Started on 10th January 1995
This website has been greatly reduced in scope. After experiencing a number of difficulties in accessing the site for maintainance, I came to the conclusion that I needed to simplify the way I administered it, and that implied a reduction in the scope of the site. My ISP - BT - left me without a broadband connection for two weeks and were totally unresponsive to support requests. It seems to take BT a whole week to rectify faults at the local exchange that are probably caused by their engineers in the first place. In my area BT is a monopoly supplier and behaves as such. In addition, my web host (JustHost) made changes to their system that meant I lost terminal access to the account, and despite my subscribing to their "priority support", they took a week to provide a fix. The site in its previous incarnation was suffiently large that I relied on automated techniques to maintain it. Once these ceased to be reliable, I concluded that it was time for a change; there are better things in life to do than ringing the call centres of inefficient conglomerates. If you feel inconvenienced by this, feel free to let BT know what you think.
The website started life as www.psr.keele.ac.uk on 10th January 1995 on the server run by the University of Keele Computer Centre, and I should like to thank its staff, and especially the webmanagers, for their help and patience over the years. In August 2009 the website was transferred to a commercial platform justhost.com and the URL became http://www.politicsresources.net/, and in 2012 it was transferred to 123-reg.co.uk
The pages are put together on a 4GB AMD Phenom2 X4 workstation under Linux (Ubuntu 12.04). I try to use various browsers (but mainly Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, and sometimes IE8). I use Olivier Sessink's excellent Bluefish as my main editor, although if I am preparing a long document I may put it through Microsoft's Word 2003 in the first instance, and then tidy it up with Bluefish. I try to stick to the HTML standards as best I can, though I admit to cutting some corners when under pressure; and I try to make my pages accessible by as many browsers as possible (though there are limits: I don't support IE6 anymore). Many of the election data files are created or modified either using Bash shell scripts or home-grown programs written in Pascal, using the Free Pascal Compiler. Such graphics as are used are mainly prepared in Gimp 2.6 under Linux.