The Site

Purpose

The primary purpose of this site is to provide a form of publishing for Jade's writing - We at contemptible.org hope that our visitors will find something that makes them laugh, smile, cry, think or even realize that they aren't alone in the way that they feel while they're here.

This site has existed in one form or another since the year 2000, through the years it's driven me to frustration, given me a sense of accomplishment, and provoked a broad range of emotion in me, much the same way Jadenguil herself has. In the end, this site is a labor of love.

On July 22nd, 2000 the focus of the site was expanded to encompass pieces of writing submitted by our visitors, on the condition that Jade would perform a critique on them after they were posted.

From a Design Standpoint

Contemptible.org is semantically marked-up using XHTML strict and separates structure from presentation as per widely-accepted web standards. Early layouts utilized tables to the extent that the markup on a given page often accounted for more of the total file size than the actual content did!

The Fruit of Other Peoples' Genius

The primary navigation of this site was adapted from a technique detailed by Eric Shepherd at A List Apart entitled Hybrid CSS Dropdowns

Another article at ALA, How to Succeed With URLs by Till Quack gave me the idea for contemptible.org's index page, which handles all inbound requests, parses the URIs and automagically displays the correct information - or an error page.

This site also uses Owen Briggs' technique for Sane CSS Typography to create relative font sizes with CSS that manage to stay fairly consistent across browsers and platforms.

Part of this site's layout is derived from a CSS technique originated by Roger Johansson, detailed here: Fixed or fluid width? Elastic! which strikes a much-needed balance between fixed and fluid layouts.

Furthermore, the "breadcrumb" navigation found at the bottom of this and most pages on this site was adapted from code by Stephanie C. Leary as detailed in the article Absurdly simple PHP breadcrumbs on her website.

Last, but certainly not least, Dean Edward's astounding IE7 JavaScript Library is employed by you – if you're reading this in Internet Explorer – to make this site function as intended in IE.

On the Server Side

Contemptible.org is served by the Apache HTTP Server and would be nowhere without PHP. The site's templates were driven literally for years by the PHP:FastTemplates class before I decided to make the switch to Smarty. While the FastTemplates class is powerful and versatile in it's own right, Smarty is far simpler to use, more flexible to work with and capable of much more - and I've hardly even scratched it's potential, I suspect.

Applications Used

Photoshop 6.0 is my primary image-creation tool, though I do switch to ImageReady on occassion. ThumbsPlus 3.30 is used for the creation of gif images because I don't trust Photoshop to do it correctly. All code has been typed by hand using NoteTab Light 4.85 since the year 2000. I had a brief flirtation with JEdit, which is itself a great text editor, but before I knew it, I was coding contemptible.org in good old NoteTab again. All files are uploaded with CuteFTP 4.2.3

Primary testing during development was done with Mozilla Firefox – the Web Developer Extension proved to be absolutely indispensible.

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