About

This is an info-only and non-commercial website free of advertisements, trackers, web bugs, cookie monsters, and their nefarious ilk.

These notes started with a list of eleven swims in South Jersey for the 1999 season, when few events had websites. Their purview grew to about three dozen swims by 2013, mainly along the full Jersey Shore. A wintertime project to expand the scope, a little, seemed like a good idea during the chilly Polar Vortex of 2014. Then my initial sources cascaded into still more sources. The hoped-for value added to these scattered sources is to provide a concise and reasonably comprehensive resource with convenient organization so that swimmers can find events quickly and easily.

The underlying database for these notes is ultimately a collection of links to the swims' websites. Each season, the links are checked for new dates; that's manual labor. From time to time, swimmers and organizers kindly email corrections, additions, and cancellations—friendly help that's appreciated. The original database recorded a handful of races then generally-known to open-water swimmers along the Jersey Shore. Posting these to a website was a natural expedience to replace bespoke emails sharing each season's schedule, to regulars and newcomers alike. Other swimmers maintained local schedules, too, some on paper and some online. These helped to seed the cascade of websites informing the current database. Now, the roster changes at the margins: a swim added here, a swim dropped there.

For the technically curious

Once the database is updated, code takes over. That's where the fun is.

These pages use plain HTML markup with CSS for style, ready and waiting for your browser without the intervention of JavaScript or PHP. Your browser can thus display schedules in a jiffy once it has downloaded a few small files. The HTML and CSS files are validated with W3C tools, and they are reviewed mainly under Firefox, my preferred browser. Occasionally, they are checked under alternative browsers Midori, Chromium, and Falkon. Once in a blue moon, they are checked under Safari and Chrome.

The underlying database comprises a directory of multiple YAML files, wherein each file typically holds the information for swims in one state. There's more flexibility than that, though. A separate YAML file describes the regional schedules, as listed on the home page. This simple arrangement facilitates the manual entry and organization of gathered data. Hand-crafted, locally-sourced Perl code (with some parts imported) transforms the database into the final HTML files, and rsync uploads these to my web host.

My development platform is the Fedora distribution of software from GNU, Linux, & Friends.