mva title

new street bdg sm

This Marconi Veterans Association web site has just had a major software update, and the updated version published on 18th July 2022.

The web page layout has however been adjusted to look very similar to the previous version, so you will find the articles etc. in a similar location.

Updating the MVA web site.

Until October 2019 the MVA web site was run on a WordPress server, maintained by Chris Gardiner. This web site was moved to an archive location so you can still view it here for old articles.

In October 2019 a new server was set up by Mark Watson-Lee using Joomla as a Content Management System. Joomla is an 'open source' project, so free to use and maintained by enthusiasts. You can also customise any aspect of the layouts, add many extensions (some free, some paid for).

This web site was using Joomla 3.x, php 7.x and a Protostar template. All this software will be shortly be no longer supported, so this new web site now uses Joomla 4.x, php 8.x and a Cassiopeia template. The new software has a number of improvements for small screens such smartphone users, and many improvements at the back-end (the administration facilities). With this update all the previous articles and menus are all copied over to the new version.

Technical information (if you are interested!).

When the World Wide Web was conceived, it was designed to run on Unix servers, and you would create HTML pages, which are basically text pages, to give instructions to the browser on what to display. The best web browser was Netscape - but Microsoft eventually managed to destroy this company (for which they were sued for anticompetitive practices).  Microsoft realised they had to join the world wide web and produced their own web browser and servers to emulate the Unix system.

The HTML pages worked fine when everyone was viewing on desktop PC's with large screens, however today many are viewing on a wide variety of screen sizes with smartphones, tablets etc. Also web pages are far more complex.

The MVA web page runs on a Linux server (modern version of Unix), using Apache software to serve the pages, a database (MySql) to store all the data, and a large number of program files (over 6,000) written in the php language.

So when you connect your device, the software finds out what size of screen you are using, what browser you are using, then it generates a set of HTML instructions for your device to fit your screen as required (eg. Menu layout will change depending on screen width, pictures resized etc.). So HTML data is created as needed, not stored as files on the web server.

To update the web site I firstly backed up the old web site on the normal server, restored it to a different temporary server, ran an update process which migrated all the data to the new version - BUT because the template has changed the 'new' web site was not displaying correctly. Spent a while updating a variety of settings to get the new web site back to working. Backed up the NEW web site on the temporary server, then restored it to the normal server.