Another Major Recode

I’ve let the site go stale for a bit, not really doing any work on it or adding any new info for quite some time. So I decided that it was about time I gave it a bit of a spruce up.

I’ve known for quite a while that the site doesn’t really work very well on mobiles, or any device with a small screen, so I decided to do a recode to accommodate these devices. While I was doing that, I remembered that there were lots of other changes I wanted to make, so I included those as well. In the end I’ve more-or-less recoded the entire site. Stupidly, I’ve kept the same design. Making the site fit mobile screens would have been much easier if I’d redesigned the look of the site a bit. Still, never mind.

Here are some changes I’ve made:

Maps

The static maps are out, and new dynamic maps are in. I decided to use OpenStreetmap rather than Google maps, and the Leaflet Javascript library. I discovered that Leaflet gets a bit bogged down if it has more than 200 markers on the map, so I decided to only show the 200 markers nearest to the centre of the map. This can look a bit weird if you zoom out over somewhere with a lot of markers (like London), because you get a big clump of markers in the middle of the map, and no others. Still, it’s better than it was. I’ll have to either find a work-around or maybe switch to OpenLayers.

Databases

The databases are cleaner and completely normalised, plus the code is better and more suited for future modifications. You can’t see this as a user, but it means that it’s easier for me to add new features, of which I have plenty of ideas.

Responsive CSS

As I mentioned, the site should look okay on any size screen. It’s been optimised for 1024, 768, or 320 pixels wide, but shouldn’t look too stupid on other size screens. Certainly it will look better that it did before!

So, um, yeah. Hopefully the site has not become broken in any way. I’ll be continuing to tinker with it, and probably adding features, but at the moment it at least works.

Cheers,
Paul