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What do you do behind the scenes when you update your website?
Last updated: Sep 26, 2006
1 Preparing the blog
1.1 Loading the file
Before anything, I first open Wordpad, my primary HTML edittor. If there is a previous entry for the current month, I just add another date. If the month changes, I first open the file for the blog of the last month with an update and save it under a new file name. The format is YYYYMMM.shtml. YYYY represents the numerical year and MMM represents the first three letters of the month, the shortest I can truncate a month. In this case, since I had a previous entry (August 2, 2006), I open the file for the current month (at the time, mid August). When I add the new date, I add a day or two to the current date since it does take quite a while to update my website. And thus, since it was early on August 16, 2006 at the time, I set the initial date to August 17, 2006. I sometimes change it later on if it takes unexpectedly longer to do the update.
1.2 Setting up the headlines
Once the date is added, I add the brief update description then copy the basic format of the headlines. At the time, the first headline is so obvious so I immediately added it. Being a very major event, the headline is white. The others are green for a reason. Because the green value of the color (the center two digits, the FF) is quite often FF, and that one of the other two values is almost always a 40, by having this, I help cut the time down a little. Instead of the number, it's an X. You can see that the heading is also empty with space after it and a "br" at the end. Once I set up the basic format, I move the cursor to the row below (by keyboard unless the difference is big where the mouse would most likely be faster), press right, then left, hold the left shift key, then press the up arrow. By holding the left shift key and pressing the up arrow, the entire row is selected. I then hold the control key down, press the C key twice (normally only once is needed, but there are times in which it doesn't seem to go so I do it twice to further ensure it), then press the V key while still holding the control key. If it behaves properly, I hold the V key down a bit to get several duplicates of this basic format, enough so that I may overestimate it. It's faster to just delete the unused headers. I do, however, occasionally forget, but that's what the last part is all about - fixing that (and any other odd things I may encounter that I wasn't expecting).
I used this same method for all these images and links for editting this document. However, since the locations where they occur are otherwise a bit unpredictable and there's other things to be included such as the headers to separate sections, I just copy it from a "backup reservoir" which has the title and alt text left out as it constantly changes. The number in the file name, however, can be changed at a rate of often two to four changes per second just by using the keyboard. Alignment helps a lot, considering only one thing needs to be changed.
2 Adding to the blog
2.1 Adding images
If you haven't noticed yet, all images on my website are centered on the page. This has been my style ever since my website was first formed. Because these photos were too large for the blog, I decided to make them as links. Again, processing it is rather simple and nearly identical to that of the headlines. I just get the basic format set and make a few minor modifications. You may notice a number at the end of a file name, often with a leading zero. This roots from my animation creation. If I had, say, 12 photos, the file names become out of order otherwise due to the way file lists are sorted. I'd see it as "photo1.jpg", "photo10.jpg", "photo11.jpg", "photo12.jpg", "photo2.jpg," and so on with the odd skip. By including that leading zero, the list is always in the same order, unless, of course, I run out, from which I use the letters of the alphabet to continue on with starting with A to denote 10 and thus "photoA4.jpg" would represent the 104th photo and "photoM7" would denote the 227th photo. Much beyond B is very rarely encountered and even with my animations, I haven't gotten past G yet. The number of leading zeros added depends on how many such related files I expect, again, rooted from my animation creation. For the internet, my animation system of 8 to 80, and 80 to 800 doesn't apply that well as things constantly change with new things being added all the time, unlike my animations.
If something is too large to post on a webpage, but I want to post the full-size version, I make a thumbnail adding "thumb" to the base image's file name, just before the extention. That is, "screenhot14.png" would become "screenshot14thumb.png" for it's scaled down thumbnail. This is typical with photos where the high-resolution version looks very good. Screenshots almost always have it since I run at 1600x1200. Posting one of those images full size will drain a lot of memory for one, especially when several are present, and it may cause you to have to scroll horizontally just to read text. This is why I scale down large photos and almost all screenshots. 1024x768 is the absolute upper limit with 800x600 as the recommended limit. Areas with several photos or screenshots (like that of my trip to Canada or George Game 13's screenshot gallery) use the 1024x768 upper limit and others use 800x600. Another, rare case, is when it comes to maps that need high resolution. This is most common in my dream journal when a dream is recalled enough to warrant the use of maps and diagrams. In this case, I scale the image down to worthy enough side but no wider than 768 pixels or taller than 1024.
