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New Link Page

August 11th, 2009

Among the various domains I own and manage, the oldest is poza.net, site of my long-defunct “Teaching in Japan” site, a project I abandoned back in 1998. Wow. In Internet time, that’s ancient.

But I still keep the main page alive as a home page, filled with links that I commonly use. That basic page design has been the same since, oh, seven or eight years ago, maybe even more. Thoroughly tired of it, I have wanted to change it for quite some time–but never found the time until tonight, when I spent, I think, about three hours generating the entire page from the ground up. (Doing this kind of thing is like painting or meditating–you lose all track of time.)

This time I went nuts (for a simple link page), using some nice flourishes. The seamless tiled background is one I made myself, based on a photograph of marble I took in Greece this Spring. The header titles are also based on that original image.

The rest of the page is mostly just links, but dressed up real nice with CSS. The tables and their header graphics are all placed by using CSS fixed positioning. The tables are actually two tables each, one laid on top of the other; each has a table with the links proper, and a table beneath it with a mostly-transparent background color which allows the marble page background image to show through. I had to create two tables for each because if you make a table transparent, the content goes transparent as well. (Maybe there’s a way around that–I’ll have to look for it.)

On top of all that, the color scheme is relatively coordinated and easy on the eyes, with a nice hover effect for the links. And finally, the table header graphics have nice CSS drop shadows to complete the page. You may not like the design, but for me it was more an exercise in CSS than anything else–and to me, it looks nicer than the old page.

Just one caveat: if you still use Internet Explorer 6, then stay away–the page will look incredibly nasty. Which more and more sites will probably look like for you, as IE6 is completely defunct and was never any good even before it became hopelessly outdated. I haven’t tested my new page with IE7 or 8, only with Safari, Firefox, and Chrome. I steadfastly refuse to pay any attention at all to that craptacular browser when making personal pages. (Forgive me if I offend you on this, but I speak as a web page designer–if you don’t understand, just ask a web page designer.)

If you think the links are useful for you, then feel free to use it as a start page or a jump page. A word of caution: it requires a browser window at least 1280 x 800 pixels large. Smaller than that, and stuff drifts off the edge. Remember, I was making this mostly for myself and so didn’t worry about minimal screen sizes and junk like that. Ahh, selfish web authoring. Mmmmm.


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