Too Many Long Boxes!
   
   

End of Summer
 

by Ye Olde Editor, Michael Hutchison

Discussed this month: Well...the revamp, of course!

 

Phew! As always, the issue took longer to do than I hoped and I've had to postpone some things that had been planned for this issue.

We're now on Fanzing Version 7.0.

My main concern was that the old page structure was too complex. The previous version had a menu bar with graphic rollover buttons and contoured borders around the page which consisted of many little pieces meticulously placed. Between the extraordinarily large amount of code and the small graphic components that went into generating a Fanzing page, the pages took too long to load and involved a lot of bandwidth consumption.

The new page structure consists of a handful of images and each page is about 20K smaller. This will make a big difference in our bandwidth and (yes) that means we won't spend more money on hosting as our traffic gets larger.

The menu bar across the top of the page is new. It's been both a boon and a bane. Boon, because it's quite lovely and useful. Bane, because it has added a good ten days to my rolling out the new site. It works well in Internet Explorer (of course) and I'm told it's fine in Netscape 6. But if you're using Netscape 4.7 or lower, LOOK OUT. Netscape is a sucky, sucky browser...and has been for a long time. Say what you will about Microsoft, but they make a mighty fine browser.

I have had to redo the code across Fanzing's 1000+ pages over and over, trying to make the CSS compatible with the new toolbar in such a way that the pages don't just go KERFLOOEY in Netscape 4. It involves undoing a lot of coding that I liked, such as the custom CSS on some pages, and it really bugs me that it's necessary or the site just won't work in Netscape.

Did I mention that Netscape sucks? Seriously, if you use it, I make no guarantees as to how well this site will function.

 

But enough of my whining. Let me point out a few other improvements in Fanzing 7.0:

  • BLURBS - Most contributors to Fanzing will get a blurb that appears on their pages. Often, it will include the e-mail address for that person.
  • MULTIPLE, HIDDEN E-MAIL ADDRESSES - The e-mail addresses for sending letters, contacting us or submitting art or fiction are now all accessible from the address in the toolbar.
  • NEW HEADERS - Phil Meadows has done artwork for several new headers on the site, like our shopping and desktop sections (which were both renamed).
  • NEW ART GALLERY - Phil and I have been cooking up the new art gallery for over four months, complete with a new tour guide. In a bit of perfect timing, our host character was killed off just last week. Thanks a lot, Geoff Johns!
  • NEW SITEMAP - Fanzing now has a sitemap. Just in case the toolbar doesn't work, you can find your way around the site using the sitemap.
  • NEW FEATURES - Sadly, the site design took so long that I wasn't able to debut everything this month. Look for even more new features in upcoming issues.
  • THIS MONTH BOX - The top of the page now always has a link to the current issue...and information on the next issue for those who want to contribute.

I still have a LOT of work to do around the site. I have a lot of graphics work to do in the next few days so that I can debut the new link graphics and the new headers.

I changed the CSS for the site to give it a new appearance. I can now make changes to the site's entire color scheme to match holidays, seasons and other occassions.

is Editor-In-Chief of Fanzing.com. He is the world's biggest Elongated Man fan and runs the only EM fan site. He lives in Rochester, MN.
AIM: Fanzinger
ICQ: 70101007

 
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This column is © 2002 Michael Hutchison.
Fanzing is not associated with DC Comics.
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