Portfolio V3

Project Details

Begun
Sat 11, Oct 2008
Completed
Wed 05, Nov 2008
Client
Personal
Languages
  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • (X)HTML
  • CSS

Intermission

Between the development of the first Crew website, and the creation of this, I had done a lot of work teaching myself more about the web, HTML, CSS, and PHP. However, I had produced no real work of note.

The Previous Incarnation of this Site

Prior to this redesign, coreymaynard.com featured a very simply created PHP site to manage my portfolio. I quickly grew tired of it, and felt that I needed a new and improved website. I also felt like starting a blog, as I had just been introduced to Fedora Linux, and was learning a lot about the OS as I was finding my way around. It seemed like an excellent idea to not only share my knowledge with anyone else who may be interested, but to compile it somewhere so that I could use it as a reference at a later date myself.

It’s Replacement

Design

I’ve never considered myself to be an excellent designer, I’m not good at creating designs full of shiny bells and whistles, or creating beautifully done buttons that you just have to click (I’ll leave that to someone else, say Chet Bortz for example. More on him later). Therefore, I decided that I would be best served by a minimal and simple layout. After going through quite a few different comps in Photoshop, I finally picked one.

I think it gracefully presents my material, providing a clean backdrop for the content to be displayed upon. With graceful gradients on the header and footer, a nice frame is formed around the core of the web site: the content.

Development

I started work on this new version of my portfolio shortly after I began working with the Techrangers at Course Development & Web Services (now Center for Distributed Learning). There I learned much about the way of the semantics aware developer. At the university level, it is highly important for a web site to be accessible, as they have to support students with disabilities. Of most import for web development is support users with vision problems. This means everything from color blindness, to true blindness.

As I said, since creating the Crew site, I’d learned a lot more about web technologies, both PHP and JavaScript/jQuery. I got to utilize that new knowledge here. Primarily, I had discovered Object Oriented Programming (OOP) in PHP, and decided that it was an excellent idea. So, I built the site to be entirely object oriented. This made the core pages of the site much simpler, and moved almost all of the actual computing and processing out into the classes. I feel that this made the code much easier to maintain, and encouraged code reuse throughout the project.

Additionally, here I began experimenting with the JavaScript framework jQuery. I’ definitely become a convert of it. jQuery is indeed a “Write Less, Do More” library. It helps make what had before been impossible to do reliably in a browser with JavaScript.