Rae | A view from ASTP


Of Templates and Bugs

Well, I have a basic layout for FPG. You can see it at http://students.hamilton.edu/fpg/index.php.

A present, it seems to only display properly in Firefox. It does the obligatory IE box-structure breaking, and Safari weirds out on the nav for some reason. I'm working on getting that stuff fixed. I also need to locate the CD that has content for it.

Feedback is welcome.

Today was...

Overall a productive day, I think.

I didn't get anything visible done, except straightening out my background graphics for the FPG site, but I did spend all day, evening, and night doing some scripts in PHP/MySQL. Nothing I did will actually apply to the FPG, but I have a good grasp on the foundation of a database-driven site that I can probably build up to use with the digital yearbook.

So, today has been very good, in my opinion. I hope I can get some work done on FPG tomorrow, though.



One of the main things I needed to learn before getting a start on any scripting for the digital yearbook was some sort of intro to MySQL. Aaron's tutorial today helped me get a grasp on what it was, and the userface, and I'm sure my book, when it comes in, will help as well.

I'm slowly making progress on a layout for the FPG website. I have a color scheme, and a background, which I should be able to share tommorrow.

I've been struggling with ideas about a layourt for the digital yearbook, because I'm not sure if I want it to tie in with the school website design (which I'm not a fan of), or for it to be its own seperate entity. I'm going to make some decisions on that later this week, but I'm more concerned about getting a handle on the scripting side.

Tomorrow I need to do some research on CSS that my brain doesn't seem to be willing to remember... and hopefully I can get a template done for the FPG.

My brain really is fried today, for some reason.

Bad News for Both of my Projects

I just recieved an email from the HC ITS department:
Beginning July 1, 2005, ITS no longer provides server-side tools (programming or databases) for new student or organization Web sites. This is one of the services we were forced to cut due to a lack of resources to support it.

This essentially kills the basic structure of my sites. I can still go on, especially with the FPG site, but in the end it means more work for me as the webmaster. I'll have to find funding for the Digital Yearbook, which, may or may not be a problem depending on how stingy the Student Activites Board/Publications Board decides to be.

I'm still going to get workable scripts going, and get a non-database driven FPG site going.


Creativity Block needs to break!

I really wish I had a little more art in middle/high school, it'd really have made my life for the last couple years a bit more easy.

I've been trying to come up with a layout for both the FPG and Digital Yearbook. I tried this weekend, and at present, the few shreds I've patched together look horrible, and are never going to see the light of day. I had a decent design going for the FPG at one point, but I think it needs work. And by work, I mean needs to be sent to the byte bucket in the sky and for me to completely start over.

While I'm on here whining about lack of creativity, I'll hand out a useful link or two.

  • An open source forum code that is based strictly on PHP/MySQL and CSS (I think it's even standards compliant) Don't ask me how to implement it, though. I'm still working on that part.

  • WordPress is one of the more common blogging softwares avaliable. It comes with many templates, and you can create your own, add plugins, etc. You have a lot of control over what you do with it, so it's essentially possible to run any type of site using it as your foundation. You have to provide a domain that runs MySQL and PHP, but it really steps up the functionality of a blog.

That's all for now, folks. I'm going to try to get some more work done.