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For 2021 - online Python 3 training - see ((here)).

Our plans were to retire in summer 2020 and see the world, but Coronavirus has lead us into a lot of lockdown programming in Python 3 and PHP 7.
We can now offer tailored online training - small groups, real tutors - works really well for groups of 4 to 14 delegates. Anywhere in the world; course language English.

Please ask about private 'maintenance' training for Python 2, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, etc.
A reluctance to move from old shoes to new

I have a comfortable old pair of shoes. They're worn out, scruffy, and they leak a bit these days but I'll still wear them and be reluctant to move onto a new pair, even though that new pair would be much smarter and make a far better first impression. And I don't think I'm the only one. Showy clothes may be one thing, but day to day, familiarity and comfort rule for many of us.

When the First Great Western CoffeeShop first saw the light of day on our site, it was decorated in a vanilla (default) Simple Machines Forum style. It's good, it's workmanlike ...and it has served well through over 50,000 posts in over 5,000 topics. But it's the same style as you'll see on many other forums and it lacks a "this is us" approach - it's more like "look who we have copied" and "we haven't altered for years" - the sort of message that a forward looking site doesn't want to predict into the far future.

So I was on a "hiding to nothing" when I applied a fresh coat of paint in the Coffee Shop ... it really was due - in fact overdue - but it's the daily workhorse of so many members that there was bound to be a reaction of "we like our old shoes" ... so what to do?

There are now three (and it could be increased) style sheets available, and they are selected within the PHP as a page is loaded, looking at the value of a cookie (if present) from the user. So new arrivals on the site, who have never stood in the original shoes, are taken to the new look and feel. Regular guests can follow a link to the original look and feel or if they like the old heritage "Great Western Railway" colours they can have those. And, yes, there is a return to current link too.

Even underlying the apparent casualness of this, there are serious points to be born in mind. It was suggested that we paint the job in First Great Western colours, but we have decided against. We are an independent forum providing information for passengers about the company and its services, and we cannot mimic them / do anything which gives the impression that we are they. Pity in some ways - it would provide a good link, and they use some nice colours.

And the ability to provide different fonts and font sizes as well as colours helps us make our site more accessible to those who are colour blind, or require a larger and cleaner character set - such provision being a requirement under legislation. And now that the work has been done once, we can easily add extra veneers as needed.


The techniques I have used are familiar ones that I regularly teach to people - but (as Lisa just reminded me a few minutes ago) just because I find them easy to implement doesn't mean that they are clear and obvious to others. We cover the subject on our PHP techniques workshop and will be happy to have you sign up for that if you have the same requirement. We have a learning to program in PHP course too if the whole PHP subject is new to you.
(written 2009-12-05, updated 2009-12-10)

 
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G903 - Well House Consultants - Running and moderating forums and social media sites
  [22] Falling out over the silliest things - (2004-08-21)
  [29] Silence is Golden - (2004-08-26)
  [115] Expiration dates or times on web pages - (2004-11-12)
  [130] Spelling and grammar - (2004-11-25)
  [204] The confidence to allow public comments - (2005-02-06)
  [231] Feedback as lifeblood - (2005-02-28)
  [248] Use me, but use me effectively - (2005-03-16)
  [424] How not to run a forum - (2005-08-24)
  [516] Open source questions? Anyone can ask. - (2005-12-03)
  [651] Please Register with Opentalk - but just once! - (2006-03-19)
  [806] Check your user is human. Have him retype a word in a graphic - (2006-07-17)
  [828] Freedom of speech and freedom to post - (2006-08-10)
  [841] Forum help - a push in the right direction - (2006-08-21)
  [919] Freedom for X is denial of privacy for Y - (2006-11-09)
  [923] Why shouldn't I spam? - (2006-11-13)
  [948] Running an on line campaign - (2006-11-27)
  [1088] Why use BBC code not HTML? - (2007-02-21)
  [1190] Save the Forum - A regular clean sweep - (2007-05-17)
  [1362] No Thank You - (2007-09-23)
  [1472] The Horse goes on and on - (2007-12-15)
  [1485] Copyright and theft of images, bandwidth and members. - (2007-12-26)
  [1523] Ive just received an email from myself. Should I be worried? - (2008-01-29)
  [1532] Comment spam blocked. Please comment via Forums - (2008-02-05)
  [1539] A forum is not always the best vehicle - (2008-02-14)
  [1563] Guidlines for posting on a forum - (2008-03-04)
  [1569] I dont care - goodbye - (2008-03-09)
  [1578] Please don't shout at me! - (2008-03-16)
  [1595] First Great Western Weekend - (2008-03-30)
  [1678] Software - changes and delays. But courses must run on time! - (2008-06-15)
  [1759] While the world sleeps ... - (2008-08-19)
  [1923] Making it all worthwhile - (2008-12-04)
  [1972] Pettifog and forum boards away from public view - (2009-01-03)
  [2103] Ask the Tutor - Open Source forum - (2009-03-25)
  [2116] Why do we delay new forum members through authorisation? - (2009-04-03)
  [2156] Stopping forum spam - control of the signup process - (2009-05-04)
  [2162] Admins thoughts on banning a member from a forum - (2009-05-09)
  [2177] Preventing forum spam - checks at sign up - (2009-05-12)
  [2254] Forum membership - a privilege not a right - (2009-06-22)
  [2386] Computing under the influence of alcohol - (2009-08-29)
  [2527] Flying tonight - (2009-12-05)
  [2569] How to run a successful online poll / petition / survey / consultation - (2010-01-10)
  [2781] The 500 pound question to get you started - (2010-05-26)
  [2820] Netiquette for forum newcomers - (2010-06-20)
  [3479] Practical Extraction and Reporting - using Python and Extreme Programming - (2011-10-14)
  [3910] Identifying your real customers and keeping them well informed fast - (2012-11-02)
  [4017] Acceptable User Policy / vexatious interacter - (2013-02-24)
  [4025] Backups, Codebase, Strategy and more - dealing with forum incidents - (2013-03-03)
  [4065] Handling requests to a forum - the background process - (2013-04-17)
  [4234] Change to Libel and Defamation laws from 1st January 2014 - (2013-12-31)
  [4239] Facebook marketing - early experiences - (2014-01-19)
  [4283] Can a legitimate forum post become illegal a year later? - (2014-07-11)
  [4307] Identifying and clearing denial of service attacks on your Apache server - (2014-09-27)
  [4315] Welcoming genuine forum posters quickly - but turning away off topic advertisers - (2014-11-16)
  [4403] The unbalanced relationship between customer and provider - (2015-01-21)
  [4492] Almost so wrong, but perhaps it's right for some? - (2015-05-11)


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Taking a knock over Santa
Santa Special, 2009
Melksham Christmas Lights
A reluctance to move from old shoes to new
Using JSPs, Tag Libraries, Java Beans, Tomcat in one short example
An update on legal changes from the FSB?
Plan your application before you start
Integrated public Transport - what could be done for Melksham
Melksham Market - Tuesdays, 09:00 to 14:00
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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