Gimme an "F"! Gimme an "A"! Gimme a "Q"!
What does that spell? Why, "FAQ", of course. Well, I'm playing Answer Man, so fire away.
- Is this really the tenth version of JEBHP?
Yes, it really is. In January 1995, I made my first home page. Version 2 was the first to adopt color. It has
grown and multiplied from there. Some versions were more ambitious in changes than others.
- Why do you keep changing?
My web space keeps moving, for one. I also get better at the coding, and I learn more about it. The
capabilities of the browsers keep increasing, too; when I designed JEBHP 1, the most advanced browser I
had at my disposal was Netscape 1.12, and if I used a Mac I could use NCSA Mosaic. Now I can run Opera 6.04,
Internet Explorer 6, and other advanced browsers.
- What don't you like about the way things have changed?
Odd question. I've never liked frames. Netscape 2 changed everything when it was launched as the first
frames-capable browser. People immediately started coding frames all over the place, and I would get
notices on pages I would visit, pages my friends designed, that said, "If you're not using Netscape 2,
you're not viewing this page properly, so get your head out of the toilet and upgrade." I couldn't do
that; I didn't have control over the software on the machines I was using. So I've always hated frames
because of that. That's a subset of the move towards browser-specificity and inaccessibility, which I
have fought against.
you use now?
I don't see it that way. The standards evolve. I think I do a better job of conforming to standards and
guaranteeing accessibility in various browsers than most sites out there today. Most web designers, at
least most amateur web designers, don't think about the fact that people use browsers other than the one
the designer happens to use, on platforms and displays other than the designer's. By trying hard to
conform to the HTML 4.01 spec, by using CSS, by making sure my attributes are always enclosed in quotations
and my tags are closed, by restricting myself to the 216 "web-safe" colors, and by looking at my pages in
a spectrum of browsers (albeit not platforms), I think I honor the principles of accessibility while still
allowing myself to use the latest capabilities of the modern browsers. Just because every page can be
browsed with Lynx doesn't mean that people using IE should see a Lynx-esque page.
- What's with the color schemes? What inspired those?
I think the ability of the user to choose the color the pages are rendered in gives my site a bit
more appeal. The chief inspiration is that my favorite color is one most of my close friends don't like.
I started designing schemes with people in mind, really.
- Orange was for me
- Scarlet was for my friend Mara (the Nebraska fan)
- Teal was for my friend Jill
- Purple and
Forest were both designed with my friend Angela in mind
Sunshine were some more attempts at variety
- Maize was one I made for the University of Michigan
(I needed one for some of the Square One stuff I still need to work on)
- Jennilee (one of my online friends who lives in Michigan) asked for a Blues scheme, so I made one
- Contrast was an accessibility-minded scheme, good
for people with low vision or monochrome displays (don't laugh; I have an old portable with a monochrome display)
- Classic, the default value for new visitors, was
inspired by the old days of Netscape 1.12, NCSA Mosaic, and JEBHP 1. Those of you who can't remember the web in 1994
probably don't see the nostalgia, but there was a time when every web page looked just like that: black on grey.
- Are there any older versions of JEBHP still around?
I don't think any code still survives from JEBHP 1, or even 2 or 3. (Maybe 3.) The oldest intact version I have is 5,
but there are probably surviving bits of 4 (and maybe older) in there. I should go back and look to see if all the files
I have listed in 5 are really accessible. None of Version 6 survives, either; as a result, there really isn't much
to Version 7. But four older versions of my home page are actually up and running:
- What happened to "Hide Me Hide Me"?
You liked that? Hmm. I mean, it still would work; I just haven't written it up for my current e-mail address.
But I have a couple problems with the system. Somehow people have expected me to respond to their comments
filed with that form. I can't, as a rule. I really really REALLY do not know who sends the messages.
- What's with all the weird stuff in the headers?
not really a big deal. All you're missing in the header is a declaration of which browser you're using,
the colorset selector, and today's date in the three languages I took in high school: English, French,
and Latin, along with the number of days since my date of birth and since New Hampshire ratified the
Constitution. The footer has the URL of the current page, the modification date of same, and the
author's name and e-mail address. (It is a generic author and e-mail address -- it defaults to
"Webmaster" and "webmaster@_domain_", where _domain_ is the domain of the site. I have to manually
override on every page I author, changing them to "Jason Elliot Benda" and "firstname.lastname@example.org".) So if
- Why do you use so many counters (or so few)?
I don't have a counter set up in my default template as I write this, because
I use is a balance between the nicety of having counters on my site and the labor of putting them in.
- Are you going to keep up the old JEBHP Departments: Peopletrace Files,
Useful Stuff, Useless Stuff, File Of The Day/What's On My Mind, Audio Philes, Nebraska Football
Results, Streaks Page, Image Closet, Feedback, etc.?
Gee, that's ... some of that stuff I don't even remember. Do you think I should try for an all-new set
of Peopletrace Files? The list of people I still know is small; the list of people I know, period, is
smaller than the Peopletrace list. But maybe I could. I'd love to do a Thought Of The Day again. Maybe
that will happen. I've got some work to do to get the Cornhuskers page up to date if I want to; I haven't
decided whether I care about that or not. Audio Philes, probably, and Useful Stuff, but Useful Stuff will
have a different, more useful appearance in JEBHP 10. Other stuff, well, ....
- Will there be a JEBHP 11?
Probably. But I'm too busy trying to get 10 up to worry about 11.