Website History


The Nepean Sailing Club website is large and complex, and has gone through many evolutions and re-designs over the years, from a static HTML 4.01 to a custom made WordPress Design, to a full modern WordPress Theme. “Legacy” static web pages are still served when it is not practical or feasible to migrate static pages to WordPress.

This site has thousands of files, hundreds of pages, and dozens of scripts, dynamic functions, on-line databases, server-side scripts, automated scheduled jobs, etc.

Daniel Servranckx has been the primary NSC webmaster since 2000. Dan focuses on the administration and maintenance of the website, developing applications, databases, scripts, and generally ensuring everything runs smoothly. Hugh Morrin has served as assistant webmaster since 2005, and focuses on the content of the website, with a particular interest in the sailing and racing pages.

Highlights of significant projects over the years


  • Re-wrote the server-side Jobs scheduler into a set of Linux Bash Scripts based on their running schedule (hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, daily-fev-to-Aug, etc).
  • Migrated the entire NSC.CA web site from WebNameHost Hosting to PCLF Hosting (with the assistance of Patrick Fleury, NSC IT Support).
  • Installed WordFence Premium version on WordPress.
  • Rewrote the Apache .htaccess file to enforce security/privacy of files and folders, and reroute missing (404) pages from previous designs using Google Master Console and error log reports.
  • Converted the membership ‘Bluebook’, a single table database updated monthly from an Access-generated table, to a two-table database (members and boats) updated monthly from two NorthStar-generated Excel membership and boat reports; redesigned the authentication system (WordPress login and static scripts access) to use the new members table, recoded the various applications like the ‘Bluebook’ membership/boat search and Proof Of Insurance registration.
  • Re-factored the Proof Of Insurance application to a Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradygm.
  • Modified the Proof Of Insurance collection and display system to pre-populate the collection form with previous year’s data.
  • Designed a proof of concept Crewbank Registration/ Posting system using Bootstrap 3.7, PHP, Javascript and MySQL.
  • Re-designed the member’s Upload application using Ajax to fetch, analyse and display upload information from the NSC server in order to better manage uploaded files.


  • Created a new WordPress sub-web using the generic NSC / Twentytwelve for BYC/NSC Interclub Racing.
  • Re-factored the stand-alone Race Committee Volunteer Registration system using the Bootstrap 3.7 adaptive framework to provide a well behaved display on all devices.
  • Designed a client/server system to collect and store Proof Of Insurance data from members, display said data to authorized users, and create and email a daily backup of the data csv file via a CRON (batch) job.
  • Designed a WordPress Theme function to use the MySQL member’s database (the ‘Bluebook’) as a fall back login for members without WordPress account.
  • Rewrote the Registration / Reservation system from PERL to PHP, adding a splash page builder form to quickly create the event page.
  • Installed and configured the free version of WordFence Security Plugin, a WordPress firewall and malware scanner.


  • Wrote applications to display water level, wind and weather information to the NSC Weather page using CSV and XML data files fetched from external sites (like the Environment Canada City page for Ottawa on the Meteorological Service of Canada’s HTTP data server).
  • Created a new WordPress sub-web using the generic NSC / Twentytwelve for the Ottawa Cat and Skiff Grand Prix regatta.
  • Created a set of CRON (batch) jobs to backup and email databases and csv files, clean up logs and temporary files, and fix downloaded images’ size.


  • Created a proof of concept WordPress eCommerce sub-web based on the WooCommerce WordPress plugin.
  • Converted the MySQL DB extension and the various database applications from mysqli to the more robust and generalized PHP Data Object (PDO).
  • Refactored the Race Committee Volunteers Registration and Reminder system from a set of PHP procedural scripts to a PHP Object Oriented model.
  • Converted the MySQL DB extension from mysql to mysqli, upgraded the jQuery Library, and added several layers of validation and security to the user’s inputs and PHP Session handling.
  • Re-factored the Bluebook application to a Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradygm.
  • Re-factored the Board and Rirectors applications to a Model-View-Controller (MVC) paradygm.


  • Assisted iSport Solutions in establishing an online payment solution for the Sail Training Center.


  • Developed a WordPress master theme as as a child Theme of WordPress TwentyTwelve theme, an HTML5/CSS3 adaptive design perfectly suited for various display formats such as handheld devices, laptops and desktops.
  • This single child theme became the “NSC Branding” theme used in the creation of the Sail Training Center website, the ABLE Sail website, the River Challenge website, and to re-theme the existing Nepean Sailing Club website. Each website shares a common look and feel — since they are all based on the exact same child theme of TwentyTwelve — but have distinct headers ( images, titles, taglines) and navigation.
  • This scheme allows the Nepean Sailing Club web team to create new “compliant” sub-Webs as required, with minimum time and effort.


  • Introduced the usage of CLOUD storage and applications, created a directory structure and migrated all the official NSC documents to public or private folders to remote CLOUD servers.


  • Converted the WordPress installation to Network/ Multiusers, and integrated the existing independent WordPress sub-Webs into a single, unified system.  Also imported and installed a MySQL multi-table Race Committee Volunteer Registration system exported from another site, altered the tables structure and modified the PHP application code at the users’ request to add functionality such as reporting and checkbox-driven updating. We then cloned this database system and added other functions to facilitate usage as a general event/work party registration system.


  • Migrated the main NSC page to the framework to allow key NSC players (directors, committee chairs, office staff) to do their own postings by means of an easy to use Content Management System (CMS) as well as to allow them to solicit comments, and to offer users extended search capabilities on keywords, categories, tags and months. See Way Back Machine, Oct 2009.
  • Converted the HTML 4.01 design to an XHTML-strict Template, created our own template (PHP and CSS files) to match the look and feel of the old site – a corporate requirement – and modified plugins and the theme PHP code to increase or match the functionality of the old site. This activity required approximately 40 hrs.
  • Created the integrated NSC Google Calendar, that remains in use today.


  • Converted the site from an Microsoft’s ASP/ Coldfusion/MSSQL environment to a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) environment. This effort alone required about 70 hours of work as databases had to be converted and imported from Microsoft’s SQL to MySQL environment, many scripts had to be re-written from ASP and Coldfusion to PHP, a new access to the member’s private area had to be devised and implemented, and hundreds of broken links caused by file names upper and lower case mismatch (Microsoft being case insensitive but not Linux) had to be tracked and fixed.
  • Modified some of the header Javascript to make the site Google Chrome-compatible.


  • With the coming of MSIE7, combined the two “browser-dependent” Style Sheets developed in previous years into a single IE ready, “browser-independent” set.
  • Re-designed the pages backbone using modern coding and styling techniques, converting a table-based layout into a tableless, Cascading Style Sheet Positioning (CSS-P) layout. See Way Back Machine, 10 Oct 2006.


  • Hugh Morrin joined the web team, initially setting up the Race Results folders and pages, a structure that remains in place today, and provides race results dating back to 2003.


  • Created a “poor man” Reservation/Registration system in PERL to support the office and the kitchen.
  • Using the services of a graphic artist, completely re-designed and rebuilt the website structure and backbone to W3C HTML V4.01 / CSS Level 2 compliant standards that present a common look and feel on all major web browsers. Two different style sheets were used for IE and non-IE browsers. See Way Back Machine, 31 Dec 2003.



  • In April, Daniel Servranckx took over as Webmaster.


  • Bernie Coyne moved to the USA. Don Duchenes took over as interim Webmaster.


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Page maintained by D. Servranckx.