Why and What

For some reason, I find making web pages fun. It's a combination of art and programming, and doesn't require a lot of skill in either one. It also provides a place to save information that people can be directed to with just a quick link. I can put up my thoughts on any subject and say via e-mail, "but here's what I really think," and not have to start over.

So it started as a way to learn, a became a way of sharing information and stating opinions.

A Brief History

This site started as a way for me to learn html somewhere around '96, back when the browsers were at version 2 and 3, and tables were about as complicated as things got. That's still its main purpose. That and a place for me to save information. I used to go back and forth between the different browsers and different versions of them to come up with a compromise that would look reasonable on all of them. But not any more: see Browser Support.

Historically, this site had a bunch of links to places that I thought were fun, interesting, humorous or sometimes just controversial. The links were made of pictures or some interactive scripting, all in the name of allowing me a combination of programming and artistic expression. But looking at the counters that were scattered on the site showed that I was usually the only audience. Not too surprising since them the theme was really: here's what amused me one day.

Since I found that storing info in HTML instead of text wasn't that much more difficult, and looked a lot better, I started saving research I was doing in HTML. And since I had a web page I put it there. I noticed that other people were doing the same research, so I posted a link to the work I had done, and suddenly people were looking at my page. But still not moving beyond the original research page that they were interested in.

It seemed that there was a potential audience, but I would have to make things interesting to draw them beyond one page, yet keep the page simple so it would load quick and work with the most browsers. And I'm still working on figuring out how to do that. But the obvious part was that people want unique content, not just a bunch of links.

The result of this is that there are only a couple of motivations to put up new pages: Share something that I've researched and share information about a specific subject. Initially that will mostly be music.

Browser Support

Just upgrade. How old is this page? The upgrade links were to a site that closed down because their work is done. I talk about Netscape 4.x and Pentium 100s. 1998 maybe? Read on if you must…

Really, this web stuff has been around long enough that all the browsers should be able to follow the published standards. And most are getting fairly close (other than WebTV, which seems to just support what it wants to). It's not worth my time to check if the visual spacing is going to work out okay in Netscape 4.x, because it ends up with a kludge of workarounds that still only fix it for one of the versions. So my new philosophy is to just follow the specs in the web design and suggest that people upgrade their browsers.

Unfortunately, this isn't always possible: There are lots of people out there with Pentium 100 powered computers that can't upgrade to the latest version of Netscape because it requires more processing power than the PC has. The site will still work, but it won't look as nice.

There are a few tags that shouldn't be in these pages because they've been removed from the new standards. But since a browser will ignore what it doesn't understand, and keeping a few of these on the page will make it look a lot better for those that can't (or won't) upgrade, I'm bending the rules. At least until it starts making page design more difficult. Just for fun, I checked it on WebTV and found that many of the margins and spacings are broken, but most things were functional other than some of the animated .gifs, scripts and frames. That's just going to have to stay broken.