Conversion to a CMS
The GENUKI service, which has now been running for 20 years, is being given a major overhaul to make it easier for page maintainers to maintain and develop, both now and in the long-term future. Because of GENUKI's size and the fact it is run by volunteers this is being done in stages. During the transition, all pages will remain available. We are attempting to keep things as similar as possible to the previous look and feel of the GENUKI system, but there have to be a few minor changes as part of the process. What GENUKI users should see is greater consistency across the counties and a new DRUPAL-based search facility - see below. Then in the future we will have a framework that enables us to provide additional ways of viewing GENUKI's data.
It is expected that the transition will take a number of further months to complete. At present the pages at the UK and Ireland level, and those for England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland, together with a nearly all of the counties in each of these four countries have been converted. The few remaining county and parish pages are now being dealt with, county by county. Details of the current state of progress are shown in our Conversion Status page, which provides a regularly-updated set of tables listing which sections of GENUKI have already been transferred to DRUPAL, and which are currently being worked on. This page is intended to enable GENUKI maintainers and users to monitor how we are gradually moving the information (text, maps, etc.) that GENUKI makes available to users carefully into the new system, whilst aiming to ensure that there is minimal disruption to our normal service.
For those interested in the technical aspects, we are moving to the use of DRUPAL, a highly-regarded and widely-used Content Management System (CMS). A CMS such as DRUPAL takes over responsibility for the management of a website's data (i.e. "information content"), and the look and feel of the website, leaving the website's maintainers to concentrate on providing the website's information content without the need to know the technical details of constructing and formatting web pages. This also makes it easier to ensure consistency of presentation of information, and - when so wished - to introduce site-wide changes and new facilities. However the principal motivation for the change to the use of DRUPAL is, as indicated, in order to ease the task of current GENUKI maintainers, and in particular to make it easier for us to recruit additional people to help maintain and develop GENUKI. (Hopefully we will be able to bring on board further people who know about family history even if they have little prior experience of web page creation, as a lot of the computer expertise that has to date been involved in maintaining GENUKI pages is removed from the maintainers' task.)
GENUKI's address remains http://www.genuki.org.uk. As users navigate around GENUKI they should be able to move seamlessly between old and new style pages. Links to pages outside GENUKI are marked with a little icon - a small square and upward pointing arrow. Many of the addresses (URLs) of GENUKI pages now held in DRUPAL remain identical to those the pages originally had, others have undergone simple transformations. For example, county and parish pages can still be accessed, e.g. from other websites, using their original URLs, e.g. "
big/eng/LAN/Lytham/", but the URLs of topic pages within counties and parishes no longer include the suffix "
.html". (If you spot any errors, e.g. misformatted text, faulty links, in the newly-converted pages please report these using the contact link at the bottom left of the page in question.)