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Website work in progress

It's becoming a bit hard to keep track of things, so this entry is mostly for my own benefit: I'm working on four additions to the website in WillowCMS:
1. A new Cast section. This would be the fourth version of the Cast section. All images on the index come from the database entries for the individual pages, so the index will build itself.
2. A Guest Comics section. The old guest fourtnights and any other guest material that already exists will be kept rigorously separate from the main archive. Future guest comics will run as new chapters in the main archive hierarchy but will be moved to the guest comics section when the normal run resumes. Not that I'm planning to have a new guest event in the near future; they're a bit high-maintenance for my tastes. They demand new bling on a regular basis otherwise they get all catty and threaten to withhold sex.
3. An Archive Listing page. This is the most urgent, because there's already a big ol' button on each page pointing to "Archive" that doesn't work.
4. Full-chapter pages for fast browsing. Example

For all four additions, the status is that they're unfinished and that they need me to improve my understanding of WillowCMS (or at least get good documentation to copy/paste from), completely revamp the HTML code, have Mithandir fix the latest bugs in WillowCMS and/or do a lot of fixing in the database before they're ready for prime time. I only mention them now to show that WillowCMS can indeed do them, and to help me remember to work on them.

The full chapter pages don't need much - they're not linked to one another due to a minor bug in WillowCMS, but otherwise all I need to do is make them prettier.

The cast pages are straightforward, CMS-wise, except that I don't know yet how to properly set up tables using the CMS tags. It's easy if you have a row for each database entry linked to, but if you have multiple entries in a fixed-length row, it gets a bit complicated. Programmers would be able to do it, but they're usually clearer thinkers than I am, and have the andvatage of actually knowing the language they're coding in.

The other two will require work on the database itself. The tag code on the archive listing page will be pretty hairy no matter what, but it will only work if all chapters have the same structure. As it is now, some chapters have subchapters and others don't. That makes jumping through the hierarchy to show the chapter picture and have it link to the first node at the appropriate level difficult if not impossible. The guest comics are in a different hierarchy, but will probably end up requiring the same treatment to prevent the weirdness that shows up in the final "next comic" link.


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