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New Project Revealed
OK then, well I've done enough of it now to reveal my latest little project... Presenting.....

Yes, that's right, at minimal expense, I have purchased this domain, plus some hosting space for it. And, thank goodness, this hosting space also includes ASP support - the £40 odd of books I bought for that very purpose won't have been wasted at all. I have already started crafting the site, as clicking on the link will demonstrate (although you'll have noticed that there's not too much there yet - 3 or so pages). Here's how I'm building it, for those of you with knowledge of ASP, or pretty much any method of web design that allows includes:

I use the following files, which do the following things:

page.asp - This holds all the references to the include files, plus a few variables right at the start to give the page a title, and some meta tags. The body of the page is done using the file, which is referenced to from within this particular file. This is what people see, albeit highly alterered. There are perhaps six or seven HTML tags in here at all, and that's only to provide a shell into which the following include files can fit: - Holds the code for the advert at the bottom of the page. Right now, it just shows a random LiveJournal ad, but if I start using other banners, I can control it globally with this file - This file holds the small bit of HTML inserted at the bottom of every single page, which right now just holds copyright information (hence the name of the file), but can be broadened to text links, a disclaimer, whatever, which is globally inserted into the bottom of every page. I could merge this with the file, but I like the idea of being able to insert some code which disables the from being shown to people who know how to turn it off - some nice way to disable banner ads. But I'd want to keep this file always showing, so... - A global header file, which contains very little. Its "title" tag just references a variable I declare in the main .asp file for that page along with meta descriptions and titles. It mostly links to either variables already declared, along with an include to - The links on the menu to the left, which are global and identical from page to page. I can change them using this file here. - This file describes the menubar up until the "td" into which the menu links go - it basically describes the top half of the menu, plus the td properties of the links. This way, I can change the appearance of the menu globally without having to change the links at all. - A file soon to become redundant. It picks up starting from the "/td" tag from the menu list. What I'll change it all to in time will be a description of the menu, with an include to in the middle of it, in order to group this and together. - Contains a link to "Home", along with two customizable links. The name of the link, along with the address it points to (in two sections, I'll explain in a second) are just references to variables, which I declare in the content file itself. The address is in two parts so I can easily use numerical arguments easily. If I want to manipulate the numbers, they have to be integers. It's hard to put those into text strings, so I just use them as variables. For instance, the first half of the FAQ link is "faq.asp?ID=", and the second part is an integer on which some math is performed server-side. and - The layouts of the context sensitive menus. These will be replaced with just one file, like the standard menu. - A CSS stylesheet, which gets imported into the "head" tag in the HTML document. This is where I globally change the properties of the text, links and related things. I control text colors, link colors, hover effects, that sort of thing, globally. - The name of this file is not in fact - it varies. However, it is the content file for each page. The main page's is just a pure HTML block, with a tiny bit of ASP at the bottom to declare the variables for the context menu. Then again, the FAQ's is entirely one big block of VBScript executed server-side, which outputs a different part of the FAQ depending on the argument passed into the file from the address line. These two examples demonstrate perfectly the two extremes I can go to with this. Every other page will be like one of these, or be a mix between them.

So those are the files my website is built from. The various asp files give the page a title, and tell the server which file to go get. They're really, like I said, just shells which have all the different aspects of the page within them... I have to say, having never really used ASP that much before, I don't know what I'm really meant to do. Well, I do, but... I dunno, it's just that with the include files (which apparently many different parsers allow, unsurprisingly), I don't know how I'm meant to be using them. All the examples I ever saw used perhaps two includes per page - my current one has (once I merge menu ones properly) 8, plus the file. I'm not doing this out of books, that's partly why - my ASP book is, I believe, on the floor of my bedroom at my home in Oxfordshire, and as such, not easily readable from here. However, I guess what I'm doing is taking the technology, and using it in the way it best suits me, which can't be a bad thing...

This is all really just a stopgap while I learn BML in my spare time. With Apache, Perl and BML on my machine, as well as MSPWS and ASP, I can hopefully make a good start on the whole thing. Once done, it should be simple enough to convert the pages across, since I've built them in little bits. What I'd like to do sometime is make (or have somebody make for me) my own little UJML (Unknown James Markup Language) parser... A few things I'm having difficulty doing easily with ASP include having different levels of server-side code. For instance, at one point, I wanted to have the code itself change based on a variable. It'd be nice to have one type of code which executed first, one type second, and one type third. And also to be able to put includes into one of these execute timeslots, rather than having them done at the start. That would allow me to execute some code to derive a string, have that string determine which include was used, then execute the code in the include to derive an integer, which could be then used in one final execution level. Right now, I can do most of this, more or less, but there are issues. Firstly, I can't pick and choose my includes at all - that's a bummer, since I'd quite like to have HTML-only includes, and pick between them, rather than having an include which in itself chooses which HTML block to output. Secondly, I'm having VBScript issues regarding variables. They take the best form for themselves, which in many cases in my code is an integer. But I can't then add them to strings. A second level of code would do that - I'd be able to add them in as variables, just as I would put a variable into HTML. Without my ASP books, I can't find an easier way of doing it, but I'm sure there is one.... Multiple layers of code would help though - I'd be able to do much neat stuff, if I could have the parser run through the file three times, each time executing different code blocks...

