Work: New Website Construction

February 13th, 2003 by Richy B. Leave a reply »

[New Work Website]For the last week and a bit, along with all my many other work duties, I’ve been constructing a new website for the company I work for. Nothing too amazing about that – I’ve already lost count of the number of websites I’ve built (I can only just remember the domain names for sites that I personally own!), but this is the first time I’m using Flash [Order from Amazon.co.uk] .

Yep, the “nearly-the-spawn- of-Satan-if- Frontpage [Order from Amazon.co.uk] -and-Dreamweaver [Order from Amazon.co.uk] -didn’t-get-there first” web coding thingy. Search engine unfriendly, dial up access unfriendly and bloated like hell. Yuck! Oh well, I just make the sites to “the client specification” and it’s just my luck that in this case the client is my own boss πŸ™‚ If he wants a Flash driven website, then a Flash driven website he gets…

Actually, whilst SWiSH (the program I’m using to make the Flash movie/site) is quite easy to use (the website is already quite nifty looking and does everything it needs to do), it doesn’t seem that “stable”. I some how managed to crash it around 6 times in 20 minutes just by amending parts of the movie. Blarg.

Anyway, the nifty site is up and running and I’m reasonably proud of it – and my boss likes it as well πŸ™‚ . Only thing we don’t like is the file size. Around 190Kb for the movie! *gulp* Admittedly my blog’s home page (including the images) is 65.9Kb (which will take 18.3seconds to download on a 28.8Kbps modem: I’ll have to streamline the page somehow) – but I’m not trying to sell things from my blog…

So over last weekend, I decided to make an attempt to emulate the Flash animation using just CSS and Javascript. And, after a while, I succeeded. A nice animated menu all in CSS+Javascript very similar to the bloated Flash. Yea me! To celebrate, I started to watch a movie on my computer – which then crashed. Unfortunately, I was still working on the website in my text editor and hence only had a copy somewhere in the massive temporary storage area on my computer. I thought there was no hope of recovery *sob*.

Today my boss and I discussed making a low-bandwidth version of the site, so when I got home I searched my temporary directory (several times) for set keywords that I’m sure I used in the CSS version construction. Nothing. Try searching on Google for the inspiration I had. Nothing. Aaarghh! I do some other stuff and then I glance at my very crowded desktop – “Oooh – what’s this file called cdp.html?”. Lo and behold – it’s the file I’ve been looking for all week! Grrr…. Serves me right really for having a bad memory and a cluttered desktop.

So, I’m going to email the file to myself (at my work address) and finish making the fancy site tomorrow. Before I continue work on that site, I’ve got to “make live” a modification I’ve done to our “junior search engine promotion” company’s website (adding glowing unsolicited client testimonials: from a client whose site I optimised!), check the technical support helpdesk, optimise another site and create a “simple” (as in ‘luser can understand’) renewal form for our website hosting packages.

Quite a bit to do then in real terms! So what am I still doing up at 11.15pm? Last night I got home and (like every other “work night” for the past fortnight) fell asleep within 1.5hours of getting home – woke up around 4 hours later and was back asleep within 2 hours. I think I’m having restless nights though as this morning I woke up extremely tired and physically exhausted: I’m actually considering getting an infra-red lamp and setting up my digi-cam to observe myself during the night to see how much I do move (I woke up this morning with my head and feet poking off the opposite sides of the bed!).

Oh – my boss also treated all us downtrodden slaves^H^H^H^H^H^H for a meal at lunchtime at a reasonably local pub/restaurant (I think it was a Harvester, but my memory is already hazy). Extremely nice and we discussed a great many things – from drunken exploits we’ve all had to a possible relocation to a larger/better office. Fingers crossed.

Yeah, I know I said “downtrodden slaves”, but work is extremely good. My boss has said that I’m fitting in well and working well (and I do agree that I’ve got to grips with most things now), and I’m doing a little bit of “unscheduled overtime”. My contract states that I work so many hours and I get paid overtime for anything over – but all this week I’ve stayed “late” for free (ok, between 10 and 40 minutes) and just finished off little bits of extra work. I’ve also done some work at home in my “spare” time and also keep an eye on the helpdesk via home. Sure signs that I’m enjoying the job! πŸ˜€

Amendment: Whilst adding the Amazon links to this entry (which I do if I think I can make a few extra pennies to help keep me in Coke+Pepsi), I realised that you actually have to PAY for Frontpage! Until now, I thought it came FREE with the Office [Order from Amazon.co.uk] suite. I think I’m going to have to be “extra kind” now to the customers who phone up for technical support who are using FrontPage. I thought they only used it because it was free, but they paid for it?!? Needless to say, my opinion of FrontPage is extremely low – the words “bloated” “piece of crap” “bad HTML output” “needs expensive server additions” come to mind for some reason…

This post is over 6 months old.

This means that, despite my best intentions, it may no longer be accurate.

This blog holds over 12 years of archived content - during that time, I may have changed my opinion of something, technology will have advanced (and old "best standards" may no longer be the case), my technology "know how" has improved etc etc - it would probably take me a considerable amount of time to update all the archival entries: and defeat the point of keeping them anyway.

Please take these posts for what they are: a brief look into my past, my history, my journey and "caveat emptor".

1 comment

  1. Neil T. says:

    Ugh, Frontpage ;-p

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