More About the Swanson Web Pages

Owl Nesting at Rovers Roost RV Park, Casa Grande, Arizona

Introduction -- We started to work on web pages in earnest in the mid-1990's. A LOT has happened since then. The most recent issue with web page design has been the massive increase in phone (handheld) web surfing. This page has some randomly-scattered links that help describe our web environment. All of these tools and ideas have influenced our thinking. Note that this page has been created using a toolset that allows easier reading on phones and tablets.

Frames

[noframes] We really don't like to use frames. Some people hate them, others merely hate them, and Jakob just dislikes them.

CSS

Rather than hit our heads on frame design, we are now using more dynamic page interaction using Javascript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). With more viewers now using phones and other small screens, we have used the Skeleton system, and this page, in particular, uses a dynamic resizing feature that works well on both phones and computer screens. See my webpage on the 'Power of Em' layout. This referral is repeated at the bottom of the page in recognition of the original developers.

Graphics and Images

We process graphics for this site using:

On Linux (Ubuntu) [we no longer use Windows 7 and 8, but these products are available on those systems]: ImageMagick, RawTherapee (for RAW format photos from our cameras), and [GIMP]GIMP. (We used to use a Mac, as well as Windows machines. No more. Oh yes, some web work is done on an Android phone. The Snapseed and ResizeMyPics apps do pretty well.)

All highly recommended!

Philosophy

We have always wanted our pages to load quickly and have a minimum of flashy features. When these words were first added to this page in 2015, there were a number of massive web pages (mostly from commercial sites) that were impossible to use on mobile devices (phones). That has not changed as of this writing in 2017. We are trying to stay away from that, and it seems that our design thoughts have now gone full circle from the days of poor bandwidth (and therefore simple web pages) to the existing situation of small screens and poor bandwidth (and therefore simple web pages!)

For more web page design and improvement ideas, look at Jakob Nielsen. You can learn a lot about HTML and CSS at W3Schools.com. We found a useful bit of color-related information with a nice colorwheel online.

Web Design Awards

[NO] Web Design Awards Won by These Pages (That's Fine With Us)!

Standards

Our current "experiments" are using software that has become a de-facto standard: Javascript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). For instance, we have used them for our Javascript-created page listing of JWB troopship cards from the First World War. We have also used Javascript for our slide-shows of cruise photos. These technologies are used very successfully by many "modern" web systems such as Flickr, Google GMail, and Google Maps. (These Google properties have become a great deal more sophisticated in recent years.)

In addition, when we have to work on the server side, we use PHP.

Browsers

We used to not play favorites as to browsers, but we are currently using the Chromium browser! Hey, it's free!

The problem is that portable devices (phones) use a variety of browsers, and the desktop has yet to really settle down to a particular brand. We try our pages with a few different browsers (particularly on the phone) to see how they look. Let's hope these pages look good to you!

For testing of web pages on Chromium, we use the Window Resizer Extension to Chrome. It really helps to preview the effects of window size on a web page.

NOTE that these pages are also designed so you can view them with LYNX (or without images activated)! LYNX is also available for DOS (really!)

Copyright © 2015-2017 Robert Swanson

This web page uses the 'Power of Em' page layout as described on my 'Power of Em' description page. Original code by Louis Lazaris.

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