What's New?

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What's New ?

The following changes have been made to our web site since I started this What's New page...:

  • Created a Sandals Grenada 2023 page, and added some pictures and lots of information about the resort, the diving and the food.
  • Created a Mayflower Apartments, Tigaki, Kos, 2023 page, and added some pictures and lots of information about the resort and the food.
  • Created a Thudufushi, Maldives 2023 - Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and information about the resort, the food, and the diving.
  • Created a St Lucia 2022 - Sandals Grande page, describing our holiday in Nov/Dec 2022 in the Caribbean at Sandals, Grande St Lucian in St Lucia.  A description of our flights, our room, the food and drink, and the diving available between Rodney Bay and the Pitons.
  • Created a Grenada 2022 - Sandals La Source page, describing our holiday in May/June 2022 in the Caribbean at Sandals, La Source in Grenada.  A description of our Business-class flights, our room, the excellent food and drink, and the diving available in Grande Anse Bay.
  • Tweaked display of photos to provide a dotted separator between each photo, except for the first and last photos on the page.  Vivaldi doesn't seem to like it, though.
  • Created a Antigua 2021 - Sandals Grande Antigua page, with reviews of the hotel, our room, food and drink, and lots of photos of the resort.
  • Following the last entry, I realised that I needed to make corresponding changes to .htaccess, robots.txt, and sitemap.xml.  Asked Google to re-crawl my site from the new sitemap - a slow process, and an introduction to the word "canonical", which is Google's way of making a simple request complicated.
  • Finally bit the bullet and used Namecheap's control panel to install an SSL certificate for the website for a pleasingly low price.  This means that my page addresses start 'https' instead of 'http', and browsers will no longer flag up my site as potentially insecure (if they still do, perform a hard refresh: Shift+F5, to tell your browser to get the new, secure version).  Click on the padlock icon in your browser's address bar to see the certificate details.  In all honesty, it doesn't make any difference, because nowhere in the entire site do I ask visitors to key in any personal information, so there's nothing to steal.  Anyway, it should make the site look more professional, and it ought to boost me up Google's search page rankings.
April-June 2020
  • Casting about for something to do under Coronavirus Lockdown, I re-scanned all the original photos on most of the pre-2004 pages at higher resolution, and converted the layout of the photos to my more modern standard, which looks far better on mobile devices with small screens.  Some of the images were in fact stills from video camera footage, which were already at maximum resolution - so I've re-used them, but in the more modern layout.
    I also discovered that Firefox had removed support for the dodgy 'noscript' HTML tag.  This broke some of my code (eg Canaries 2011, where I display a Google map, which needs Javascript), so I've had to adopt a different strategy to remove the Map layout if Javascript is turned off, by turning display off in CSS, then promptly turning it back on in js.
  • Created a Thudufushi, Maldives 2020 - Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and information about the resort, the beach erosion on the NE side, the food, and the diving.
  • Created a Grenada 2019 - Sandals La Source page, describing our holiday in May/June 2019 in the Caribbean at Sandals, La Source in Grenada.  A description of our room, the excellent food and drink, the diving available in Grande Anse Bay, and the trips we went on, including a trip to the Grenadines and a sail on an old wooden sailing ship that appeared in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie, together with lots of photos.
  • Created a Thudufushi, Maldives 2018 - Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and information about the resort, the new restaurant layout and my experience trying out an underwater scooter for the first time!
  • Created a Sandals, Grande St Lucian, 2018 page, and added lots of pictures of the hotel, gardens, and underwater life.
  • Created a Thudufushi, Maldives 2017 - Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and a great video of dolphins playing in the dive-boat's bow-wave.
  • Created a Southern England Flight 2016 page, describing a brilliant day out, being flown in a light aircraft by old pal Berni, over southern England, together with lots of photos.
  • Created a Grenada 2017 - Sandals La Source page, describing our two weeks in May/June 2017 in the Caribbean at Sandals, La Source in Grenada.  A description of our room, food and drink, and the diving available in Grande Anse Bay, together with lots of photos.
  • Created an Italy 2017 - Pompeii, Vesuvius & the Amalfi Coast page, covering our three-night short break in Italy, with a review of the Hotel Miramare Stabia in Castellammare di Stabia, a tour of the Amalfi Coast, a tour of Pompeii, and a trip up to the crater rim of Vesuvius.  Lots of photos of all the above.
