October 2004 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

Sidebar is Dead (28th October 2004)

Long live the row of equivalents! Erm, what I mean is that I found the sidebar more problematic that it was worth when making it compliant across different browsers of different ages. Therefore I have developed the row of links across the top so that when you view an article you don't get a Return to Index link, you keep the full navigation row. It emboldens the section you are currently in so you can still see where you are at a glance and return to the portal.

New Navigation Development (23rd October 2004)

Since converting to the XHTML standard all the page content has been contained in <div> elements. I realised that because these support the float property, I could easily make a sidebar. Unlike doing it with tables, this system allows browsers to start rendering content whilst the page is still downloading.

Writing Too Much (23rd October 2004)

This page has got to last me until the end of 2004, so I am going to try writing shorter updates in it and possibly making them less frequently, too.

Compliance Testing (19th October 2004)

My parents kept our old P100 machine running Windows 95 to keep our financial details on because it has never been connected to the internet. It has Internet Explorer v4.7 whilst our newer computer is an AMD1400XP running Windows XP. It is connected to the internet and has Internet Explorer v6 but I have also installed FireFox v0.9 and Opera v7.

My pages do not render identically in all the browsers due to their differing levels of support for 'Cascading Style Sheets' as well as subtle differences in how they measure margins, padding and line spacing. However, the site does not get broken in any of these browsers and even stuff like the floating images works correctly in them all.

To test how it looks without CSS, I renamed the file so that it broke the link and then tried using the site as usual on the Windows 95 machine with IE4. What basically happened is

The alignment changes do not make much difference to the usability of the site, nor does the collapsing tables. I thought the lack of formatting for the samples would be a problem but after checking around more thoroughly I found that it remains clear which things are samples due to me always preceeding them with sentence ending with a colon.

Therefore, I think that the site performed fine. c{:¬)

New Map Section (19th October 2004)

As the number of pages on this site is nearly one hundred (ninety-four when I counted just now) I have created a sitemap section. This allows visitors to access every page directly rather than having to go through layers of navigation. There are no descriptions beside each page because that would add a lot to the filesize and just using the titles prevents word wrapping from confusing the list.

Vehicles Uploaded (19th October 2004)

I uploaded the GTA 3 vehicles a few days ago but have only had enough computer time to upload the GTA Vice City vehicles starting from now. It may take a couple more days before they are all up again.

Additional Tutorials (16th October 2004)

I have been writing non-stop for the Tutorials section. The guides for the GTA Vice City paths.ipl file are coming along great. I have also started a new set of reference documents to list all the major file types in each edition of GTA, along with links to the best editors to alter them with.

Vehicles Were Not Uploaded! (16th October 2004)

When I viewed the server error logs today I realised that a lot of car downloads were listed as being broken. So, I checked the server directories and found I had not uploaded any of them! This must have been the case since the server move last month, so I am uploading them right away.

Technical Changes (16th October 2004)

I have been consolidating some of the Cascading Style Sheet classes and functions, as well as streamlining the XHTML a little more. I have managed to get everything appearing correctly in IE4.0 at any window size wide than about 400 pixels. That was whilst writing stuff for the Tutorials section on the old P100 machine I have, which runs Windows 95. That is nearly a decade old!

Curveshire Progress (16th October 2004)

After a re-install to fix a corrupted file I am back to work with Curveshire. Specifically, working on the new version of the GTA 3 Handling overhaul which will be released with it. GTAForums Curveshire Thread

Temporarily Banned From GTAForums (13th October 2004)

Without explanation, I got banned from accessing GTAForums.com at about half past one this afternoon. This is the message I receive when trying to access the boards using my account:

Your account has been temporarily suspended. This suspension is due to end on Oct 14 2004, 01:23.

This is disastrous as I have been working on my set of tutorials for GTA Vice City’s paths.ipl file but need to access the boards to see the experiments conducted by other people. Once the account is available again, I will find out how this error happened.

Site Overhaul Progress (12th October 2004)

I have been adding vast amounts of new content to the site as well as thoroughly testing everything and adding the finishing usability touches. Tooltips for header and footer links, refinement of how I use the ALT and TITLE attributes for images and also making the visited link colour purple instead of dark blue so that it offers greater contrast.

After writing loads of new tutorials for the texts section I re-organised it to be much clearer. I have also moved reference material from the GTA 1 and GTA 2 sections to the texts area, so all that sort of stuff is in one place now.

MultiSlayer v4.1 (12th October 2004)

I think this will now be the final release of my multiplayer level for GTA 2. The MultiSlayer page of this site now has a new compliment of screenshots showing my new lighting technique. The entire map is now lit up to a standard not far off from the original GTA 2 levels.

Parental Advisory: Contains Explicit Elements (1st October 2004)

I have converted this whole site from HTML to XHTML, so now all the elements are terminated explicitly rather than automatically. To commemorate this big change and provide a practical walk-through for others who want to update their own HTML pages to the cooler XHTML format, I have written this article. Well, what did you think I was talking about? c{;¬)

New Footer and Date Format (1st October 2004)

I have added a row of helpful links to the bottom (footer) area of each page. They allow you to jump straight back to the top of the document, to run a W3C validation of the XHTML or CSS, to actually view the CSS file and to go straight to the site policy page.

I have written the policy page to describe how I want the content and code of this site to be used. I do not think that a copyright notice at the bottom of every page gives enough detail.

New Article Collection (1st October 2004)

Have we really entered the fourth quarter of twenty-oh-four? Indeed we have! Q3 started out horribly for me, with complete computer bannage. But now that Curveshire is back underway, MultiSlayer is nearing the version 4 release and I am getting fairly good computer access it ended on a high note.