About the guide

The following covers the various technologies used to put this guide together, if you are interested in that sort of thing.

Web Hosting

The hosting for the site, from LastDigital (www.lastdigital.co.uk), provides support for Perl scripts and a MySQL database. Virtually all data for the site is held in the MySQL database. Some of this data is summarised data from the county moth database and is transferred from the county moth database to the web guide database on a periodic basis. Due to this there may be some lag between record submission and the data appearing in the guide.

Extensive Perl scripts and library packages written by myself provide and support the more dynamic features of the guide, for example, searching, comparison and filtering.

Style sheets

The guide makes heavy use of CSS (cascading style sheets) that provide a standard look and feel. I tend to use the Mozilla Firefox browser that has more extensive CSS support than the current Internet Explorer. If you use the latter then you may notice odd quirky page display.


Some Javascript is used in the pages, mainly for form validation. If Javascript is disabled in your browser then this should not stop the guide working.


The guide uses cookies to store information about preferences, filtering and session information. To make the most of the guide the site should be allowed to set cookies in your browser. However, it should be able to operate with restricted features even when it is not allowed to set cookies.

Distribution maps

These are produced by DMAP (www.dmap.co.uk) based on data from the county moth database.

DMAP Boundary files from Martin Sandford of the Suffolk Biological Records Centre have also been used in the production of the maps.

Photographs and Thumbnails

Photographs are uploaded to the guide from the members area and are immediately available in the guide. Thumbnails are produced by myself offline after photographs have been uploaded to the guide using the Perl ImageMagick module.


The following are additional tools are used in the development of this site.

CD Version

A CD version is available of the guide. This currently lacks much of the dynamic behaviour of the web version of the guide, such as searching, filtering and preferences. The CD version is generated using a Perl script and re-uses the web guide Perl libraries. The intention being to have as much shared code between the web and standalone versions as possible.