Wednesday, March 11, 2009

It's Here!

The new and improved San Francisco Classical Voice web site launched today - in the last couple of hours, in fact. It looks great, and there are all sorts of useful new features (written and functional).

You should be aware that archived content hasn't been migrated to the new content management system, and all the links to SFCV articles and reviews in my sidebar are now broken (sigh). But here's the URL to my Takacs Quartet review. And I'm quoted in Chelsea Spangler's article on choral singing. Just guessing, but I assume I'm the black belt mentioned in the teaser.


calimac said...

Huh? No it hasn't. In fact there's a note saying it's not up until tomorrow.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Funny, when I type in my browser's address bar, I get the new site. Is this not working for you?

calimac said...

Nor when I click on your link, no. And the link to your Takacs review is broken. And on the front page I do get, there's a section labeled announcements, and the link there leads to the page with the note saying the new site is not up until Thursday.

Lisa Hirsch said...

At both work and at home, if I type into my browser bar I get the new site. I have ideas about why this might be technically so, involving virtual host names, IP addresses, and DNS propagation. That is, my ISP (and Google's) might be picking up the new site sooner than others' ISPs.

calimac said...

Well, you're the one who works for a Web-munging company, but that doesn't make any sense to me. When I go to a site, the ISP pings that site, it doesn't load a cached copy from my computer. The only thing I can think of is that sites sometimes give different results depending on which browsers or some other settings the user has, but why SFCV would have set it up that way is mystifying.

Anyway, it's up now, and some of the features are great, but I see that nobody paid any attention to the confusing navigation issues I wrote in about after seeing the mockup. On top of which, I hate flashing graphics, and much of the heading material simply disappears if I change my display color preferences. As usual with web redesigns, everything done to make it "easier" has made it "harder" instead.

calimac said...

And most of the archives seem to have vanished, at least for now (I don't mean just that the links are broken, I mean they're not there at all), and the search engine has not fully indexed the archives that are not there, and somebody has retroactively changed my author blurb on some of my old pieces without my permission or even notifying me, to something I do not approve of. I am seriously grieved.

Lisa Hirsch said...

The archived content isn't all switched over yet. I can tell you that searching the new site for my name at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. got different results. The old material will get there, but with new URLs.

As far as "that doesn't make any sense to me" - here's a fuller explanation of why I was able to see the new site at the public URL before you, before Janos, before, apparently, almost everyone else.

Computers on a network, whether it's my 3-computer home network or the Internet, are identified by an IP address (for example, and a host or domain name. When a user tries to go to a web page, the process is more complex than what you describe. You type in a domain name (, and between that and when the page is fetched for you, the Domain Name Server (DNS) system checks for the IP address associated with the domain name.

This is necessary for a number of reasons. A large public web site - say, the NY Times - doesn't run on just one computer. It runs on a large number of web servers that have different IP addresses associated with amounts to a virtual host name that has multiple IP addresses associated with it.

Here's how the SFCV switchover must have happened: IP address A was associated with the old site, IP address B with the new site. The switchover was made not by removing the old content and putting up the new content, but by changing the IP address (or addresses) associated with the domain name.

Changes like this take time to propagate through the DNS system. I do not need to spell out why the company I work for would want to have the latest DNS info as fast as possible, I presume. My ISP is Speakeasy, and I guess they are just faster at getting updated DNS info than some other ISPs.