  • Removed the "Montastic" credit from the front page of my site.  I've been using their excellent service since 2011.  For some reason, they have changed their logo, and the new one is not only ugly, but doesn't say "Montastic", so it had to go.  In addition, I've removed the link to the "Just-The-Name" domain management service from the "About Us" page, since owners BT suddenly decided in January 2017 to close the service down.  I also realised that the "Plusnet" link on the front page uses an old logo, so I've replaced it with Plusnet's latest logo, which was in SVG, which gave me an opportunity to see how SVG works, and how to change it to fit into my page.  But because Plusnet have abandoned domain management, I've removed their logo from our home page, and I've moved both the domain management and the website hosting to Namecheap.  Namecheap now collect incoming "dunbankin.com" emails and forward them to our Plusnet inboxes.
  • Created a Maldives 2017 - Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Raa Atoll page.
  • Created a Maldives 2016 - Athuruga and Thudufushi, Ari Atoll page, with lots of photos.
  • Decided that Fira Sans isn't so good after all, so I've switched the body font to another Google font, "Open Sans".  This looks good in all browsers, and I've found it used effectively on some major commercial sites.
  • Discovered that the Google font "Merriweather Sans", which I've been using for the last few years, has suddenly started reversing the letter combinations "fi" and "fl".  No idea why.  So I've switched the body font to another Google font, "Fira Sans".  This looks good in all browsers apart from Opera and Safari, where the bold variant is too heavy.
  • Created a Maldives 2015 - Thudufushi, Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and a great video of Grey reef sharks and Pilot whales a few days later.
  • Inserted a neat javascript function to automatically add a more complete navigation bar at the bottom of each "Photos" page, with links to Next/Previous Photos pages.  Called from each photo page.
  • Created a Aruba 2015 - Hilton and Bucuti page, with a description of the island, details and photos of the hotels, and the underwater life west of the island.
  • Created a Grenada 2015 - Sandals La Source page, with details and photos of the hotel, the historic Carenage quay in the capital, St George's, and the underwater life in Grande Anse bay.
  • Following a very helpful email from Google, I introduced a site-wide amendment to ensure better display of the website on small-screen mobile devices.  This involved adding a new <meta> tag to the header of every page in the site.  For the Ancestors pages, this meant adding a few lines of Javascript to automatically insert the new tag into the DOM for each page.  The effect is dramatic, and greatly improves the appearance on my mobile phone.  Thanks, Google.
  • Created an Iceland 2015 - Hotel Fron page, with details and photos of the hotel, Reykjavik, the Þingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss waterfall, the Strokkur geyser, and the magnificent Northern Lights.
  • Created a Maldives 2014 December - Thudufushi, Ari Atoll page, with lots of pictures of the seaplane flight over the reefs, the resort and underwater life.
  • Created a Grenada: Sandals La Source page, and added lots of photos of the resort and the underwater life.
  • Created a Maldives 2014 - Thudufushi, Ari Atoll page, and added lots of pictures and a great video of manta rays a few days later.
  • Devised and implemented some javascript code which avoids pages containing Google Maps maps pausing during load (eg Canaries 2011).  I had to add a js function call to the window.onload event to insert the right map html into the container div AFTER the "tabber" code alters the appearance of the page.  Works beautifully.  And I've used a <noscript> tag to ensure folk with js turned off still see the map.
  • Added the Montastic logo to my home page.  I've been using the excellent free Montastic service for the last couple of years.  This web-based service checks your web site at prescribed intervals to make sure it's still up and running.  If your web site disappears for any reason, Montastic will drop you an email.  Thought I should give them a credit.
  • Finally finished uploading photos taken since 2004 from my web space to Flickr.  I started this laborious process in June 2012, so it's taken over a year.  I only get 250Mb of free web space from Plusnet, and it was starting to get a bit full.  I now have bags of free space.
  • Created a France 2013 - Gîte King, Los Masos page, with details of the enjoyable walks we made in the surrounding hills, as well as some sight-seeing around Béziers and the Camargue, including the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct.
  • Discovered that my Youtube video code doesn't work on a Windows Phone 8 mobile.  Altered all instances of the code to Youtube's preferred iframe API code, customised to adapt its size to the available browser window size, which works beautifully.  Then I discovered that if JavaScript is disabled, most browsers won't display my YouTube videos.  So I had to implement a <noscript> version to use YouTube's approved scriptless <iframe> version.  This works in all browsers apart from Google's own 'Chrome' browser, which simply has to have JavaScript enabled.
