Fixing Ripley

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The Ripley system is the name currently used for the old BBC engine that served h2g2 so well before Barlesque and Pliny came along. It supports the Classic (Goo), Alabaster, Brunel and Plain skins. We've been told that no development is being done in Ripley, so if we find any bugs they won't be fixed. Nevertheless, I've a feeling that if there were a simple fix for the bug such as changing a CSS text file, the powers that be (NPL) might actually make a change. So I'm recording any bugs I find here. There's an equivalent page for Fixing Pliny.

table, th, td {
border: 1px solid black;
border-collapse: collapse;

Priority: 1=Most Important, 5=Least Important.

The Plain skin is full of bugs so I'm listing it separately. The other skins are reasonably OK.

14BrunelHeaders and Subheaders displayed identically.
23All Ripley skinsLinks with a HREF to a https site don't work.

Secure Links Bug

Many sites, including h2g2 itself, now use secure hypertext protocol (https) instead of unsecure (http). A link to an external site using LINK HREF will not work if the external site's address (URL) is to https. You can change the address to http and almost always it will work although this is not guaranteed. But if you cut and paste an address from the browser into a LINK tag it won't work unless you remember to change the https to http. This is not a problem in Pliny but applies to all the old skins.

Secure Link to Google

Brunel Header Subheader Bug

I thought I saw what was the cause of this many years ago and informed the Eds but either they couldn't fix or they never tried.

This is a header

This is a subheader

Brunel uses the following CSS file:


The full URL for this appears to be:

The actual code produced for the above header and subheader does distinguish between header and subheader:


<font face="Trebuchet MS, arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="4" color="#ffffff" class="poshead">

<b>This is a header</b>




<font face="Trebuchet MS, arial, helvetica, sans-serif" size="3" color="#ffffff" class="poshead">

<b>This is a subheader</b>



You can see that one is set to size 4 and the other to size 3. These must be overridden by the 'poshead' entry in the CSS. This says:

.poshead{color:#CC3300;font-family:Trebuchet MS,arial,helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:medium;}

This seems to set font size to medium, overriding the size 3 and size 4 of the header and subheader. I suspect that if you remove "font-size:medium;" from the CSS, it will work.

Bugs in the Plain Skin

The plain skin was never an official skin during the BBC days. If there was anything wrong with it, the techs would fix it when they felt like it. A number of bugs appeared in it as a result of changes elsewhere in the site, and then the BBC ruled that no further work should be done on the plain skin, so they have never been fixed. As a result it has more bugs than any of the other Ripley skins, and it is worth listing them separately.

Bug#Short DescDetail
1Sign out doesn't workWhen you click on 'Sign out' option in left menu, it says you've been signed out but in fact you haven't. To sign out, you must switch skins to one which has a Log out or Sign out option at the top of the screen.
2Stylesheet option doesn't workIf you try to change the stylesheet using Preferences, it doesn't work, and you can't change it back easily because the default points to a non-existent file.
3H2G2IMG pictures don't displayH2G2IMG pictures are not displayed although old-fashioned blobs are. The URL generated includes a space between the path and the filename. This prevents the file being found. I suspect the path is held in some configuration file and has a space at the end of it.
4My Conversations pop-up doesn't workThe My Conversations pop-up box doesn't mark the entries that have not been seen by you yet. It also doesn't refresh properly, so that after a minute or two it is displaying the wrong thing.
5Info page is blankThe Info page has template text but doesn't fill in the information, saying things like "There are currently Edited Entries in the Guide". There should be a number before Edited Entries.
6Footnote links don't linkFootnote numbers display correctly, but clicking on the number doesn't bring you to the footnote. Clicking on the number attached to the footnote doesn't bring you back.

Plain Stylesheet Bug

The default stylesheet for plain is listed in the wrong place. If you go into Preferences and leave the Stylesheet field blank, select White and click Save, the stylesheet is set to:

This file doesn't exist, so the style changes to a very basic one with, for example, headers and subheaders displayed as plain text.

You need to enter the following into the Stylesheet field:

This is the correct location of the stylesheet. After you've saved your preferences, you'll find that headers are now displayed correctly.

Some More Investigation

<img border="0" src="

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