A New Search Engine
We decided to try using Google as our local site search engine. We had been using another third party engine which generally worked as long as their web bot visited our page on a regular basis. It usually took a few weeks before our pages got re-indexed; not exactly a timely fashion. Google recently announced their own search engine which could used for local site search and it based it's searches on it's own search engine's visits to our site. The bonus is that they will spot selected ads on the search results which is pretty neat because we could make some money out of that. We've been carrying selected Google Ads on some of our pages and the search engine can only add to that revenue stream because to date that one's been pretty meager. If you have any problems or get strange results from the search function, please let me know.
The Home Page, A New Look
We promised this a long time ago and I finally found a menu system that I'm satisfied with from a maintenance point of view. I've been getting tired of maintaining the old news flash frame and some of you seem to be too impatient to wait for all the news and events to flash by (oh how jaded we get!). The original frame set will be changed from 3 frames to 2. The home page is now the right hand larger frame page and the table of contents is still done with a vertical stack of pushbuttons in the left hand pane.. While there's no flashing news bar, it's equivalent is at the top of the page and, if you scroll down the page, it follows you. You can't escape FARA news and events, hi. Many of you may need to update your browser. Netscape users should be using at least NS version 6 and Internet Explorer users should be using at least IE 6. Both browsers need to have Java script enabled since the new features are all Dynamic HTML and make heavy use of Java. If you have any problems or notice any quirks, please let us know won't you?
The Roster Pages
We recently changed the way email addresses are listed on the roster pages. These no longer carry email addresses that are easily copied. You can email to them by just left-clicking on the email link appearing in the list, but you can no longer copy the email address by right-clicking on it (Internet Explorer only) and selecting Copy. What's more important is that a "web-crawler" designed to extract email addresses from web pages (which is how many junk-mail companies gather mailing lists) will no longer find any on our roster pages! We did this to minimize the inconvenience that may of you have experienced by attracting unwanted email. If someone is going to build a mailing list from our roster pages they will find it a very tedious task indeed.
A Word About Frame Sets
Many of our pages use frame sets. Unfortunately you need a later version of MS IExplorer or Netscape to be able to view frames. Version 2 or earlier of MSIE won't view frames. Version 3 and above will. I cannot maintain 2 different versions of the web page for frame and non-frame viewers. It's bad enough making sure that what goes on our pages can be viewed by both MSIE and Netscape, much less all the various personalizations that users do to their viewers. Using frames in the few places they're used was a deliberate choice on my part because it simplifies and facilitates the chore of adding new and updating old material for me. It's the only way I can efficiently keep the web site current without making a full time job out of it. Using frames also lets me update things almost in real-time. In fact recently, while someone was surfing our web pages, they saw the news flash marquee change to a new topic while they were on-line. That's real-time updating! Depending upon how you've set up your browser (or the default setup supplied by the manufacturer), the page you view may or may not be the very latest page on the web site. To make sure you're seeing the latest, either periodically flush your browser's history buffers, or click Reload or Refresh on your Browser screen.
If you cannot view frames currently I would suggest that you get a more recent copy of the viewer you are using. Most are free and can be downloaded and installed right off the web. Your ISP probably also has a later and more appropriate copy of the viewer available.
I'm always open to suggestions for the FARA website. Just and let me know what changes, additions, or features you'd like to see.
73 de, K1BI
Last Changed: 07/05/2008