  • Created a Antigua 2013 - Sandals Grande Antigua page, with lots of photos of the resort and underwater.
11 to 18/5/2013
  • Created a Maldives 2013 - Athuruga, Ari Atoll page, with lots of photos of Athuruga Island and underwater.
  • Discovered Google Web Fonts and applied a couple to the entire site: 'Overlock' for headings and 'Asap' for body text.  This provides a distinctive appearance and a welcome change from Georgia and Arial.  However, although Asap looks great in IE and Firefox, it looks terrible in Opera, Safari, and (believe it or not) Google's own Chrome.  So I'm now using "Merriweather Sans" for the body font.  It also is a welcome change from Arial, and crucially looks good on all browsers, apart from italics, which look a little clumsy.
  • Finally sorted out the Our Holidays list page with a cookie to ensure it remembers which list type (ie listed by Date/Country/Type) you used last.  This has been nagging at me to deal with for the last nine years!
  • Worked out and implemented a neat way of introducing the "breadcrumb trail" navigation aid to the Ancestors pages, using Javascript and the Document Object Model.
  • Implemented a site-wide "breadcrumb trail" navigation aid.  Removed the old Home / Holidays navigation buttons.  Also removed the old "marquee"-style ticker-tape stuff from the Holidays page.
  • Added photos and a video to the Caribbean 2012: Bahamas, Sandals Royal Bahamian page.
  • Created a Caribbean 2012: Bahamas, Sandals Royal Bahamian page.
  • Devised and implemented a javascript-based method of automatically shrinking the YouTube video player to fit in whatever-sized viewport is being used (PC, tablet, smartphone), using Google's swfobject. 
  • Also invented a better, simpler "responsive design" for some of the smaller, older holiday photos using CSS3 and media queries, and started to implement this in older holiday review pages.
  • Changed the appearance of the entire website to look more modern.  Removed the "dust-speckled" background image in favour of a cream background with a drop-shadow effect for the central area in the middle of a light-grey surround.
  • Created and implemented a neat, site-wide, Javascript / HTML / CSS solution for the new Cookie Law (The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 (UK)).
  • Created and started to implement "responsive design" solutions for the holiday review photo pages, so that the photos automatically shrink to fit on smaller viewports (eg iPad, smartphones etc).  Added a drop-shadow effect to the photos using the CSS box-shadow declaration.
  • Started to move the images on my holiday review photo pages from my dunbankin.com domain web space to Flickr, as I'm in danger of starting to run out of web space.  This is a laborious process, so will take some time to complete.  I intend to go all the way back to 2004, when I bought the first digital camera, and the photos really started to consume web space.
  • Created a Maldives 2012 - Athuruga, Ari Atoll page.
  • Added further HTML5 tags (<header>, <footer>, <nav>, etc) to a selection of pages and my CSS, including some marvellous free code from Google which adds HTML5 capability to IE8 and earlier.  Regrettably I can't do anything with <video> because of the current fractured browser support for video formats.  Added Google Maps images to a couple of recent holiday report pages.
  • Created a Fuerteventura, Canaries 2011 - Hotel Oliva Beach page.
  • Produced a neat, cross-browser, tabbed interface to the holiday report pages, by amalgamating A List Apart's "Sliding Doors" tabs and Patrick Fitzgerald's brilliant "Tabber" javascript code.  Organised it so that if javascript is turned off, the pages default back to what they used to look like.  Started applying the new interface to the latest holiday reports.  Also discovered and added the new "border-radius" CSS property to give neat rounded corners to box borders.
  • Added a Austria 2011 - Hotel Olympia, Obergurgl page, and some photo pages - and I've got Flickr to host the images, in order to save my Plusnet webspace allowance.
  • Added photo pages, including several videos, to Athuruga Island Resort, Ari Atoll, Maldives, 2011 page.
  • Created a Athuruga Island Resort, Ari Atoll, Maldives, 2011 page.
  • Created a St Lucia 2010: Sandals, Halcyon Beach and Sandals, Grande St Lucian page, with a sprinkling of HTML5 fairydust.  Added photo pages to it a few days later.
