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Episode 7

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6th September 2001

>> HTMLSource version 2.5! Wha.....hey
Right, so all that stuff is over with now. HTMLSource is the website equivalent of a greased... er, nut. Which means it's sharp and great. As you can probably see, wikidfiles (I still cringe every time) is gone forever. I've moved anything interesting it ever had to say to a tellingly short start here page: More Useful Programs. The top navigation bar looks a little too spaced out now; I guess it'll take some time to get used to.

I've also developed a strange affection for 9 point text. I used to use 10pt and nothing else, but it looks really good, which is why the newly christened 'More Resources' boxes are a little smaller and neater. That reminds me — I'm going to have to check all those outbound links for goodness. Might do a bit of research and add in more too. Sadly, Google just did an update the other day and I hadn't expected it, so it didn't pick up on all the newly-optimised pages. Damn. I was number 2 for 'html tutorials' for a few weeks back there, but have now dropped back to our customary 8. Ah well, that gives me another month to get more links. I trust you've all added links to HTMLSource on your websites? Well done.

11th September 2001

I moved the clutter of the link to us animations to their own page, which makes the site info page look far cleaner. I'm going to make one or two new ones for it today too. And remake that dreadful one.

I wrote a new tutorial too: Marquees. They only work in Internet Explorer, but people still want to know how to do them. Viewing figures are going up steadily — as are the links. I've even seen a load of university course pages referring us. Presumably they're all web design courses, but I can't check since they all ask for a password. Bah, I could have read more praise! Oh well, the fact that they mentioned us is good enough. College tomorrow! Eep.

12th September 2001

No doubt you've all heard about that terrorist stuff in America. I'm not going to do the whole 'my prayers are with the families' thing, as it would be false empathy, but I honestly am sorry to anyone involved.

Crap... what do I write? I've come off as an uncaring bastard to a few people so far, and openly saying that the terrorist's plan was a good one probably didn't do me any favours... And now we all have to listen to the poor politicians coming up with new things to call it. Is it a 'horrible tragedy', or a 'brutal act of war'? I wish someone would just say it was a 'real crappy thing' and we could all be spared of our respective politicians attempts at poetry.

It's not a joking matter of course, and I'm not trying to make light of it. I truly hope no one you know was affected by the whole incident, and we can all put it behind us as soon as possible.

13th September 2001

Man, it seems wrong to be talking about such trivial things as web-development at the moment. So I better not. I'll talk to myself about the trauma of my first day in college in a few days, when everyone will be more open to such pointless experiences. The impact of the situation really only got to me when we were all watching some of the new video released today down in the pub — people jumping and stuff. It was pretty horrible. So, sorry if I seemed a bit uncaring yesterday.

Go light a candle, or something.

22nd September 2001

Right, I'm going to try getting back to normal here. It's the first weekend since the start of college, and I'm bloody knackered already. There's so much sitting around doing nothing, it really saps the life out of you. Especially if you're a sap to begin with. Anyway, computer science, from the lectures I've been to so far, seems pretty damn tricky. We're starting on Java coding, next week apparently. Mercifully, later on there's going to be a module on web development, so I should ace that nicely.

I wrote a tutorial on embedding multimedia elements sometime last week, after one of those reader-requests. Yes, you really can affect the way HTMLSource works! This week I'm going to work to get a whole new section made — Forms. Since the beginning it's been the thing that people will not stop searching for, so I really have to do something about it. Look forward to it.

23rd September 2001

Forms. Look at that word. Am I the only one that thinks it's stupid? Tsk, probably. Anyway, once again HTMLSource gives the readers what they want. And what they incessantly search for. Hopefully, the new forms section will appease those stubborn people who forced me to work for six hours today to get the two first tutorials up. Personally, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about forms today, so they're obviously some bloody good tutorials. Check 'em out yourself now: Basic Forms and getting an Image Submit Button. And now? Now I prepare for Fresher's week in college starting tomorrow. Five days of craziness and partying? We'll see...

25th September 2001

I wrote my first Java program today. Sure, it was a piece of crap, but I still coded it without errors, which was... y'know; good. I also bought a bloody huge book on the subject. I've seen smaller Bibles. It looks sort of interesting though, and there's stuff about GUIs and HTML later on too, which I should be able to get a handle on pretty fast. Fresher's week has been a nothing so far, as I keep missing the events due to my unfortunately-timed lectures. I guess we'll just have to go to the bar early tomorrow and make our own fun...

Also, because we're so great, there's one more long forms tutorial to make sure the new section gets launched with some amount of umph: Forms Accessibility. Advanced!

