Aims of this site: Web Design and Philosophy

I maintain this web site partly for the joy of computing - and part of that joy is in seeing things done properly. This page explains what I have tried to achieve in design terms.

Text Based

Firstly, this is a text based site, for many reasons: I dislike sites with flashy multimedia that distracts from the message; I still use many old computers that cannot cope with high bandwidth; I intend parts of this site to be downloadable into hand held and palm top computers in the future.

Standards Based

Secondly, this is a standards-based site, following the standards laid down by the World Wide Web Consortium: www.w3.org. The W3C symbols at the foot of each page illustrate compliance with the two most important standards, for HTML code and for stylesheets (CSS). Clicking the buttons will demonstrate the compliance. As part of these standards, I have avoided the use of frames and I use tables for data and not as a layout tool. It should be possible therefore to view the site using a plain text browser. If you are using a modern, multimedia browser you will see coloured backgrounds and menus - these are all produced by the style sheet and are not part of the content itself.

Browser Independence

You should be able to use any browser to view this site - this is one of the joys of the internet. Unfortunately the major browsers interpret (or "extend") the W3 standards in different ways. I have not used any browser specific extensions and I have tried to make the site look similar in all the browsers I have. I use Opera (in Windows, Linux and EPOC) for preference because it is fast and best obeys the standards. You can download the "big 3" Windows browsers using the buttons below.

Easy printing

Another dislike of mine is the difficulty of printing most web pages. Screen and print are different media and should be treated differently. You can print any page on this site and it will print without colours, menus and so on. The printed version includes the address of all the external links, which are not shown on screen. This feature is provided by having different style sheets for screen and print use. The latest versions of Opera and Internet Explorer in clude print preview modes.

Plain English

I support the general aims of the Plain English Campaign and their Internet Crystal Mark scheme . I cannot afford their large fees for formal assessment. However, I also think that professional groups need to use some jargon when expressing complex ideas and I have not avoided this. I welcome submissions to this site. Please use the template to format your pages - this will help maintain a consistent look to the site.