I have added this page in order to have somewhere to tell people what is happening with the web version of RISKS.
You will have noticed the presence of a shield icon after URLs. They are now invisible, but if you click the flashlight icon in the button bar, they will reappear along with a new flashlight icon. CLicking on the flashlight will open a new window that runs the associated URL through the blacklight service at themarkup.org. The shield icon will, in the future and where possible, show you details of site privacy policies, but this is work in progress at the moment.
Corrections and fixes to some very early issues (more to come of course) and recent issues have been converted to full width and with additional typographic modifications and use of HTML features for layout.
Searching is now done using the backend database rather than the swish-e engine which has not been supported for several years. It is not particularly fast, but on the other hand it is not unusably slow and there are various benefits (to me :-) ) of doing it this way. I am open to suggestions for improvements as always.
If you feel suitably masochistic then please adopt a volume and I will initiate you into the arcana of reformating things...
Some back end changes that should be invisible - let me know if they are not. I have removed support for links that were of the form /m/r... The implementation of these used software that is now obsolete and unsupported so it was impractical to maintain them. Such links now divert to the normal pages. If this is a problem for you then, again, please let me know.
I am also starting a long term project to get rid of the 80 character per line format (where possible) as this does not support responsiveness at all well and I suspect many non-RSS/ATOM users of the site use mobile devices. If you want to see the original layout then you can always download the archived version of the original file. But, as I said, this very long term. There's a lot of issues and it's a lot of tedious work.
Many under the bonnet changes…
The JSON feed seems to be functioning correctly now
Reimplemented and modernised the whole underlying structure of the site. Please report any problems.
Added search boxes to most pages.
Changed from using the Glimpse search engine to the Swish-e engine. This allows for more modern search styles.
Long time no news! I have altered the way that URL detection works when the issues are being processed and I hope that this will eliminate the problems with > characters. Some issues in Volume 1 have become corrupted. I have no idea how this happened, and restoring them is not an automatic process since the format in those early issues had not settled down fully. I will be fixing them as and when I get the time - if you want to volunteer to do some please feel free!
A new URL : http:/catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/rdlatest returns a 307 redirection status code rather than returning the actual issue. Some people may find this useful - if this mechanism proves not to break any cacheing mechanisms anywhere I might use it for the ordinary latest link as well
The RISKS "favicon.ico" should appear if you save a bookmark (and your browser supports them of course). However I'm not guaranteeing this as I am still not entirely sure of what browsers do when they try to find the icon!
Recent versions of the Mozilla browser support a page navigation bar so you can take advantage of the features I mentioned in the entry for March 2002. I've also fixed the bug with the HTML for the Alternate navigation item - something that most people will not have noticed....
The Opera browser supports the Next, Prev, Help and Up Link tags I have been adding for years, so I have added support for nearly all the tags that Opera appears to support - Home, Search, First, Last, Index. Users of inferior browsers will not see them of course....
By popular demand (well 3 people asked me), I have put links to the three most recent issues on the start page
I have tried to add support for Mazingo in case the Avantgo channel vanishes (Avantgo have changed their policies about numbers of subrscribers or something...). Please let me know about your success or failure with it.
A problem with the search pages which only seemed to affect Netscape has been fixed (I hope), some HTML errors have been cleared up and search handling is now all done in php rather than using CGI scripts. Search results for volume 21 onwards show the name of the sender of the matched article, I hope to support this right back to volume 1 in the future.
The RISKS webpages are now hosted on a much more powerful machine. I hope that after a couple of initial teething troubles the change over should have been invisible to most of you. Since the shift involved a change in architecture and a major OS revision, this speaks well for all the open source software involved in the process.
As a long term project I would like to convert all the pages from the current "<pre>" style into a more free html style. If you would like to help do this then please volunteer and I can point you at some issues that you can work on - it doesn't take long to do one issue, but there are a lot of issues!! If there is enough outcry against this I will consider providing a parallel service for people who like the fixed format text.
I have added some new tagging mechanisms for the pages. The little red flash at the start of each contribution provides a link to itself so that you can easily extract URLs for individual articles. The blue lines provide a similar link, but to the topic as a whole rather than the individual articles. I hope this useful.