|History of Draggor's Den|
Waaaay back in 1998 when I first started composing music, I decided to create a website where I could share my midi music. This precursor wasn't even called Draggor's Den, it was actually "Rob's Page o' Stuff", and was hosted by Geocities. I didn't know any HTML at all back then, so the site was created using Netscape Composer. It had the very typical linear design of amateur webpages, along with ripped off graphics including a green-grass background.
I decided to soup it up a bit, adding some original backgrounds made with Reptile. Still fairly linear design, mostly concerned with my music. This design was the first to include the collection of Final Fantasy 7 midis from NeoPhoenix. Finally I coined the title "Draggor's Den", and I started including some of my artwork. This was mainly my specially-drawn pictures of Draggor. At this time, my site was hosted exclusively on Tripod.
This was a big time of design transition. Along with the new name "Draggor's Den", I also experimented with frames in my design, using a wood background and some image flipping for category names across the topbar. I also had a wide sidebar with obsolete links in it. This is where I expanded my page's scope into Writing as well, though I've never had the time to type up most of the things that I wanted to put in that section.
This was my first real step towards better webpage design. This page was the first to use frames, and had the category list in a topbar, along with the page counter and an embedded random midi chooser. This was my first real experience with image flipping and mouseover events. Each page was contained inside a dark-blue central area that faded into the black background. Unfortunately, this page had so many original graphics that it became an annoyance to browse due to load time. At this time, I got the great opportunity to have my site hosted by Newreris.com, where I could have unlimmited space to post MP3s of my music, as well as many other large files, such as artwork etc.
While I was in Spain over the summer holidays of 2000, my idea for a new high-tech look was born. Because I was away from computers and the internet, I sketched it down on a piece of paper and busily worked on it as soon as I got back home to Canada. The graphics were all, once again, created by myself. The backgrounds and framesets were specially designed to remain continuous no matter how high a person had their screen resolution set. This is when the idea of all-green came into play, as a means of immitating the 'raw digital feel' that one gets when working with primitive workstations such as the old and ever-popular Apple IIe's. ;) But alas, once again I overdid it with the images - the mouseover buttons were animated!
The squareness and monotony of white frames on green began to drive even ME crazy! I wanted to create something more ergonomic, shiny and metallic. Although this version didn't turn out exactly as I had intended it, it's still a giant step up from version 4! Over the semester break I read a book on HTML cover to cover, learning all the standard HTML tags and modifiers, and getting a better understanding how to ensure an HTML document looks good on all types of browsers by NOT relying on formatting tricks. The resulting code was effective and easy to read and modify, allowing me to concentrate more on finising my site this time instead of wrestling with the jungle of HTML tags as in previous versions.
Here are some useful things I learned:
What future awaits Draggor's Den? That depends on YOUR support. Help spread the word!
|© 2000 Rob Diaz-Marino. All rights reserved.|