You wait ages for one site to launch and then two come along at once…

Clock showing 9 o'clock.

For the last four months or so I’ve been working on a new redesign of the SAULCAT interface for the University of St Andrews Library. SAULCAT, for those not fortunate enough to have studied at the University of St Andrews, stands for St Andrews University Library CATalogue.

By the time you read this (I wrote this last night in my time machine) the new design should have gone live. Check it out at this nice, user-friendly URL (which will be made nice and user-friendly next week):

If it looks all retro-1995 then it didn’t switch over. If it’s all nice gradients, Amazon-esque tabs and looking a bit Web 2.0 then it all went well. Welcome to the brave new world.

I feel delighted that this project has come to fruition, all that work behind the scenes and now I have something to show for it. But I also feel a little sad that it’s over. I’ve enjoyed working on this project closely with members of the library staff, who have been stars … even if they didn’t go for my green design! 😉

Going underground

Meanwhile at the University of Southampton, my new design for the Boldrewood Tunnel Society website should also be going live, if Fr Simon can successfully battle the problems with his hosting account.

The Boldrewood Tunnel Society is a student society for members of the University of Southampton who are protesting at the closure of a non-existent link tunnel between two parts of the University campus. Sounds confusing? It’s not really. I guess it is some kind of postmodern stab at existentialist irony. Or something.

Please employ similar criteria to SAULCAT for deciding whether the site has changed over: if it looks as though it might benefit from a couple of <marquee> tags and some blinking text then it’s still the original design; while if it looks a sexy arrangement of reds and greens with images of dolphins leaping through tunnels and Dave Gorman in a hoodie then Fr Simon has won this round of his battle with technology.

Back to the coding table …

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “You wait ages for one site to launch and then two come along at once…”

  1. Er… I read a cynical definition of web-2.0 as `bigger fonts’ 😉

    FWIW, somehow, despite using tables for layout, you’ve managed to get a kink in the right border in firefox – just right of `Your library record’. Oh, and it’s `onload’ not `onLoad’ in XHTML too.

    Nice link to `other libraries’. What are you using underneath?

  2. There is a problem it seems with this site rendering in Firefox under Linux on some user’s machines — we checked here — but it’s working fine in the Library which is what is most important; I’m not too bothered about minor kinks.

    The system is running on WebOPAC from III, which includes a load of non-validating code that I have no access to.

  3. I’ve made some minor edits to the CSS now, which may (or may not) fix the kinking problem.

    The “onLoad/onload” problem will have to wait. I’ve fixed it now, but not on the live server — that will require a server reboot, which obviously can’t be done in the middle of the day.

    Thanks for spotting it Tim, it was getting hectic towards the end and I overlooked it in my eagerness to get finished (and home! it was 19:00 by that point).

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