The design of The Reeves Project website was started in April 2010 and it has had many incremental design revisions in the intervening years.
Back then, there were very few mobile phones with a usable web browser. (For more background see Background Notes below.) The typical computer monitor was a 1280x1024 (SXGA) and laptop screen typically 1024x768 (XGA) or 800x600 (SVGA). These are all a 4:3 screen ratio. In the intervening years typical screen resolutions have improved, with 1920x1080 (HD 1080) being very common, a 16:9 screen ratio.
Whilst we’ve updated some aspects of our wiki in the past ten years, we’ve retained 1280x1024 as the nominal reference point for the design of TRP windows. This approach allows two discrete browser windows to be open on the same modern 1920x1080 screen with minimal overlap, so that information may be read/copied from one window and entered into another. We’ve not invested much effort to make TRP mobile friendly; like you, we’d much rather be pursuing our own genealogical research than attempting to build, test, debug and maintain a new more mobile centric website. Our logs show that only about 10% of access comes from browsers associated with mobile devices.
So it remains the case that you’ll find TRP easiest to use on a laptop or desktop computer with a modern browser. As a new user, if you have access to a laptop/desktop device, then you are strongly encouraged to put aside your cell phone/mobile/handi or tablet for the moment. All of the new user guidance found in our First Steps assumes you are seeing the conventional laptop/desktop layout.
Does that mean I can’t/shouldn't access TRP on a tablet or phone? Absolutely not, but it's probably best to limit such access to reading TRP content when you’re out and about. Once you're familiar with TRP’s screens, you’ll find it relatively easy to find your way round the way they render on smaller form factor devices. But its much harder to enter new data on a small form factor device, so that is a task that is probably best left until you have access to a laptop/desktop device.
The software which underpins our wiki has evolved over time and does now include some features which automatically try to make the rendered pages more suitable for viewing on modern mobile devices. This is generically known as Responsive Web Design1 . The most obvious change affects the overall layout of a page, with the left and right sidebars being relocated to follow the primary content of a page. If you have a modern tablet, you can see this for yourself. Browse to our homepage with your tablet in LANDSCAPE mode. The layout you see will look familiar, even if the text is somewhat smaller. Now turn the tablet into portrait mode and see how the layout has changed.
Our guidance notes are written assuming Landscape Mode and may indicate a button at the bottom of the Page Content is close the the physical bottom of the page. Be aware that in Portrait Mode it may be near the middle of the page.
Conventional Landscape Mode
Background Notes Its easy to forget how quickly technology has and continues to evolve. When the idea for TRP was first proposed Android Cupcake was less than 1 year old 2 ) and the iPhone 3GS was also less than a year old.3 Whilst the first Apple iPad had been announced in March 20104 , it only shipped two days after the original idea for TRP was floated on 1 April 2010.
1 See for example https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_responsive.asp.