Andreas send me a direct message on Twitter asking me if I was still interested in photos of his work environment.
I was happily surprised, of course. He send me 6 e-mails, each containing 4 photos.
I needed to find a way to present these photos in the same style as the rest of the site. But I also wanted to make them just a
bit more special than the existing images. So I thought of the unorderly stack of photos metaphore, which I had seen before somewhere.
It matched the 'dossier' style of the site pretty well I think. It's a bit corny, but that's fine.
I needed to get rid of some of the tabs of the site, otherwise visitors might not even notice the Photos. I combined the
minor tabs (Languages, Magazines, Persons, Publishers, Stories and Years) under the tab 'Index' and I added the tab Photos. I also removed
the tabs 'About' and 'Notes' which are not so important and whose pages can still be reached via another route.
I changed the homepage, because I wanted it to look more dynamic. So I added a twitter widget that I made on Twitter's site and
I created a snippet of user added notes. This meant that I had to shorten the existing content, but it had been on the site too long anyway.
Version 7 of the website is successful. I have received many compliments over time and this gives me the energy
to keep making the effort to keep the site up-to-date once in a while. Thanks!
Since 2001 I have worked for two companies, Green Dino (2001 - 2005) and now, since 2005, Procurios.
I am so excited about my current employer that I do a lot of overtime work and this keeps me from doing
other stuff like expanding this website.
In September 2003 I saw the birth of my spicy second daughter, Lila Sophia. She's now five years old and doing well at school.
Jade Selene, my third baby girl, was born in January last year. She looks like me even more than the other two, but this may
change of course. She will turn two next month and will then go to kindergarten. Katja and I love all three very much.
Last year the site has had many problems with spammers flooding the guestbook. After some time I decided to turn vice into virtue
by allowing all users to make notes on all pages of the site. By requiring everyone to be registered, I think I can keep spammers
out and at the same time make it easier for wellwilling users to add to the content of the site.
Since the site got only a 50 hits in 5 months time, and the only response was
someone saying he could not download the plugin,
I started thinking that
the Java applet was the problem and that I should keep it simple. So I took
the HTML pages I used to display in the Java applet browser component, extended
them somewhat, added some chapters of "Andreas, une monographie", and some pictures,
and here it is: version 7.
I've taken 6 months off to build this latest version of the site. It gave me a chance to relax from
the stress I experienced the years before and also to expand my knowledge of Java 2 and XML.
Among the techniques I used for this new site are: Java 1.3 (Swing, Corba, Java 2D, Jars),
multithreading, client-server, XML (XLST, XPath), HTML (CSS). I use Java because it gives
me a lot of possibilities and freedom. I used XML to generate the HTML pages. The static ones
are placed in a pre-generated form in a jar file on the server, because the server (a 486 of my
friend Danny) proved too slow to generate them on-line. The search pages are still generated on demand,
so they may take a minute (or more) to generate (this takes only up to a few seconds on my Pentium II).
I used Corba mainly to experiment with it.
Before I started, I thought that Corba was far superior to
Sockets, but Sockets would have been easier and more flexible in hindsight. I can also run the site as
an independent application on my own computer. So I've learned how to deal with resources in all kinds
of ways. The site should be able to run on any platform that supports Java 1.3 and that has a Java
plug-in available for its browser. It should run fine on Windows with Netscape Navigator, Internet
Explorer and Opera. It should also run on Solaris, but I haven't tried that. I also designed it so
that the main window can resize tolerably and that it can be run on resolutions from 640x480 up to
1600x1200. Best viewing size is probably 1280x1024 because that is the resolution I use at home.
The police-dossier metaphor (borrowed, of course, from 'Coutoo') I invented to make the user interface
look a bit 'messy'. Although the user interface should look messy, the underlying code should of course
not be messy. I did everything I could to get the multithreading issues right. But there is still a problem
remaining with the JEditorPane component I used to display the HTML pages (the ones with the 'Andreas'
sticker on their upper-left). The HTML is loaded asynchronously, although I don't want it to. This
occasionally causes a deadlock somewhere (I am sure it is a Swing problem, the JEditorPane is known to be
problemsome), which hangs the applet :( . I thought I'd let you know.
