January 25, 2004

There and Back Again

Well, here it is at last, Version 3, the product of many late nights and plenty of coffee.

Some minor improvements have been made to structure. Among other things, entries are now sorted into categories for all of the archival browsers out there. The Weekly Photography section is now a small, self-contained chunk of Flash complete with integrated archive, previous and next buttons for individual photos (also for year in the archive), and a zoom feature for all the ladies out there. The Oddities & Diversions section now sports a “last updated” time stamp. For those who miss the old design or were ever curious about the short lived first version of this site, screenshots from both design are available in the About section.

On a more technical note, the site has been streamlined and rebuilt from the ground up with transitional XHTML and CSS. This means you won’t find any tables in this dojo (ok, there is one for the new calendar feature on the archive page… but that was MovableType’s doing). The site now uses PHP for includes wherever possible for ease of maintenance and reusability. The Portfolio and Photography sections make use of a single SWF which is passed variables in the <embed> tag to locate the appropriate images. And for all of you Mac users out there, not only are you fortunate to be on a Mac, but for some reason I have not discovered yet, the water stain on the right side of the page doesn’t play nice with IE on the PC.

With an eye towards the near future, I plan to upgrade the site to the forthcoming MovableType 3.0. I am hoping there are some new and exciting features in it, but mainly this is to deal with the ever-growing problem of comment spamming. For those who are fortunate enough to be unscathed by the problem, comment spamming is basically the same annoyance you find daily in your inbox, but now you can find it on comment-enabled sites too, including this insignificant one. I am averaging about 2 a day at the moment (no one care about your stupid online casino), but some report numbers in the hundreds. Anyway, MT 3.0 incorporates a comment registration feature. You want to comment, you will have to register. I am sorry, but it’s that or removing comments all together, which I really don’t want to do. On a somewhat related note, I am still trying to figure out what to do with the Best Band Name Ever section, although now you can at least find it in the main navigation.

I would like to take a second to thank those that helped me to remove my head from my ass: Terry Wall for his assistance with some pesky XML for the Weekly Photography section, Dan Benjamin of Hivelogic for a PHP crash course, and Jeffrey Zeldman (indirectly) for his invaluable book, Designing With Web Standards, which planted the seed for this redesign.

This design is what I had intended to do last time; a representation of an old pulp book, complete with water stains, wear, and yellowing pages. That’s about it. I am really proud of this new look. I hope you like it. If you find anything horribly wrong, other than the questionable interest quotient of the site, please feel free to email me. Otherwise, please share your praise/hatred in the commentary below. I am off to return to a more frequent sleep schedule now. zzzzz…

Commentary (12):

1. Rob Weychert says… jan 26, 2004 | 12:06 am

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2. Kevin Cornell says… jan 26, 2004 | 8:09 am

Looks good! I’ll be checking for bugs. And when I find them, I’ll be notifying everyone on my site, so they know how to break your site like Russians broke Rocky.

3. JEFF says… jan 26, 2004 | 9:27 am

Looks great. I envy all those with the power and know-how of html. Although I must object to your viewing of Ghost Ship. What was up with that undead latino bitch in the red dress huh? Man…she gets screwed over in life by the calvin klein demon, and still has to whore around and kill people after she gets hooked in the head.…And.…don’t go drinking scotch thats been sitting out for 60 yrs…thats just unsafe.

4. Jason Santa Maria says… jan 26, 2004 | 9:42 am

I know, it was wretched, but I have to be honest and put them all down for myself, good and really really bad.

5. Merritt says… jan 26, 2004 | 5:49 pm

Just thought you’d like to know your site’s back up and it’s hot!

6. Chrissy says… jan 26, 2004 | 9:30 pm

jasonsantamaria! de dios! nuevos por nosotros!

sorry, that’s all i wanted to say. your blog looks pretty swell. the content, ah, not so much. ;)

7. niff says… jan 27, 2004 | 9:41 am

hola stany!
sorry it’s taken me so long to look at your site. i have been slaving away at CC. at any rate, it looks amazing and you rock my socks off. i will be here yet again.


8. crave says… jan 31, 2004 | 1:17 am

1. Damn Tab Button, jumping too many spaces. Sorry about the lame empty post.

2. Best looking blog I’ve seen. I haven’t seen a whole lot, but this one kicks izzass. Nice work.

9. crave says… jan 31, 2004 | 1:38 am

and one more thing. I’ve been “building” (and I use that term very loosely) for quite awhile now, but I have never had the tenacity to boost my web skills to the level of my print skills. Now I am faced with a situation where I want that to happen, but I feel that I am moving into that period of my life where learning new technologies is close to impossible. My comprehension seems to be slipping and I am more frustrated than anything else. I don’t even know where to start with CSS, DHTML and … ugh… Actionscript.

What does all this mean to you? Not a damn thing except being on this site for only 10 minutes has, instead of inspiring me, put me in a state of depression because I am so freakin’ far behind.

Excuse my French, but F—-ing F—-.

Thanks for listening.

10. sutter says… jan 31, 2004 | 1:19 pm

the site:
Its day flew in the disc of a shadow.
What helpless soul of picture within the invisible guts!

11. Joe McBride says… feb 11, 2004 | 10:01 pm

Is it just me, or am I missing something? Every comment on this line seems to have some sort of alterior second meaning, maybe I just need to read this thing more?

Like the design, especially the way you’ve organized the text on your page.

12. Jason Santa Maria says… feb 11, 2004 | 10:10 pm

Just people making fun of my site being comment spammed :)