I could probably be labeled "proficient" in HTML. Not good enough to be able to conjure up a full header tag from memory, not good enough to (de)code intrinsicate nested tables, but good enough so that I don't have to look at a HTML guide when I'm coding my pages. JavaScript is another matter. I'm pretty much at the "eyes wide shut" stage: I can't really code or interpret any real JavaScript, but I can begin to grasp the concept of what's actually going on when I type out document.write("Hello, world!")

This is, of course, no help to me. I have, for the past five, maybe six hours, plus another four over the past two days, been constructing a series of web pages. Nothing too advanced, but I had to scour the web for all the graphics. I used a WYSIWIG editor to construct the basic layout of the toolbar, which has five rolling-over tabs.

Most of that time was spent in my trial version of Adobe ImageReady 3.0 (I'm too poor to bother to get the full version; waiting for a Hannukah present from the filial sector to produce the dough.) I started out with a pure black background, a 344 x 244 rectangle. Add a dozen or so lines of random binary digits, 18 point Courier "crisp" green set at 90% opacity. This makes the green look very "digital", while not being too bright and a bit fuzzier (yes, the "crisp" option makes text fuzzier...I don't even want to know why.) Each line of text has it's own layer. I set up grids with 11 pixels (height of binary digits) between the lines to help position the "code" more evenly.

Then came the tedious part. What I had to do was select the last digit from each line, delete it, then go to the front of the line, and add it back. After doing this on each line, I took a screenshot and labled it "framex.jpg". After taking 32 screenshots (number of digits per line), I stashed 'em in their own folder, and set about looking how to animate them. I stumbled across an app called GIFMation, which is a very very nifty GIF animator. So I load all 32 GIFs in, experiment around a bit, and find that...the max number of frames on an unregistered version of GIFMation is THREE. Hours and hours of work..wasted. Oh well.

I figure what the hell, and save the animated GIF anyways. In about ten minutes I have a working page up, absolutely bare-bones -- one placeholder table with a tranparent GIF inside, to keep the animation from hitting it's head on the top of the browser, and the centered animation itself, linking to the main page. The animation is choppy, but hey, it's free.

The main pages are an amalgam of canned WYSIWYG HTML and JavaScript and my tweaking of same. WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editors are notorious for consitently failing to produce the results you want, especially when what you want is anything more complex than, say, adding a background color.

As for my body, well, it's screaming at me to get some more sleep, so I bid thee farewell. Ciao.