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Episode 9

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20th April 2002

At practicality's behest I've made a rather large modification to the design today. Mainly to correct a rather irritating IE5 printing bug which would cut off half of the page, and also to sort out some display problems in both Netscape and Opera. What exactly was the change you ask? We're back to tables. The whole outer structure of the layout is defined in tables once again. It's not too bad though, despite losing the bottom-aligned more resources box on the right of the articles pages, overall this is for the best. Trying to force a table-based layout into a CSS layout was never going to work. I've also created a print stylesheet, which changes how the page looks when it's printed out. It'll save you ink and paper — great.

I've had a bit of a hellish week in college, what with it being the final week of the year and all. I had to get a Java project wrapped up and that's stolen away literally full days of my life recently, so that was all a bit stressful. Happily, it turned out rather well; an addictive little puzzle game. Only problem is nobody understands what went into making it, so when you show it to them you're faced with a blank "Meh". Bah. Interest'n: Bookmarklets.

26th April 2002

It's a bad sign when you wake up in your clothes... In my defence, I watched the Blair Witch project last night in a darkened room, and it scared the bejeesus out of me. It had the most haunting and discomforting ending I've experienced in ages. Great film.

Visitors levels have shot up since our dismal switch over to the Address that nobody loved last month. Three visitors a day? It happened. I got a little lonely back then; except not really. We're back on form now, Google seeming to heartily enjoy the new page structures. Still haven't seen my html tutorials position, but I'm not going to stress over it. For related meanderings, see the much-improved Promotion 101 redux, now set up as a cautionary tale to the new webmaster, as told by the bitter old hand.

Also note that I wrote much of the new content on that page in a very loose fashion; not how I've been doing things around here for the last while. I'd be very interested in  your opinions on the style, as I thoroughly enjoyed writing that way, but I'm not sure if it is the best way to teach stuff. So as always, feedback welcome. I seem to continually ask and rarely receive, so send me some thoughts, dammit.

29th April 2002

Exams kicked off today, and I was firing out the answers in fine style. 1024! The Zeroth law of Thermodynamics! K-Map! The Cotton Gin!

Weather-permitting, I'll have them wrapped up and passed within three weeks, whence we can get down to the real action. More time to work on my baby, and learn some new, interesting stuff. I've just about covered everything I set out to and more on the HTML side of things, so it's time to get more technical with some JavaScript and CGI. I've found some good tutorials, so in between exams I'm learning for the future, and should be able to chuck the new tutorials out pretty fast when I'm finished. You'll join me, won't you?

5th May 2002

Whoo, quite a large update for you today. Firstly, the most epic modification is the introduction of the CGI Scripting section — with two tutorials already. Whew, that was some task. I'm actually interlacing learning it and writing about it, which is tiring, but the tutorials look good so far. To start learning Perl, read basic Perl now. I'll add more articles later this week.

I also finally got my hands on Internet Explorer 6, which is really quite good indeed. There were some minor bugs in the CSS to fix, but I think it's all cleared up now. Thanks to those who wrote in with reports. I got rid of the distressingly slow Netscape 6 beta I've been working with recently and installed Netscape 6.2, which I have been amazed by. The graduation from NN4 to this is astounding — you'd hardly think it was by the same people. Well done » Netscape.

You can also see our sponsors (I love that) for the next few months — » TopHosts UK in the navigation bar. They've been kind enough to cover my domain name and server costs, so we're back in the green, so to speak. The feedback form has now been CGI-ified too; it even thanks you for your good nature. Great! Man, do I feel good about this site. Must get back into the promotion game now, get the last of our links pointing to the right address. Must do some study too...

10th May 2002

Those overworked boys and girls over at Yahoo finally got round to updating our link yesterday. Hey, it only took two months. Someone from there got back to me regarding a possible option on the change form where you can mark your submission as an 'url change' for faster processing, and said that there was a similar feature being worked on. That's good news.

Dealing with Forms has been finished. Boring as hell to write, but very helpful in practice. A few rogue design elements that were intent on causing trouble and interfering with our XHTML compliance have been relieved of their positions. I don't know how they snuck in, but they shouldn't be back. HTMLSource looks more or less perfect, if such a status is possible, across all three major browsers; not to mention being fully usable in any sub-version 4 browser too. If I get the time, I'm going to program a send-to-friends page over the weekend. That's if my goddamn exams will stop getting in the way.

