Welcome to Rob Hall Online, I am Rob Hall and this is my website.

It was originally designed as a demonstration of my web-development skills for the benefit of potential employers, but I like to think the site has become much more.

The site features a blog, guestbook, chatroom, forum, tutorials, and code samples, all written from scratch by me.

Anyone can view the blog, view/sign the guestbook, view the chatroom, forums, tutorials, and code samples, but only registered users can post chat messages, and add forums threads / posts.  Registering requires only a unique name and a password, after which you're automatically redirected back to the page you came from (or the home page if that fails), only now you have a couple more features.

So enjoy yourself, laugh at my poor design skills, and sign the guestbook!


7th August 2005 19:02:10 GMT
A couple of new rich text features...

[ image]/old/piccies/Cat%2002.gif[/image]

Embedding a fully-qualified URL between image tags will create an img tag for that URL.  I should probably add some code that rules out non-jpeg/gifs and images that are too large.

Also, the link and email tags have been adapted so that a user may choose to be more descriptive in their links.

Old link: http://www.robertdhall.com/ [ link]http://www.robertdhall.com/[/link]
New link: My Website [ link=http://www.robertdhall.com/]My Website[/link]

Old e-mail: [email]robhall@robertdhall.com[/email] [ email]robhall@robertdhall.com[/email]
New e-mail: [email=robhall@robertdhall.com]E-mail Me[/email] [ email=robhall@robertdhall.com]E-mail Me[/email]

Of course, embedding an image in a link works perfectly, too...

[ link=http://www.robertdhall.com/][ image]/old/piccies/cat4a.gif[/image][/link]
7th August 2005 03:01:20 GMT
A couple of pages have been made simpler by moving the more complicated features to separate files.

Adding/editing posts have been moved from posts.php, editing blog entries has been moved from index.php, and editing guestbook entries has been moved from guestbook.php.

The posts page has been reworked because IE was acting strangely with the <th> tag spanning two columns.  And I've finally added the user's signature to their postings.

I've also added a couple of tools allowing admins to edit user information.
5th August 2005 09:22:46 GMT
Registered users can now set how they want to view forum posts - either flat or nested - in their profile page.  Also, a link to this page has been added to the top menu (assuming you're using IE4+ or NS5+).
25th July 2005 22:12:01 GMT
The posts page has been rewritten with a new system of indenting posts.  The old system used nested tables which worked quite well until posts reached a depth of about thirty, at which point strange things began to happen.  The new system (lifted entirely from IMDB's message boards) uses an empty table cell to the left of each post which is gradually made wider.
21st July 2005 17:41:36 GMT
The entire website has been completely re-written from scratch.    From the point of view of the user, nothing's really changed - I'd just had so many new ideas that I was rather ashamed of the old code.  The old blog, forums, threads and posts have been migrated.  The guestbook, chatroom and contact page should be migrated too any day now.

Things to do...

1.  Add blog editing and deleting.
2.  Put back blog entries adding forum entries.
3.  Do more work on the shopping cart test.
3rd May 2005 00:04:21 GMT
Recent changes are mostly behind-the-scenes.  As my expertise in PHP and SQL grows I'm discovering better ways of carrying out tasks.

Once difference to the user: blog entries now automatically create corresponding threads in a forum entitled "Blog Entries", with the blog text as that thread's first post.  Editing either the blog entry or the post will update the other.  However, deleting the blog entry will not delete the post or thread.  Likewise, deleting the post, thread or forum will not delete the blog entry.

Finally, I've added another JavaScript code sample page.  This one, entitled "Time", displays my age and the time until my next birthday.  Now nobody has an excuse to miss it!
9th March 2005 19:11:18 GMT
The threads pagination code has been made global and added to the posts, blogs and guestbook.

Administrators have a few more abilities.  As well as up/down-grading and deleting users, the admins can now edit users' signatures, avatars and passwords.

A few other things: the layout has been made slightly cleaner, and profile.php now makes fewer calls to the database.
9th March 2005 17:44:16 GMT
I've added pagination to the threads page.  It's a bit of an improvement on the blogs pagination so I'll probably move it to a global function and use it there as well.
7th March 2005 15:10:36 GMT
Added avatars to the forum postings.  Now users can upload a GIF or JPEG which is automatically scaled down so it's no bigger than 200*100 pixels.  They are also renamed to the user's name to ensure uniqueness.

Also, I've stopped storing a user's signature with their forum posts.  I did this because it was impractical to store the avatar with the post and figured I'd just keep the signature and avatar together.

Something to fix: stop GIFs losing their transparency when scaled down.
2nd March 2005 17:20:55 GMT
Completely changed the colour scheme.  There's still no pagination for the forums, threads or posts, but I decided to go against the slogan and finally add some style.

The menu has been gutted and re-worked.  It now looks identical in IE4 and in Mozilla Firefox.

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