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Falcon update…

February 18, 2012, 12:10 PM

So it’s been about two months since I discussed Falcon, which is the name I’ve been using for the new version of Schumin Web that I’m building off to the side of things. The current production site (i.e. what you’re reading this on at the time of this writing) is kind of a mashup of whatever I could come up with to do what I wanted to do, and mostly built in-house. Falcon, meanwhile, runs WordPress.

This represents a major shift in how I do things. When I started doing this site in 1996, if I wanted something, I had to build it myself, and that’s how all the major site functionality still works for the most part. The Journal, for instance, is my own design. That’s why there’s no place for commenting. I could never figure out how to do it. Now with free software and such, the community builds the engine, and so Falcon is built with off-the-shelf parts and a custom skin.

As far as where the progress is, I am currently working on porting and restoring content from 2007. That’s stuff like J27 and October Rebellion, plus lots and lots of Journal entries. It feels really strange to be working on these pages, because this is the time period when I got fired from Walmart and moved to Maryland.

And here’s what Falcon currently looks like. Remember that the basic design is the same for now, and so the changes are going to be in the details.

Main Page looks the same as it has for the last several years, with only minor changes. The Photo Feature shown here is from December 2007, when I did some nighttime photography at JMU. Biggest change here is that you will see a full size version of the Photo Feature when you click it.
Main Page looks the same as it has for the last several years, with only minor changes. The Photo Feature shown here is from December 2007, when I did some nighttime photography at JMU. Biggest change here is that you will see a full size version of the Photo Feature when you click it.

This is the Journal. The menu is different, there is now a categorization scheme, and you will be able to comment on entries now (though it will be moderated). Everything will now be in reverse chronological order, compared to now where the main Journal page is in reverse chronological order (i.e. newest at the top), and the monthly pages are in chronological order (oldest on top). And considering all the images are getting restored, high resolution images come to the Journal at last. I still, however, have to tweak this design a little bit, as there are a few elements I'm not entirely thrilled with as they stand.
This is the Journal. The menu is different, there is now a categorization scheme, and you will be able to comment on entries now (though it will be moderated). Everything will now be in reverse chronological order, compared to now where the main Journal page is in reverse chronological order (i.e. newest at the top), and the monthly pages are in chronological order (oldest on top). And considering all the images are getting restored, high resolution images come to the Journal at last. I still, however, have to tweak this design a little bit, as there are a few elements I’m not entirely thrilled with as they stand.

Typical photo set, Foamhenge in this case. Looks the same for the most part, but the photos are all reprocessed with (hopefully) an improvement in quality.
Typical photo set, Foamhenge in this case. Looks the same for the most part, but the photos are all reprocessed with (hopefully) an improvement in quality.

The new full-size images. Click an image, and a lightbox comes up.
The new full-size images. Click an image, and a lightbox comes up. I’ve been wanting to do lightboxes since 2009, but I had a technical issue that came up on a test photo set (Midnight March was released around that time and so the feature was tested on it), and the bug, related to Internet Explorer (of course), was enough of a showstopper to cause me to withdraw the feature. I wasn’t too pleased about it, but looking back, it was a little premature for Schumin Web when you consider the state of the design at that time. Now it’s rolling out again, and this time it’s a simple WordPress plugin.

At this point, I estimate that it will be mid-summer before the conversion is completely done. I figure summer because I’ve been progressing at approximately one year per month as of late, and I also have a bunch of new content that I plan to launch with the conversion to WordPress once all the existing content is converted. I have a few “launch titles” in the works, and those will cover a number of different things. Once I get through 2007, the process will change slightly, as photo set photos will no longer need to be reprocessed from 2008 going forward due to a change in my standards around that time, and that will speed things up because I will be able to reuse the existing material without having to go back to the source.

And so that’s the state of things. This should be very much worth it when it’s finished.

Web site: Anonymous took down Monsanto's site. Wow.

Song: A McDonald's on fire in Ohio. What surprised me most is when they discussed how they opened up the ceiling and found a second ceiling above it. I'm sure it made sense at the time of a remodeling to do that, but it sounds like it hampered firefighting efforts later, for sure.

Quote: So progress is being made...

Categories: Schumin Web meta