Well once again John has found some time to have a look at the Dabill.co.uk web site, and added some new content, and also added this main news page.

The idea here is to have somewhere that can be easily updated more frequently than the other pages, and will contain useful information about the site.

What's New

21-11-05 Changes to the layout of the family tree view

The new family tree view that you can see here offers a number of advantages over the old view previously seen.

The new view uses the same basic template as the main site, and is much more in keeping with the more modern and professional look. The new page now uses an image map, so the user simply highlights the name they want and then click on it to see the family page.

One of the things I wanted to do was to make the family tree visible in just about one screen. In fact this was quite difficult and there is some scrolling involved. But this is the first draft and things will improve more. Overall though I hope you agree the look is much more in keeping with the rest of the site.

21-05-05 More changes to the layout

Work has now started on upgrading the family sites. Again I have to admit to a little cheating. I spent several hours looking at possible templates on the www.oswd.org site and many others. Again I used a template from www.oswd.org and by some co-incidence again this template was by the designer Haran - (see below).

The design this time was called "Prossimi" - you can see the original on www.oswd.org and and example of how I have used it in the family tree pages here. I think this time I have managed to ruin Haran's original design much less than I did with the main Dabill.co.uk pages. I have paid more attention to the original use of CSS (Cascaded Style Sheets) and hopefully the family pages are all still fully compliant with the relevant standards. Once again though the mistakes are all mine, as I have really had to teach my self and learn by my mistakes.

For the family tree pages I needed a relatively simple design, I needed a screen that could easily be split into two (or even more) columns to keep the same layout as I had with the v1 pages, where I had a family page of husband, wife and their children. In addition I wanted something that looked good on the screen but that could also be printed out. This is where Haran's design really won out, if you look at the example the layout on the screen is ideal for the family pages and even better when you print it the layout is logical clear and no text is cut off. This will hopefully make it far easier for those researching family history to print pages from this site.

Using Cascaded Style Sheets has been a big bonus I am really starting to understand their use more and more and how I can easily tweak the look and feel of the site. For example you may have noticed the colour of the main dabill.co.uk has changed a little recently, by using Cascaded Style Sheets I could make one change that was instantly applied to all the pages. This is far easier than constantly having to change the hundred of pages that are building up here.

03-02-05- This is where the News goes and below is the history of the dabill.co.uk site.

February 2005, here are some hints and tips about the Dabill.co.uk site. I hope the site looks impressive and is useful to both family and friends and especially to those researching family history. The site has existed since 2002, but in 2004 it was re-vamped. What you see before you now is version 3, version 2 never made it public.

What has changed. Well the original version (you can still see it here by the way dabill.co.uk v1) was designed from scratch using Frontpage. This was OK at the time, but the design lacked some flexibility, and the look was not as good as I would have liked. The version 3 you see before you now, is the result of both hard work and "stealing with pride" Dabill.co.uk has its roots in the OSWD project - that's Open Source Web Design for those who don't like acronyms basically web page or site designs that are free to those who want to use them. What I did was take an original template designed by "haran" (you can contact him at the link below) the original design was called "Gila". If you are interested have a look at what is available to amateur web designers at www.oswd.org. What I then did was to make my own modifications, which were largely to the colour scheme and decide what I wanted as the key layout elements. The key look and feel is thanks to Haran's original design and the errors are all mine !

What I like about the design is it is simple but very flexible. It has a left hand column that is the same on each page, you have a "navigate this page" bar, which allows you to jump easily to an area that interests you on the page. Then on the right hand side again on each page is the news, and other links, such as some very useful tools.

The real hard work was the design and layout of the family tree. You will notice that the look and feel in the family tree area is no different. In fact this has not changed since the dabill.co.uk version 1, I have re-used the old pages. The need to have as much of the tree on one page prevents the use of a multi columned format like "Gila" in any case, and really I could not justify the enormous amount of time to reformat that information. It took me many a long day to do it on the first page.

On the subject of the family tree, that is becoming the heart of this site, and I would like to continue to expand it. Most of the hard work has been done by my father and I have simply adopted the format to display in what I hope is a legible way online. Since the site going hosted in 2004 (and hence better linking in search engines) I have had several contacts from around the world, most were relatives, some were interested in other family names appearing in the tree. I would like to add further trees to the site and am continually adding further data when I have the time. Thanks to all those who have helped contribute with stories.

Your Feedback

We welcome your feedback on the site and what you would like to see here
E-mail us at website@dabill.co.uk

We are W3C XHTML compliant Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Valid CSS!