04/05/19 07:06
Randy MacKenzie, NM

Randy MacKenzie, NM
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Community Chess Club — about

Why did you start this website?

I wanted a serious website for the CCCR, publishing a membership list, bylaws, news, tournament announcements, cancelations, and members' games. The local chess community needed a more reliable, timely source of information. I sought CCCR accreditation for this site and appointment as CCCR webmaster and Director of Media. At that time the CCCR's website was not actively maintained. But Mike has improved it and it looks passable now. But there is one problem.

Running a local chess website requires the participation and cooperation of local organizers. Collecting needed data for publication proved to be initially problematic. In hindsight it's clear that establishing and maintaining website content is better left to the official powers that be.

And the concensus was that my motives were somehow malevolent and that my calls for rigorously open, honest club government were "too negative." It's true that I come from a different era, ex-military. My values center on morality, literacy and excellence. Today that passes for "negativity."

In fairness they postponed judgement, and later advised me that an official CCCR web site could not include public disclosure of complaints. Completely understandable. It upsets the pansy of fraternity when one of their own is caught. Which used to be regularly.

What's not true is the rumor that I am airing negative aspects of the CCCR without cause. Progress occurs gradually as CCCR reads my commentary and makes improvements. For example, club memberships now expire six months or a year from the date of payment, not universally on 12/31/2019 as before. The membership list is quite an eye sore and you will not find many games in the games database.

At any rate, on September 30, 2008, about 10.71 years ago, I took the plunge and registered this domain. And I was stuck with the name.

"Excellence at Chess is one mark of a scheming mind." (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

How did you learn HTML?

In the mid-1990's, I procrastinated for months in learning HTML, a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.

While playing chess on FICS one bright Saturday morning, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it? A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever.

I resolved to learn HTML. Usually I went inline skating on Saturday. But I fired up the windows for workgroups 3.1 editor and grunged my way through a version of "Hello World" as a link in a web page. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code. True story.

"The Patzer's Lament: I may be losing, but I'm doing it my way!"

Why write valid HTML code?

At the bottom of this page are links to W3C validation tests for W3C HTML5 compliance. The higher the level of conformity, the more uniformly the pages will render among the various browsers. It also helps by catching errors, which I correct. There are other reasons to validate html, including the fact that search engine spiders often can't effectively parse or categorize sites with bad html. Most webmasters write sloppy code and hope that the browser will automatically correct the errors. This is only partially true. This page has cross-browser uniformity, having been tested in chrome, safari, firefox and microsoft edge. It adheres to standard code and validates. The pages generally load quicker without the proprietary browser specific code. But varying degrees of W3C browser compliance affects minor cosmetics such as rounded corners and drop shadows. is probably a good choice.

"I saw my task not in just beating Botvinnik, but in showing that chess I play is more interesting than his." (Bronstein)

Is being a webmaster difficult?

Being a webmaster without a computer is difficult. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2019, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some ten miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.

The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind. And it breaks my heart to reject players' game submissions, but I must maintain high standards.

I learned HTML in the mid-1990's after procrastinating for months. It's a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.

While playing chess on FICS, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it?

A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever. After this lucky break, I resolved to learn HTML. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code.

"In a gambit you give up a Pawn for the sake of getting a lost game." (Samuel Standige Boden)

What's it like being webmaster?

It's difficult because I don't actually own a computer. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2019, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some thirteen miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.

The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind.

"If your opponent offers you a draw, try to work out why he thinks he's worse off." (Nigel Short)

Chewy Verdugal's tech notes

I started with a CSS framework called Twitter Bootstrap. I then moved to Zurb Foundation which I liked a little more.

Current PHP version: 7.2.19 The pgn parser was chesstempo pgn-viewer, now I use pgn4web. The free chess diagram generator is from ChessImager.

The games table uses advanced interaction controls by datatables a jQuery plugin.

JPG's are prepared for the web with gimp and imagemagick. HTML, javascript and css files are edited with Komodo Edit and some are minified by YUI Compressor. Some find the Google closure compiler does a better job of compression.

Tool tips are by qTip2, a fine product. Progressive disclosure is by Zander Labs - Wagstaff. Hyphenation is by hyphenator. The email contact form is filtered by Dominic Sayer's RFC-compliant email address validator php script. Limiting Textarea Text by Stephen Chapman helps protect the contact form from over-zealous posters. Andy Langton's show/hide/mini-accordion is used to show and hide text. CDN Content Delivery Network is by Amazon S3 cloudfront. Fades are by onextrapixel. The HTML template I used is designed by Luka Cvrk, Solucija. I use a Corporate Gibberish Generator™ to help me explain the purpose of this website.

The modals are by Eric Martin's simplemodal and Cody Lindley's jQuery-swip and TinyBox2.

101 Fun Things to Do to Freak Out Your College Roommate! provided snippets of useful humor. The list of things to do while bored helped a bit, too.

This is a Microsoft-free web site. Not a single line of code was written here using any Microsoft product. Instead various flavors of Linux were used, mostly Debian and its derivatives. All but Komodo Edit are open source or GPL. You can have them for free and use them however you choose.

Since the internet itself runs on Linux and 91% of supercomputers run on Linux, a web developer's rig should, too. The best and fastest computers are Linux computers.

"The most important feature of the chess position is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in all phases of the game: Opening, Middlegame and especially Endgame. The primary constraint on a piece's activity is the pawn structure." (Michael Stean)