I have created this site to be as functional and usable as possible. Here is a quick list of the main features:-
- Text is set as a percentage of your browser setting, so you can resize any text via your browser options.
- All tables are set as "100%" of the width of the page with a small margin, using space efficiently for different window sizes.
- All pages on this site can normally be viewed with a browser window as narrow as the smallest word, except where there are images.
- All images are thumbnailed so that narrow browser windows can be used and the time taken for pages to be complete is less.
- The XHTML has minimal indentation to reduce filesize and uses spaces instead of tabmarks to ensure alignment in different editors.
- The CSS uses basic object definitions instead of classes, dramatically reducing filesizes of both the CSS and the XHTML.
- I have endeavoured to write all XHTML and CSS in the most basic format possible for compatability across past, present and future browsers.
- There are no pages where you can click a link and end up on the same page.
- All colours used are websafe and no scripting languages are used.
- No new windows are created by the site so advert blocking programs do not need to be disabled.
- "Fragment Linking" (or "Hotlinking) is used on pages where there are many entries.
- The problem of "link rot" is avoided by using static names for all content pages and portals.
The mechanical side of the site has been inspired from my early experience working in low-level languages like assembler, where being able to save bytes here and there really would make a marked difference to how fast the program ran. I still hold the efficiency of a system as the most important attribute as computers are for carrying out tasks quickly. My desire to find the better solutions comes from a long interest in science and philosophy, which offer the skills to improve systems towards perfection.
Although updates are irregular, they tend to be fairly frequent considering the commitments I have to so many projects. I make my modifications primarily so that others can enjoy a different experience in the GTA games and by using a single, carefully considered vision of how things should be I feel that the sucess of my handling setups was guaranteed. The positive reaction from my modifications and the generally helpful responses I receive maintains my drive to continue applying my every effort to improving in the projects I set myself.
You can view the very first website I had by following this link. It was made in 1998 during secondary school (11-16y/o) by my friend Charlie Cooksey. I had no internet connection at the time and so we would gather at his house to work on the site and actualy had a laugh doing it. As you can see, our grasp of internet design was not as mature as it is these days but the site remains as a souvenir to a friendship which has waned over the years. I began work on the second generation of the site around the 24th of July in 2002 and it has eventually grown to become this site today.
I have had my site hosted at a few places during its development. When I first started trying to make a new site for myself, I trundled around many free web hosts without much satisfaction (They were free, though!) until I eventually came across a guy called Dave who was hosting a few of the sites which were run by members of GTAForums. I got in touch with him, saying that I wanted to create a site where I could have my projects for download and where I could have the cars which I had done handling for available too. He allowed me some space (50mb at first) but within just a couple of months I kept exceeding this. He then had the goodwill to simply allow me more space, so I now enjoy over 100mb! Additionally, the site uses around 5Gb of bandwidth each month which he pays for on my behalf.
I hope that during 2005 or 2006 I will be upgrading the site to use PHP. As this is run server-side to produce the XHTML pages my efforts to cater for old and new systems would not be effected. This will also allow dynamic content and easier revising of common elements as the site expands. I have dabbled in many projects outside of GTA so the site might well gain areas to deal with these. I am always on the hunt for first-class tutorials to add to the tutorials area, as well as other sites run by fellow modifiers to add to the links area.