About

This website represents a database of parking options in several formats—as HTML, GPX, PDF, and ePub files. The main job in building this website is to aggregate and augment AT parking information from multiple sources into a single repository underlying all presentation formats. The resulting database comprises a collection of YAML files, each of which describes parking for a single AT section. By and large, the database is currently growing south into Tennessee and eventually north into Maine. In-between sections are added in fits and starts (because I hiked them before starting this project); Maryland most actively.

Programming tools transform the database into the many files of the website; there's real work in developing these tools, too. Hand-crafted and locally-sourced Perl code generates final HTML and GPX files along with intermediate TeX files directly from the database. Tex Live renders the intermediate TeX files, actually LaTeX files, into the final PDF files. The ATP icons are hand-coded in a master PostScript file, and ImageMagic converts PostScript's vector graphics to raster images for web browsers and ePub readers. For each overview map, Perl code customizes a little handmade JavaScript that calls on the Leaflet library to do the mapping. The Perl code managing the website is smart enough to update only the files affected by changes to the database, style files, or HTML chrome. Standard rsync takes care of synchronizing those files with the website you are now browsing.

All web pages except the overview maps and all downloadable files are complete—there's no while-you-wait processing by the server or your browser when you open a page or download a file. The web pages are marked-up with in straight HTML5 and styled with CSS3. Only the overview maps use JavaScript, which needs to load external resources from map providers; delays are possible. All other web pages should open in a jiffy once your browser fetches them.

The web pages are validated with W3C tools for HTML and CSS. They are reviewed mainly under Firefox. Occasionally, they are reviewed under alternative browsers Midori, Chromium, and Falkon. Once in a blue moon, they are reviewed under Safari, Chrome, and Microsoft Edge. The ePub files are further validated with EpubCheck, and they are lightly reviewed in Calibre software and on a NOOK e-reader. Support for CSS style-sheets and for Unicode glyphs varies among browsers and e-readers. If Firefox and Calibre are happy, then these notes are happy; there's no attempt to accommodate laggard viewers. GPX files are validated with the Xerces XML Parser. Spelling is checked with Hunspell.

The development platform for the database and code alike is the Fedora distribution of GNU, Linux, & Co.