Tools and Techniques used to develop the web site

An eccectic mix of methods is used because I introduce new methods every now and the but never get rid of the stuff done by the older methods.
Most work is now done on a DELL Inspiron 1300 Laptop. It has 512Mb RAM, 80 Gig of disc split between XP (which I don't use much) and Linux Mandrake 10.1 (which I am hoping to replace by Fedora 7 as soon as I can persuade myself that won't be a disaster. Wi-fi/Ethernet/Modem, DVD-Writer. I havn't managed to get the Wi-fi to work under Linux yet, but am hoping to crack that when I have gone to FC7.

I have an old desktop for backup which has 128M RAM and a wierd assortment of old discs, and is now running FC7 which a ridiculously slow boot because there is something wrong with one of the discs. When I have managed to get this system gehaving reasonably and doing my site build I will probably upgrade the laptop to FC7.

The web site development was orinally on Windows. but has now completely transferred to Linux.

Software Used in Building the Site
There is quite a bit of heritage hand crafted HTML knocking about, which has never been under source control. But all new material is now managed in a cvs repository and doesn't include hand crafted HTML. This material is fed into a build process controlled by GNU make, which generates HTML and PDF files which when added to the heritage HTML makes up the web site.
Software Used Under Linux (Red Hat 6.1)
  • emacs
  • TeTex (LaTeX)
  • LaTeX2HTML
  • PERL
  • GNU Make
  • xp and xt, James Clark's xml parser and xsl transformations implementation, used in translating XML to HTML for some recent work.
  • Lots of other obvious things that come with Linux.
Where to get it: CYGNUS is the originator (see: The GNU-Win32 Project) and you can get it from them, or from other sites worldwide.

Use of PERL for creating and maintaining Factasia

I use PERL 5 scripts hacked by myself for the following aspects of Factasia.
  1. The Hypertext Classics are mostly converted to HTML using custom PERL scripts.
  2. John Harrisons paper Formalised Mathematics was converted to HTML using a custom PERL script.
  3. The heirarchic directory listings, the full content listing the list of directories and the Factasia Top 100 are generated by PERL scripts. These now include page and directory hit statistics.
  4. The "What's New in Factasia" pages are now generated by PERL scripts, and the pages which have changed are automatically packed up for upload.

This is all liable to change a great deal. A lot of recent work has been done under UNIX and I am now working on new sites spawned by Factasia using XML on Linux. The new projects are "OpenSource" web sites with an increasingly complex site build process. If you want to, you will be able to download the CVS source tree and see exactly how the site is built from the sources. (and hack it for your own web site if you like, or contribute yourself). It may be a long time before you can do this for Factasia, but it is possible now for (though the domain name doesn't work yet!).

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