I have known how to write HTML code for over half of my life. How many people can say that? I learned to write it twelve years ago. I signed up for GeoCities and Tripod and built half a dozen websites. Although they’ve all been long retired, I can still remember the joy I derived from tweaking the code, a little here and a little there, to make something that the world could see.
Several years later, my first work website was also coded by hand, with amazing CSS drop-down menus and PHP
include statements that made website maintenance simple, provided you could actually sort out the layers within layers. I think that website was the first time I realized that it was possible for code to be beautiful.
That website is now offline too (though available on the Wayback Machine! Aw, look how cute it is!). I’ve pondered what kind of new site to create. By pondered, I mean procrastinated. Finally, after going to the Cytoscape Retreat and seeing how woefully backward I am without my own webspace, I finally gave in and spent a day of my free time crafting a new home for my details. And fell in love all over again with HTML and associated technologies.
I could probably spend a week tweaking and modifying my website so it is perfect. However, since I have a life these days and also more work to do than I have available time, I’ll have to satisfy myself with a few tweaks here and there.
Some places that really helped in my search:
- Open source web design: lots of great free and easily tweakable templates. And open source!
- COLOURlovers: For those of us who aren’t art majors, finding more than two colors that go together is challenging. COLOURlovers have over a million pre-conceived palettes with fanciful and fun names like Pluck Off and Wasabi Suicide. They also provide hex and RGB codes for each color.
- Cytoscape: Cytoscape didn’t exactly help me with the details of the website, but thanks to it, I finally have some of my work that pretty enough to be made into a website banner. The networks on my homepage are from real data, and the colors mapped in Cytoscape. All I had to do was rasterise it.
And so, with great pleasure, I give you my new home on the web: http://www.staff.ncl.ac.uk/m.taschuk/