April 27th, 2009

The Librarian

Warning: geek x-ing

Last Friday I came home from work to an email announcing that the long- and impatiently-awaited (by me, anyway) html export rebuild for my book cataloguing and weblist-generating software had finally been released. No more trying to figure out .xsl ... now it's an idiotproof (mostly) highlight and click on the arrows to pick the desired info and rearrange it! And so I spent a bit of my weekend playing with it. And a larger bit working on hunting down and resizing a ton of monster-sized cover images that had quickly eaten all my alloted webhosting space during a test-load ... which taught me that this new version doesn't auto-resize images (I can set it to do it, but then it would make the small ones bigger and blurry ... better to clean up now and pay attention to future pixel counts). :p

As is usual with upgrades, there are gains and losses ... the online book synopses and other notes appear in plain text and no longer have the centering, bullets, bolding, italicizing, and coloured headers that I entered in imitation of the real blurbs of the books (though this display still exists in my home "online" catalogue). On the plus side of the ledger, I can set choose different colours, fonts, bold/italicize for each information field, so can make chosen information for each book stand out on the webpage. I also now have control over number of columns of information and what goes into each. So I'll be doing some playing around and rearranging for the next little while, and, of course, am open to suggestions and preferences from you folk who actually browse through these lists from time to time ... let me know what you find hard/easy to read on this thing. Right now I'm leaning towards a 3-column set-up, with basic info in column one, notes and synopses and column two, and cover image in column three. One of the gains is the new ability to list contents of anthologies and multi-volume sets ... but in column two or column three? You can view the experiment-of-the-day at JLS' Collections (and if you come across a cover image that's takes up half your monitor, do please let me know so I can check whether it's been fixed for the next upload ... I'm working on getting the big ones all reset to 300 pixels width)

Decisions, decisions ... ;p

P.S. Have had the similar html export rebuilds for video and music for a couple of months, but have only done minimal playing around with those so far ... shall be doing some remodeling in those lists too. :-)