Feb 14, 2007

Random Insanity... and AJAX

Ok, so I am currently working on a new site - HaruOMFG (www.leviviridae.com) which is now a web comic. The idea here was to make a website that was simple, artistic and above all else easy to update for the client.

In comes AJAX to save the day. Now don't get me wrong, I still hate AJAX with a passion, but in this case it made life somewhat easier. Instead of a ton of pages to manually write, I simply made one page and did a double asynchronous feed from two outside sources - namely her blog RSS and another blog made just for her comic.

And so I went to work adding the RSS feeder PHP and Java files to the server (rewriting a large chunk of both to suit this jury rigged approach to publishing) and viola! Now all the client needs to do is simply write in her blog (which she does frequently anyway) and post her full page comics to the other blog and the content will synchronize on her website automatically.


So, while I hate AJAX with a passion, in this case I found it incredibly useful. It also helped that the client is an artist, so I wasn't forced to make graphics for her site elements like I normally do. Instead I asked her to hand draw the parts I needed (giving her the sizes for each) and then scan them in to send over to me. I of course would clean up the scans and so forth before using them.

Total time for completion? About 6 hours start to finish. Go ahead and tell me that isn't fast...

I know of clients who are paying other companies to do a website for them, and they are paying nearly $9,000 for the project, and they still are waiting an entire week to see results (and the technology used to create the websites are pathetic - BackOffice and HomeSite). So yeah, 6 hours start to finish is a record for me, personally.

God bless Dreamweaver. And not even the newest one either... I am actually happy to use Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Paintshop Pro 7. I have Photoshop and the latest Flash 8 (or whatever) but I still find after all of these years that much of this stuff can still be done just as well with old school approaches.

So HaruOMFG is considered 99% finished. It's online, the whole thing works, and now the rest is simply semantics. Which is cool because the actual deadline for this was March 2nd, 2007. As you can tell, I am way ahead of schedule with this one... lol.

In other News

Joe Longcor, our newest addition to VR5, has been working on the revamped Edge Radio website using Flash and a handful of other nifty techniques. He's been messing around with Flash for some time, but this would be his first full website design from scratch.

So far, so good :) Much better than the rival company Onalaskaweb.com had to offer. While I give Onalaska Web an A for effort, their designs aren't really up to par in today's world, nor are the prices they expect to earn for their designs.

More News Still...

I would like to apologize to the visitors in our world for the apparent neglect over the past few months. For the time being, VR5 Online has halted design in world while we attend to more important, high profile projects. I wish I could talk more about it, but I think the NDA disqualifies me from doing so... I can say though that what we are working on is awesome :)

Ok.. enough for today.. time to get back to work again.

Super Secret Secret Squirrel - Darian Knight


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