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Inf@Vis!

The digital magazine of InfoVis.net

New year, New Website
by Juan C. Dürsteler [message nº 159]

Infovis.net’s website has undergone a major technological renewal. Becoming a web supported by a database opens up new possibilities for the future.

New year means new life or, in our case, a new website. After four and a half years and 158 messages the moment to renew the technology of the content management of InfoVis.net has come. To do that, a new system has been created that makes the complete workflow needed to publish every single piece of information in the website easier to edit and maintain.

Why so late?

Most of the modern web sites use databases and content management systems to perform this task, practically from their inception. The answer is easy: Infovis.net is a “one man show” done in spare time. Despite the help received from some friends and colleagues, most of the work is done slowly, with very limited financial resources (those of my personal pocket, indeed) and with the effort stolen at nights and weekends

But finally we have a first working version, where you can already see some changes:

Structure:

The basic structure remains unchanged but we have eliminated momentarily the areas of “Community”, which received very few visits and had an uninteresting structure, and “Techniques” that was only one web page for 4 years. I hope that both of them will come back to life in a few months, now with proper contents and structure.

On the other hand the “Library” changes its name to “Resources” with the addition of a museum whose first entry is the old version of InfoVis.net itself frozen as it was on Dec. 31, 2004. The museum will encompass the entries of memorable websites already disappeared.

Another new section calledevents” opens up in this version with the conferences and other relevant announcements.

Design:

The new logo of InfoVis.net. An eye with the "i" of Information in the pupil
Copyright InfoVis.net.
Created by Karen Fordham

The objective since the beginning is that contents download quickly with few concessions to gratuitous decoration, but every major section has been colour coded so that the different sub-sections of the same share the background colour. The menu bar also reflects this colour coding. I hope to make it more attractive in the future.

The logo has also changed, thanks to the graphic work of Karen Fordham, the proof-reader of the English translation who has collaborated with InfoVis.net from the very beginning.

Language:

The website has been bilingual from its inception, but now every page contains a link to the version of the same in the other language. Seeing the same page in one language or the other is just a click away.

Search engine:

At last there’s a free text search engine. At this moment it’s very elementary but it allows you to scrutinize all the text edited in any of the sections and subsections like books, people, magazine, etc. It has to be enhanced still but it means a giant leap compared to the absolute vacuum we came from.

What can we expect from the future?

This little step should free up some resources that make it possible for InfoVis to be a more complete site on one hand and implementing, on the other hand, true information visualisation techniques beyond the elementary ones of hypertext and image inclusion on which it has been based up to now.

What encourages me to carry on with this project, that is becoming more complex and demanding, although the fatigue of 54 months of continuous work, is the interest of the readers, that continue subscribing obstinately every month totalling now more than 4650, and the people that link to the pages of InfoVis, that last November served more than 72.000 html pages.

So then, thanks a lot to you, dear subscriber for taking the time to read the articles and pushing this project.

Thanks also to the ones that helped me to build the web in one way or another: Enric Fontdecaba, that programmed a considerable part of the content management system, Karen Fordham whom I oblige to proof read the English version on Sunday evening, David Merino, that helped with the subscription list.

Special thanks also to Josep Blat that made the web itself possible and its hosting at the Pompeu Fabra University and Alfons Cornella that syndicates my writings at Infonomia.com and was there in the origins of the discussions that gave birth to InfoVis.net.

Happy new year to all of you.

Links of this issue:

http://www.infovis.net/printRec.php?rec=museo&lang=2   Museum section
http://www.infovis.net/printRec.php?rec=eventos&lang=2   Events section
http://www.infonomia.com   Website of Infonomia.com
© Copyright InfoVis.net 2000-2014