I just noticed how grapey my Brandy smells. Must be made from Grapes then, I guess. Funny, it's my favourite drink, and I know nothing about it... I must research it sometime. Anyhow, back to reality... Played Badminton earlier... We timed the games to 10 minutes, and rotated since there were 5 of us and only two courts. The scores were:

Me vs James - He won 11-9
Me vs Lulu - She won 17-2 (she's very good)
Me vs Vicky - She won 12-8 (having not eaten for 24 hours was getting to me by this point)
Me vs Harry - I won 15-1
James vs Harry - He won 15-2
Lulu vs Harry - Lulu won 15-1
Vicky vs Harry - Vicky won 15-1
Vicky vs James - James won, I think, I forget the score
James vs Lulu - Draw, 6-6
Vicky vs Lulu - Lulu won, don't know the score

All in all, good fun. Against both Lulu and James, I went 2-0 up early on, and then in both cases dropped 8 points. Against James, I managed to pull level before he got a few final points in, but with Lulu, I just couldn't keep up. Vicky was also very good - she seemed to be everywhere on the court, and I wasn't really in the mood for doing smashes at her to make her lose.... As for Harry - not mobile enough. I comfortably got so many nice shots that I just hit to the side of the court she wasn't on. After she kept on telling me beforehand how much she was going to beat me. Anyhow, I'd like to see how they do against me if I'm properly fed in advance (note to the parental unit - I have since eaten a lot of nourishing food, don't get concerned).

Anyhow, spent much of the evening doing the website, which still has a few bugs, but I'll fix them. I get type mismatches when people do things they shouldn't - in theory, I should be safe from that since it relies on the viewers of the pages doing silly things, but I'd sooner make sure. I was going to watch Chicken Run earlier, but after having my heart broken earlier on (but it wasn't Jo's fault - she's doing the right thing, I just got myself into a tricky situation), I decided not to watch it. Well, that, and the fact that the last time I saw Chicken Run was in Manchester, with Jo, on our date type thing. Wasn't in the mood for a trip down memory lane right at that point, but in general, I'm fine :o)

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- definitely watch a different film. In fact, I'd advocate avoiding Chicken Run for a goodly while, under the circumstances. *HUG*

- web site - OOH, TOYS! 8-)

- Brandy - I actually went to a winery once and saw brandy being made, interestingly enough ... it is indeed made from wine, and the wine is heated up a lot and big coils of tubing carry the condensed moisture away. I unfortunately can't remember if brandy is what's left over when you get rid of the condensation, or if it IS the condensation. %-) Either way, it produces an alcohol smell you have to experience to believe - I swear you could end up half-legless just sniffing it long enough. %-)

cough, copyright notice should read 2001 :P

yes I am just picking up on the wrong bit to annoy you :)

but honestly, tis very good, and I love the link banners :)

>but honestly, tis very good, and I love the link banners :)

they are clever, the didn't get blocked out by my firewall but it took me all of 30seconds to block them out, although I took the site out afterwards cos it their funny ;-)

Nice site. Nice ideas behind it

I wonder who gave you the idea of UJML then...

If you have a problem with your Brandy, I can take it off your hands if you do so desire

I'm glad you're generally fine, too

Thanks - I like it... :o)

Well, it might have been you... I forget.... ;o) I dunno how impossibly hard it'd be to do, but it'd still be neato :o)

No, the brandy is mine, and remains that way. Got it? :o)

I too am glad that I'm fine.

I'd hope you like your own site, yeah

It'd be cool to make your own parser, and you already have a very good structure to work from. It's a case of tayoring it to suit your needs

I get the feeling you're trying to tell me something with the brandy comment, can't think what though...

I think we're all glad you're fine, to be honest

Well yes... But I'm glad with how it turned out, which isn't so obvious :o)

Indeed - just three levels of executable code is all I really want, and the ability to put includes into any one of these. I want to be able to manipulate the very code itself...


I should bloody well hope so :o)

The parser thing, we need to discuss :o)

Brandy. Now, I'm sure you're hinting at *something*, just not quite sure what...

As to the parser, I'm going to do an update later on describing exactly what its capabilities would be, so I can make it clear what I want that I can't already do. What are the chances of us both being able to put something together between us (and perhaps a few others) that'd work?


Aw, forget it... If you come down here, you can have whatever Brandy is in my room... All of it ;o)

The parser will be cool, it'll be so good that it replaces the likes of PHP. Well, us (And maybe more) will club together and make one to suit your needs at the very least

I like the brandy idea. I somehow get the feeling you don't store brandy in your room though

If you do however, I shall start walking to your uni now

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