20 Dec 2000 pap   » (Journeyer)

Sotonians Actually done some open source work since my last diary entry. Been working on the database structure for Sotonians - a locally-themed site for the city of Southampton, England.

I know what you're thinking - it's another of those sad sites which is replete with local (flower shops|restaurants|brothels) advertising their (chrysanthenums|reconstituted dog|cheap Thai imports) in wholly unappropriate colours. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The main idea of the site is to give a voice to the disenfranchised denizens of our fair city. The site is frequently rude, covers all areas of conversation from monkey-spanking to primate-punishing - and is something we're looking to scale up.

The current implementation is somewhat dodgy. Most of the stuff is statically delivered, making maintenance a bit of a bitch. TheCorruptor and I are fed up with this headache, so we're doing something about it.

Essentially, we're moving almost all of the content into a PostgreSQL database. The DB design is now complete - I've just got to nip it on over. The API for DB updates will be coming next. Incidentally, we chose postgres because I have a personal thing for clean databases. It has stuff like referential integrity and transactions (not sure we'll need transactions for a lot of our stuff). postgres will help us keep the DB clean without excessive logic, hence its adoption as the DB of choice.

TheCorruptor is going to use the APIs to yank stuff outta the database, transform it using XSLT and deliver it to end users.

The DB design and API are actually very generic, which will allow it to be used for a wide range of dynamic content websites.

The new version of Sotonians will launch in early 2001.

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