It occured to me yesterday that the netWindows site doesn't practice what it preaches. It's more or less a static site with a NW toolbar at the top. How utterly dull.
I think that moving to an XML or database backend with some python or PHP in the middle talking to a netWindows component really is the better way to make the site work if I'm going to continue to keep hacking on this thing. I mean, why save the "good stuff" for the sample environment page? I think I started thinking about all of this after tripping over idontsmoke.co.uk yesterday and being struck by the sheer simplcity of it.
But I don't have any idea what the NW component should look like or how it should behave. I think the behaviour is simpler than the look. I'm a back-end coder by habit and I like mucking in the bowels of an application/site. I'm good at it. Making it look nice? I wish I were good at that, but the harsh reality of life is that I'm not. So I'm open to suggestion on this one. Little boxes that you click and expand into things seem like a good idea. And they should get the content when requested. Not before. The whole site should be able to live on a single page (more or less). Not sure what to do about the help pages. They've got their own style sheet, and I think I'd have to write an addition to
environ_core.js that lets me import styles from sheets into a running page. A big can of worms, that one.
Anyway, gotta go to another exciting and engaging (cough) poly-sci class. At least I've still got good books to read.