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Episode 8

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3rd January 2002

Hurrah, we made it into the new year. I guess it would be silly of me to start making promises about what is in-store for HTMLSource's future, because I don't even know; but you can be sure it's something terrific. As is the custom here, I'm writing this update over a month late, so I can't remember what I should be relating. Christmas! I never said anything about Christmas. Well, the festivities are long over, but they were good if I recount correctly. And New Year's? Don't talk to me about it. Er, right, now that that's been discussed...

5th January 2002

So, I'm about half-way through converting all the pages to our new, all-spanky XHTML layout. Things are going quite smoothly, thanks in no small way to HomeSite's wonderful Find and Replace feature. There's still a lot of hard graft involved though, so I'm taking some time out now and again to start on some new articles. It's also become apparent that it's not possible to replicate what I want to do with the new layout entirely in CSS and layers, so I'm using a table for the main content. That's a real shame, yes; but until we have proper vertical alignment with CSS-3, that's how it's gonna be. Bah.

6th January 2002

Rachel's pregnant! The world does not gasp. What the hell has happened to Friends recently? I watch the old episodes, which evoke much mirth, and Chandler has left indelible influences on my personality; but just now, as it builds to its climactic finale, people stop caring... I don't know, maybe I'm just too laughed out after Futurama.

7th January 2002

Back to college — oh man. Back to being rebuked by my freaking androgynous computer demonstrator. Back to physics. Back to insomnia. Thankfully, I'm going back with a new outlook. Well, a modified outlook; which should make it less crap. Wish me luck.

23rd January 2002

This site has valid XHTML Transitionl We finally got through the » W3C validator today as having completely valid XHTML Transitional. Hurrah! It's taken a bit of jigging about in the layout, but we've » done it now. Next up: complying with the » WAI guidelines. Oh man.

24th January 2002

I had a look through the rest of the leading HTML sites on the net today. They all either haven't been updated for ages, demand money for their information, or are a jumbled mess of outdated information; or all of the above.

So now HTMLSource is — truly — the best HTML site. The people rejoice...

27th January 2002

The problems caused by our design dichotomy continue. I'm solving problems with our move to a CSS layout all the time, but there's still some stuff to fix. Lucky we've gone dormant for a while so I can work on this. At the moment it looks perfect in IE5.5, but Netscape 6 is giving me all sorts of trouble. Then again, I only have the preview release (still!), so it might be that. I have to sort out the measurements for browsers that get the box model right too, which is going to be tricky.

I can't wait to get back to writing stuff though. I've been working on Content Accessibility for about a month now, and it's still not finished. Luckily I also wrote The History of the Net last week, which was a far more interesting article to scribble.

5th February 2002

In an effort to keep the web moving forwards, not backwards; upwards, not forwards; I'm now going through the whole site writing in new warnings and updating content to make sure everyone is writing good, accessible code. It just wouldn't do for me to teach you bad practices. So, new in 2002 we're going to see more of a focus on learning CSS, with tutorials on layer layouts and lots more stylesheet tips. And it's HTML 4 standards all the way too.

HTMLSource 3: no more hacks.

22nd February 2002

Due to what can only be described as a moment of inspired genius by me, I decided to try one more time to fix the problems the layout had in Netscape 6, before I broke and started cheating my way around it. And, whaddya know; I sorted it out with a retrospectively simple use of the clear property. Huzzah! I also found Opera 4 on an old CD and installed it. It may cost money for the full version, but it really is a superb browser. HTMLSource looks good in that too, for all its standards-compliance. And » Opera 5 is out now too, I should really have a look at that. Must add in some links to Opera too — they deserve it.

Our domain name is on the way, just have to get hold of my mum's credit card and we're sorted. I'll have to do without Coke for a whole month now after all this extra cost. Bah.

25th February 2002

Right, so I finally bought our domain name today. Say hello to your new best friend — Catchy, eh? Now all that remains to be done is to inform all of my current visitors of the name change before the 28th (now there's planning for you), get every page linking to the old domain (about 500 at last count) to link to the new, and fix the few remaining errors in HTMLSource 3.

If you do see anything you think needs fixing around the site, release the punk inside and  tell me about it. And if you just want to tell me how the wait for 3 was torturous, but eventually worth it, I'll be glad to hear it.

5th March 2002

>> HTMLSource version 3! That's the good stuff!
Right, time for an official announcement then. HTMLSource 3 is here, and here to stay. By now you know about the new domain name that I finally procured,, and can see for yourself the new site redesign. Fully XHTML and CSS-based, it downloads quicker than ever before, and looks great in any recent browser. In older browsers, i.e. any version 4 browser, the CSS (and therefore design) is hidden away from them so they don't attempt to use it. All this means that practically everyone can access our content with the minimum of fuss.

The layout has been sharpened and smoothed out in various places. I'm going to get a page together detailing the redesign process, as when I was doing it I couldn't find many tutorials on the subject. The Source Directory is new, a repository of only the best links to excellent websites that you may be interested in. I have a fair few links to add to it, but there are some there now ready for you. The more recently added tutorials are marked as such in the Full Index. As always, I'm always happy to receive feedback on whatever you want to talk about. Go now! Learn a new tag, or about content accessibility, or about the History of the Net.

And for God's sake, have fun.