3rd October 2001

Who could've guessed college would get so boring so quickly? Well, in truth it will probably pick up again once the clubs and societies and stuff start, but I've had some real bad days recently. Oh well. I found myself reading through my Java book last night — on my own accord! The madness of that is too much for my feeble mind to comprehend, but it can only be a good thing that I'm finding it pretty interesting. Once I can code from home I'm set.

I spent the last two days redesigning the <TITLE> structure around the site, to enhance the page's search engine placement. It looks far better than our old method of tacking on a load of keywords to the end of the tag. Took ages to summarise pages like that, but it'll be worth it... in a month's time. Damn Google for re-indexing without giving me prior notice! Also in news today: Promotion 101.

10th October 2001

Here and now, I've just been modifying my central stylesheet to make things look nicer around the place. I augmented the my first site stuff, as it hasn't been updated in a little while, and added 'very important' boxes, courtesy of the lovely FIELDSET and LEGEND tags. Oh and by the way, you all have filled in a » feedback form, haven't you?

13th October 2001

Ross, dark alley look Would you buy a book from this man? Yeah? Cool, because I'm going to start a 'partnership' with » Amazon so that you can buy recommended HTML-related books and stuff directly from HTMLSource. It's a decent way to make a bit of money from the site without resorting to all sorts of awful banner ads and pop-ups, which I refuse to do. It's also probably a nice bonus service for you guys.

I'm not sure about how I'm going to incorporate them, but you can probably look out for the books in the sidebar over the next week or so. I gave the <meta> tags around the site a good fix-up too, which should make the site search engine work better. It might spur people into stopping with the lewd search queries too. Tsch.

And finally, if you haven't gone to see A.I. yet, go and do it right now. It is brilliant. I swear, when we came out of the cinema, the world had this golden, ethereal glow. We all felt it. Magic on an E.T. scale.

21st October 2001

Haven't written an update in a while, have I? No. Had my mind on other things and stuff — you know how it is. Anyway, I haven't really done anything; just been promoting and doing some editing over the tables tutorials. The introduction to stylesheets made it into the » Open Directory, after 3 submissions, and I had 250 visitors in one day last week, which was fantastic.

Also making me smile at the moment is the fact that » Nintendorks, quite possibly the most entertaining site on the net has finally come back from its extended bout of server woes. And it truly is back on form. I must have spent 5 hours there yesterday. If you like Nintendo, and like a good laugh, check it out. I hearby declare this update link-tastic.

29th October 2001

Finally, Basic Web Design gets written! I've been threatening to do that tutorial for ages, but never just sat down and wrote the thing. It's a good one too.

Also, magically, HTMLSource has been mentioned in two excellent publications this week. First, out of nowhere my daily visitor count went from around the 250-mark to 700. I thought it was a mistake or something, as I wasn't getting any referrers. Then of course my mind wandered, as it does, and I forgot about it. But then my mum comes in with a newspaper and shows me a link they had mentioned to us. Great! But... surely a local paper couldn't be responsible for all this?

The next day I was on 1000 visitors. The day after, 1200. Haha, it was fantastic. Then I found out what the hell was going on: HTMLSource had been mentioned in a GeoCities newsletter. Very nice indeed. Imagine what would happen if I appeared in a print magazine... Must get that going...

2nd November 2001

HTMLSource celebrates Halloween Spook! So; another Halloween comes and goes without me throwing even a single banger at an old man's house. This must be that strange affliction known as boringness maturity... great! Wait a minute — that's terrible. Though unavoidable...

I've been sitting here on my ass trying to keep my attention on starting a new stylesheets tutorial for the last half hour, and it's just impossible. I've become pretty bored with writing HTMLSource. Don't jump off that balcony just yet though Jimmy; this mood always passes after a few days spent playing games. See you then.

11th November 2001

Alrighty then. First thing's first: if anyone still has that issue of the GeoCities world report email in their mailbox, could you please forward it to me at I still haven't seen what the link looked like and am curious. Thanks.

I read through about a dozen HTMLSource pages there this morning, reminding myself why it's so good, and I think I've got my groove back. It was pretty bad back there — I couldn't write, couldn't draw, couldn't even make jokes in my head. More than a little depressing and frustrating, it was. Aanyway, that's all behind us. What have you got to look forward to in the next few days?

I still haven't gotten the Amazon links up anywhere, but I should get that goin' sometime this weekend. It's a lot of research and coding. I'm completely finishing the CSS section, with all the existing tutorials appended, and new ones coming in on backgrounds and spacing, and text formatting. If nothing else, they should be amazing.

Also: Episode 6!

