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Tonight was the first evening I had 'free' for a while, and I've had tons of things I've wanted to do.

The first was my site - the width of the pages was getting to me. What you really want is it to be a fixed number of characters wide, as text that is too many characters wide is difficult to read. If the user changes the font size, the rows should get wider proportionally, but the rows should never be wider than the width of the page (otherwise you get nasty horizontal scrollbars). If there is room, the text should be centralised in the page. I think I've achieved those aims now, if you want to see how look at the source! (I don't think all of them are achieved perfectly in IE, due to IE's limitations, but with normal options it should look OK).

The next tasks are more tricky:

  • Update my blog functionality. In particular I want to have multiple categories, as I realise I post on such a range of topics that the majority of people who read this probably couldn't care less about half of it. Categories would allow me to publish different RSS feeds and have filters on the web page.

    Having looked at the CuteNews code (which is what I currently use), I've decided I really don't like it (some of it is a complete mess), and even without these extra requirements it has a number of limitations i don't like, so I'll be writing this lot from scratch. However, since I'll be adding only the features I want, it shouldn't take too long.

  • Re-make the CCIW web site, almost from scratch. Maintaining it has become a nightmare, as has moderation functionality. It needs a MySQL database, and it needs templates.

For both of these, I'll be using a Template Engine implemented in PHP. This is the simplest, smallest (core routine is 25 lines of PHP!), most elegant and the most powerful templating engine I've seen - on which subject I've got a lot more to say. As I re-implement the website, I hope to do a number of things:

  • A comparison of ASP.NET ways of building pages and using PHP (especially using the aforementioned templating engine) - I use ASP.NET at work, and so I've got lots to say about it.

  • Put into practise and discuss various programming ideas I've been looking at lately.

So much to do, I better get going...

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