March 2009. The third restyling of Chrysis.net web site goes online.
The site's version 2009 is a graphical and structural restyling, comprising the following innovations:
The migration from the previous layout to the new one1 has been a sophisticated and complex procedure. In fact, the previous site - apparently similar the new one - was characterized by invisible nested tables used for the pagination, and by local formatting for the presentation of the contents - i.e. font type, color, dimensions, alignment, etc. All solutions allowed by the obsolete HTML 4.01 Transitional code. Such solutions have become deprecated according to the guidelines of the modern XHTML 1.0 Strict code, and also according to the norms for web accessibility, directed to guarantee the fruition of web sites to all user categories, even to those people affected by visual or motion deficits. The conformity of Chrysis.net web site to the whole accessibility guidelines is still fragmentary, but the evolution in this direction is a goal for the future and a lot of pages are already valid:
The graphical and structural reorganization has produced a partial reconsideration of the logical hierarchy of the pages of the site, in order to improve its overall usability. Logically correlated texts have been grouped in local index pages, those you reach by clicking the main links placed at the top of each page - Chrysididae, Methocha, Resources, Photography - together with the contextual menus placed at the left column.
The Database of the Italian Chrysididae has deeply changed: the species reports now show the placeholders for the pictures of the habitus of the species and its chorology. With time we look forward to fill such placeholders with photos and distribution maps.
A page on the evolution and the future plans of the site has been added, the so-called roadmap. Here you'll find some notes on the features and functionalities that are under development, i.e. a Guestbook, a Macrophoto Contest and the RSS Feed for the site's news. Unfortunately, the dates planned for the release of such features are always affected by ordinary troubles and unpredictable events. An example of an unpredictable, serious and also long lasting event is the recent migration of the site from one hosting server to a new one, because the old server is going to be switched off. This fact is what we are managing for some months.
A useful search function has been added to the site. Such function is placed at the top right of each page and it is embedded in a specific search page. This service, supplied by Google, lists the site's pages with a relevancy ranking based on your search criteria.
A new and modern way to display multimedia contents (images, videos) has been adopted2, together with another one3 able to add some functions to the web site.
Finally, Chrysis.net logo has been modernized, thanks to the choice of a more rounded font and a colorful Chrysidid modified from a drawing made by W. Linsenmaier.
All this work has inevitably resulted in the fact that we have not had enough time to update the site's contents or to handle the many e-mail contacts. Together with the implementation of the solutions mentioned in the roadmap, we will take care of the new contents, including macrophotos, abstracts, bibliographic entries, new photographs, etc.
It's our hope that you will appreciate the efforts that we have made - from the reorganization of the texts to the graphical restyling - and that therefore you keep on considering Chrysis.net one of your favorite places of interest on the Internet.
Gian Luca Agnoli
External links: Accessibility, Usability, HTML, XHTML, CSS.
1 The new layout is modified from a open layout designed by G. Wolfgang, whom we thank.
2 based on M.J.I. Jackson's Shadowbox.js Media Viewer.
For citation purposes
Agnoli G.L. & Rosa P., Chrysis.net website, interim version 10-Jan-2010 , URL: http://www.chrysis.net/.