17th May 2002

The exams halls have closed their doors... Won't be long now before we see if any of my damage-limitation studying was worth it. So that means it's summertime again — not long till our second birthday here at the Source.

I went to see Episode II today. It was stunning, really — as if any more proof was needed that beardy Lucas has one of the best design teams in the world behind him. Some of the landscapes and action sequences were ridiculously beautiful. It was just right as a Star Wars movie in almost every way. I don't think there'll be many who'll continue doubting Georgie still has it...

And now? Now I can't wait to see it again.

18th May 2002

Strange things are happenin'. For one, I learned a fair bit of JavaScript today — enough to even finally write a tutorial about it? Why, yes indeed. Also, for those of you with friends, you can now let them share in your delight by sending them our way. Bring some happiness into someone's life.

29th May 2002

The JavaScript section is making good progress, after a very slow period this week. It took me ages to decide on a structure to put the tutorials in, since I wasn't entirely sure what would come next. Two new tutorials later and it all looks a lot more promising — Event Handlers and Writing Scripts. I'm probably going to write a couple more over the next few days. Also, check out the improvements we've made around the site since 3ource launched in a progress report.

Oh, here come those new tutorials now: Functions and Objects and Properties.

5th June 2002

For anyone who's been following the development of the Mozilla browser, » Mozilla 1.0 is out the door. And everyone seems very happy with it.

12th June 2002

I've had quite a good day today. Firstly, I got my exam results and found that I had managed to fail none of them. Then Ireland only went and got into the second round of the World Cup. I didn't get to experience the undoubted debauchery in the taverns, but there was a pleasing amount of madcap horn-tooting out on the road. Terrific.

Sitely, the under-utilised Future Watch notices have been improved greatly, now fully describing why certain primitive practices are better off avoided. Nice orange tang to them now too. The near-pointless browser review page has been re-written. Hey, this time I even mentioned Opera! Finally, I've started placing links to books in the index pages and in some tutorials. Since the chances of me going out and finding a job for the summer are looking slim, I'm going to need some 'revenue stream' to keep me going through the warm summer months.

Episode 8...

In other news, I'm quite proud of how the JavaScript section has changed from a barren desert of information to a decent collection of tutorials in such a short space of time. This was helped in no small part to Peter-Paul Koch's excellent » JS writings. One of the few beneficial uses of frames I've ever seen too. And lo and behold, the » Web Standards Project has awoken from its deep sleep, rearing to take on a world of uncaring coders with a fresh new site and an upbeat and confident approach. I wish them luck.

18th June 2002

Happy happy birthday to HTMLSource! How the years fly by...

25th June

After hours of work, I've turned my redesign interests on Amazon, birthing » Amazon New, a completely stylesheet-run version of one of the biggest sites on the net. When I started, I just wanted to see if it was possible to lessen the amount of navigational graphics and such, but it ballooned into an overhaul of the whole page. Turned out very nice. Of course, I just get it finished when I find someone else's effort — » Amazon rocking XHTML — which is nice too, if a little less 'radical'. Duck behind the scenes on mine and you'll see that there's even a proper document structure, fully compliant XHTML Transitional, and about a third the amount of physical code that made up the original's Frontpage-spewed mess. One or two CSS workarounds were necessary due to buggy browsers (Opera isn't as good as I once thought, Netscape 6.2 is great); but overall I'd say this is something that could work... next year sometime.

12th July 2002

Changed around the feedback form so that every poor punter who stumbles into it now has to provide negative feedback of some form. I also added a validation script that ensures everything's been filled in, which goes along nicely with the new JavaScript tutorial.

I gave the stylesheet section a thorough reorganise, with both CSS Spacing and CSS Backgrounds getting their own upsized tutorials, and CSS Layout providing a better example of what's possible with CSS than the old positioning tutorial did. Also, named colours now highlights the valid HTML colour-names. They look dreadful though.

I'm 19 tomorrow. Erk.

19th July 2002

Hullo. I'm going away for the next week or two. If you're all good boys and girls I'll be home to continue the adventure in two weeks. See you then.

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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