9th March 2002

Still tooteling around the site looking for redesign-themed errors. The big one, spotted by our jive-talkin' friend 'C-man', was that I had forgotten to update the search results since the move. Silly me. Anyway, that's been sorted out now. Also, for those of you who've gotten in contact with me and then had your self-confidence and religious faith dashed when I never replied; I've gotten myself a new  email address. Hotmail are just too much of a pain to accept email from, and I'm on way too many spam lists. So, write on! Give me your thoughts, suggestions and rants; and I'll see about replying more promptly in future...

12th March 2002

Many small improvements have been made throughout the site over the last few days. The Redesign Process is finished, and may be quite interesting for the hordes of you contemplating an XHTML redesign. I'm going to be revising it a little with more technical information, but it's a finished article as it stands. Also, something that transpired during our redesign period but wasn't mentioned on that page is the fact that the link to » EarthSource is no longer a part of the navigation bar. There's no point in introducing you all to the useless past, so all communication between this Source and that Source has hereby ceased. How tearful!

Tonight I'm sending out some emails about the change of address. Sigh.

14th March 2002

I made the site a little more accommodating to users with version 4 and below browsers by adding explanations for why the site looks so barren in their browsers and setting up a Browser Upgrades page, where they can find the latest standards-compliant browsers and so view the site in the best way possible. I downloaded » Opera 6 myself, and it's excellent. The front page was rearranged a little bit, and the full index was completely remade — looks good. Also, the old and rather weak classes, ids and <span> tutorial has been backed up and rolled out anew as Advanced CSS; now incorporating all sorts of crazy technical crap like importing sheets and conditional style. It's far better than it used to be, and there's the third and final introductory CSS tutorial on the way.

Oh, and if there are any of you left out there that have not seen Pixar's latest work of genius, go and see Monsters, Inc. Trust me, it's magic.

16th March 2002

One of the many new things I've become interested in recently is typography. I guess that's been coming for a long time, with all this stuff I'm learning about text formatting with CSS. I find myself tracking down articles like the » Scourge of Arial, and I'm not sure why. It is sort of interesting though; if professional typographers weren't all so elitist I might like it more. Sweet mother, this page is getting awfully close to becoming some sort of crazy, contemporary weblog of some sort.

Actually, what I've been longing for more recently is a place where I can expel my more transitory writing. It seems a personal site is the way to go. Are we witnessing the birth of

Yeah, you go » BuyDomains. Go register it, you bastards.

17th March 2002

Happy Paddy's day to you all. Heart-crushing realisation: those mythical green-tinged Guinnesses aren't actually served in my local. They may not even exist at all. Bah.

18th March 2002

Men like me have to look to the future, so I took time out from my 'studies' (did I mention I'm on holidays from college?) to gaze into space and imagine what comes next for HTMLSource. First stop was a biweekly newsletter of some sort, but that couldn't work yet. Regular mailings from me? Now there's a sentence with more things wrong with it than there are letters. Besides, what the hell would I write about?

I came to a more stable decision on what new language to tackle next. I know everyone's heard of JavaScript, etc., and I still haven't sat down and learnt it, but I've decided to learn CGI first. I paid for this new CGI-enabled server, so it's about time I got freaky with it. Eventually, I'm told, I'll be able to create my own guestbooks, polls and counters. I may even be able to offer to host a counter here for you, the readers. But stop; I'm just whistling dixie here. I'll have learnt CGI sometime in the next two weeks, and then start the new Scripting section (which'll become home to the beleaguered JavaScript as well, as soon as there's more to it).

Oh, and what have I learnt so far from my schoolbooks? 300 pages behind and feeling fine!

27th March 2002

The burgeoning accessibility section is padded out once again with the long-awaited Logical Style. That's a good one to read; it encapsulates a lot of the more modern thinking I'm trying to inject into the Source. Also, Extreme Optimisation was given a much-needed edit. No longer will the hacks go supported, and proper warnings were added to the malpractices.

I've sent out dozens of emails to the powers that be, and thankfully most webmasters are glad to change the url to the new site. Some even thank me, which is nice. Come on Google, do your stuff.

I don't know how long it's going to take to start on the new Scripting section. There's a lot of reading and writing involved in getting new tutorials off the ground, and starting from scratch on a whole new set is hell. I have lots of college work to neglect. I learned a bit of JavaScript the other day, not that tricky due to my superlative Java knowledge (I'm now just 50 pages behind and feeling tired), so I guess it's "well" on it's "way".

3rd April 2002

Well, that was a rather uninspiring April Fool's Day. Most sites didn't even try this time around. Mind, that's probably a good thing after the many abominations of humour I've seen perpetrated around this time of year. I'm back to the grindstone in college, and this term I'm really going to my lectures. Second day in and I'm knacked beyond belief. Also, my exams are coming around a lot sooner than I had expected — in about four weeks, so I'm not going to have the time to write up those CGI tutorials like I thought. I already have the tutorial template designed and everything, but I guess it'll have to wait until next month at the earliest. Ah well, you know it'll be worth the wait.

I checked for the first time in a while today, and HTMLSource is now comprised of about 150 full pages. Not quite rag-on-a-stick big, but not far off...

style="border-top: 1px dashed #99c; padding-top: 0.5em">But wait, there's more: Episode 9.

Previous Updates
Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6 | Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12 | Current Updates