Re-engineering the MKPM website

Tom Hukins tom at
Thu Apr 12 13:52:53 PDT 2012

Hi, Tony.

Although I'm no longer active in the group, and so don't have any say
in the Web site's future, I have a few thoughts that I feel I should

On Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 09:32:32PM +0100, Tony Edwardson wrote:
> You change it by editing the HTML in the git repo and once your changes 
> are committed, they get applied at the next git pull which is run 
> frequently.
> This makes it easy to break and will become unwieldy as more and more 
> talks are added.

I thought about this over the years.  I figured the best way to check
for breakage would be to write tests that validate the HTML, check
links, spot common errors, and whatever else needs doing.  These tests
might even exist as a commit hook in the repository.

My main reason for keeping static HTML was that it made the site hard
to break:  it's much easier to break a Web application running against
CPAN modules that might need updating than it is to break an HTTP

> I want to improve this as follows :-
>  * to become a multiple page site with navigation

The existing pages could easily be broken out into templates.

>  * make it easier to add talks by simply adding a file to a directory
>    structure and it appears on the site

That's an interesting idea, but I wonder how you would derive the
presentation title and speaker's name.  I never found it hard to add
these manually.

>  * Add RSS feeds from important perl sites
>  * Add a resources and links page to useful stuff . e.g. documention,
>    tutorials, free pdf books and the like

How does the site benefit from duplicating things that already exist
rather than providing information specific to the group?

>  * Add a web interface to  irc

You can do this within a static site.

> I would like it to be easy to add stuff to the site via an authenticated 
> page

If you do this, I would suggest storing changes in the site's
repository.  I don't see what problem this solves:  anyone who might
want to edit the site will already be comfortable with a text editor
and version control, given the group's membership.

I hope I don't put you off making the site better.  It's been
neglected for a few years and could certainly do with improvement.

I'd focus on the group specific things, perhaps giving better details
of venue locations (GPS co-ordinates, map links), a meeting calendar
(including an ICS link) rather than adding generic Perl information
or writing a content management system.  But these are just my

All the best,

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