Ongoing Revamp

This site began as a potential portal for selling digital art, mainly nature photographs. I didn’t jump into commercial business whole-hog because, frankly, I’m a terrible businessman, by very nature. I hate selling stuff. I figured to ease into the role gradually, take it a day at a time and not pressure myself to “succeed” or anyone else to buy something from me. Combining photographs with gear reviews and articles about favorite activities would allow a chance to diversify as well, I thought.

That was ten years ago. The site is still not making much of a sales impact, in part at least because it still isn’t trying to sell anything. Despite having a “For Sale” link, I don’t have a pricing structure, catalogue, or heck, even a product to sell.

A lot of water has run under the bridge in that decade, personally and interpersonally. I’m no longer raising a family, so a lot of the financial pressure is off. Making money isn’t the doleful requisite to every waking moment anymore. Perhaps most importantly, I’m finally doing exactly what I had dreamed of doing almost thirty years ago: guiding rock and ice climbing. That alone has put other pursuits on a back burner for the past four years.

Long and short, my website has been sitting idle for ages, still portraying links for things I thought I would get to someday. Much of these things still interest me, but not in the way or to the degree they once did. I’m not young anymore, and at some point recognized that specialization, not diversification, is the way to go in the short term.

Now I am working on a total revamp. In the interim between actually starting the site and now, several Web methodologies have changed. CSS has taken hold as the stylistic framework for display, while old HTML layout tags have become anathema. PHP, ASP, and several other languages have taken hold for server-side delivery of variable content.

Problem is, none of this stuff has really matured. It’s all still in transition, and it’s all transforming itself in ongoing “upgrade cycles”, cycles that often break old code.

CSS is accepted, but browsers run amok with it still. No one can write one CSS stylesheet and expect every browser out there to deliver similar (never mind “same”) display. That used to be relatively easy: you laid out your page in a table, explicitly set widths and fonts and anything else important to you as the designer, and voila, your page displayed with very little variation, in every browser worth mentioning. This was a problem for a few users, of course: tables were designed to display data in tables (duh), so machines that had to parse your display information had no clue that your table wasn’t data, but stylistic. And it did make HTML code a mess. CSS tried to solve this problem by separating content from style.

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