From the mid 90s to the late 00s Darrell Dwayne Mobley ran several hobby rocketry web sites and services including Rocketry Online, Rocketry Planet, and INFOcentral.1 Rocketry Online included a forum, email service, and an online rocketry “magaizine” in all its was a Web 1.0 glory. It shut down in 2009. Darrell passed away on August 8th, 2011.
I revived INFOcentral at info-central.rocketlabdelta.com. The mission of INFOcentral was to help make hobby rocketry accessible to a wide audience. That mission will continue in this new decade.
The site itself is part nostalgia and part technology demo. Everything is publically available on GitHub. In the process of coverting pages in the Internet Archive to a modern, live website I:
- Extracted, normalized, and cleaned up the HTML using batch transformations
- Converted all in-text and in-image formulas to LaTeX presented by MathJax
- Redrew branding elements in SVG
- Designed a mobile-first responsive template with several grid breakpoints
- Created a print-friendly style sheet so that images and text would print quickly and correctly (that’s for people who like to print to PDFs)
- Packaged the site as an offline-capable progressive web application (PWA)
- Tuned site performance with Lighthouse & WebPageTest
- Made extensions to the tempting engine for greater control for image presentation and cache controls
I am proud of how the site turned out. However, there are three problems with the legacy INFOcentral content:
- Copyright. I took a stab at addressing it here but I’m no copyright lawyer. If I were starting a new site it would be wise to start over from scratch unless the origional individual contributors agreed the republication.
- The site is a loose collection of articles, not a wiki-style knowledge base. The information architecture needs work.
- There is a lot of content that didn’t age very well e.g. rules and regulations, anything about specific electronics, etc.
Please take a look around. There’s a lot to explore!