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The Audio Description Project

How the Audio Description Project Website is Maintained

For the few geeky people among the visitors to this website who wonder about certain aspects of how the ADP website is maintained, this page is for you!  This page was last updated on September 23, 2021.

Basic Facts

How the 'Titles With AD' Pages Are Maintained

Arguably, the 15+ pages which comprise "Titles with AD" are the heart of the website.  The number of pages continues to grow each year with the introduction of new streaming services.  The individual pages are maintained in a variety of means as noted below.

Non-Streaming Services

Streaming Services

Ideally these pages would all be created programmatically from data supplied by the streaming service to me, and that remains my objective!  I only get some of them that way now.  When I get the data from the service, it typically arrives as an Excel spreadsheet, and my program reads in all the data (from a .csv file), alphabetizes it, and extracts the key information like genre and rating to create the alphabetized index you see on the website.  Please note my discussion of title discrepancies below!

More on Netflix:  Every two weeks I get a spreadsheet from Netflix that I post-process for three reasons:

  1. It serves to validate that I have correctly extracted all described titles from the website and removed pulled ones.
  2. I periodically run a program to compare the Netflix-chosen genre for each title against my choice from those offered when I do the manual lookup of each title during the week.  I may or may not make changes based on this comparison, but I usually do.
  3. Netflix includes information about all the titles they have which contain description tracks in languages other than English.  I use this data to build my USA Netflix Shows Audio Described in Languages Other Than English page.  This is the only such listing in the world.

Complications

There are two types of complications that I have to deal with when processing data from vendors programmatically.

The first is title, rating, and genre changes.  Sometimes I get a title which is incorrect in some manner.  Examples:

The second complication is self-imposed:  I like to do my users a favor and list ADDITIONS since the last listing where it is convenient to do so.  This means I have to track the date-of-first-entry for each title, then compare the current list against the previous one, looking not only for additions, but how long ago the addition occurred so I can mark it as ADDED in the listing for a couple of weeks.  Turns out that's a lot of code!

Supporting Code

There are numerous other programs I have written to support the website.  For instance, to create the Master AD list, I dynamically extract all the current titles with AD from all the HTML pages for each service, then combine them into a consolidated listing.  Also, I periodically run a program to compare all the listings of DVDs over the years with the Alphabetic listing and the Children's Described DVDs listing to make sure I haven't missed any or placed them out of alphabetical sequence.  In the second half of 2020, I implement some JavaScript to allow listing titles on pages by rating and (where available) by year; and I created a Christmas-Themed Videos listing which gets automatically updated year-round.  In 2021, I worked on improving and generalizing title sorting to include listing only Movies or Series, for example, and simply presenting results on a single HTML page.  This is all done via JavaScript - an interesting exercise to say the least!  I also implemented a page which accumulates and presents only the last 10-days of updates for all the streaming and other services.  Finally, in September 2021 I was asked to introduce more white space into the website, which I did, along with modifying a few other things like colors and other presentation characteristics here and there.

The Other Pages

There is not a lot to say about the other 100+ pages on the site, as they are all hand-coded content.  The most dynamic page is the main page, of course, which I update every Tuesday.  (It's Tuesday because that's the day of the week new DVDs are released.)  I review AD-related information that I receive from ADP Committee members, users of the website, and stuff I find on my own to determine new articles.  I list any new DVDs and/or new TV shows with description.

Periodically I update support material in the Reference section of the main page (such as the "Audio Description: Where and How" report) or other support material elsewhere.

Mobile and Accessibility Support, Plus How-To ...

  1. Accessibility support is discussed on a separate page:  Accessibility of this Website.
  2. Mobile support is implemented via the method I discuss in an article on my own home page:  Making a Website Mobile Friendly.
  3. Additional mobile technology is discussed in my article:  Automatic Resizing of Images for Mobile Devices.
  4. And while we are covering how-to stuff, you can also see my articles on:  How to Build a Web Page Programmatically and CSS for Images and Tables to Comply with HTML5 Standards.

Questions?

If you have any questions about how the site is put together, drop me a line via the Webmaster link below.

Fred