I registered the valka.cz domain before 1998, with the aim of creating a site that would bring together and connect otherwise fragmented information about military conflicts. It was the time of Geocities and various similar platforms for microwebs, and as in any other human activity, there were a number of quality texts by a number of enthusiasts, but they were often not to be found (even Google was still in its infancy then, as was Wikipedia, searched on Altavista, and the winner was the one who had the maximum number of repeated search words on one page.. such a wild west of the internet).
I created the first static pages started writing and taking over articles together with my first colleagues. The first databases appeared and gradually dynamic sites started to be built. The first was of course the discussion forum, which was the online version of the then so popular ICQ and other "chatterboxes". More users were added and we gradually switched to the better, no longer self-developed, phpBB software in 2003. This platform still exists today, and many discussion sites around the world still run on it.
But for our purposes, this software became insufficient. We wanted and needed more flexibility, but also speed, customization options, custom forms. Around 2006 it became clear that I needed to return to programming, and a new version was created that adopted much of the logic of phpBB, but added a number of custom features. With a group of colleagues, we developed both the content structure and began to address terminology, translations, and rules so that what we were creating had a logical structure and a certain staff culture. Gradually, the idea of templates emerged that define each major subject of our research, be it weapons, units, personalities, honors, and so on. And where templates arose and began to describe objects, a system of links between those objects logically emerged. The links allowed us to generate a lot of information from the data that was available in this or that topic without having to manually enter it by a human, which advanced us both in data processing (where even wikipedia still handles a lot of things with the work of human editors) and in the quality and possibility of automated checks (where we can boldly correct flaws in the sources we use for our work, which were often created by manual copying in archives, which logically meant a certain amount of errors and inaccuracies).
We have thus gradually moved from a "discussion forum" to a database of objects related to military history. This discussion forum existed parallel to the main website on its own domain (forum.valka.cz) and was perceived separately, had its own traffic and many valka.cz readers had no idea about it (and on the contrary, many of its users never reached the main valka.cz website). The next step in our development was to unite both websites under one design, one system of functioning. To this day, the articles and topics exist side by side, although they are much more connected, look similar, and the user can easily switch between the two, but outwardly everything is now presented only on our main domain valka.cz / armedconflicts.com
And where do we go in our second quarter-century of existence?
The system itself is ready to accommodate any data. Many objects are already established, we have a diverse collection of aircraft and tanks, I dare say most of the well known and lesser known types can already be found here. The units are busily filling out, we have completed discussions around terminology and translations for a number of them, now we just need to go and fill the tables with data, to put it simply. We have most of the states and some of the higher and lower subdivisions established in the geosection. In many countries we have hundreds and thousands of municipalities based on which are linked personalities (by their place of birth and death), units (by their dislocation), military bases, museums, cemeteries and more. Particularly in the area of World War II, we have extensive coverage of military bases and airfields, but given the scale of the data, this is only a small part of what can be achieved. This is as far as tables/templates are concerned, there the situation is relatively satisfactory and the percentage of coverage high. However, there is still a lot of scope for written texts, histories of weapons, units, biographies of personalities, etc. And beyond all that there is another set of as yet untapped features - photo geolocation, image metadata for easier searching, etc.
In terms of principles, this site is built on nothing but openness, diligence, and adherence to rules and laws. Posts and articles should have a source, so that they can be treated like any other scientific publication, so that data and information can be verified and build upon. The system requires adherence to certain rules of insertion, but on the other hand, it helps with pre-prepared forms and checks and tools. Staff culture is everything to us, we don't like clutter, and all of us are to some extent afflicted with that obsessive compulsive disorder that makes us check even the lower and upper case, the correct naming and classification of topics, and that general "it has to be in a straight line". On the other hand, we have been and will always be open to new colleagues and, knowing that the work around military history is by nature endless, as new events, weapons, personalities are added every day, we welcome every helping hand.
URL : https://www.valka.cz/Zakladni-koncept-naseho-webu-t274057#744070
Version : 0
We believe that there are people with different interests and experiences who could contribute their knowledge and ideas. If you love military history and have experience in historical research, writing articles, editing text, moderating, creating images, graphics or videos, or simply have a desire to contribute to our unique system, you can join us and help us create content that will be interesting and beneficial to other readers.