  • Discovered that YouTube videos work in HTML5 simply using the <embed> command, without having to use YouTube's invalid HTML bodge by surrounding it with an <object tag>.  The W3C Validator is now satisfied!
  • Converted the entire site to draft HTML5!  Phew.  Everything now totally latest-standards compliant, except for some odd pages which contain somebody else's code which I either daren't or can't touch, ie some YouTube videos, and the Ancestors pages, which are automatically generated by PAF.   I haven't yet taken advantage of the new features of HTML5, such as <header>, <footer>, <nav> etc, but at least the W3C Validator doesn't gag on my site. 
  • Also tidied up holiday images folder structures.
  • Recreated the London Eye, 2001 video page on YouTube.
  • Created a YouTube-based turtle video for the Athuruga, Maldives, 2010 page.
  • Applied max-width to the body element site-wide, since it is now supported by all current browsers, and is needed due to the power of modern graphics cards and screens.  Anybody still using IE6 had better upgrade...
  • Created a Athuruga Island Resort, Ari Atoll, Maldives, 2010 page.
  • Created a Chaaya Reef Ellaidhoo Island Resort, Ari Atoll, Maldives, 2009 page.
  • Created a A Walk around Mont Lozère, Cevennes, 2009 page.
  • Created a Maldives 2009: Thudufushi, Ari Atoll page.
  • Created a Turks & Caicos: Beaches Resort, Providenciales page.
  • Created a Maldives 2008: Athuruga & Reethi Beach page.
  • Created a Crete 2007 page.
  • Created a Pyrenees 2007 page.
  • Created a Plakias 2006 page.
  • Created Cozumel 2005 Photos pages.
  • Created Plakias 2005 Photos pages.
  • Created a Maldives 2006: Thudufushi & Athuruga page.
  • Created an RSS feed to publicise new resort reports, and removed the mailing-list pages.
  • Created a Carcassonne 2005 page.
  • Created a Plakias 2005 page.
  • Created a Cozumel 2005 page.
  • Added lots of photos to the Vilamendhoo 2004 page.
  • As a result of the DDA acquiring teeth, tidied up some of the main pages and the CSS to make them compatible with WAI Priority AA.  Displaying the WAI logo for most pages.
  • Created a Maldives 2004 - Vilamendhoo page with a resort report.  We returned from this holiday less than a fortnight before the Asian tsunami devastated so many places around the Indian Ocean.
  • Got broadband, revised and tidied up the site before uploading to the new account.  Installed a proper .htaccess file to produce proper server-side redirects for moved pages.
  • Installed a customised 404 error page, using the site's CSS and a more helpful page with links back to the home, site map and holidays pages.
  • Added lots of photos to the Andalucia 2004 page, showing the countryside and the wildlife on our Inntravel walking holiday in Spain.
  • Created an Andalucia 2004 page, describing our Inntravel walking holiday in Spain.
  • Changed the Holidays page to provide a DHTML means of sorting the holiday list by country or by holiday type. For search engine robots and those without scripting enabled, the basic date-sorted table is still available.
  • Created a Maldives 2004 page, with LOADS of photos of our holiday on the tiny island of Athuruga.
  • Added photos to the Thassos 2003 and Mallorca 2003 pages.
Xmas 2003
  • Further tweaks to the Cascading Style Sheet and some pages to improve search engine rankings, remove some more table-based layouts, improve appearance of headings, etc.
  • Created a Mallorca 2003 page.
  • Added lots of pictures to the Provo 2003 and Thassos 2003 pages.  For the latter, I used a CSS-based method instead of a table-based method to lay out the pictures and captions on the page.  Works great in IE, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, and Opera.
  • Created Thassos 2003 page.
  • Created Provo 2003 page, about our holiday in Turks and Caicos.
  • Finally got round to making the video on the A Visit to the London Eye page play properly under both Netscape Navigator and Opera, as well as Internet Explorer.
  • Finished converting the entire site to XHTML 1.0 Strict.  Phew.  Everything now totally latest-standards compliant, except for some odd pages which contain somebody else's code which I either daren't or can't touch, eg the Ancestors pages, which are automatically generated by PAF.
  • Noticed that redefining as XHTML has altered the font size and weight, so adjusted the Cascading Style Sheet to change everything to Arial, and a reasonable size. Looks better now.
  • Added some photos to the Mexico 2002 page. 
