Friday, 26th May 2017

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Nov 14 2013

New version of my website and other things

Ok, finally here I am, back again. The last update to my website dates back to July 2011, i.e. more than two years ago. I know it’s a shame, but there are several good reasons for that. Namely, my personal engagements have kept me very busy: plus, my old website was a real pain to maintain. Anyway my passion for astronomy is still alive and well: I’ve been to Namibia, I’ve kept on going out to dark sites to observe and dabbling in DIY projects, and I’ve even been able to make an old dream of mine come true by building a small observatory.

My old website was a crappy application written in Java by (clumsily) putting together a “homebrew” web application and a blog tool called Pebble. It was a barely acceptable solution a few years ago, but by now it had become absolutely unsuitable for today’s rapidly evolving digital world. So I had long been planning to update it, but I was put off by laziness and by the unavailability of a Java open source product that would enable me to set up a decent website with a reasonable effort. The situation changed radically when during a coffee break chat a colleague of mine pointed me to WordPress. At first I was very skeptical, as I knew absolutely nothing about PHP. But then curiosity prevailed, and I thought I’d give it a go… After a few months, I think I quite got the hang of it, and here I am with a brand new version of my website, which I developed entirely on my own without any particular PHP knowledge. All this was made possible by WordPress, its ease of use and the wonderful community that supports it. Indeed, too bad there’s no Java equivalent of WordPress.

‘Nuff said: let’s get to the nitty-gritty now. My website is available in English and Italian, with English as the main language; a selector located at the top of the page can be used to switch between the two languages. I strive to have the content available in both languages, and if the version for one language is missing, the system is smart enough to show the version in the second language.

The homepage is laid out as a blog, that I use both for quick updates and more detailed articles. Furthermore, there are a number of permanent pages for presenting the contents in a more organic way: the astrophoto gallery (with the individual galleries that can be directly reached via the dedicated drop-down menu), the articles, reviews and reports page, the link page, the contact page, and the about page which will tell you something more about myself.

I’m fully aware that the level of my pictures is generally quite low, and nowhere near that of many other websites around the Internet. It’s a long-standing problem of mine which is partly due to laziness and partly to the lack of free time. I don’t know if and when I’ll be able to fill in this gap, but anyway I’ll do my best to make the result of my effort available on this website sooner or later (well, er… most likely later than sooner :mrgreen: ).

I hope you’ll enjoy visiting my site. And if you wish, I’m always open to questions, comments, suggestions and constructive criticism. Thank you in advance for your attention!

This post is also available in: Italian