Updated 10 Jun 2007
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
Not much to do with genealogy, but a lot to do with putting
genealogical records on line. Tim Webb of Soham sent me this
e-mail, and here's my answer about why this website seems to work.
Subject: RE: census
Date: Sun, 02 Mar 2003 08:51:05 +0000
I wonder if you could help me, I run a site (One-Place-Study) at
www.sohamroots.bravepages.com [warning, since 2003 the content of this
URL has changed radically]
and I am trying to put the records ie marriages for Soham online. But I am
having problems with the large amount of information, and the time it takes
to load a page, I notice on your census pages a lot of information, which
takes very little time to load, I wonder if it would be possible if you
could tell me how you achieved this, I have all the records on a database,
but they do not line up correctly when I paste the information across to my
web editing programme without the table showing, as showing the table makes
the loading time too great.
You have put your finger on the problem everyone runs into
eventually. The solution is simple, but not easy to describe. Brett
Payne (another OPSer) has called the method "Palmerization"! Here's
how it works.
1 Use the HTML tag
This tag overules the normal treatment of white space. Text written
... is displayed with the spaces, tabs, and new
lines exactly as they were written in the code. Use it where
carefully spaced layout is required. Other formatting
tags can be written within
... but remember that the space
they occupy in the code will disappear on screen.
2 Avoid using the HTML tag
This tag is the normal way of controlling layout on the screen,
especially when requiring columns of data that look easy on the eye.
The snag is that the code memory "overhead" is very high, and files
quickly get above the 70k which is a good "rule of thumb" for
maximum file size for fast downloading from the Internet. Another
snag is that all the "Wizards" that write code for you automatically
as far as I know. Thats why I write
all code by hand, not difficult after a few months learning time.
3 Divide files into 70k maximum size
This is wearisome to do, but is necessary. My 1891 Census was sized
2.2 Mb, and I divided it up into 38 files of average size 58k
containing about 500 entries. Of course, each file then needs a link
to the previous/next file. Big files must have an index, and the
index must know which of the 38 files each entry appears. With 18,000
entries, this must be done automatically ie by the database. So the
database must produce the HTML code needed to make the links between
Index and List. This can be done using DPL (database processing
language), most databases have them its just a matter of learning and
4 Use a Word Processor
Use a word processor for several vital steps in the whole business:
A: Transcribe into the WP from fiche reader screen.Then you can use a
pre-prepared blank format which greatly helps transcribing.
B: Export from WP to database and so get the data into the database.
C: After indexing and coding, re-import from database to WP
D: In the WP, change from text-with-tabs to text-with-spaces. This
needs an "Exchange" facility which most good WPs have.
E: Export a page-image in ASCII format. This step is vital, it
produces a file which has the data lined up in nice columns which is
needed before adding the
tag. And it also produces a file which
can be renamed with a .htm ending before uploading to your ISP and
understood by the Internet and every visitors browser.
And thats about it, apart from the boring detail! Use your
browser "view source" facility to examine the coding of my Census
files. Find the
and tags, and see how the data in
between is preformatted with just the right number of white spaces to
do the job. Also see the
Thanks for the information, its going to help me a lot, I've tried
everything else, and just about gave up. You deserve an extra shreddy
after all that.
Thanks once again,
Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded,
and copyright © 2003,
All Rights Reserved.