After the various problems of the past year (see the next paragraph) it is nice to have some good news for a change. I was recently elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, specifically in recognition of this website.
I have been using this section of the site to give updates on progress in the final restoration of the site which is progressing. But before going into greater detail, first I must thank Martin Roberts of Carrdale.com whose patient work and even greater patience with my limitations in the field of IT have brought the site back to life. His persistence when we seemed to have reached a dead end in retrieving material from the wreck of the former site was remarkable. The final outcome has been the total loss of the texts of just two churches (which I have been able largely to make good as I had stored the original texts offline)
The site is now usable again which I hope will be good news to users, whether regular or occasional. That does not mean that all imperfections and omissions have yet been put right but I don’t think that there is anything the meaning of which is not obvious, particularly if you read in more detail below about the main problems I have spotted. Those familiar with the site before will see some changes, but if I can cope with them, I doubt whether anyone else will have difficulties. One tip is that you may need to rely more than before on the search facility at the top. I understand that different users will be seeking different things when consulting the site and inevitably it may take longer to restore some features fully than others, but please bear with me if it takes a while for your particular interests to be fully covered again.
The main problems you will soon notice are as follows:
The text is pretty comprehensible providing you allow for a few peculiarities. In a few places the font size changes randomly for a line or two which is visually tiresome but has no effect on the meaning. Slightly more baffling to start with is the equally random replacement of some punctuation marks, particularly apostrophes and quote marks, by capital letters with an accent above them e g umlauts, acute accents and tildas – at least the glitches are polyglot! I have also noted a very few points where there have been other corruptions. If any do exceed the powers of intelligent guesswork let me know (the contact us button is fully operational again);
- Images Problems have been rather greater with the images. In some cases they have disappeared, in whole or in part and in others they have become attached to another church without necessarily the images for that church doing a straight swap. The good news is that I have all the images I used before and many others safely stored off-line, both my own and those kindly provided by others which made such a difference to the look of the site. I have decided that restoring the text should be the first priority, but once that is done I shall get going on the images. It will be slow work reinstating these but please be patient as at present I am limited in the amount of time I can spend on the website.
- Links Although this site is devoted to Sussex churches, one of the sections most consulted on line has been Architects and Artists which has a much wider appeal since in many cases those with no particular interest in the county will want to find out about a particular name and at present this is the only reference on the net. In order to achieve easier navigation of the site I have relied heavily on links between the various sections but as happened when there was a software upgrade a few years ago, all the links have gone and I an putting this right as part of the restoration of the text. Meanwhile, if you’re actually on the site and in a section I have not yet restored, you will have to find your way ‘manually’ to whichever section you want.
The latest position (as of 9 April 2018) is that in addition to the Architects and Artists section and all the shorter supporting sections (Abbreviations, Bibliography, Glossary and Sources), I have now completed revision of the texts of East Sussex entries on individual churches and have only the churches of Worthing and one or two others still to do in West Sussex. Once that is done, the texts will be as they should be. As already noted, that will then leave the photographs to deal with. The survival of these seems to be quite random – for some everything has survived and in other cases only some are still there. Worse are those which have lost all the photographs or have even acquired one or more of a completely different church. However, I do have everything that was on the site before and a good bit besides stored safely off-line, so it’s a question of patience.
The texts which I have checked should now be as they were before, the only proviso being that reinstating links and odd glitches of spelling and punctuation is not very stimulating and I may have missed the odd one. If you spot any please let me know. In the case of those churches that I have yet to check, you can access each entry and judging by the spot-checks I have done, the text is generally usable, though there will be the usual problems with images and the links will not work.
I will continue with regular updates though not necessarily every week if there is no major development to report.