Bill Pringle - Bill@BillPringle
I am actively looking for a new job
This page contains information and links
that may be of use to members of The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.
If you aren't a Mormon, this page won't
make much sense.
Mormon or not, you are welcome to visit my "Talks and Writings" page.
If you need help with any of the programs listed below, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you use a subject that clearly indicates it is a question about the LDS Resources. I get a lot of spam, so an e-mail with a subject of "a question" will probably get deleted without me even looking at it.
Before the official websites existed, I maintained the Valley Forge stake calendar. You can now export the calendar information from the official site, so I am no longer doing this.
The advantage of my program was that each event had a category, which allowed, for example, a Young Women calendar, which contained all the events of general interest, as well as those for the Young Women. Another calendar could be created for Elders, Young Men, etc.
If you want to create your own customized calendars, you can export the information from the Official Stake Calendar and import the data into an Access database with the same organization as my original program. You would then have to go through each calendar event and set the category of those events that you want to have in your calendar. (An easier way might be to simply delete the events that you don't want, or import the calendar information into a work table, and then extract only the events you want into the actual events table.
The program that I wrote was a VB program that allows you to maintain an Access database, and then create HTML calendar pages. You can download the source for this program here. You must have VB6 installed on your computer.
There are probably a number of free programs you can find that can take a CSV file, such as you export from the official web site, and create an HTML program. Since I don't have a need to create calendars at this time, I haven't done anything about it, but if enough people ask, maybe that will motivate me to come up with something.
MIS and MLS are two programs that the church has written to maintain membership information. MLS replaced the original MIS system.
I assume that most, if not all, units have switched from MIS to MLS. There are two programs available to imports information from these systems and creates a series of text files and CSV files that can be used to do a variety of things, including importing the information into a database, creating ward phone lists, and creating directories that can be read on a PDA.
I have written two programs, one for each system:
Both programs run under Win9x, NT, Win2K, or WinXP and provides reports based on information imported from Ward MIS reports (WardList), and the MLS export files (MLSRpt). Both programs are written in C, and could probably be ported to Linux/Unix if desired.
You can use these program to create documents for a Palm Pilot or other type of PDA, and/or to e-mail reports to various leaders. They also create CSV files that can be imported into a database.
If you plan to use the above program with a Palm Pilot, then you will need the PC makedoc program, which you can get from my Palm Pilot page. If you have a Mac, you will need to convert the text files to Doc files. I believe there is such a program, but I don't know the details.
I would recommend Mark My Scriptures from Skimware. There are a number of reasons for this, but mainly (a) the Skimware product is easy to use, and (b) it is free, while you have to pay for others. Although you can use the program for free, I recommend that you pay for it. The reason is that, if you have a paid version, you can download the scriptures complete with all the footnotes. You can also use the MMSWeb program to download almost anything from the official lds.org website.
If you are a Ward Excecutive Secretary and have a Palm Pilot, you might want to read about how I use my Palm Pilot.
You might want to visit http://www.palmlds.com/ for a list of lots of useful programs.
The following description assumes that the reader is familiar with creating text files using notepad or some other text editor (I use NoteTab Light), and knows how to copy and paste text. (The notation Ctrl-A indicates that you hold down the Ctrl key and press the "a" button.)
I also run the Official B1 Website. To make it easier for me, I have written a number of programs, and come up with a few tricks to make the pages look nice.
One problem with the official web site is that it is hard to format the articles. The way the site is set up, you enter text into a text area. Each time you press the ENTER key, the program inserts a line break (<br>) tag. If you go back to modify the article, you might end up inserting additional line breaks. This means that you probably want to enter the text without using the ENTER key, which means that everything must be on one line. However, to write complex formatted articles, it is usually easier to line matching tags up. As a result, I wrote a program (called 1line) that will read an HTML file that contains as many lines as you want, and will then output the entire contents as a text file with a single line.
In order to cause variations in formatting within an article, you can use css styles. The styles you most likely want to use are defined within the <span> tag. It would also make it easier to format the article if you use tables.
The following css styles can be used within a span tag in the text of an article:
Here is a sample message, set up the way I like to format articles. You would use the 1line program to convert this to a text file, and then copy and paste the text file into the text area on the web site. I generally keep the original on my PC, so that if I want to change something, I do it on my PC, run 1line again, and replace whatever is on the web site with the new results.
<table border="0" cellspacing="4">
This is the official website for
(Put your unit name here)
Enter whatever text you want in this space. It will be left-justified.
Use the above tag to cause a line break, or start a new table row.
If you copy and paste the above code segment into a text editor, you can save it as an HTML file: message.html. Make whatever changes you want to the actual text, and then save the updated file. Next, run the 1line program and when asked for a file name, enter message.html. This will create a text file called message.html.txt, containing the same information as in your original file, but as one long line.
Then go to the official web site and click on "Administrator Options" at the bottom left of the page. This will bring up the administrator window (or tab), which allows you to administer the site. Click on the "Message" link at the left side of the page. You will see a text box marked "Headline", and a text area for "Message Text".
On your PC, double click on the file you created, message.html.txt, which will bring it up in notepad, or whatever your favorite text editor happens to be. The file will be one long line with a bunch of HTML and text mixed together on the long line. Click on the first line, then type Ctrl-A (select all), followed by Ctrl-C (copy all). Next. click inside the text area on the web site marked "Message Text." Then type Ctrl-A (select all), followed by Ctrl-V (paste). This will replace whatever was in the text area with your new message. Click on the "Submit" button, and wait for a message telling you the submission is done. You should now be able to refresh the home page of your official website and see your new message.
If you need help figuring out how to do any of this, you can e-mail me at email@example.com. Make sure you use a subject that clearly indicates it is a question about the LDS Resources. I get a lot of spam, so an e-mail with a subject of "a question" will probably get deleted without me even looking at it.