Tue 16 Mar
Since last fall, I’ve been working on developing a new Web site for Hog Bay Software, makers of the very fine Hog Bay Notebook software that I wrote glowingly about way back in August. I’m excited to say that it’s finally launched today, along with a new version of Hog Bay Notebook. It’s the fruit of a lot of late nights, weekends and some personal strides in improving my Web authoring skills.
Overall, I’m pretty pleased with the way the site came out, though after having worked on it as a kind of side project, there are plenty of things that I wish that I’d been able to finish before the launch date. Among the many benefits of my friendly association with the man behind Hog Bay Software, Jesse Grosjean, is a relatively casual approach to launching the site. In the coming days and weeks, I’m going to continue to correct problems (while also trying not to get sucked into an endless tenure as ‘webmaster’) and to tweak all those little details of which my fussy ego won’t let go.
This includes making sure everything is kosher in terms of XHTML and CSS. Aside from the Forums — which as I mentioned earlier, is a complete mess — most everything is within 95% of validating as XHTML 1.0 Strict. I spent a lot of time trying to nail this, including a lot of special care trying to code in the simplest, most semantically clean fashion possible. Alas, the limitations of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer ultimately won out, so the more discerning geeks out there will no doubt call foul on the occasional divs that serve no other purpose than to ensure that the page renders properly in IE.
This site represents not just a leap forward in my own personal education in XHTML and CSS, but also in how tricky I can get with Movable Type. Again excepting the Forums, the site is entirely run with SixApart’s powerful blogging software; in fact, there’s not a word of it that isn’t controlled by one of three interlocking MT blogs (projects like this really belie the limitations of that terminology). There’s simple, straightforward updating and posting of news items, of course, but the entire projects section is also automated by MT such that adding a new product will automatically generate a product information page, a release notes page, an FAQs page etc. I’m pretty proud of this, but I also realize that, with an impending major upgrade to Movable Type, this is pretty much the end of the road in what you — or at least I — can do with the technology as it currently stands.
If it’s not apparent, this project was pretty fun for me, mostly for the reason that it was a much more simple, straightforward (and generally less ambitious) endeavor than I’m used to at Behavior. I was able to work one on one with the major decision maker on the ‘client’ side, and I was creatively responsible for everything, from start to finish. There’s something very satisfying about that, but it’s also completely exhausting. I’m relieved it made it this far!