  • Added some photos to the Normandy 2002 and Lake Geneva to Lake Neuchatel pages. 
  • Added Mexico 2002 page. 
  • Added John's Ancestors and Linda's Ancestors pages to the All about Us page.  These pages are generated automatically by the Mormons' "Personal Ancestral File" genealogical software.  I'll continue to expand these pages as we find out more about our forebears.
  • Added A long weekend in Normandy and Lake Geneva to Lake Neuchatel pages.
  • Restructured the home page to remove frames and make it a lot faster to load.
  • Added a Join our Mailing List page.
  • Added lots of photos to the Reethi Beach Maldives 2002 page.
  • Decided that the Javascript slideshow page doesn't work very well, so went back to the old-style photos page.
  • Added a Kefalonia page in the Holidays section after receiving an enquiry from a reader thinking of going there.  Experimenting with a Javascript slideshow page.
  • Moved the entire site from Freeserve to Plusnet to see if their free service is any better.  Please let me know if you think it's faster/slower. 
  • Experimenting with an amazing DHTML and style-sheet driven button bar on every page.
  • Spotted and fixed an error in my Style Sheet which was leading Netscape and Opera to make the entire site look even more ridiculous than it already is.  I had in error set whitespace to pre instead of normal in the <body> selector.  Curiously IE ignored the whitespace property altogether, making the site look quite nice.  IE, huh?
  • Fiddled with my Javascript marquee on the holidays page to try and get it working properly under Netscape and Opera.  Opera doesn't seem to respond to the body onresize event.  All the browsers render some things differently - eg only IE responds to <col> tags correctly (the first column of the Holidays table should be centered).
  • Added a Reethi Beach Fish Photos page to Maldives 2002
  • Added Maldives 2002: Reethi Beach page.
  • Added "Search this site" functionality to the Home and the Holidays page, using the free Sitelevel service.
  • Added automated Xmas feel to all pages, added automated footer text to all pages.
  • Added Bird, Dennis, Frigate and Mahe Island Photos pages to the Seychelles 1990 page.
  • Created a Seychelles 1990 page, added text - see later for pictures.
  • Added Keywords and Description meta tags to lots of pages that had escaped.
  • Added lots of pictures to the Thudufushi page.
  • Changed the "marquee" on the Our holidays page to a Javascript "ticker" alternative, which is more acceptable to the W3C HTML Validator.  I adapted one I found on the web somewhere by making it adapt its size to the size of the page, and re-size automatically when the page is re-sized.  It's not perfect, but it'll do.  Every page on this site now approved by the W3C Validator.
  • Attended to some broken links on the HotList page where other people's sites have moved or disappeared.  I was disappointed to find that Dreamweaver doesn't check external links, and the plug-in downloaded from the Macromedia site killed my PC completely when I used it.  I use the brilliant (and free) Xenu to find broken links - it works really quickly and gives you a compendious report. 
  • Amended frameset to conform with HTML 4.01 Frameset Specification
  • Amended all other pages to conform with HTML 4.01 Transitional Specification
  • Added lots of pictures to the Maldives 2000 (Ari Beach) page
  • Started off a Seychelles 1990 page
  • Removed Christmassy feel to Web site
  • Added some more pictures to Vercors 2000 page
  • Started off a Thudufushi 1996 page
  • Added Christmassy feel to Web site
  • Added some pictures to Vercors 2000 page
  • Added pictures to Naxos 1997 page
  • Added Site Map page
  • Added photos and video stills to Cayman Islands 2001 pages
  • Added video stills to Catalan Pyrenees 2001 and Samos 2001 pages
  • Reversed order of Holidays list so that the most recent holidays appear at the top of the table
  • Updated Home page and John's CV following redundancy from CMG
  • Much tidying up following move from Frontpage 98 to DreamWeaver 4
  • CSS applied to some pages which had managed to escape
  • Changes to Home page HTML to ensure correct rendering in IE6.
  • Added this What's New? Page!
  • Added Realvideo sequence on A Visit to the London Eye Page
  • Decided to focus this site on reports about the great holidays we've had, reviews of the hotels, the surroundings etc, warts and all, the things the holiday brochures don't tell you.
    NB: This is before Tripadvisor started!
April 1998
  • Started this whole web site as a means to learn HTML using a "lite" version of Frontpage.

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