stanhoe.org is a project of the local history group Stanhoe Archive.
Webmaster (tel 01603 873386) maintains the structure of the site.
Through the stanhoe.org domain we are also able to offer free email addresses to Stanhoe residents. See the email page for details.
See this page for our policy on handling personal information.
Standards and accessibility
stanhoe.org is designed to work with all modern browsers. As it stands, the site should be fairly accessible to visually-impaired visitors, though we plan to implement a formal accessibility policy in the future.▼ Click here for more information
Flash is used only as a fallback to play streaming audio on the sound recordings pages. We offer HTML5 for audio playback and most modern browsers will take advantage of this.
Almost all pages should be valid HTML5 with CSS 2.1, plus a bit of proprietary CSS for curved boxes and drop shadows. As of November 2014 the photo gallery is not yet properly HTML5-compliant.
Pages with Google Maps or lightboxes do not yet validate as HTML5.
Known bugs and irritations
- Site availability is normally around 99.8%, measured on a monthly basis, but sometimes drops below 98%. We are on a cheap hosting package and there’s not much I can do about this. Almost all of our outages last less than 30 minutes, and mail is generally not affected.
- Apart from the photo gallery, the site design is not friendly to smartphones and small tablets. We need a responsive layout, but that depends on finding someone who can adapt the existing template for the content management system we use. Not likely in the near future.
- Opening one of the sound recording pages in Google Chrome (37.x) will use a lot of bandwidth and delay playback of files further down the page. This is a known issue – Chrome ignores instructions not to preload HTML5 audio files – and there’s not much we can do about it. Setting preload="auto" works but snarls up Safari instead.
- Some older slideshows don’t work. At some point I’ll change these to a format that does. Recent slideshows should all be fine.
- Slideshows don’t seem to work on news archive pages.
Experience with digital image galleries
Originally we hosted our images on the now-defunct council-funded NORCAN website. This purpose-designed system had one or two nice features, including powerful searching and the ability to set “hotspots” within images. However, it was opaque to the outside world (including Google) and did not support bulk uploads or downloads. It couldn’t import existing metadata, and didn’t store full-size images for archival purposes. It was a great example of how to waste public money failing to reinvent the wheel.
So we also experimented with Google Picasa Web Albums. Thanks to the Picasa desktop software, this has good support for metadata, bulk transfers, backups and image editing. Searchability is rather poor, and the limit on the number of photos per album was a pain. The multi-user aspect is limited too: other users can upload and edit their own photos, but any particular image can only be edited by its owner.
In July 2011 we moved to a Menalto Gallery3 database on the stanhoe.org server. Gallery3 had the advantages of being simple to set up. It just about met our needs, was easy to administer, and ran happily for just over three years.
Around August 2014 the developers of Gallery3 announced that the software would no longer be maintained. We therefore migrated to Piwigo in October 2014. Piwigo is a popular replacement for Gallery3 and the move was easy. The new gallery works much better on mobile devices and gives the adminstrators more power, though the learning curve is steeper.
The ideal would be a “museum-class” CMS such as Greenstone, dspace, EPrints or Fedora Commons. This would provide better searchability and support for more types of metadata, and allow us to catalogue scanned documents as PDFs with embedded text. But they are more complex to set up, and we don’t have the expertise. The would welcome any offers of help.