CUCC Expedition Handbook - Cave Description

Adding Cave Descriptions

Great, I have discovered a new cave...

If you have not come to this page from the sequence starting at Starting a New Cave" then go and read that first.

This page outlines step 8 of the survey production process. Each step is documented separately.
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

In the survex file

Description of FischGesicht trip on 2018.07.24 (click to open in editor)

Cave descriptions are written at the end of the survex block - between *begin and *end statements. Conventionally just after the QMs and before the *end .

The description is written as a single long line of text. In the online editor it is wrapped to fit the window. ;------------
;Cave description ;(leave commented-out)
; See 2017 description for details of GSH up to the 'p50'. Briefly, on the way to couldashouldawoulda a 22 m entrance crawl from the surface leads to a climb down and a junction. Left leads to easy c rawling passage for a short distance, then another junction where traversing over a shallow hole and down a stooping-height sandy passage to a sharp left turn and a sandy, easy 'squeeze' leading to a straighforward p10.
[from couldashouldawoulda_to_bathdodgersbypass.svx]

You can have several lines of description, as you can see if you follow the link above, but each one must be prefixed with a semi-colon otherwise the survex software will complain.

Technical Note: The syntax for a Cave Description, both the title and the text includes a leading semi-colon. So it is syntactically a "comment" so far as the survex software is concerned.

In the Cave Definition file

When you look at a cave listed in the list on the "Caves"" page, such as /1623/290/290.html, and you click on "Edit this cave" in the left-hand menu when you are logged-on, you will see the Cave Registration editing and update form. All the cave description you read on the Cave page is set in the text box "Underground description" on the form in HTML.

So for an existing cave, where someone has already done the initial cave registration process, you can easily add in your description of your new passage by cutting and pasting from your survex file, e.g. toto_to_crystalcrumble.svx into the end of the text in the "Underground description" text box.

You can drag the corners of the "Underground description" text box on the cave registration form to make it easier to edit the HTML. Just separate the paragraphs with <P> codes and it will work. (You don't need the semi-colons any more.)

Technical Note: The information in the cave registration form is saved to the server as a file, which is committed to the version control system automatically, as well as being registered in the online database used by the website publication software. If you are a nerd with a bulk update laptop, you can edit the file directly. For Fischgesicht (originally 2017-CUCC-28 and now 1623/290), this is in the :expoweb: repo, in /cave_data/1623-290.html, but you will have to manage the git commit process yourself.

Fischgesicht currently (pre-2023 expo) has 25 survex files (listed as 2017-cucc-28, 290 or 290 survexfile ). You could do a useful job by checking all those survex files to see if the cave description in them has already been copied into the cave registration form "Underground description" text box.

More complex caves

Fischgesicht currently has only one cave description file. Older, more complex caves such as Balkonhöhle have the cave description separated out into several HTML files. The field of the cave registration form "Description file", which was blank for Fischgesicht, has a filename in it on the Balkonhöhle form: "1623/264/ent.html" which is in the :expoweb: repo folder.

Unfortunately, you cannot (yet) use the "Edit This Page" capability to edit those webpages from any web browser and you will need to use the expo laptop in the potato hut to play with the files directly. (Or elevate yourself to nerd status and configure your own laptop as a basic expo laptop yourself.)

Adding photographs to cave descriptions

Cave Schwa Höhle 1623/81 is a simple cave and if you look at its cave registration form online and look in the "Survey" field, you will see that the "Survey" text box contains the HTML code for several images of cave surveys with relative filepaths like this:

<img src="../others/82_area_plan.png" alt="Survey" />
These are relative to where the cave description will be published, which is specified in the "URL" field.

The reason why they are relative to the published webpage is that it is your own web browser which is interpreting the <IMG> link, and it will use that to ask the server for the image.

Now it is a good idea to go and read the "Edit Cave Form" part of the handbook page Creating a new cave in the online system which compares the two caves 171 and 172 and how their photograph data is stored slightly differently.

The "URL" field has a helpful hint next to it in square brackets: [1623/000/000] to remind you of the right format when you are creating a new cave. For this cave the URL is set to 1623/264/264.html. [Note that despite having ".html" at the end of it, this is not a real file: it is generated by the website publication software to contain all these bits of information.]

The real file holding the cave description is in the "Description file" field which says 1623/264/ent.html and is in the :expoweb: repo.


So using just a web browser you can edit the HTML for the top-level cave description, and you can add in links to photos so long as they are already uploaded to the system in the right place for that cave.

It is instructive to look at the cave registration form for Balkonhöhle at the same time as reading the published cave description in another browser window. You will see how the different parts are assembled into one overall description. You will need to know this before you can edit the HTML of complex caves directly.

Return to "Survey handbook - survex format"
Return to "QMs (Question Marks)"
Return to "New survey wallet"