As each door is opened, a different part of a (distinctly-Bodleian/Oxford) winter scene unfolds, complete with an array of fascinating characters connected to the history, tradition, mythology and literature of the area. It’s pretty cool, and you should give it a go.
If you want to make one of your own – for next year, presumably, unless you’ve an inclination to count-down in this fashion to something else that you’re celebrating 25 days hence – I’ve shared a version of the code that you can adapt for yourself.
Features that make this implementation a good starting point if you want to make your own digital advent calendar include:
- Secure: your server’s clock dictates which doors are eligible to be opened, and only content legitimately visible on a given date can be obtained (no path-traversal, URL-guessing, or traffic inspection holes).
- Responsive: calendar adapts all the way down to tiny mobiles and all the way up to 4K fullscreen along with optimised images for key resolutions.
- Debuggable: a password-protected debug mode makes it easy for you to test, even on a production server, without exposing the secret messages behind each door.
- Expandable: lots of scope for the future, e.g. a progressive web app version that you can keep “on you” and which notifies you when a new door’s ready to be opened, was one of the things I’d hoped to add in time for this year but didn’t quite get around to.
I’ve no idea if it’s any use to anybody, but it’s available on GitHub if you want it.