The Diamond Mine: Part I|
The Telnet BBS List get some automation.
In early 2002, while surfing the Web, I discovered The Diamond Mine
and their online Telnet Bullentin Board listing. Being a
former BBS system operator from the pre-WWW days, I took an interest and downloaded their offline list.
Among other things, inside the zip file I found an appeal for assistance maintaining the site. It seems the
site was being manually maintained and updated. At that point, the site consisted of detailed and short listings
for each letter of the alphabet and for newly listed boards. There were approximately 400 listings at that time and
the site consisted of a total of 54 static pages, each of which needed to be manually updated monthly.
I contacted David Perrussal, the site owner, and offered my help.
Over the next two weeks, I went through the detail listings page for each letter and transferred each entry into a database.
I then set to programming, being careful to maintain the same layout and design already used by Dave. The result was
4 Active Server Pages (ASP). These 4 pages dynamically rendered all of the same content that the original 54 pages did by
reading in a variable passed to them, querying records from a database and sending HTML to the client browser.
The listing could now be maintained in one database and the content of the pages could be dynamically displayed. No more manually
updating HTML which led to errors and took up hours of Dave's time every month!
In addition to rendering the content in the tables, the underlying code for the ASP pages changes the page title, page header
and table footer appropriately for each view rendered. Dave also asked me if I could create a way of generating the text file
lists for the offline zip file. The result was a VBA script in the database. Using the same data which renders the web pages,
the script produces two text file lists for the offline zip file.
For examples of the short listings, please follow the links below:
For examples of the detailed listings, please follow the links below:
The Saga Continues.....