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It’s been 8 months since I posted any news. During that time I have been working on totally revamping this site to make it what I always wanted it to be.

On the surface, not much appears to have changed. The front page looks a lot better, and the “profile pages” for each open mic now contain more information than they used to. But that’s just a cosmetic improvement.

The real changes have taken place behind the scenes – in the database.

All information you now see on this site is being pulled from something called a “mySQL database” – which is basically an extremely efficient Excel spreadsheet that lives on the internet. The data is pulled out in real time, every time somebody loads a page. What that means is that as soon as I make any edits to the master database, the page content automatically updates to reflect those changes. All content on this site can now be edited from one location. This means the time I spend working on general upkeep of the site has been massively reduced.┬áIt also means I have been able to automate many tedious tasks; further reducing my work load.

The most visual impact of this new database is the new “list view” showing recently confirmed open mic nights which is on the front page. This list updates itself automatically, as and when people respond to my (automatically generated) emails asking them to reconfirm the details of their open mic night.

Up until now, the only way to truly “search” for an open mic night on this site was by using the interactive map – but this has now been supplemented by the “list view”. The other great thing about the list view is that it is ideal for use on small screens such as smart phones (more ideal than an interactive map).

To achieve all this, I have taught myself – from scratch – how to write several different web programming languages. Which is totally awesome as far as I am concerned, and is the single reason why the work has taken 8 months to complete. A professional probably would have completed the work in about 6 weeks.

To be honest, the work is not totally complete, but is complete enough to be put into use. I’ll be continually tweaking it for the foreseeable future.

So there you have it. I hope you feel these changes are definite improvements. If you have any feedback, please use the contact form.


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