Next up: gratuitous happy dance!

"So just what HAVE you been doing?" you ask?

Ohhh, I have lots to tell. When I said I was working on domesticat behind the scenes, I wasn't kidding. I will heartily confess to you that the drudge work I've been doing over the past four days I would like to never, ever have to do again, but I think it's been worth it.In short—I took an available hack to greymatter and used it to add in (by hand) the 166 entries that predated my discovery of greymatter. Thus, entry #1 is now—yes, really "welcome, domesticat," the very first entry I posted back in June of 2000.

Don't ask how long this took. Just don't. Also, please, don't ask my spouse what kind of mood I've been in while working on these entries. Accept it on faith when I tell you that I was not a happy camper, that I hated every single moment of it, and that the only reason I didn't throw up my hands in utter frustration is because it really, really needed to be done.

If you had bookmarks to particular entries you liked, then you'll need to edit their links—just add +166 to the previous filename, and you'll have the new one.

This update means that all pages, with a couple of exceptions, are now completely html 4.01 compliant. I've verified under four of the current six skins, and just ran out of time today before doing the fifth and sixth. I am also moving in the general direction of xhtml 1.0 compliance, but am not quite there yet and won't be actively pursuing it for some time.

I've cleaned up the code on all old entries, as well, so they should all display properly. Previously, the hand-coded entries appeared one way, blogger entries another, and greymatter entries a third way. They now all look the same (and can be changed as a single group—a bigger relief than you'd think until you realize that this entry is now #343).

I'm also about halfway through simplifying my stylesheet code and page code, which should lead to a little bit of a drop in load time. You probably won't notice, but the code's easier for me to work with now.

The archives page has also changed slightly. I've upped the most recent entries from 15 to 20 and removed the godawful mess that was the weekly log archives. Instead I've provided links to the first post from each month that I've been posting; it makes more sense to read the entries in order anyway, and single-entry pages are easier on the eyes. I hope that with the next incarnation of I can bring the weekly archives back, but I suspect it will be quite some time before that will happen.

I have also worked out the bugs in the menus of skin #5, nautical. (Go here to get it.) It is now fully usable and error-free in both mozilla and IE 5.5; I'm hoping to hear back from a couple of 5.0 users to find out if it's acceptable there, as well.

What was wrong? The dropdown menus—the ones that appear when you click and disappear with a second click. I could get them to work in one browser, but not another, and finding documentation that worked with Mozilla was like digging for that proverbial needle in the you-know-where.

Tonight, I stumbled across Netscape 6 Compatible JavaScript and DHTML and nearly started squealing. With those guidelines, I created a script and had it running within twenty minutes.

Since that time I've hugged Tenzing, left a very squealy and amusing message on Brad's answering machine, bounced around the computer room a couple of times, and scolded myself about five times for even thinking of waking Jeff up to tell him that I finally figured out how to make this work.

Guess this means I can finally get around to finishing up that geisha skin that's been sitting around for a month, waiting on usable dropdown menu code. Look for that to appear in the next few days. (Note: this is now available for IE 5.5 and mozilla users—get it at the the usual place.)

For now, I'm happy, excited, and glad to be out of doing really boring data entry and back into designing. Understand this: I am ecstatic—I mean, come on, look at all the italics I'm using here!

It's been a lot of work. It's finally starting to feel worth it. I'm just about to the point that I can move on, stop worrying about compliance and compatibility issues, and just work on my writing and graphic design.

It's about time!

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The difference that a year makes. *duck*