Gif of LNWR Emblem
London & North Western Railway Society
Introduction to how the Webb site was built

Initial Implementation

The Webb† site was designed by Christopher Hill, then maintained by David Moore until April 2014 when Simon Weston took over.

The Webb site was written using hand crafted HTML 4.01 and CSS2, using Notepad. Frames have been avoided, mainly due to problems with navigation. The page header, footer and side menus were implemented using a specially written template expansion program, that produces the bulk of the static HTML pages that are displayed on the site.

The dynamic pages were provided using PHP and MySql database support, both provided by our super-connected host 1&1.

Great store was placed on presenting pages that conform to the relevant Web and English standards, When a new page layout was devised it was checked in IE, Netscape and Opera (versions 6.xx) to provide a consistent look to the site regardless of the browser used. Also checkout the Web Standards Project. The services of NetMechanic were used to ensure that the site was presentable on older browsers. The HTML pages were validated using CSE HTML Validator and the W3C HTML and CSS validators (just for good measure, although the CSE program does a better job).

Many tips and tricks were be gleaned from Webmonkey and A List Apart.



Continuing Development and Maintenence


Since that initial development the Web environment has changed in some ways but remained static in others. We now have an ever expanding range of devices and browsers but many of our users continue to use older technology - there are still a significant number using Internet Explorer on NT. This is understandable as why change a system that works.

Consequently we have this dilemma of providing the best support we can to our full range of users. To resolve this we adopt the phiosophy of keeping to older simple standards where there is no real benefit to using modern techniques

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To demonstrate the problem here are two examples :-
Consider screen sizes. Currently all pages are of fixed absolute dimensions to the older 80 character by 25 lines screens. However many people use wide screens or mobile phones hence on wide screens much of the display are is wasted and good luck to mobile users.
Videos - these require the more recent HTML 5 Standard that is not supported in older browser.


† “Webb” with two ‘b’s – a reference to F.W. Webb Explain 'Webb, Francis William (1836—1906)' a man who had a great influence on the LNWR.