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The xine website: intro

As it turns out, the usual xine website has gone offline since a few days ago. Since then, Darren set up a temporary page on servers, and I’ve changed the redirect of which is now sorta live with the same page that there was on, and the xine-ui skins ready to be downloaded.

Since this situation cannot be left to happen for a lot still, I’ve decided to take up the task to rebuild the site on the new domain I’ve acquired to run the Bugzilla installation. Unfortunately the original site (which is downloadable from the SourceForge repositories) is written in PHP, with use of MySQL for user-polling and news posting, and the whole thing looks like a contraption I don’t really want to run myself. In particular, the site itself is pretty static, the only real use of PHP on it is not having to write boilerplate HTML for each release, but rather write a file describing them, which is something that I’ve used to do myself for my site .

Since having a dynamic website for static content is far from my usual work practises, I’m going to do just what I did for my own website: rewrite it in XML and use XSLT to generate the static pages to be served by the webserver. This sounds complex but it really isn’t, once you know the basic XML and XSLT tricks, which I’ve learnt, unfortunately for me, with time. On an interesting note, when I’ve worked on my most complex PHP project, which was a custom CMS – when CMS weren’t this widespread! – for an Italian gaming website, now dead, I already looked into using XSLT for the themes, but at the time the support for it in PHP was almost never enabled.

I’m still working on it and I don’t count on being able to publish it this week, but hopefully once the site will be up again it’ll be entirely static content. And while I want to keep all the previously-available content, and keep the general design, I’m going to overhaul the markup. The old site is written mostly using tables, with very confused CSS and superfluous spacer elements. It’s not an easy task but I think it’s worth to do it especially since it should be much more usable for mobile users, of which I’m one from time to time.

If I find some interesting technicality while preparing the new website I’m going to write it here, so keep reading if you’re interested.

Comments 2
  1. So you’re going to set them up with another homegrown website that someone else will rewrite next time?

  2. I sincerely hope not! The whole thing is done through standard stuff as it is: XML, XSL and XSLT are pretty common, and the amount of custom templating is being cut to the minimum; hopefully I can get it to be generic enough too.

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