About The Site

The Multiwingspan domain is owned and maintained by M Atkinson. The purpose of the site is to allow me to host the web pages that I design as well as to provide additional materials related to the subjects that I teach. Pages produced by students have also published on this web space in the past.

The name is based on a mishearing of a joke in The Fast Show. I was so overjoyed to find a domain name that hadn't been taken (most real words - even obscure ones - were already taken) that I rushed ahead and got it before I realised that I'd made a mistake. It turned out to be quite easy to remember and avoids me having to use numbers to make a unique domain name. If you are looking to choose a domain name, I suggest you jot down as many ideas as you can before checking availability. Obscure, made-up names are less likely to have been taken.

Design Principles

The current design has been developed in order to freshen up the site, draw together some content that had been developed separately from the main site and to ensure that the pages were valid HTML 4.01 strict.

I have finally abandoned the fixed height designs that were used in the past and have decided to focus on 1024x768 as the base resolution for viewing the site. This is the first version of the site to be developed mainly with firefox in mind. In the past, most things worked in all browsers, little niggles were present in non-IE browsers and largely ignored. Not now, my friend. The best experiece of the site comes from using the flame-haired little fox.

I generally try to err on the side of simplicity and make some attempt to consider the needs of the site's visitors. The pages are relatively light on images although there is a fair bit of coding behind some of the pages. The pages are designed to be viewed at 1024x768 on 5th generation browsers or later. The pages are tested in recent versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox.

All pages are passed through the W3C HTML validator and the CSS has also been validated. Click one of the images in the sidebar for more information on valid HTML.

Technologies Used

This version of the site uses a mixture of scripting languages to display material. The structure of the site is produced using PHP to pick up content from text files stored in folders for each section or from MySQL databases . Some materials are stored in a MySQL database and displayed using a range of queries. CSS is used to ensure consistent formatting across the site.

The Dim & Distant

Until recently, the following design was used,

Version 5

Before that, this slightly smaller version was used. This lasted several years.

Version 4

That design was a reworking of the slightly less dynamic version you see below,

Version 3

This design reigned for about 6 months until I spent a day on the site above. I was never happy with this. Looking back it's not hard to see why. Frames all over the place, each section looking different, not much in the way of content.

Version 2

For a while, the Multiwingspan domain contained this monstrosity. It was a shoddily made frame-based layout with each section looking different from the others. It was only meant to be temporary and fortunately it was.

Version 1