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Matt's LiveJournal

Random ramblings of a programmer, photographer, journalist and runner

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laptop, geek, MacBook, bursting, breakout

Webbed Feet and Unique Sentences

Today, in between sporadic bouts of work, I have mostly been working on my first proper website. Ish.

Despite being a geek, and having been using t'web since I first saw NCSA Mosaic drag its way onto my Sun workstation's screen at some point in 1993, I've never put together a web page any more complicated than a simple, static vanity page, and I've always used publishing tools to do even that.

Mostly, I think, because the bloke wot sits opposite me is a web developer in his other life (he runs a dating website) I've recently been inspired to get learning about web stuff.

So, if I've been a bit quiet of late, it's because I've been playing with HTML and XHTML and CSS and PHP and MySQL and even a bit of (purists look away!) Ajax. I'm still using the odd shiny publishing tool, but I'm choosing carefully so I can have pages which I can write completely from scratch in the mix, and I'm making sure I understand what the tools are outputting for me.

Anyway. Some of you know of my odd habit of collecting unique sentences1. In order to give me something not impossible but vaguely challenging for a beginner, I'm implementing my long-talked-about plan to create a Unique Sentence website, where people can record unique sentences. Depending on how insane/inspired I'm feeling, I may add some user management, maybe a rating facility, discussion forum, etc. Hell, there may even be t-shirts.

So. Plan is to get some kind of vaguely stable alpha-test version out by mid-May. I want to take it kinda slowly, as it's meant just to be a bit of vaguely educational fun. But watch this spaceTM...

1The most recent one in my notebook being "Holy Val Doonican on a stick, Batman!", as said by Mike at work on seeing Keith's new jumper...

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Sounds like loads of fun... been meaning to do something similar, a random quote generator on the front page of the site I haven't got around to yet. I just need to clone myself, so one of me can go to work and get the salary dealt with while the other ones does fun stuff, like getting back to making sites and making jewellery...

Last thing I wanted to make into a t-shirt:
"Why are we running?"
"Because they're chasing us!"
Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt, Life on Mars


I have a random sentence page, but I've only got a few test sentences there at the moment, so it ain't brilliant... I also need to clone myself, so one of me can work on the guitar practice and one of me can do karate while the others of me are sitting the the garden working on the site and also replying to LJ comments :)

Incidentally, It may be sporadic, and it may be gone tomorrow, but the site is just a little bit on the intarwebs right now...

Hmm. The link gives me 'Error: Nonexistent or non-numeric sentence ID', but the rest of the site works fine!

I'm experimenting with Exponent, an open-source CMS, which looks great and seems very usable, apart from the fact it freezes any time I try to do something in Firefox. On MSIE, it kind of works but takes ages to load (from the server in the attic).

Ho hum. Try another one...

Hmm. The link works for me still... I guess either you gave it a go when something was broken, or it's got some problems with IE or Firefox (being on a Mac, I'm doing most of my mucking around in Safari; I'll worry about browser compatibility when I've got the basics working!) Heh. But thank you for registering, and for the eels :)

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