2.2 Continuing to add headlines
I continue to add to the headlines, rarely replacing the "X" with a number unless it's very obvious. I keep it as an X as I may just end up adding something else before or after it that I may have left out which would cause me to change everything after it. Details about the two photos and that headline have been added as well as another headline. Here, I'm just starting a new headline and I'm about to type in details about it, the case for the new hard drive. The title of the headlines is kept as short as possible, but to the point. They are also color-coded based on how major the event is. Having had my 2D game first released for sale is definitely a major event but going for the lake (even though it's somewhat rare), and having a new hard drive are less important. The color-coding system derrives from feeling. Red is hot. White, being everything, is even hotter (and rarely encountered). Green is average and the midpoint. Blue is cold and thus represents minor things. Anything much below cyan is very rarely encountered as it's such a minor event. Such things are only placed here if it has a lot of detail that doesn't warrant it being in the daily entries. Details follow after the headline's title.
Headlines are also sorted a little, except earlier in the blog's history. The big, obvious, major stuff is at the top (such as releasing my 2D game for the first time or going on a trip to Canada). These are often numbered right away, unless something is too close to tell. Less obvious things of considerable importance (such as going ten days straight of the same song (this is somewhat common for me)) are in the middle. These, initially, don't get numbered. Unimportant things, such as discussion about getting a new monitor, what I think a planet is, small updates to my website (such as new dreams being added, a common case), or various other things, are placed at the bottom, always not numbered. Just look at the style of the latest blog entries and you'll know what I mean by this breakups. I always leave one blank line (unfilled headline as you can see in the screenshot above which seems otherwise empty) just in case something else should be in the middle.
2.3 Notes to myself
Further on with adding headlines, I may edit some previously added ones and at times make notes to myself. Can you spot where the notes are? If not, look near the bottom. Still can't find it? Ever see the "/* add more details ... */" for the article titled "5 new dreams added"? Just like with programming, almost starting since I got used to C-script, anything between /* and the */ are comments. A second form of comment is a large gap. This often means to add or finish something to something, often used when I need to quickly open a file for reference when I don't feel like opening another instance of Wordpad. It's sometimes faster this way, especially if that file is in the recently opened list. A third form is a series of five astrisks, often used for important things, and with a line of open space. When I think of something and I would strongly like to add it, I make a note like this:
*****Add new section to music history - what parts are*****
When I see this, it sticks out quite well and I read through these notes doing whatever my notes indicate when I finish doing what I was at. In this case, I'd open my document telling about my history with music, and add details to what parts are. At the time I wrote this, I just thought of this since the song I was listening to at the time of typing this (Sep 26, 2006) has seven parts (or chunks with a similar style or design) to it.
Tables are a great way to organize data, especially when comparing things. That's about the only time I use tables. They are otherwise rarely seen on my website. The setup for a table is much like that of the headlines, only with a few differences. At first, I declare the table setting my usual specs. Then, I create the columns as neccessary, including any footnotes I may need to explain. When the basic layout is done, I copy that line just like I did with the headlines at the start, only with one duplicate. I remove all footnote notices then repeat the copy stuff only in full creating a redundant setup. When I input information, I know what each cell is as the description is shown. In this case, I'm listing a feature, my compatibility toward it, then any pros and cons I have with it. Because the feature list is more important, I may sometimes race ahead and list the features before I forget about them and before I give the details of any unadded ones. I also explain away any footnotes as shown here in the screenshot. To explain how I edit table details, here's a screenshot.
With some of the details already filled out to give you some idea on what the output looks like, I'm now starting the fourth feature. I first highlight the field I want to edit (normally by moving the cursor to the start or end of it, pressing and holding both the shift and control key, then pressing the left or right arrow key to select a whole word at a time) then start typing in the details, the feature in this case. When I think of the feature to add, I go to the compatibility column, highlight "COM" in the same way, then type what my compatibility is toward that feature. When done, I go over to the "Pros and Cons" column and type in the details about it. Unlike the other two, I need to press the left (or right) arrow key to select the full name. Why I deleted any footnote indications at the start before the pasting is for this reason. The word highlight doesn't include the astrisks (aka, "stars") or the "dagger" combinations and by editting those out, it's faster and it helps increase my motive by an affector of 1.2. It's not much, but it adds up.
Having ran out of ideas for features, I delete the extras simply by placing the cursor at the start of the first of the extra lines, hold the shift key, then use the down arrow key to select each row. This part takes but two seconds. It takes about eight to ten seconds to copy another column which is why I add all that excess. You may also notice a difference in this screenshot for the overall compatibility rating from what the actual result is. This is because I forgot to apply the last part of the formula, the fourth root.
After adding the last few headlines that I can recall, this is what I see:
You may see a few changes or new additions. As I recall something, I add it to the proper headline as needed. Next up is updating the dream journal. Although a delay of a couple of days occurred for some reason (check the blog for the exact reason), the dream journal was next on my list.
Editting the headlines of the blog
Editting the dream journal
Adding the daily blog entries
Final touchups before uploading
Uploading and testing