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Notes and Comments - About keanespics.com


About Keanespics.com

Outside of the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument, Escalante, Utah

Once upon a time, I used to put together paper photograph photo albums. I'm sure you remember them, you might even have one or a few. They are, for the most part, a relic of a by-gone era. I put together my last photo album in 2001, just before I went digital.

Going digital at the time meant creating slideshows on CD-R. None of the commercial programs did exactly what you wanted them to, and as a scratch programmer who was in a software package world, it bugged me. You usually had to install software onto the viewer's machine. ("No honest, I'm not infecting your machine. But double click on this .exe anyway...") In addition, you had to unpack the contents of the CD onto a user's hard disk, and 400MB to 500MB of disk space was a very large amount back then.

But creating CD's meant you no longer had to have bulky photo albums circulate. While it may have taken some time to set up the slideshow, once you had a master, creating 1 or 20 of the discs was no big deal.

During years of using various software packages to create slideshows, the advancement and standardization of Web Browsers made me start to look into using HTML to do a browser-based slide show, with the images sourced locally from a CD-R.

Then an even bigger thought occurred, I could use that same code and create a web site. High-speed landline modems, ADSL and Cable companies were making download speeds fast enough that a large scale picture site was no big deal. Besides, working in computers and supporting network infrastructure made me want to figure out how to establish a web site. If I supported the web infrastructure, I should know what lives on that infrastructure, right? Right?

So I taught myself HTML, if only to be able to look at a source page and figure out what the code was doing. It was pretty simple stuff similar to another text mark-up program I had used. My first prototype/mock-ups worked reasonable well.

However, the deeper I looked into things, I quickly discovered that I had to learn CSS (a style sheet, or layout language) since the crappy formatting tools under HTML were being deprecated. (That is, will lose support from the various implementers.) So you had to learn a markup language (CSS) and a text scripting language (HTML), with completely different syntaxes, but utterly reliant on one another.

As the Web's usage, acceptance and capabilities rapidly expanded, the standards and features of HTML and CSS expanded rapidly as well. It was all good on paper, but the software companies who wrote the browsers were either slow to implement all the new features, or interpreted the standards differently. So there were sometimes distinct differences in browser behavior, which you had to find work-arounds for. (Thankfully, compatibility from browser to browser has gotten much better over the past few years... :-) )

I tried quite a few prototypes on borrowed web space, before I settled on one which is still the underlying design of this site. (See About the design (below) for more details.)

That prototype was done in January 2008, and had 2500 images.

I bought "keanespics.com" (or more precisely procured a long-term lease) on April 18, and this site went live on May 1, 2008 with 6700 images.

Today, after the digital explosion, there are around 20,000 unique images on the site.

Next up are the Gallery pages. Prints up to 13" x 19" (and beyond) are available for sale, if the source is good enough to print that large. Contact me for details.
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About the design of this site

Key West Sunset
Sunset in Key West, Florida
This site started as a simple exercise to learn HTML. Mostly, so I could look at a source page and figure out what it was trying to do. That led into the sorted world of server side programs, downloaded programs, java, cookies... Ugh. That seems like such a long time ago.

The site's been redesigned four times, mostly to add features and/or re-design the interface now that monitors are vertically challenged and browser bars have eaten away at the vertical pixels. Some rewrites were done to solve some complexity and structural issues that were discovered as the site progressed and grew.

I have really tried to keep the site pure HTML. No programs, no cookies, and only call javascript twice when I have to. I suspect I will succumb someday and have to start adding code. sigh...

The overall design is quite simple.

Structurally, there are five basic Categories (soon to be six) that the site is split into. (Administravia, Theme Parks, Road Trips, Other Stuff and Video/Wallpapers; the buttons at the top of the page.)

Each Category is further split into Subjects which are displayed on the left side of the window. A Subject may or may not have multiple parts.

The user interfaces has two types of pages.

The first type is a Content Page (this page is a content page), which hold my overall descriptions, impressions and/or general tongue wagging; and usually thumbnails which are links to a larger image on a picture page. Thumbnails are typically 100 pixels tall, regardless of the height or width of the actual image.

The other type is a Picture page which holds an image (typically) 600 pixels on the short side. (That is 600px wide if an image is in portrait format, or 600px tall if it's in landscape.) It also contains information about the image, plus links to the next or previous image in that Subject and a link to the Content Page that calls that Picture Page.

(See Help for more information on how to use the site.)

The two types of pages are independent layers which have links to each other. You can go through an entire subject via Content Pages without looking at any Picture Pages, and vice-versa. (Okay, you'll probably have to see the a Content Page to get to a Picture Page.)

