As the site approaches the end of the first month of its "career" I thought I would write few notes based on my experience with managing the site and getting it to its current stage of development. I hope these will help users in getting the most out of the content.
1. I have found it very difficult to include the same narrative notes with the images that I used to have on the previous site. This is because the amount of text that can be added to an individual image is limited to 255 characters. This is not a serious problem where there are multiple different images of the same ship as I will simply run the text on from one image to the next. If you see an elipsis (...) at the end of a block of text it indicates that the text will continue on the next image. In cases where I was unable to obtain more than one usable image of a ship I will try to keep the text within the 255 character limit. However, if it proves impossible to edit the length down to that limit then, if what I have to say seems important enough, I will load multiple copies of the same image so that the text can "run on". When you step from one identical image to the next you will notice a slight fading of the image before the next one appears - this is simly the default slide transition and I have been unable, so far, to prevent it from happening.
2. Another effect of the space constraints described in the first paragraph is that, on occasions, I may decide to drop some of a vessel's technical details in order to stay within the 255 character limit. However, if you are interested in the technical details, you will find details for all new sightings associated with a specific gallery in a Rich Text file that can be accessed via a link located below the slideshow.
3. On the subject of the slideshows - I have settled on using the Flash Slideshow option to display the images because it appears to be the only means of displaying them "full screen". To access the full screen version of the slideshow you need to click on the button immediately the slideshow that looks like this:
4. You can either opt to play the slideshow by clicking on the start button (►) or you can setp through the slides individually using the right (and left) cursor arrow keys. Depending on the size of your monitor, you may find that it helps to maximum the viewable screen area by hitting F11.
5. At the start of each gallery, just above the slideshow, you will find a Google map link. I have added placemarks showing the locations from which the images in that gallery were taken. Clicking on the placemark will display a very brief description of which images were taken from that point. The map is fully functional, although I have removed some of the Google functionality in order to reduce clutter. You can zoom in and out and pan left, right, up and down. Google Street View is also operational in areas where coverage is available and dragging the “little man” onto the map will activate Street View.
Thanks for reading, I hope these notes are some help.