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I've had a couple of enquiries on how I create my web pages. People who look at the source code note that it's structured in a uniform, legible way. It's obviously not created by any Microsoft tool.

In fact, until mid-2002 my web pages were a real mess. People kept telling me that they wouldn't display on their browsers (usually Microsoft, but lynx was also a common one). After some investigation I discovered the W3C HTML validator, which among other things showed me that I had misunderstood the HTML comment syntax, and a lot of browsers interpreted my pages as one big comment.

Using a web-based validator is slow and cumbersome. The same page pointed me to HTML tidy, a program which performs local validation, conversion and formatting. This allows me to write code (with Emacs) which looks quite untidy, and then format it in a manner which I like. Well, almost.

tidy has a number of options for formatting. It reads a file from one of a number of possible places; I call mine .tidyconfig and set the environment variable HTML_TIDY to point to it:

HTML_TIDY=/home/grog/public_html/.tidyconfig
My .tidyconfig file contains (at the moment):
hide-endtags: yes
char-encoding: latin1
fix-backslash: no
break-before-br: yes
wrap: 100
indent: auto
gnu-emacs: yes
Follow the link above to get it in an up-to-date and usable form use.

Unfortunately, tidy leaves some text formatted in a way which is either to dense or too sparse for my liking. I fix this with an Emacs macro retidy-html.

I keep the pages under RCS, the Revision Control System. That's the reason for keywords like $Id: webcreate.php,v 1.3 2009/06/04 04:07:28 grog Exp $, which automatically gets changed each time I check in the file. The time is in UTC.

I use a separate method for creating web pages from digital photos. There are a number of scripts, mainly encased in a Makefile. Here's an overview. The sizes and dates are correct at the time of writing this page, but may have changed since.

-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis  111808 Jul 21 13:33 .emacs
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis     117 Nov 16  2004 .tidyconfig
-r--r--r--   1 grog  home     9224 Sep 21 14:19 Makefile
-r-xr-xr-x   1 grog  home      369 Sep 21 14:20 basefilename
-rw-r--r--   1 grog  home     1621 Nov  8  2005 dateconv.c
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis  111808 Jul 21 13:33 dot.emacs
-r-xr-xr-x   1 grog  home      535 Sep 21 10:32 extend
-r-xr-xr-x   1 grog  home      334 Sep 21 14:17 findexif
-r-xr-xr-x   1 grog  home      636 Sep 21 14:23 getnames
-r--r--r--   1 grog  home      604 Sep 21 14:20 imgtemplate
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis     781 Sep 11  2003 index-0.html
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis      75 Sep 11  2003 index-1.html
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis     317 Sep 11  2003 index-n.html
-r--r--r--   1 grog  home     4373 Sep 21 14:22 makelinkedimages
-r--r--r--   1 grog  home     2192 Oct 24  2004 makelinkedpages
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis    1205 Apr 17  2006 thumbnail-0.html
-rw-r--r--   1 grog  lemis      75 Aug 30  2004 thumbnail-1.html
-rw-r--r--   1 grog  lemis     325 Jun 24  2006 thumbnail-n.html
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis     683 Oct 22  2006 thumbtemplate
-r--r--r--   1 grog  lemis     853 Aug 30  2004 thumbtemplate-tabular
The first three files are:

Note also dateconv.c, a small C program to convert the directory name into a date. There's a target to build it in the Makefile. The remainder of the files are template files used by the scripts to create web pages. At some point I may add more instructions; for the time being, you'll have to read the Makefile for anything not described here or in the how to page.


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