Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Building websites is fun

.. when you do it the right way


I know this blog entry is close to self-indulgence, but it is just a self inflicted boost for my self-confidence. Heck, every now and then you have to tickle yourselves.

OWI Van Lieshout
If you want to laugh, you have to tickle yourselves.
A new website

The website that we launched yesterday is a big cooperative effort from the entire department and each one of us has put in their respective special skills into action. This has resulted in a completely fresh site that is ready for the next couple of years.

We have moved away from an all ASP site with frames and table-based layout to fully fledged .NET site with our own framework that spits out clean XHTML and CSS.

This last bit has been my main focus in the project. I must say that I am proud of what has come out of it. There is room for improvement, as always. On top of that one learns new things every day and these new things have pointed me to little bits of code that can be improved.

Let's make things better

Now we have finally finished our deliverable we are fixing the inevitable small issues and are already looking at improvements. During the build we compiled lists of these and now we can at last start making them.

In my area of XHTML and CSS I have started working changing the layout. The site was designed with 800 by 600 pixels as an already overdue requirement. So, right now I am tweaking the site's CSS to make it a 1024 by 768 pixel design. Much to my enjoyment I have already one of the templates working in Firefox and I only have hack a bit to make things work in Internet Explorer.

A couple of things make feel very good today:

  • The speed at which I have made the changes
  • I have also made some changes to the implementation (background colors and images) are now on more logical elements.
  • By changing the implementation I have reduced the number of background images and made some considerably smaller.
  • To top things of I have not changed one bit of the XHTML. Meaning that I can drop the changed CSS files and background images on the server and implement the new size!

That's why I am pretty proud of myself.