Well, here we are, April 9, 2014. It has been nearly a year since I opened this website up to the public. Whew! What a tremendous amount of work. I hope you are enjoying my materials and information. At last count, I was over three-hundred pages strong!
It has also been the same amount of time since I learned to write code proficiently enough to present it online. As I state on my Home page, every single page has passed the w3.org code validator in both HTML5 and CSS3, the most up-to-date standards for web code today. But of course, doing it right and doing it with flair are two different things. One can write code absolutely perfectly and have it look dull and uninteresting, and worse yet, the browsers will display it badly. Unfortunately, there is so much lack of uniformity in browsers that even the best code will not display well on all of them, and I have them all installed except for Safari. I notice this on huge corporate websites even. And getting your code to display well on all devices is another challenge. I constantly look for new ways to write code that adjusts itself to all size screens, but sometimes you just have to accept compromise.. If anyone has display issues on their browser or device, I would really like to know. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a year of fine-tuning, I will occasionally open a page I did at the beginning when I was just learning, and it gives me a jolt. Though it is "right," the attention I now give to details was lacking. For instance, most early book reviews use the default colors for my navigation bar at the top of the page, that is, blue for link, and purple for visited link, whether they match the color scheme of the page or not. After about the first hundred initial pages, I began specifying colors for links, and it changes the aesthetic effect greatly. I have decided not to update the visuals of older pages unless there is a display issue that needs correction. These pages give me a sense of how I began and how far I've come.
Once I got through the discomfort of struggling with basic code writing, I began to do more challenging work. And that is certainly found on the farm pages, such as using a cucumber blossom as a link to enter The Enchanted Cucumber Forest and also my cool background created with a photo of the lush cucumber leaves growing in the greenhouse.
But the most challenging pages by far, the ones that exploit my skills with code writing, are the Cross-Reference/Resource pages. Now that I have so many book reviews loaded onto my directory, these are the pages that organize them into categories, making it easier for one to quickly find books that pertain to their interests. They are visually just plain cool, with lots of art, striking backgrounds, and creative positioning of textboxes and images. If you haven't checked these out yet, please do. I am trying to get as many done as possible before farm work takes over. I have only one more to do in the Genres/Styles category, as of this writing, but others, especially the Authors/People and By Subject categories will be ever expanding according to what books I review.
And speaking of books, last June, 2013, I set a goal to read one hundred (which of course includes a review of each) for the year, ending on May 31, 2014. I have fifteen more to go, so I am right on target, but oh. . . I didn't realize how tough it would be. I read and write fast, but that comes out to about two books a week, and, along with all the other stuff I do, I am really ready for a break. However this challenge has enabled me to gets lots of material onto my site in a short period of time, plus seriously catch up on reading all those Dover books I have bought over the past few years when they were on sale. My challenge for this next year will be only fifty-two—one a week. That's more doable and I can work on books in the three-four- hundred page range—a little longer than the ones I've read this year.
So, there you have it, my yearly report. If you like my site, please tell your friends or post it on Facebook.. If you wish to support me financially (remember, I make NO money whatsoever for all this work—it is my gift to the public), there is a gift-giving opportunity through PayPal on my Home page.
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