we have also placed a “redirect” to that bookmark users, or Google cache visitors, will be redirected automatically to the new location.

We also have recent postings in PHOTO Notes and My Notes, though I’m counting on you to watch the “At A Glance” listings on the home index page to track these new posts!

Hope you enjoy the changes. Many of the slide shows are NEW, so be sure to check them out!

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