General guidelines

Here are some guidelines for structuring themes for the site.

Each theme will have a background image or color. This can consist of multiple images chosen at random or specific to certain pages. They can also be selected based on the size of the clients browser window.

Each page on the site has a menu bar with links to the other pages in the site. This can be a single sidebar like it is now, or it can be a dropdown menu with subpages. Text, graphics, javascript, or flash. Whatever works.

I'm looking to place the site logo on each page somewhere. You can create a new logo that is tied to your theme.

It is not necessary to do any dynamic coding beyond that necessary to demonstrate some feature. The page will be recoded regardless. All I'm looking for is a look & feel. What I DO need from you is a full html document for what you want the front page to look like. You are free to create it by hand or with an application like frontpage. I intend to copy/paste source from the document you give me into the dynamic programs that generate the page layouts. If you would like any of the auxillary pages to have a layout different than the default, please submit a page example of those as well.

Specific Pages

Main Page

This is the primary page accessed by the user when they go to the domain. For a first time visitor, a standard theme will be selected, either something similar to what I have now, or something equally inititive, and not a heavy reliance on external plugins (flash, java, etc). After a user creates an account, they'll be able to use any of the available themes, and as long as they have cookies enabled, they will be able to view their chosen theme from then on.

In addition to the generic specifications, the main page has the following additional specs:


There needs to be space for a 320x240 webcam image. This will be either a javascript based motion jpeg, serverpush based multipart jpeg, asf, mpeg, Realmedia, and possibly some other type of streaming format I have yet to get working.

There needs to be a way to control the lamps.

There needs to be some way to drive the vehicle when the car/boat's cam is in view. Likewise, there needs to be some way to pan/tilt/zoom the camera if that camera is capable. Check out the RC Car cam for an example.

There needs to be some way to select another cam, and this number of cams is likely to be anywhere from 6 to 20, and not always the same number.

Needs to be some way to capture pictures of the current cam.

Some way to popup the current cam in a popup window.

Some way to send messages from the webpage.


Icons for the lamps, fans, computers, motion sensors, and cams. Cam icons can be simple static icons or static or dynamic images of the cams themselves in thumbnail size. Icons for the other features can update based on their current status.

Brief instructions. A detailed instruction page is available, and one will be available for each theme to help guide people. But quicky instructions and labels that fit well on the page might be useful

Time, temperature, number of people watching, and any other statistics that are easy to come up with.

A blurb about the site

Manifest/Visitors Page

I used to have two separate pages for the people. One for those who visited the house, and another for those who only visited online. Now I'm mixing the two together into a new dynamic form. This form can also be themed. The default right now is the same layout as the current visitors page. Another example is here.

Each visitor uploads one large picture, and one picture that's 100x100. Any information on the visitor edit page can be included on this page for each person and it can be sorted and arranged any way that makes sense. For the larger pictures, slideshows might also be included. Displaying the slideshows is optional, but feel free to play with different ways to incorporate it. As an example, most of the pics on the current manifest page have slideshows, just hover the mouse over some of the pictures. This will likely be split up into multiple pages, so include that objective into your design.


Most of the FAQ is out of date and will be updated or rewritten, with a lot of new information posted. It's currently a static file, but I'm planning to add a feature to allow me or some others to easily add new questions to the file, with answers, and catagorize them to make it easier to hunt, along with a sorted index. This is mostly a text file, but due to the special formatting involved, and the fact that it will be generated, it can be themed as well.


Each theme will have its own instructions file for the main page.


Currently news is written only by me. Eventually I'm going to allow multiple people to post news, and the news will be posted via a webpage, instead of doing it more or less manually like I do now. Since the news is also generated, it can also be specially themed.

General Pages

A lot of other pages on the site are just little more than semi-formatted text. In this case, the theme will apply for the background, menubar, etc, but there won't be any other construction of the page.


If you so desire, as part of your theme, you can make a modest attribution to yourself on the main page. The copywrite page will also mention that you're the author of that particular theme. You will maintain all copyrights to the work you create. By submitting a theme to my site, you grant me the right to use it for anything related to this site, including making slight modifications or adjustments for the purposes of layout. While the site is now noncommercial, this might not always be the case, and I will be able to continue to use it in that regard as well.

If you have any further questions, let me know. I'm Restil in the chatroom or send me an email.