About this site

Last updated: 16.12.2001


Buttons Graphics Acknowledgements

Buttons

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Graphics, extensions etc.

These pages are intended to conform to the HTML 4.0 specifications insofar as possible. Most pages are fully compliant. A few deliberate errors have been left in, mostly where necessary to ensure backwards compatibility with JavaScript on older browsers.

If you're one of those brave individuals who haven't yet been browbeaten into using the latest RAM guzzler from Microscape or Netsoft, welcome. These pages are intended to be mostly usable by everyone, including text-only browsers and even text-to-speech engines ("Hellooo, can you hear me?"). If any page on the site is particularly difficult to read, please mail me and I'll do my best to sort it out.

The same remarks apply to graphics. I probably use more than I should, but less than I could. When all's said and done, I'm trying to make the site look reasonably pretty, so long as I can do so without making it unusable. Some pages, which are specifically graphics-related, tend to be 'heavier'. If it gets too slow, you may want to switch off image-loading; titles and texts should have ALT attributes so that pages still make sense even if you can't see the pretty pictures; the ALT attribute for linked images typically includes some numbers (i.e. 3K/20K) giving an idea of the size of the inlined image preview (first number) and the linked image itself (second number). Again, if you feel that any page is unnecessarily overladen with images, I'd welcome comments.

Here's my personal list of what's 'in' and 'out' in the world of the Web.

Techniques

In
IMG ALT texts
IMG HEIGHT and WIDTH
Tables (used carefully)
Flash
Cascading stylesheets
Client-side image maps (with server-side equivalents)

Out
Layers
BLINK
MARQUEE
FONT
JavaScript tickers
Pop-up windows
Java abuse
Distracting animated GIFs

Tools

In
Validators
Macro-processors
Databases and scripts
Perl
Text editors
PHP
MySQL

Out
"What you see is nearly what you get" editors

Teachers

In
Abigail/Martian
Vincent Flanders

Out
David Siegel

Targets

In
Pages that can be read with any browser

Out
Browser-specific pages

I'm currently somewhat agnostic on the subject of XML. It sounds lovely, but the presently available documentation is so opaque that I'm having more than a little difficulty getting my head round it. I particularly want to understand RDF, but it may take a while yet ...


Acknowledgements and disclaimers

I'd like to thank the Tardis Project for having hosted on early version of this site for a number of years. The site is now hosted on raingod.com which is a virtual server hosted by Burstnet. Burstnet are, of course, not responsible for anything I choose to put here.

All material appearing on this site (except for original works by other authors in the Poetry section, and elsewhere where specifically indicated) is © Angus McIntyre 1994-1999. If you wish to link to, publish or otherwise re-use any material on this site, please see my linking/use policy.

Some of the hardware and software used to build this site includes:

MacOS BBEdit MacPerl

The HTML code for these pages is assembled using Melissa (Macro Expander for Local Interpolation of Simple Strings Automatically), a proprietary Perl-based site maintenance tool (Melissa is, quite coincidentally, also the name of one of the most wonderful people I know, but that's by the way). Large parts of the site, including the Photo Gallery, the Spam Statistics and the Other Worlds collection are generated offline from databases using custom Perl scripts. Other parts, including the Recipes collection are generated dynamically online using Perl scripts and text databases. Some sections previously based on Perl, such as the Signatures collection, have now been converted to PHP and MySQL.


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