The Images on this site are segregated by Subject. Regardless if there are multiple parts, Picture Pages maintain a linked list from the first to the last image in that Subject. The sidebar Subject description picture will change when the Picture Pages cross a Content Page boundary.

Currently, there are over 24,000 Picture Pages, and all of the HTML is generated by a script. The 250 Content Pages are custom written, but now has a more common interface so the maintainability is more manageable than one would think.

Still, I never thought this site would get this big...
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End About Keanespics.

Jump to: About Keanespics Imaging About Panoramics File Names Tips and Suggestions

  • 02/13/2007 - Project started.
  • 01/06/2008 - First beta.
  • 05/01/2008 - First deployment.
  • 05/06/2008 - Addition of About Panoramics.
  • 06/02/2008 - Addition of 64 1969 Disneyland pics and 41 1969 Marineland pics (to Sea World section.)
  • 06/15/2008 - Other/Yes: 25 additional pictures added, all slides rescanned on the V750.
  • 06/30/2008 - Addition and modification of various resort maps.
  • 09/03/2008 - Update of National Museum of the United States Air Force.
  • 02/25/2009 - Addition of 2008 Southwest vacation and 2008 Theme Park Trip Report.
  • 03/01/2009 - New version of Illuminations in place.
  • 03/04/2009 - Update of All Star Resorts page.
  • 03/05/2009 - Update UO Hotels, City Walk
  • 03/07/2009 - Update IoA, USF.
  • 04/17/2009 - Great Movie Ride Video
  • 04/15 through 05/30/2009 - Major reorg of site: Replace all picture html to version 1.5. Breakup of large picture directories into smaller index fragments, and provide links to major topics in the index. Eliminated all 3 deep nests.
  • 08/30/2009 - Fixed About Pans links broken by above... :-)
  • 09/24/2009 - Replaced video page (new index prototype); Added several videos, Osborne lights
  • 10/04/2009 - New links within long picture strings implemented and completed.
  • 10/24/2009 - WDW vs. DLR size comparison
  • 11/24/2009 - Addition of 1983 WDW Vacation Guide, removal of unnecessary tree traversing page links
  • 12/29/2009 - Addition of Dec 2009 Trip report
  • 01/15/2010 - New Animal Kingdom Lodge page. (Added Kidani, reboot to 600px pics.)
  • 01/16/2010 - New Crescent Lake Area page. WDW_Other becomes WDW_DD (Downtown Disney) and Boardwalk section in Crescent Lake.
  • 01/17/2010 through 01/24/2010 - Integration of Dec 2009 trip into their respective WDW web pages; Minor text updates.
  • 02/05/2010 - Add Venice to Road Trips, more descriptive road trip links
  • Through mid-May 2010 - Complete upgrade of ThemeParks to 600px on the short side
  • 06/16/2010 - Added Joan Cusack Meet and Greet page to Trip Reports
  • 12/26/2010 - Added Dec 2010 Trip Report
  • 01/04/2011 - Updated site, made more standard
  • 02/22/2011 - D23 Bambi Event page added to Trip Reports
  • 06/04/2011 - D23:WDW 40th/May 2011 Trip Report added to Trip Reports
  • 06/20/2011 - Polynesian Resort added
  • 07/28/2011 - Dragon*Con added to OtherStuff
  • 09/18/2011 - D23 Cars 2 Cross Country Screening added to Trip Reports
  • 09/19/2011 - Added August 2001 WDW Trip Report to Trip Reports
  • 10/21/2011 - Added September 2011 WDW Trip Report to Trip Reports
  • 11/27/2012 - Peaceful Pastures Farm Visit added to OtherStuff
  • 01/14/2012 - Added D23's 2011 Magic and Merriment/WDW Trip Report to Trip Reports
  • 01/19/2012 - Dec 2010 images added
  • April 2012 - Started updating entire site to version 3...
  • 04/05/2012 - Added March 2012 WDW Trip Report to Trip Reports
  • 05/10/2012 - Added Wide World of Sports and Water Parks
  • 12/30/2012 - Peaceful Pastures, Dragon*Con updated to 3.1
  • 12/31/2012 - Theme Park section update to v3.1 complete
  • 07/15/2013 - Other Stuff section update to v3.1 complete
  • 07/21/2013 - First four road trips updated to 3.11
  • 08/07/2013 - Second four road trips updated to 3.11
  • 08/24/2013 - Completed Road Trips, upgraded picture pages to 3.12. (minor SEO improvements.)
  • 10/17/2014 - Complete update to v3.2 - New Universal Analytics call, major cosmetic and interface improvements, complete maintenance rewrite.
  • May/June 2014 - update to v3.2a
  • 06/21/2015 - Major rewrites of Walt Disney World (overview) and Epcot completed