Activity report for mid-March—mid-April, 2004

by Ivan Kurmanov

This is about my work during March, 18th - April, 21th period, year 2004.

RePEc Author Service transfer

At the start of this period we transferred HoPEc service from irwell machine in Manchester to ACIS software on the xerces machine.

Soon after the new service became visible to the internet, I started importing HoPEc’s ReDIF templates.  At least one and a half week since the service launch I’ve been doing little development work.  I monitored the importing process.  I monitored the users’ interactions with the service.  I fixed some problems that were appearing and bugs that became visible.

Special treatment of some old HoPEc URLs

HoPEc profile quick-access URLs like are caught and a special page with explanations is brought up.


Then I returned back to development.  The main areas of my work during that time were:

Research profile and automatic search

Christian Zimmermann reported these issues:

Name variations

Automatic name variations suggestion on the name details screen (JavaScript).  Tested in IE5, IE5.5, IE6 (on Windows), in Opera 7, in Mozilla.  Degrades gracefully in IE4 — no warnings appear.  Made special workarounds for bugs in Opera and IE 5.  Identified a bug in Opera 7 and reported it to the Opera developers.

Have not tested in Netscape 4.xx; still have not installed it, which is not good, I know.

An alternative color theme

I made an alternative, “brownish” CSS stylesheet for ACIS. Its only difference from the main one is the color-set. Exactly 10 lines long, not counting comments and whitespace, it offers a completely different look to the service.

Users can switch the theme by clicking a link at the bottom of each page.  The user’s preference will be stored in a cookie and will be used automatically on the next time a page is loaded.  The switcher is hidden from non-javascript browsers.

Tested in IE 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 on Windows and Opera 7, Mozilla. Degrades well in IE4.  While making this work, I found another Opera 7 bug; have not yet identified and reported it.

Credits: Paul Bowden’s Style Switcher technology (with minor modifications) as published in A List Apart.

Administrative functions

Admin’s search for documents, profiles and users facility, /adm/search screen.  Not finished, but already usable.

TO DO: admin’s facility to edit or remove an account (profile).


Performance improvement attempt.  Probably insignificant in the general course of events, but looked like a good thing to do—make some specific perl module loading lazy.  Thus avoiding to load some Perl modules, until they are really needed.

Other things done