Creating Bonkers has taken up a great deal of my time over the past eight and a half years and a fair amount of
money too (thank Maxine, justice will catch up with you one day) and I have frequently thought of abandoning it. However unless
Bexley residents elect a Council led by honest politicians next month instead of a
small bunch of thoroughly dishonest people who are unable to get through a
single day without lying, it probably ought to continue.
But that is not easy; Bonkers has grown too big and become very difficult to maintain. None of the software tools, free or otherwise, that should help production can cope. They are either far too slow to check 5,714 pages and 116,346 links (as at 16th April 2018) or they crash long before they have finished.
The site was designed before smart phones became the first choice for browsing. To be mobile friendly the browser must freely float images and text around on whatever size screen a user chooses; it is the exact opposite of the way Bonkers works. Every image is displayed with pixel accuracy as the code dictates. Every attempt to migrate the site from one system to another has failed for one reason or another. The only way forward is to abandon Bonkers as it currently exists and begin again.
It will have to start in a relatively unsophisticated fashion, overlaying one banner image over another, text size configuration and random banner images will be early casualties of mobile friendly browsing. The current menus will have to go too. They rely on a commercial package from a company that long ago went bust. Sooner or later they would have had to go anyway.
The current plan is that Bonkers will continue until a day or two after the election on May 3rd and something else will appear in its place. Quite what I am not yet sure but I am hopeful that all the old blogs will reappear even though I can foresee that some may not display correctly at the outset. Photo features such as Crossrail must be restored somehow as must Indices. The Maxine Fothergill saga cannot be allowed to die!
Probably the old Bonkers will be archived somewhere.
I think I have learned the hard way why Wordpress claims to power 70% of the world’s websites.
• 17th April 2018 - All the blogs are now operating in a mobile friendly manner on
the test site. The blog Indices are working and there is a rudimentary menu to
access all blogs. Some images do not display neatly on screens wider than 960 pixels.
The reason is obvious but will require every affected blog to be found. It will
be a long term project.
• 18th April 2018 - The banner has been restored. It is scalable and randomly changes as before.
• 19th April 2018 - Some of the minor Index pages are reformatted. An experimental precursor to more vital ones.
• 20th April 2018 - The Crossrail photo pages are now working in mobile mode. That is they scale to fit the available screen space. This opens the way to all Photo features being scalable. It also suggests that higher resolution images should be used instead of being restricted to the old standard of 920 pixels wide.
• 21st April 2018 - The old Photo features are now in the new format and their respective Indices.
The Bexley Council is Bonkers logo has been successfully laid over the banner image; then the bloody test server crashed.
• 24th April 2018 - Most pages are now in the new format and the quick link icons (Today, Month etc.) have been introduced to some pages. The menu still requires quite a lot of work.
The probably launch date will be 7th May.