The aim of this project is to provide an alternative and improved implementation of an existing second-generation web presence using a third generation approach for automated content maintenance and creation.
The project will focus on the web site solution of the Leeds branch of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale . This project will extend the solutions provided by two earlier final year projects, Bellars (2000) and Clarke (2001).
The Leeds CAMRA web site has progressed from a first generation site to a second generation, more dynamic site. First generation web sites are limited as their content is composed of static HyperText Mark-up Language (HTML) files, many of which share common content. With the expansion of a web site comes an increase in the number of pages.
This means maintenance becomes very difficult, time consuming and error-ridden. By providing a second-generation solution these problems can be overcome. Automation is incorporated in the generation of a sites content reducing data redundancy and the errors that can occur when making mass changes. This is the state of the Leeds CAMRA site at present. In this form, any updates or changes to the site are tricky for the non-technical administrator as this role requires an understanding of the technical functionality of the site.
Also, the coding of the server side scripting used to generate page content is described by the project owner as “hacky”. Before any third generation solution can be designed and implemented this existing code will need to be improved.
The Leeds CAMRA site is a heavily used one which sees many frequent updates. This makes its progression to a third generation site a natural and beneficial one. This project will set out to achieve this progression.
The solution will be an improved content storage and retrieval method plus a graphical interface aimed at non-technical users to facilitate the addition and removal of site content. An ideal solution will be one where ideas and methods are portable for easy use elsewhere.