Friday, December 1, 2000

Russian publishing house makes great use of Domino

DOMINOPOWER SITE OF THE MONTH

By Steve Niles

A couple years ago I was playing the French game of boules during a party held at the social club of a coconut plantation in the South Pacific, where I worked. Also in attendance at the party were Russian crewmembers of a cargo ship in port at the time. As one of the only Americans in the room, I felt an unspoken tension between these brawny sailors and myself. This personal Cold War of ours got hot when I was squared off against a hawk-nosed engineer named Victor in a round of boules. Neither of us was particularly good at the game, but I had had considerably less to drink and managed to drive my boules closer to the small, white jack at the end of the green, emerging victorious.

The following evening, the cargo freighter's British captain invited my wife and me to a barbecue aboard the ship. There I met Victor once again, and as we talked, we learned we had a lot in common. We were both far from home trying to work in a climate that didn't agree with either of us. Gradually, despite a slight language barrier, we bonded over a pair of juicy T-bone steaks.

I was reminded of this when I began to look at December's DominoPower Site of the Month. I was once again dealing with a Russian counterpart, this time in the online publishing field, while trying to overcome a slightly tricky language barrier. The site in question is 7days.ru, at http://www.7days.ru. It's the hub for the Seven Days Publishing House, a Russian company with a variety of online publications, and it's another great example of a well-designed Domino site.

Unfortunately for many us, it's also completely indecipherable, as it's written in Russian. I contacted Leo Galustov, head of Seven Days' technical department, who provided me with a translation and some technical notes on how the site is put together.

I'll do my best to relay the information to all of you English speakers, but I just want to add one cautionary note: Galustov's English is a heck of a lot better than my Russian, and he did an admirable job of translating the necessary information. If I should make any errors in this transcription, however, please chalk it up to simple miscommunication.

Seven Days

We'll start with the server's main page where information about the Publishing House, its structure, departments, services, distribution, advertising, etc. is located. This information can be received from links six through nine, as pointed out in Figure A.

FIGURE A

The Seven Days homepage serves as a portal to the various publications. (click for larger image)