I now use CSE HTML Validator as my HTML editor of choice. Using
it is much like using Notepad, except that it validates my HTML,
whereas Notepad of course does not.
I have used style sheets extensively to improve the look and feel of
my Web pages.
My Web pages have very little graphic content.
I want them to be simple and to load very quickly. Also, I have
worked very had to make my pages ADA compliant so that they are
accessible to the visually handicapped. I don't have a text only
version, but the one and only version of the site tries to be
a program called BK ReplaceM extensively to make global changes
to my Web pages. It is an excellent tool, but beware its
I use a program called FolderMatch to manage backup copies of
my Web page and to coordinate the ability to work on more than one
I use a program called FileZilla to FTP my Web pages to
my ISP's Web server. I have tried several other free FTP
programs, but all the rest have attributes that I don't like.
Mostly, they are very unreliable.
To say that most FTP programs are not very reliable is not entirely fair.
FTP is not a very robust protocol, and most FTP programs quit
when they detect an error. A
good FTP program needs to keep trying and to resynchronize
when an upload fails.
WS_FTP is one of the most popular FTP programs, and I used it for
several years. But I found WS_FTP not to be very good
at recovering from transmission errors, plus
it cluttered up my Web site with log files. I have also tried
using Internet Explorer. It's little known that Internet Explorer
has a halfway decent FTP interface that looks just like Windows Explorer.
But as an FTP client, Internet Explorer is too slow and it does not
recover gracefully from transmission errors.
Most of my text is a black font on a light pink background.
Fixed format items such as census transcriptions are rendered
in a black font on a light blue background.
rendered in a black font with a very light yellow background.
Placing the mouse over a link changes
the background temporarily to green.
The background for a recently visited
link is a very light green, sort of an echo of the green background from
when you clicked on the link. The exception is that links in
census transcriptions have a standard black font and a
light yellow background. Census links stand out sufficiently
with the yellow background without also including a special font color.
With respect to my family history pages, I use a bold font to
highlight surnames. It is traditional in genealogy
to highlight surnames
with upper case letters, but I dislike that convention.
Transcriptions of old documents such as deeds, wills, census, etc.
have a light blue background.
It has been difficult to
find colors that work well on all monitor types.
I'm constantly fidgeting with the colors, and testing them
with different monitors and different browsers.
I'm not sure I yet have the perfect combination, but I'm pretty
happy with where I am so for.
The most common use of links within transcriptions is to link censuses
together. For example, a person's 1850 census entry may be linked
to their 1860 census entry which in turn is linked to their 1870 census
People who are my direct ancestors are generally rendered in a blue
font rather than a black font. I have tried using a background color
other than white to highlight my direct ancestors, but there are many
narratives where highlighting my ancestors in this manner gives a very
muddy effect, so I have settled on a standard background color and a blue
font for my ancestors.
Most of my pages have a little rectangle at the bottom that will return you
to my home page. The rectangle is a golden rectangle, with the
ratio of the length to the width being the golden ratio (approximately
The golden ratio is irrational, and can't be rendered
exactly. Also, the golden rectangle on my Web page
is further broken down into
smaller rectangles, each of which is also a close approximation to a
golden rectangle. It is one of the nice properties of the golden
ratio that it can be broken down or built up recursively, and the ratio
remains golden. That's why the golden ratio appears so often
in nature (for example, in sea shells and in flower petals).
The golden ratio also shows up frequently in art, music, and
The golden ratio approximations on my Web page are taken from the
The Fibonacci sequence is 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55...,
where the first two numbers are 1, and subsequent numbers in the
sequence are the sum of the previous two. The ratio of subsequent
terms in the Fibonacci sequence converges to the golden ratio.
In my "return to the home page" rectangle, the red rectangle is
13x21 pixels. The green square is 21x21 pixels.
The "red plus green" rectangle is 21x34 pixels.
The blue square is 34x34 pixels.
The "red plus green plus blue" rectangle is 34x55 pixels.
Successive points dividing a golden rectangle into squares lie
on a logarithmic spiral.
The successive squares and rectangles form a figure which is called
a whirling square. I used the colors Red, Green, and Blue
because my initials are RGB.
I wish to thank my friend Martin
Webster for helping me with the design
of my rectangle. First, he taught me
how pixels work for image files (and they don't work the same for computer
screens as they do for printers, for example, so it can get pretty
complicated). Second, he helped me with the color scheme.
I knew I wanted to use red, green, and blue for my rectangle.
But using pure
red, green, and blue caused my figure to look too much like a cartoon.
Martin helped me tone down the colors so that they look
more professional than a cartoon.