julesjones: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] waveney has been poking around in the back end of the server for me, and I now have access to WordPress on my site. I've spent the last couple of days starting to build a new mobile-friendly website, and a good thing too, because this morning my publisher emailed me to say that tomorrow Nice Tie will be the Daily Deal at ARe, with 50% off. With any luck this will result in traffic, and I will even have a mobile-friendly top level page to point them at. Unfortunately it won't be the landing page *just* yet, as I'm still building the thing, so I've had to be content with putting a link front and centre on the old site.

Testing would be appreciated... Also, I'm doing an overhaul in general, so if there is anything you've had a burning desire to see on my site, let me know. If it's a sensible suggestion, I'll consider how to incorporate it. If it's not sensible, I'm sure it will amuse everyone else to read about your burning desire in the comments.
julesjones: (Default)
My website's down, as is at least one other site on that server. Can't get hold of the webmaster at the moment, so I've no idea when it will be back up. Which is annoying, because I wanted to do some site updates this weekend. :-/
julesjones: (Default)
Having had a fit of enthusiasm about doing some updates on the fanfic website for Gauda Prime Day, I have carried on and done some tweaking to the profic one, which hadn't been updated for [mumble] years either. So far it's mostly "I Aten't Dead", but in the course of this I decided that I should probably upload the fragments of the Syndicate honeymoon story that got written before Alex fell off a health-related cliff four years ago. It's never going to get finished, and the whole series is now OOP anyway, so fans who would like to see even a fragment might as well have the chance to. Trouble is, I don't seem to have more than the first 1400 words and some scribblings about the proposed plot (yes, it did have one), and I know we had more scenes written than what I've got. It's not in Google Docs, so the only known copy of the later bits must be on Alex's hard drive. From 2007. Which could be... problematic... I need to rummage in the Skype chat files and see if I can get that far back, and my mailspool.

It's rather weird hand-coding full HTMl after doing some fairly intensive work recently on two sites which will auto-format a lot of the HTML for you from your plaintext, or let you wysiwyg-edit your html. I still think it's easier for later maintenance if you hand-code and do proper indenting and the like, but it requires more effort to set up, and certainly more effort to remember to put it all in, including the paragraph markers.

Having had the experience of setting up a WordPress-based site, I'm wondering about the feasibility of transferring the site to a WP-based system. But running it on my own site would require non-trivial ongoing investment of my time on keeping it secure, which would probably wipe out any gains on making it easier to create new pages and re-arrange existing pages.
julesjones: (Default)
I set up a website some years ago for my fanzine activity on Google Page Creator, and temporarily stopped updating it when they announced that they were moving everyone to the shiny new toy called Sites. And waited for my site to be moved. And waited. And waited...

And eventually stopped bothering to check if my site had been moved, partly because by then I was burnt out on zines and it was too much effort. By the time I noticed that my site had at long last been moved, and mangled in the process, I didn't have any spare effort left for even the paying writing. But today I logged in with the intention of Doing Something about unmangling and then uploading at least one zine and/or some stories.


Some of this is just working with a new interface, but really, eewwwww. I suspect I'd have a less horrified reaction to the interface were I starting a brand new site, but trying to de-mangle my existing site that got moved over is driving me up the wall. I'd consider just starting a new site and copying the text over to that, but that would be work, and you know, given the G+ nym wars, I'm not sure I want to put that much effort into something that might vanish like the mist in the morning sun. It might be simpler to go and learn how to build a website on WordPress.

I still haven't worked out whether, let alone how, I can upload the pdfs of the zines. That was what I planned to do as a quick and dirty way of getting some of them online, because I do not fancy the amount of work involved in properly webifying them, and many modern e-readers can cope perfectly well with pdfs.
julesjones: (Default)
68 words written on my Palm while on the bus to work on Thursday morning, and none since, taking it to 17,170 total. One of the reason for none since is that I spent the weekend doing something about creating a wiki to hold my writing notes. This was not entirely cat-vacuuming, as evidenced by the amount of swearing involved in finding one of the items I needed to put in it. It was blindingly obvious once I'd found it that of course I'd created a subdirectory called LordAndMasterSeries a couple of months ago for the things like a series timeline, instead of simply copying the old one forward to the new book's sub-directory and updating from there. :-/

Anyway, if you want to see what I'm doing with it, the draft as of this evening is on the public website here:
It uses Javascript, so you may not be able to see much if you don't have JavaScript enabled. Next thing I need to do is experiment with import/export of entries, and see if I can run a full version for private use and a spoilers-censored version for the website.
julesjones: (Default)
Edited the next morning: I've settled on TiddlyWiki for now -- I do find the reading interface annoying, but the very thing that annoys me about it is part of why it could be exactly suited to what I want a wiki for.

