The Yarthur Files

One Month Check-Up

Thursday, September 6
2:18 PM CT
has been up for a month. Here’s what’s happenin’.

One month ago yesterday, I posted the first entry to the new & improved Yarthur Files. Granted, this will be the fourth total post, but things have gotten slightly busy in my life (more to follow), and the site is still developing. Things will hopefully firm up quickly, and I'll get to the point where I can write up and post more than tweak the small stuff.

What's happened in the past month, in regards to this fine site? Quite a bit, really. If you're interested, read on, though I'm looking at it from the perspective of one who knows what he's talking about. If you're not into learning Web programming and such, it gets a bit boring from here on.

To get the site out, I wrote everything in static XHTML. If the footer changed, I had to change it in every page. With the “Previous Files” section in the footer, that means every time I added an entry, there would be changes. Then, I went to Server Side Includes. But I don't really like those (for no good reason, just personal preference). So I got off my butt, and learned enough PHP (about 3 lines) to create PHP includes. Now I have PHP includes working on the main page, any of the topics pages, and the contact form.

I do not, however, have any dynamic elements included in the archives. Here, I have everything “frozen in time”, so to speak. There are a few reasons for this. First, I thought it would be neat and unique to have a sort of time-capsule effect of the different entries, including the “Elsewhere” section. And secondly, and most importantly, I want there to be some sort of context if/when I decide to overhaul the layout of the site. All too often I'll be prowling the archives of some designer’s blog, and will read about how the layout is changed, but never see the effects. This always bothers me, so I’m not going to contribute. You will see the changes when the happen, or 20 years after they happen (in theory).

The contact form itself was a bit of an achievement. My first semi-impressive foray into PHP scripting. Granted, it’s not very complex or impressive, but it is a first step. I look forward to doing more.

Finally, I have tweaked here and there with other details. The bios in the footer have been microformated up with a very complete hCard, and the articles are even in hAtom. I look forward to utilizing these sorts of ideas more as time goes on, and seeing what sort of use you can find. I've actually added things in the “Elsewhere” section. And, for my post on our trip to Florida, I played around with setting up context-specific layout/design (specifically, the background and color palette). Look for more of that to come.

So, have I changed the world? Nope. But it's been an entertaining experiment so far. I definitely look forward to continuing on, seeing where I go. If I can keep it going for a full year, I should think that by then I'll have something that really sticks. Now to just get some readership.

Before
¡Bienvenido a Miami! After
9/13

Of Actual Interest

Who is this frood?

John Arthur in shot with Mt. Rushmore in the background. John is holding his index finger up to make it look as though he has stuck it in the nose of George Washington's bust.

The Yarthur Files is run by John Arthur. John's just this guy living in St. Paul, Minnesota. He painfully tries to eek out a living by pretending he can make Web sites, and collecting spare change from other people's couch cushions. While as of yet he's been too pathetic to work up a proper bio, you can learn a bit about him at his on-line portfolio site, not that you'd be interested in that sort of thing.

What about his hoopy site?

The Yarthur Files is John's foray into becoming the public celebrity no one really wants him to be. He thinks it will help him learn more about Web design, writing, himself, and life in general. In the end, the populace will most likely determine that it was simply another site they accidentally stumbled upon while trying to research entertaining kitchen experiments.

Design and content © John Arthur, all rights reserved.
At Publication: XHTML 1.1 | CSS 3 (mostly)