Structure Updates

Just to update on some of the latest changes going on around here as part of the redesign.

The biggest changes have come as part of the new “photos” section. In moving the photolog from /p/ which I consider (in hindsight) to not be the best URI I thought about what sort of photographic content I have on the site now and what I’d like to have in the future. In my mind three sections came to mind, the photolog, selected series of works, and old photos. I’ve experimented with putting older photos into the photolog but it doesn’t really work well with the reverse chronological organization of the albums. Plus as part of my moving I’ve dug up a ton of old pictures that I’d love to scan and archive online. The series idea never really developed beyond the first two I did (and it’s built on the structure of the photolog) but I really like the idea of it and I’d like to keep it around. For instance it’d be interesting to do a “Best of 2003” series at the end of the year, or something similar. (Though the thought of choosing a dozen or two from over 7,000 photos is a little intimidating.)

The re-coding of the photolog itself is actually going much better than I thought it would. Finding things in Gallery can be frustrating sometimes, but I’ve managed to get the vast majority of the program completely free of tables, simple syntax errors, and it’s now using a CSS-based design. I am using one hack to get XHTML 1.1 validation, but it’s because of a bug in PHP that I will devote an entire post to. As soon as I finish cleaning everything up for the photolog section I’m going to copy the code over and use it to power the classic photos section.

I’ve been recoding many of the titles of pages to use the new CSS image text method, and I enjoy the results. When I recently upgraded to PHP 4.3.3 something changed in the Freetype library and now the letters are rendering at what seems to be a lower weight, which is a pleasant surprise because they were a little chunky before. I have no idea why it would do this. Unless perhaps a newer version of Freetype could better understand the font file, which I suppose is the only explanation.

I changed the text image generator script to turn underscores to spaces instead of hyphens. Though I like hypenated “filenames” better the problem came in the photolog where there were actual hypens needed in the titles, so having those translated to spaces was a little funky.

Finally I’ve done a little work on the jazz quotes section of the site. Although I have been neglecting it lately, these pages account for a good fifth of the traffic to this site and it’s really the only resource of its kind on the net. For some reason before I would seperate the first and last name in the URI with a period, which messed up some simplistic traffic analysis software (what sort of extension is .Coltrane?) but it’s what I chose for whatever reason. I’ve updated all the new URIs to use hypens instead of periods, which is much cleaner in my opinion. There are so many links to these pages and so much search engine traffic that it would just be stupid to break any of the links. Of course the old URIs still work, though I haven’t set them up to serve a permanent redirect yet, they just return the page like before. This section still needs a lot more work, in its styling and also just in the backlog of submitted quotes I have to catch up with.

The Zeitgeist has been updated to no longer return script errors, but it isn’t cached so it’s very slow, and it needs to be restructured.

3 thoughts on “Structure Updates

  1. First things first: In your comment fields, there is text that you have to highlite to get rid of. If you remove that since you already have field labels, it makes it easier on the user.

    Second: PhotoStack is already very easy to make valid and supports all the features I seem to find on your photolog. Let me know what you can’t do with it (I want to make it better).

  2. Thank you Sarah.

    Noel, I’m very open to PhotoStack. I would be willing to try it out and write up a detailed critique and post it if you would be willing to do the same for WordPress.