17th November 2001

Hey hey, we're right back on track to supplying all your HTML tutorials needs with a big update today. First of all, the new tutorials: look back through rose-tinted shades with The History of HTML, and learn about modern formatting with that tome of knowledge, CSS and Text. The roots-revealing 'HTML+ colours' chart has been renamed to the altogether more understandable Named Colours. I'm currently working on a few things at once — the basic tutorials will all be shined up with extra supporting info gleaned from other HTML sites, I have to get that padding and backgrounds page written, and I'm going to write an article explaining XHTML too. That's some workload for such a little guy.

Also, stuff has received a nip and tuck throughout the site, the stylesheet was improved, the feedback form should work for Netscape users (stupid bugs!), and finally all of the file downloads (such as our WinAmp skin) can be accessed. Sorry I left them messed up for so long.

Is that everything? Almost. Most pages have been bestowed a glittering advertising link to » Amazon now too. Once I get the time I'll add links to specific books, but for now why not have a look through their big selection and buy a book or two? Does this count as selling out?

24th November 2001

Can you say HTMLSource version 3? Tsk, I know. It was about this time last year that 2 came along, so I think a shuffle-up is in order.

See, there's this new round of specifications being bandied about by the W3C called XHTML. I'll get a tutorial up about it soon, but for now just know this: it's like HTML 4, you just code things a bit differently. Anyway, I thought, being an authority on this kind of thing and all, I should probably try it out. And you know what — I really liked it. You have to use lowercase tags, and they make your code seem so much cleaner, I think I'm going to use XHTML for all my future work. Anyway, the point of all this is I'm planning a move into a new coding style for the Source. Have a look at the preview design. It looks quite similar, yes; but it's leaner and has some very nice improvements here and there. Have a look at the source code. Plus, it is finally fully stylesheet-enabled. No font tags anywhere. It's also lovingly spaced out, with lots of 'white space', as they say in the biz.

I'm not sure when I should implement this. The current generation of browsers can support it, but Netscape 4 makes it look like it's ignoring the stylesheets, which it probably is, the piece of crap. Actually, as a lesson in style, have a look at the page without its stylesheets... Power! Also nicely usable. Anywho... when? Of course, being the impatient little bitch I am, I'm not going to be able to hold myself back from pulling off this redesign within the next month or so. A faster, prettier, more accessible HTMLSource for 2002? Probably.

28th November 2001

Intrigued by XHTML? You should probably find out all about it in XHTML Explained then, shouldn't you? In other news, in a moment of extreme stupidity I managed to get a virus the other day. It's the one that comes with the subject line Re: and one of many alluring-sounding attachments. Oh, the hypocrisy! It managed to try and send itself to a couple of hundred people before I got rid of it. Thankfully, it didn't do any damage, as it was designed to read my non-existent credit card information. I just thought I should warn everyone about it, since I've received it from over 50 people who are all HTMLSource visitors. Be careful.

1st December 2001

Huzzah! What a great weekend. Clearly the guy who writes my life had a real moment of inspiration yesterday, even getting some very, very clever irony in there. I'm in a better mood than I have been in ages.

CSS Backgrounds and Spacing is new, and I can't remember what else is. I think I'm going to get the Source a full domain name sometime soon. That's going to cost me though. No doubt it'll be worth it. Sadly it'll mean I have to make my entrance into the frightening world of professional web hosting, which is probably the most intimidating part of getting a website going. I may wait.

8th December 2001

Well, looks like I'm going to have to get myself a full domain now, as » Freedom2Surf (our current hosts) are discontinuing their free hosting service. Oh man! I have to get all the old links pointing to this address to go to our new address... sounds like fun.

I've been toying around with HTMLSource 3 ideas for a week now, and I'm forming some decent ideas of what I want to achieve with it. It's really just going to be a structural and navigational improvement — the links you want will be in the places where they'll be most helpful. I'll do another content overhaul too, and add in lots of more resources links. It's gonna be a long process.

16th December 2001

Ooh no. As I've known for some time, the domain has been bought by a cybersquatting company. What I did not know however, is that they're expecting over $650 for the domain! What in God's name was I thinking not buying it earlier?? So, looks like HTMLSource won't be getting its own dot-com after all. I went looking for alternatives but they're all bloody taken as well. I dunno what I'm going to do. I've calmed down about this since earlier but I'm still damn pissed off. I have until February to sort something out.

On a happier, less hatred-filled note, there's some new stuff to read. Learn the basics of human interaction in Netiquette, and hear the definitive opinion in Frames: Good or Bad? The 3 design is looking much better than I had expected. As usual, I've gone and changed around more than I had envisioned, but it's looking good so far. One more week of tweaking and I'll begin the metamorphosis of the whole site. Whether it'll have a place to stay by then is another matter...

21st December 2001

Happy Christmas everyone! And to think, I almost forgot... Have a good one!

style="border-top: 1px dashed #99c; padding-top: 0.5em">But wait, there's more: Episode 8.

Previous Updates
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