The main part of the site is formed by (currently) eight articles on Andreas that can be read in two ways. They can be read as a whole. But the idea I started out with was that when you were interested in only one story or album, you should be able to read only the parts of the articles that had any information on it. So I worked this out elaborately. I hope you like it. The same information can be accessed in a number of different ways.
Personal stuff: My daughter was born! We called here Sky Sarah. She's a beautiful read-headed little girl. She's extrovert (unlike her parents) and is always surprised that not all other infants want to play with her. I hope she will be happy. My girlfriend Katja is not always that happy. She has to take care of the little brat most of the time which takes a lot of her. Also, she wants me to do stuff with her, like go out and see things. Maybe I am working on this website too much?
The site has been out of the air for almost a year now. It wasn't really gone, but the name of the server on which the site was located had changed (The computers were under attack of a hacker and changing the name was meant as a security measure.) My school's e-mail address was cut off as well, so I apologize to anyone trying to reach me. At that time I had too much stuff on my mind to work on the site.
The site has now completely changed. I now use threads linking the pages for two reasons. I can use the same information in different contexts very easily. And the site now has a form that Andreas could appreciate. It has a complexity in which one can get lost. This is intentional. Several other things have changed. I found a lovely girlfriend, named Katja, with whom I am living together. She's now already 7 months pregnant. I am still a student Cognitive Science and I am writing the master's thesis for it. At the same time I am working as a computer programmer for a middle sized IT company called PID.
The server named KUNPUX, on which this site is located, has been down for some
time due to harddisk crash or something. Arggh! Luckily the maintainer of
the server restored the site and AltaVista kept the link to it in its
database, so everything is alright now. My enthusiasm for the site got
renewed by a mail I got from Philippe Sohet, one of the two
authors of the book on Andreas. He said he liked the site. He also
mentioned a second book by them on Andreas that it to appear next year.
The book has appeared in Dutch now, so I can finally read it.
It will give some new input to the site, I'm sure. "Deliah" is out.
Delightful book. It contains some interesting references to the Rork albums.
Two Andreas-fans sent me mails saying they liked the site. They even said it
is the most complete site on Andreas on the WWW. That's probably true,
even though it contains only some very superficial information on the
albums and 1 (now 2) interviews with Andreas. They definately increased
Serge Simon noted the publishing of 'Andreas,
une monographie' and later sent me scans of the cover and back faces
of the book. I have now ordered it myself. Gil Damoiseaux
sent me a long e-mail mentioning his full Andreas collection,
two interviews, the book and some interesting things about Schizo and
Azteques (which I have now published). Later on he also sent scans of
all 10 pictures from 'La messagere', the cover page of Azteques,
a page from the book and the cover of 'Udolfo'. Thanks! I don't
think I can publish all 10 scans for copyright reasons. If someone can
convince me of the contrary, I will be happy to publish all of them.
I bought myself a French-Dutch lexicon on CD-ROM so I could translate
some more interviews. After I spent some 5 hours translating an interview
from Le Lombard, I found out that AltaVista has a translation-program
publicly available. I corrected my version with the one generated by
this program and I put it on the site. (Of course machine translation
is never perfect, but I'm amazed at what this program can do!) The
interview is distributed over 'Andreas', 'L'objet' and 'Arq'. The
'Links' page has been extended. More links can be found by clicking
on the publishers' icons.
Launched the site on the university computer. Informed AltaVista, Yahoo, BDParadisio and Lombard of its existence. Filled in the whole form of Yahoo. Nothing happened with it. AltaVista is great. Searches with '+Andreas +Cyrrus' give me the first place! (with '+Andreas +Rork' I end up only at 46). BDCite made the first link to the site. Great feeling! BDParadisio has made a beautiful link to the site (beautiful refers to the lady in black).