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Okay, so there's not really a whole lot here yet, and the design is rather sparse, but it's up! This little project is finally off the ground!
It's not exactly public at the moment. I'm only showing it off to a few people, to get some feedback and to get an idea of what kind of traffic this could produce. A site full of graphics and audio can eat up disk space and bandwidth in a hurry, so I'm still not entirely certain how much content I want to show off. We shall see.
But never mind all that for the moment. It's up!!
As a way of saying thank you, and also as a way of encouraging other would-be web designers and code geeks to get started on their own projects, here are some kudos to the many different people and organizations that make projects like this one possible.
First and formost, a big "thank you" to w3schools.com. I know I ragged on them about their XML tutorials in my last entry, but w3schools is still an invaluable collection of information. If you want to know HTML, XHTML, CSS, XML, XSL, XPath, or DTD, w3schools is the place to go. They'll even tell you what all those acronyms stand for!
This guy over in the U.K. put together an XSLT FAQ that helped answer a few nagging questions left behind after reading w3schools' XSL tutorial.
This other guy over in the U.K. keeps a CSS web site full of juicy CSS bits, at least one of which made building this site much easier.
When creating a web site, obviously you need content! A lot of tools were used, and will continue to be used, in generating content for this site, and I am extremely grateful to each and every developer of these tools, especially for making them available for free. There are VirtualDub for video capturing and editing, AVISynth for further video editing and post-processing, The GIMP for image manipulation and GIF animation, ImageMagick for excellent command-line image tools (great for making thumbnails), and ReZound for audio editing and processing. And let's not forget the formats that allow content to be free from patent claims, like PNG for graphics, and Ogg Vorbis and FLAC for audio.
Once upon a time I coded a whole web-based email client in C. I don't recommend this practice to anybody. For dynamic web content, PHP is definitely the way to go.
PHP is what they call a server-side scripting tool, meaning all the dynamics happen on the web server, and the web browser only has to process and display ordinary web code, just as if it had looked at a plain HTML file. There also are client-side scripting tools, for which the browser has to run program or script code. Not everyone likes client-side scripting, since it requires the browser (and the computer the browser is running on) to work harder, to say nothing about security problems and the fact that advertisers love to use client-side scripting to make their advertisements even more flashy (read "more annoying"). Still, client-side scripting is the easiest way, and
Dynamic web pages need a source of information to pull the content from. Keeping lots of files lying around is one way to do it, and there is certainly plenty of that going on here. However, using a database helps keep things better organized, and can even speed things up a bit if you do it right. My poison of choice is MySQL.
Maintaining MySQL databases became much easier when I began using PHPMyAdmin, a handy web-based database browser and configuration tool. Notice PHP comes to the rescue here too.
Finally, I must extend some personal thank-you's to many friends, including Mason, Jiffy, Natasha and Wolflin, for their words of encouragement and their help in finding some of these tools. Thanks a million, y'all. It's finally up!
Postscript! Okay, I have my web host's blessing, so it's linked from the main page now. Thank you, web host! If anybody needs cheap web hosting with excellent service, I highly recommend Gem3!
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