Techie Corner

Almost all of us have a list of web sites we browse daily for updates. For some of us, the list is in our browser’s Favourites or Bookmarks, for others the list is just in our heads. Anyway, you find yourself loading ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty or more sites a day and then you notice some of them aren’t being updating often, so you stop going there.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew ahead of time what sites were active, so your time was spent reading rather than waiting for a stale site to load.

There is a way!!! Syndication is the name but the key to it all are News Feeds & News Readers. The former exports the news from a site while the latter imports the updated news and displays it!

How to find a News Reader? Here’s a good description from the BBC: News Feeds and News Readers.

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Back already? Good!

To sum up! When you spot an orange icon like this FeedIcon-16 it shows the site has a feed. Click the icon then your browser will present some News Feeds. Select one from their supplied list and you’re cooking with gas! Bookmark/Favourite your choice, then go back to that News Reader periodically and you’ll see everything new since your last visit.

Wasn’t that easy?


As mentioned in this site has changed.

What’s changed? Well, all the old DRA postings are still on the site but you might have noticed that the packaging is slightly different.  We’re now using WordPress, a change that will make it easier for you to navigate our site & easier for our staff to maintain, update and add new features to our site.  For example, we’ve already used a new feature to go through our archives and correct the changed or broken links.

We’ve also thrown away the directory /DRANews and rooted everything in the top directory because the old and new systems URLs would have conflicted.

So what has REALLY changed?

  • There’s a new linkage convention! In simpler words, that’s the naming mechanism behind the name of the item.
  • If you had a bookmark for an item on the old system, you will have to locate the item and re-bookmark it.
  • If you came here from a search engine, the search engine may still have the old linkage but,  in time, all web spiders will visit our site and correct the information. albeit gradually.
  • If you were using RSS to link to our site, you’ll have to resubscribe using

You may notice slight differences with our website. The old items should still be in the system but you’ll notice there are new features.

If you bookmarked an old address in the old system, you will have to bookmark it again as directories changed.

  • We have an Events Calendar prominently displayed so, at a glance, you can see what’s coming up. So with this we can announce again that we welcome announcements of Dunbar Events, big and small. Email
  • Across the very top are the Titles of descriptive blurbs that used to be in the right Sidebar. Easier to navigate to and it frees up “real estate” in the sidebar!
  • A Search box so you can search our website and zero right in on a topic.
  • Categories can contain one or more sub-categories, as you will notice in the sidebar.
  • The monthly Archives are visible.
  • Tags are the newest feature. Every posted item can have a blurb, picked at our discretion, that sums up the item. In the sidebar is a “Tags Cloud” that shows the frequency of the tag. As these tags are handpicked, they will be slowly adjusted in the future. Just let your mouse float over the Cloud, have a look at the separate tags and click the one you’re interested in.
  • A Weather Report has been added to the Sidebar. True that we can look out the window for the weather but there is a 5 day forecast. Our distant readers can see at a glance our Dunbar weather.

Having done this switch-over we will be looking at adding other features perhaps even updating the look of our site so we can display more material onscreen.

Email if you have a comment or see errors. There are still things to do… and undo.

I’m sure the techies already know this about the website but I must spread the credit.

In the big picture I did very little, except make a few decisions.

  • I chose Nucleus CSM. It’s a programmer’s system that fronts a database and provides programmable interfaces for skin developers.
  • I chose “Connections” for the DRA “skin“. A skin provides the look plus the code that hooks the skin to Nucleus.
  • I customized Connections for the Dunbar site. Its developer selected the colours, the layout and the tools. I just customized the “top” navigation & right hand menu.
  • I imported and “categorized” the old web pages into the new system.


  • Tom Grant, my predecessor, did a great job building the original Website and much of his information has travelled into the new site. I asked Tom to view this site and was so relieved by his encouraging comments. I truly appreciate the time put into Tom’s photographic study of Dunbar… and his Dunbar Video!
  • Tom also picked our website server, Real Magic Online, who have supplied a very stable platform plus a great choice of Webmaster tools already on the server.
West 23rd on a “rare” snowy day.
Pacific Spirit Park looking east to King Ed & Crown on Dec 2 2007
Fall fioliage on te htrail into PSP at King Ed and Camosun
Pacific Spirit Park looking east to King Ed & Crown in Fall 2007
Original Web site photo
Dunbar Fall foliage; photo by Tom Grant