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On the Andreas website

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from the article "On the Andreas website":
March 2011 - Photos and Twitter widget
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.
December 2008 - User contributions
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.
April 2001 - On version 7
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.
September 2000 - On version 6
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?
March 1999 - On version 5 (never published)
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.
I am using JavaScript 1.1 heavily. I intend to use JavaScript 1.2 for some parts, but in a way that shouldn't crash version 3 of the main browsers.
May 1998
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.
Jan 1998
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 my enthusiasm!
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.
December 1997 - Version 3
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).
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Jean Martin   (30 March 2010, 15:45;   last edit: 30 March 2010, 15:47)

Andreas is on twitter: @wattmanworm : Links to drawings, new stuff.