21 August, 2018, Redesigned Website, version 6

Well, it certainly took longer than I ever thought it would, but I've finally finished updating the website. We've upgraded to version six, people, and I'm still not entirely sure how I arrived at that number. I can't trace the version history back past number four, so I've only got my own file naming conventions to rely on for how we got to where we are today, but we're here at last. Version six has arrived.

I've only been planning this update since before the last update, which I really must admit I was never entirely happy with. I mean—okay—sure—I was very happy with it. Site looked awesome on desktop rigs and laptops with rather sumptuous quantities of screen acreage, but that's rather beside the point. While widescreens and even just average sized screens were happy with the situation, the site just didn't look good on mobile devices.

Couldn't get the hang of them. Tiny little mobile screens. They sucked.

Website didn't care. Dimensions were locked. They looked good. They looked awesome. They were more than a little proud of themselves as long as you could take in their self-important grandeur in one go. If you had to pan-and-scan or otherwise do weird scrolling things with your finger in order to take it all in—well—the site just didn't really seem to care.

I blame myself, naturally, since I was rather stubbornly refusing to let Dreamweaver do any of the heavy lifting. Version five was all hand-coded, using every last tidbit and trick I was able to glean from skimming the w3school pages on CSS and HTML. Dreamweaver was serving as little more than a glorified WYSIWYG editor, and I wasn't even using the WYSIWYG part. All the design work took place in the old-school text editor side of the equation, and I only clicked on the live-view to check up on how the works were coming together.

So, yeah, I was stubbornly stuck in the past. Nobody was going to tell me what to do or force me to use predefined templates. No buttons were going to be clicked, and not a lick of badly formatted pre-made code was going to be dropped unceremoniously into any portion of my beautifully hand-crafted site.

And, then one day, I realized it was all fucking bullshit. I didn't have time for this crap. My site was languishing in the past. It basically didn't function on newfangled devices, and I wasn't even updating the damn thing. I didn't have time. There were two whole updates in all of 2017. That's disgraceful. Entropy is death.

So, yeah, enough with being too good for the likes of pre-rendered templates. I was paying for Dreamweaver as part of my Creative Cloud membership or whatever the hell it is that the company calls it. I might as well make use of the damn thing. So, pre-rendered badly formatted code was going to be dropped into the works, making a mockery of clean form and design. Nobody was going to understand what they were looking at if they should ever click on the source code button.

Nobody was going to click on the source code button, but that was hardly the point.

So, I quick discovered I had to watch a few tutorial videos, and then try experimenting with the clicking of various and sundry buttons, which was really more clicking on pulldown menus until something resembling the right option was found.

This process went on for a while, and then the whole world and everything in it got in the way. The redesign experiments went on indefinite hold and more than a year should pass before I would take another crack at the works. At which point, I made a rather surprising discovery.

See, what with barely keeping track of how these things works, I had come to the not entirely accurate conclusion that the mobile device friendly version of the site I was slowly attempting to generate was using propitiatory Dreamweaver crap.

Simple really, I just didn't have the time to research these things. Well, what can I say? Getting old sucks. You just can't run around like a rampaging maniac doing things at all hours of the day and night like you could when you were a more irresponsibly younger lunatic. I really had to consider the possibility that I needed sleep. Rest was good, too. Burning right through the middle of that candle just became more of an unavoidable reality. Age running right up behind you and screaming in your fucking ear—but, I digress.

So, it turns out that Dreamweaver was just using this open-source—I hope it's open-source—thing called Bootstrap. Tutorials available at that wonderful little website previously mentioned called w3schools or possibly just school. I don't care.

Process took about two months. Half of that time was spent reading tutorials and cussing the ever-living fuck out of Dreamweaver as I made a hash out of the tutorials. The other half of the time was spent simply trying to port the bloody guts and other assorted content of the site from the old format to the new, and that process was quickly devouring a metric fuckton of time.

So, there finally reached that point you arrive at with any vaguely creative adjacent process where you admit to yourself that you just can't fucking take it anymore. It's the ever-living end. Enough already. The site is done. It's fucking done. I don't care that I have to cut off the archive at five years. I just can't take it anymore. I've got shit to do, and this shit is just getting in the goddamn horse-juice squeezing, wheeze-inducing way—but, I think you get the idea.

So, yeah, the website is greatly simplified. The rarefied ranting journal and news pages have been merged into a simple update corner, which has been capped at a whopping five out of eighteen years of history. The short stories are gone. The poetry has been banished. The audiobook may return. We shall see how I feel about that. And, the web comic is gone. Yeah, I know, there's still a comics page, but it's only got links to the dead-tree version. The web comic may return as a web comic someday, but I just don't got time for that shit.

I discovered a couple problems roundabout five minutes after the site went live on Sunday, and I think I've got those sorted. There's probably tons more stuff I'll stumble across, but at least the new site is live.

It don't look like total shit on mobile devices. I'm not convinced it looks great, but it's actually scrollable on something smaller than a fifty-two inch high-def monitor, so at least there is that.

copyright © 2018 by keith d. jones – all rights reserved