"A journey of 100 miles begins with the first step."
I am no professional html programmer but would be interested in trying my hand at some sort of generic program that would permit the average collector to take images of covers, etc. and prepare a reasonably formatted display page (frame). My goal is to make this freely available for the benefit of our hobby.
Now, if anyone knows of such program currently out there please let me know. Also anyone wanting to play with me on this adventure please contact me off board.
In the mean time, what are the basic specifications you see needed in this software to meet your exhibiting needs?
I have received several positive comments and references to available html code. So far it confirms my opinion there is a definite need for an intuitive program that non geeks can easily use to produce exhibit pages.
I get the feeling this is not reinventing the wheel as much as getting pieces of existing code to play together nicely. The goal is to wind up with a product that is intuitive to use by philatelists.
To this end, if there are any philatelic folks more experienced in html programing than me (and that does not take much knowledge) who would like to work in a small development group to move this project along, please let me know.
Hi hoosierboy, I am not too clear on what you are proposing. Is it a website that will allow people to register, upload images, type in text and format the exhibition page which will then be displayed on the website?
Alternatively are you looking at creating software for website owners to install on their own sites to allow them to easily generate and display their own exhibitions pages?
Or have I completely misunderstood what you are trying to create which is something else entirely?
Hoosierboy. Ends vs means What exact "end" are you trying to accomplish or encourage? Then we can ID existing tools that can do this. Creating software tends to get bogged down in rights, licensing and ownership. What is unsatisfactory with existing programs such as Publisher, which does not take a geek to understand?
Publisher is fine to generate pages on your computer in more or less the traditional sixteen printed page format. It has been my go to software for years. Publisher does let you "imbed" hyperlinks but its main shortcomings, in my opinion, is it is a somewhat expensive program that has to be loaded onto the server.
My personal view is digital exhibiting is a different environment that should provide the collector with more flexibility and capabilities. I am working in html developing a program that can be freely used. html lets you build files with hyperlinks or clickable references to additional information or images or pages not applicable to the traditional exhibit frame / judging situation. It will also let you print traditional pages.
Development will be in stages as time and knowledge permits. Hopefully an Alpha version will be available for folks to play with later this summer. I am faced with reinventing the code, or borrowing it from another freeware program, for the usual page designing and formatting function. I may wind up using such a program with modification for philatelic needs.
Starting with the more traditional frame / page format just as a beginning point for this journey. Clearly page size will be variable. hyperlinks will be major first new capability with others to follow over time. Any suggestions?
Program is intended to be freeware anyone can download and use on there personal computer. Its html code should work on any server. I am no server person but I think it will play nice in that environment.
Do you want images and text on your digital exhibits?
Would be online or maybe like a kiosk like use. The kiosk idea is someone could approach the kiosk and select an exhibit to see it. If you want ti mimic exhibits it the exhibit would be in portrait orientation. The system display would be rotated of course.
Angore, I already have one major established philatelic web site showing interest in hosting this program and plan on making it available as a free download for anyone to use.
We still live in the sixteen page physical frame era. hyperlinks and their greatly expanded capabilities are from the age of computers along with variable page numbers and size in a frame. It also blurs the line between the physical frame environment and printed documents; and, a digital presentation.
It was hard enough to get collectors to accept the word processor and its great contribution to our hobby. I am old enough to have done my first three exhibits in the early 80's on the old IBM Selectric typewriter. Remember half spacing and different fount balls?