About this Site

In July of 2002, we started working on version 4 of our web site. Whereas the previous versions (and especially version 3 published in January 1999) were motivated by an intention to bring about visible changes, this latest update is happening mostly under the hood. Essentially, we wish to accomplish the following:

These changes necessitated a complete rewrite of every page in the site. Initially, the home page, all the index pages (i.e., those that provide a summary of their respective sections), the entire Moving to France section, and the About this Site section were converted and uploaded. The remaining sections were gradually added, and on November 10, 2002, the upload of the rewritten Work section completed the project.

While we were rewriting the pages, we obviously reviewed the contents and made changes as appropriate, but this was mostly limited to modifying data that was no longer current, replacing external links that no longer worked, or fixing typing errors. In this way, quite a few changes were made to all pages.

No changes were made to the site navigation. With a frame-enabled browser, the site is presented in a three-frame layout: there is thin banner frame on top, an index frame on the left, and the bulk of the window is occupied by the content frame. It is in the content frame that the individual pages are presented. At the bottom of each content page there are navigation aids that provide access to the home page and all index pages. It is also possible to move to the previous or next page in the current section. Also at the bottom of the content page is its URL as well as an e-mail link that may be used to provide feedback or otherwise comment on the page.

The index frame allows a more convenient navigation to every page in the section, as well as to the current section's title page or the site's main page. Finally, the top banner will either read "www.kiechle.com" by itself (when the user is on the home page), or followed by a slash and the name of the current section.

For users who cannot, or do not want to, display frames, the entire content of the site is accessible, though navigation is obviously limited to the use of those controls that are located at the bottom of each page. Using the site without a Javascript-enabled browser is also possible because scripting has been kept to a minimum. Javascript is used for two things only: the first is to ensure that this site's pages and frame sets do not appear in another site's frames (as can happen when other sites link to our site); the second is to load the URL of an individual page into the frame set the page belongs to. For example, the URL of this page is "http://www.kiechle.com/site/about/about.htm", and if a user accesses this URL, a snippet of Javascript code ensures that the page will be rendered within its frame set (i.e., with the banner on top and the index to the left). When Javascript is not enabled, the index page of the section the requested page belongs to is displayed instead.

While it is possible to live without frames and Javascript enabled, there is one configuration which makes navigating this site completely impossible: if frames are disabled and Javascript enabled, it is no longer possible to move from one page to another. The workaround consists in either enabling frames or disabling Javascript.

A few other things that have not changed: external links open in new windows, internal links to pages in the same section open in the content frame, and internal links to pages in a different section open in the same window. For optimal viewing, we recommend a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels or higher, though it is (still!) possible to view most of the site on a 640x480 monitor without scrolling horizontally. Starting in January 2007, we will standardize on a page width around 900 pixels. According to Google Analitycs, the smallest screen size still in use by our visitors is 800x600, and that represents fewer than 3 percent of the people viewing this site. While we may redo some of the older pages, most of the pre-2007 content should remain as is.

We do recommend a fairly recent browser for the best possible user experience when visiting any site. Given the price of some of the really popular browsers (free!), we don't understand why so many people still use ancient versions of these applications. Do yourself a favor and upgrade if your browser version is more than two or three years old! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how much better most sites look.

Thanks for taking the time to read this information. If you wish to comment, you can use the e-mail link at the bottom of this page. Enjoy your stay with us!




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This page was last modified on November 6, 2015
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