Sometime back before I got the day job and my brain turned to mush by the time I got home, it occurred to me that I'd written enough kilowords that I needed a more organised database of Stuff than simply dumping a "people and places" file on the end of the WordPro meta-file for any individual mansucript. For example, I needed to keep track across multiple series, the better not to confuse readers (and myself) by having significant characters in completely different series with the same name, and similar such infelicities. There was also the minor point of being able to keep track of ideas for future pieces that I might or might not get around to.

I use Approach for a number of things (such as keeping track of the status of manuscripts), but it didn't quite suit. However... m'friend Charlie Stross had been mucking about with a personal wiki about the Singularity, in connection with the Creative Commons release of his novel Accelerando. That looked rather more like what I needed.

The one problem is that there's something about the TiddlyWiki reading interface that really grates on my nerves. I prefer the Wikipedia interface, although that may be a matter of being more familiar with it. On a quick skim, I find pages in WikiPad more comfortable to look at, even though objectively I think a TiddlyWiki may be more useful for what I envisage actually doing with it.

TiddlyWiki requires JavaScript (bad), but is a self-contained HTML file I can take anywhere -- and readily put on a public website should I so desire.

So, two questions of the audience...

1) Any suggestions on an easy wiki to use, ideally one that I can stick on my website without having to get [livejournal.com profile] waveney to handhold me through Scary Things like SQL?

2) Would anyone be interested in me putting up a public version of my background notes and scribblings?
julesjones: (Default)
- set the body to a pastel background, left the header, sidebars and footers, and set the content panel to white background.
- set the link colours in the content panel to something more in keeping with what people expect.
- saved the draft CSS as a new file default-color-screen.css and set the index and main pages to use it.
- uploaded changes to live website.
I have left undone that which I should have done )

Now to go and find some calories and caffeine, and an episode of Torchwood..
julesjones: (Default)
I started mucking about with the website a couple of months back, but had to drop it for a while. I've tidied up the draft of the new front page, and uploaded it to the website. It's going to get tweaked a bit from this, but the general idea is something like this:


Any comments?

(Yes, I *know* the rest of the site needs work. But the front page, and later this week the main page, are the easiest thing to experiment with while I work out the general look-n-feel.)
julesjones: (Default)
Okay, so I need to make my website look pretty and not like something built just after HTML 4 came out. Now, even if I throw some money at one of my friends to do some site design for me, I'm going to be the one maintaining it, so I'd better be able to understand what someone else's code is doing. Any of the geeks got an opinion on the new edition of "Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics" by Jennifer Niederst Robbins? That looks like the sort of thing I need, and it's got good reviews on the US Amazon site, but if anyone's got a personal opinion to offer before I spend $LOTS on a shiny new textbook...

Book details here:

ETA: suggestions for good web-based tutorials are welcome, but I am almost certainly going to need a dead tree version for at least some of it. I don't do well with online stuff; I find it *much* easier with a physical book, even if it's the exact same words.
julesjones: (Default)
My website's been neglected for far too long, so I thought I'd Do Something about it. I need to do some actual updates, but the first thing I've done today is what might look like a trivial change to the index page. Please play spot the difference and tell me which one you prefer:

ETA: consensus was that the third option was best, so I've switched to that and shortened it even more.

Something I did a while back was add the word count to the main page for one of the books. The plan was to do this for all the books if I could get it looking reasonably uncluttered, but I haven't got around to doing it yet. So does this look too horribly cluttered?


And I'd fiddled with the index bar on the Main page to add "This page:" to the row of links for content on the page itself and related pages, to help distinguish it from the row of top-level links to other sections of the site:


Any comments?
julesjones: (Default)
Okay, I've put up a draft of a printable list of my books. This is a draft, and subject to re-arrangement. (In particular, I need to go through and tidy up the html for the tables as generated by OpenOffice.) Is this the sort of thing people would find useful? Suggestions?


The nav bar stays -- it's needed for people who are using accessibility software. But I've shrunk it to the absolute minimum.

I can split off the table of short stories into a separate page, and will probably do so if it grows.

At the moment it doesn't include anything that has only been published in a free access webzine -- there is already a page listing anything that's currently available as a free download.

I'm not listing anything that was download only and is now out of print. If I end up with anything that's out of print but was on physical media you might find in a second-hand shop, it will appear in this list, but I don't have anything in that category at the moment.
julesjones: (Default)
I need to do some updates on the website, and while I'm at it I might as well do some tweaking. One of the things I have in mind is to add a printable list of my titles to go with the more detailed bibliography page. I'm planning to add bits of background information (not least being a collection of "for further information" urls relating to a plot element in Lord and Master). Any other suggestions for things people would like to see on the site?



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