Gippy Pages turns 1 year old…

September 11 marks a few treacherous days in history: The Battle of Brandywine in 1777, the crashing of airliners into the world trade center in 2001, and the founding of the Gippy Pages in 2004. No, I don’t claim to be as influential and significant as those, but it does go to show that bad things do happen in 3s. Even if they are sometime separated by more than a hundred years…

Feeble beginnings

This site started off as a way for me to host a title generating image script that I couldn’t do on Top Frog Graphics site because that server didn’t have the correct version of the GD graphics library that I needed to use. From there it became a way to show off the (now suspended) Puppycam after we got Bear and Dozer and to play around with PHP and CSS.

How the hell did it come this far?

What started out as a small technical learning project has turned into something that I really love doing. Though I have decent communication skills I’ve never really seen myself as a writer. A year after filling this blog with drivel I still haven’t changed my mind on that, but I do feel like writing is a productive and therapeutic exercise.

Writing about general things and also writing out a few thoughts about what I’m doing has been a great way to keep my head straight and its something that, despite the rate at which I post now, is something that I don’t feel like I do enough of. Maybe that’s because my participation in both the MacAddict Forums (RIP) and the Clubhouse 54 Forums (also RIP) takes up some of that time or maybe I just don’t have much to say – sometimes I feel its the latter despite my little list of potential story ideas.

I’m really not sure what kind of effect its had on the stories here, but I’ve made a conscious effort to not really plan out and refine too much what I’m going to write. I wanted it to be pretty much my first thoughts and musings on the subjects that I write, so typically the stories are written and then immediately posted. I correct a few things for grammar and spelling but for the most part the stories are unedited and how they originally came out of my head. I like posting that way, it feels more natural to me for a blog setting. My feeble attempt at stream of consciousness writing (which I’ve never really been able to do effectively).

The programming

I think the real benefit that I’ve gotten from this blog is what it has offered me as a chance to go wild with programming and try weird and different things. Something I can’t really do at work since there is so much to do I don’t really have much time to experiment. This blog has been that for me. I’ve broken it and fixed it more times than I can count – and I still don’t have a contact page to go with my link and haven’t even started the gallery page that I’ve been wanting to do for so long. But that’s ok. I’ve been able to learn so many other things in that time that those things really don’t bother me.

This site has enabled me to improve my skills at, among other things, semantic xhtml, css, php and JavaScript. The benefits of messing around with this monstrosity of code are endless. I’ve come so far in my knowledge of php from doing simple proceedural scripts to larger oop based systems. Its been quite the journey of self education. Without this project I don’t think I would have been able to do as well at my day job (which has also been a journey of self education).

So where to go from here

I have high hopes that I can continue to make this site a vauluable resource to me and maybe, depending upon the topic at hand, entertain or confuse my readers. Hopefully I never bore anybody.

I’m hoping I can keep up a pace of at least 10 posts per month. I’ll certainly be trying for more but I think that is a reasonable goal (I’m gonna need some time to watch Hockey, ya know). But as for the future this site will become my playground for delivering xhtml+xml content and maybe even for pure xml delivery too. Javascript will take a larger role as well – I think there are a couple of decent places to take advantage of some AJAXy goodness. The technique isn’t really that hard but using appropriately is.

Now a little reader participation

So, if you actually read all this and read the site regularly I’d like to know how you found me and why you keep coming back. I’m also interested to hear if there’s anything you’d like to see from the Gippy Pages… I don’t anticipate a wealth of responses but any and all are greatly appreciated.

Tagged as: birthday blog clubhouse54 forums gd gippy graphics macaddict programming