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Guide to Tolkien's Letters
Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

12 Apr, 2007
2007-4-12 9:15:18 PM UTC
It seems to me that you have an excellent (I can't repeat that enough) gathering of information, that you have chosen to organize solely in chronological order. If/when you are comfortable, having these sorted in other orders as well (I wouldn't want to lose the ability to sort them chronologically) would be nice. Totally up to you where you want to spend the time!

I seem to be much better taking other peoples information into my database than entering my own (something to do with the fact that the scanner is attached to my 3-year old's computer, so I never get to use it), if you would prefer to put your time elsewhere. Seems like we have so many people generating content AND developing websites, there must be a way to streamline our efforts.

[added note: I don't mean to imply pulling into my site - just offering services for website tinkering if it would help]
12 Apr, 2007
2007-4-12 11:35:47 PM UTC
I will have a think about how to offer alphabetical and chronological options. You have a good point there.

One of the pieces of information I have entered for each item in the database is the section of Wayne Hammond's bibliography it fits into, i.e. A, B, C , D, E, F.
My original idea was to include a drop down menu on the gallery page that would allow you to filter what was displayed. I played around with it for days but couldn't get it to work properly. I didn't have many entries in the database at the time, so I might revisit the idea and have another crack at it.

Thanks for the offer of assistance - I will bear it in mind - working with php and phpmyadmin has been quite a step up from good old html, so I'm a bit out of my comfort zone.

PS. The package of goodies arrived - great stuff, thanks!
26 Jun, 2007
2007-6-26 4:59:28 PM UTC
Though the input is late in coming and perhaps not now useful, I've got a reply to "questions for you all"...

I usually go looking for information about a specific book or set that I've found f/s somewhere, so the added materials (not by or contributed by Tolkien) are usually extraneous, but they're certainly not in the way. The pages load quickly, and your viewers will notice that such information is there in case they want it in future, which they might not realize (or know to look for) otherwise. In short, no I don't think those entries are clogging the pages.
Personally, I use the back button rather than the arrows, since I'm usually looking at covers and/or publishers before dates (often I am looking to establish a correct date), even though date is often of little less importance to title, depending on what you're looking for. But others may have different reasons for visiting, so there's no reason not to leave the arrows... more functionality seems better than less.

If I may take the opportunity to say: if it weren't for, the U.S. Guide might have become a PDF document and stayed on my computer. It was the incredible amount of information on your site and how often I use it that convinced me it was worth the effort to put ut online at all (not that it's anywhere near as detailed, but adequate, perhaps, for the fewer and more readily available U.S. editions). I'm glad now that I did, for as big of a project as it was getting the U.S. Guide to where it is today, people seem to find it useful. It's still nothing compared to your contribution. Hat's off sir... you have inspired us all.
27 Jun, 2007
2007-6-27 11:09:17 PM UTC
Thanks for your very kind words.
Mr Hammond's book was what started me off - I name check him on most pages, so I guess I might have sold a few extra copies for him!

The decisions on the naviation arrows have been made - or rather made for me because my PHP and SQL skills weren't up to it.

I ended up splittng the 'books by or with contributions' from 'letters, art and miscellanea' because the sections were becoming too large - 2000-Present would have been over 80 entries - which slows down load times, especially for dial-up users. YES there are still quite a few of them around!

Have recently finished upgrading the Hobbit section - all new images and extra information in each entry. Will be doing LotR next, or maybe Silmarillions.
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