Report: 16-Jul-2016


Here are the achievements since the last report on 21st February 2016.


Some minor alterations to the hierarchy have been made. In particular:

  • The "publications" category tree has been flattened to make it simpler to navigate.
  • The "directories" category has been renamed to "resources", ready for some new content we're planning.

Hyperlinks now come in two flavours. Blue for external links to other sites and maroon for internal links within our site.

Two new colour schemes were added, mainly for use in display panels and other widgets. These are:

"Purple" – An example of this is the headlines panel on the front page.

"Steel" – An example of this is latest news panel on the NAWGFest page.

The colour schemes can be viewed on a test page.

The publications dates, submission deadlines, and website availability dates are now displayed automatically. There's also automatic colour highlighting to indicate when deadlines are near or have passed, etc.

Have a look at the Link magazine dates page to see this in action.

Temporal Content

Some content on the website has a finite lifetime. A good example of this is advertisements that have been paid for by non-members. These typically last three months, or until a particular event or competition has finished.

In the past, such content had to be manually managed, a process prone to error and omission. Now we have the power of automation at our fingertips, so temporal content can expire automatically when its time is up.

Writing Groups Directory

Groups for which we don't know what information we're permitted to display on the website, had textual prompts displayed, to encourage them to tell us. These hints have now been removed as they proved to be ineffective and confusing.

Pingbacks Disabled

Pingbacks are a special type of comment that could be added to articles on the site. Their purpose was to link "like-minded" websites and blogs together, providing easy ways for people to find related information across the web.

Unfortunately, this technology is too easy to misuse for spamming and other undesirable purposes. In addition, the amount of genuine use for pingbacks was minimal.

For these reasons, pingbacks have been disabled throughout the site.

A more detailed discussion of this can be found in task 0015.

Email Relays

The following deprecated email relays have been removed:

  • (use instead).
  • (use instead).


Here's a selection of our plans for the website. More details can be found in the planning area.

Writers' Resources

We're going to grow an area on the website to provide writers with a useful set of resources. The first things on the list will be:

  • A story generator gadget; to provide hints about characters, locations and situations. You can see a version of this on the Wannabe a Writer? website.
  • A list of suggested first lines, for those who get stuck with the opening to their story.
Restricted Areas

An important feature, that will provide a backbone for many of our intended new facilities on the site, is the ability to have some areas with restricted access. Example of this might be:

  • Members-only areas for accessing online benefits to NAWG groups and individuals.
  • Administrative areas for committee members.

The first stage of this project was to produce a specification. This had been done and is under review.

The next phase will be to plan the remainder of the project, including its strategy. It might all sound a bit formal, but there are some important questions to be answered before we can proceed.

Once development is under way, we believe the website will start to gain some powerful new capabilities.

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Author: Kevin Machin Date: July 11, 2016 2:23 pm
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Competition & Mentorships

We are proud to be associated with the Highlands & Islands Short Story Association.