October 10, 2004

Webmaster’s Report

As with all things CAFA, this past year was marked by a great deal of effort preparing for the AIDA World Championships in Vancouver. This involved the creation of a new website owned by CAFA: aidaworlds2004.com. While much of this effort detracted from time available for the freedivecanada site, much of the development for the aidaworlds2004 site spilled over into the freedivecanada site as a permanent legacy.

One other significant development was that it is now possible for more than just one person to contribute content to CAFA’s websites. Using a version control system and a private domain, Chris Kearney, Julien Nathan and Helen Lightfoot were all able to make direct updates to the sites, finally making the site administration a team effort.

AIDA Worlds Website

Like the competition itself, the aidaworlds2004 website was a quantum leap in the evolution of websites devoted to large freediving competitions. Starting in January, its life cycle had it starting off as an advertisement for the competition itself, then a means of registration of teams, then as a repository for game day results, and now as a long-term record of the event and sales vehicle for post-competition merchandise.

Like the freedivecanada website, the aidaworlds site relied heavily on a MySQL database back end and scripts written in Perl. This allowed for live updates of results from any internet-enabled computer. It also allowed us to keep track of registrations and online payments.

Freedivecanada Website

Many of the features developed for the aidaworlds2004 website were re-worked into the freedivecanada site and vice versa. This resulted in a redeveloped competition database with a number of new features that made it easier to run competitions:

  • Online registration for competitions
  • Online submission of announced performances
  • Competition IN list prior to competiton start
  • Competion scheduler, based on announced performances and settable parameters.
  • Web-based administration of all competition data
  • Web-based administration of Pic of the Week feature

Sadly though, there were a few planned developments that weren’t implemented this year:

  • French version of the site
  • Volunteer database

One other thing to note is that both sites are at the limits of their 20MB storage limits. Moving forward, we will have to either pay for more storage or continue to remove old photos.

Web Team

This is the first time that we have had more than one person contributing pages to the site and I would like to thank Julien Nathan, Chris Kearney, Helen Lightfoot and all of the Pic of the Week contributors for making my life easier. It has been a learning process for all of us and it has been a challenge putting the time and talent available to maximum effect.

Even though the rush of work required for Worlds is now over, the need for a web team is as great as ever. I am back to working for a living and we still need to create the French language mirror of the site and develop the volunteer recognition database.

Moving forward, I would like to farm out some aspects of the job to other members of the web team such as the routine updates to site pages and the Pic of the Week feature. However, I do enjoy working on the automated features and I still intend on completing the volunteer database and streamlining the membership application and renewal process.

Tom Lightfoot

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