Protohub: latest changes

If you are reading this, you hopefully already know that ‘Protohub’ is an experimental site. We are creating a prototype, or ‘mock up’ for the Hampshire Hub and – to begin with – we’re exploring what’s possible using free and ‘nearly-free’ tools.

We will shortly be adding an ‘about’ section which will give some background to the Hampshire Hub project. We will also publish the business case.

We are building the prototype using WordPress, and are trying out different approaches, as well as trying to incorporate some of the functionality we believe is required for a ‘real’ Hub. We decided to do our thinking in public, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

The site is best viewed using a reasonably up-to-date browser.

Viewers accessing this site using older browsers (in particular Internet Explorer 6 or 7)  may encounter problems displaying some of the embedded graphics.

Here’s a quick update on some of the changes made this week:

Related Content

An attempt to automatically display a list of ‘related’ content. Up to five items will be shown in a list at the bottom of each post. The strongest matches should appear at the top of the list. If there’s no related content, a message will be displayed saying ‘no related posts’.

This is achieved via a free WordPress ‘plug-in’ developed by Internet Techies which uses a combination of subject and tags to identify related items. As we haven’t yet developed a standard naming and tagging convention, some items might erroneously appear on the list in the short term. There may also be a better method to achieve a similar result, so it’s very much work in progress.

 Automatic Document Preview

Automatic document preview is being introduced for reports. The idea is that the reader can skim a document before choosing to download it, thereby avoiding the need to open a document in their default desktop application. There is also the option to view the document in full screen, thereby potentially removing the need to download the document at all.

This is achieved via the free ‘Google Doc Embedder’ WordPress plug-in developed by Kevin Davis, and should work for PDFs, MS Office files such as Word documents, and some other formats like TIFF (image) files. Documents can still be downloaded if desired (the document format and file size will be displayed automatically)

 Tabs

Tabs enable more content to be displayed on a web page without cluttering up the screen. There’s an example of tabs being used on the Newsletters page.

This is also achieved – yes, you guessed it – by using a plug-in. In this case we’re using the ‘WordPress Post Tabs’ plug-in written by Internet Techies

About markbraggins

I’m interested in lots of things, in no particular order: society, politics, public services, open data, technology (and what you can do with it), wildlife, photography, the countryside, and long distance walking.
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