A Few Notes on the Site

Laboratorium.net is built around XML pages that are rendered to HTML using an XSL stylesheet; the HTML's appearance is controlled with CSS. The XSL provides the navbar, and the cute mouse-over effects for the quotations at the top of some of the pages. The CSS is responsible for the somber color scheme and the heavy use of Times New Roman.

The site is currently not rendering properly under Mozilla or Lynx. Lynx just fundamentally doesn't have XML support. If I can figure out a cute way to use James' Clark's xt XML/XSL transformtion engine to do the processing on the server side, I may be able to serve up HTML in some fairly grody manner, but this is not my highest priority. XML is a W3C standard, after all.

Mozilla is another matter; it's definitely on the XML bandwagon, so I'm not fully certain what's going wrong. I suspect that the trouble is coming from the way I link the stylesheet to the XML document, and that I'm using some kind of Microsoft-only non-standard method of linking the two. So I'm in the process of investigating what the according-to-spec browser-neutral way of rendering the two together is. Appropriate changes will be made as necessary: we here at the Laboratorium are standards fans, by and large. I'm also looking for a way to generate the main pages themselves by "linking" to a central XML "database" that contains all the item summaries, and, to auto-generate the navbar from some kind of XML descriptor, and to add a few UI widgets so that you, the user can customize your Laboratorium experience,

On the content side, the changes over the next few weeks should largely be a matter of accretion. Various writings that I want to archive on the site are scattered all over the place, so I'll be gradually collecting them, editing them for today's modern media-jaded audience, putting them in the proprietary Laboratorium Standard Textual Data Format, and linking them. The organizational structure of the site is still a bit up-in-the-air; once more of the content is in place, I should have a better idea how I want to break it down by subcategories.

As for what the site means, why it's here and what its goals are, well, you didn't expect me to really tell you that, now did you?