Lloyd Robert Borrett

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ex HMAS Canberra Web Site

In October 2006 I joined the Victorian Artificial Reef Society (VARS), the Victorian dive community group behind the push to secure, prepare, sink and dive the ex HMAS Canberra as an artificial reef dive site for Victoria.

In due course VARS decided it would need a web site for the ex HMSA Canberra project. Initially this web site would keep people informed on the progress of the project to prepare and sink the warship. However, the brief is also that this web site would become the focus point for information on the ex HMAS Canberra dive site once the warship was sunk. Plus it is hoped that this web site can become the focus for promoting Victoria as a world class temperate water diving destination. Thus the web site had to cover other Victorian dive sites, dive operators and accommodation providers.

Design Philosophy

The design of the ex HMAS Canberra web site uses the same elements as the VARS web site for continuity. The result is a new CSS based table-less template, meeting the requirements. Considerable efforts were also made to build in improved support for accessibility standards.

The Tools

The following software tools were used to build the ex HMAS Canberra web site:

  • Etomite CMS
    (running on a Linux platform using Apache, MySQL, PHP and phpMyAdmin)
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v7.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Adobe PhotoShop CS2
  • Adobe ImageReady CS2
  • Adobe Illustrator CS2
  • WS_FTP for Windows
  • HTML Tidy
  • NoteTab Pro
  • TopStyle Pro


The ex HMAS Canberra web site runs using the Etomite Content Management Systems, an open source solution released under the GNU license scheme. Etomite is a CMS solution built using the PHP scripting language with MySQL for the database.

A feature of this web site is the way Google Maps is being used to show the locations of dive shops, dive sites etc.

A JavaScript and CSS based drop down menu is used for the main menu, the data for which is generated by an Etomite snippet. The secondary navigation menu is a simple list, generated by an Etomite snippet and styles with CSS.

The ex HMAS Canberra web site is hosted by JaguarPC on servers running the Linux operating system, using the Apache web server.

Web Standards

The ex HMAS Canberra web site respects W3C standards. The web site is currently validated to XHTML 1.0 Transitional with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The web site also conforms to a number of accessibility standards.

Site Construction

Various page elements were built and/or adapted to the colour scheme chosen using Adobe PhotoShop CS2.

Then it was time to write the content, and build the required web pages.

The Results

The ex HMAS Canberra web site looks best on 800 x 600 or better resolution displays.

The ex HMAS Canberra web site went live late in March 2007.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 30 October 2007

ex HMAS Canberra Web Site
ex HMAS Canberra Web Site
March 2007

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