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Web Development: PHP/mySQL/CSS
09/18/2008 PHP/mySQL/CSS

I'm taking part in building this: www.savingtheworld.net

09/10/2008 PHP/mySQL/CSS

I'm quite literally working on Saving the World

03/21/2007 PHP/mySQL/CSS: Justjinjer

I've been working with the excellent design studio Lost In Brooklyn for a while on various projects, and we've just launched one: a site for Just Jinjer, who are one of South Africa's top-selling bands (if not the best seller in S.A.; in any case, they're up there). This is the second site to be based off of the latest version of my CMS, and it has the full complement of editing and writing conveniences that come with this version--easy link creation, easy image uploading and referencing, and the like. On the front end, there are some interesting features, including embedded Flash music players, a DHTML scroller, and lots of CSS. The CSS and DHTML presented some challenges, though, in that Flash doesn't play nice with DHTML show/hide functions, so I used an iframe to manage videos on the discography pages. Take a look.

12/12/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: IraqSlogger.com

It's been quite an intense month or so around here lately, as I've been juggling several simultaneous projects. The highest-profile among them has been IraqSlogger, for which I was the developer (as part of the Cartwheel Creative team, who did a great job on design and project management). It's Eason Jordan's and Robert Young Pelton's new venture: a free 24-hour news service dedicated to the major issue of our time, Iraq. Think you're getting enough Iraq information from traditional media already? You're not--they have some pretty impressive stories, many of them exclusives from sources in Iraq. Check it out. They're updating constantly, around the clock.

In advance of doing this site, I significantly retooled the admin section of my CMS, making it a lot more flexible for building sites out. Structural changes to the database are reflected instantly across the admin interface, inspired in part by the MVC world. I changed the admin interface itself considerably, adding more user-friendly options for text input and HTML entry (not wysiwyg, though, as Safari doesn't handle those gracefully), image upload and tracking through the browser, and polishing some loose ends. I couldn't have built this site in this time without these changes, so I'm glad I did them beforehand.

What I ended up building was much more than a blog--it's an entire publishing workflow for several writers, with a tracking interface, article check-in/check-out, flexible sorting, previewing systems, and a lot of attention to the writer's experience. On the front end, there are some pretty cool features as well: RSS, intelligent archiving, flexible content in the sidebars, the ability for IraqSlogger staff to write posts via email, integration with Google search, flexible handling of embedded video, context-sensitive image display, the ability to traverse posts by category/subcategory, by topic, by related posts, by writer, and chronologically, and plenty of other features I'm not remembering at the moment. (Hey, I'm busy making even more enhancements to the site.)

There have been some interesting challenges with this project as well: browser-compatibility requests (including Mac IE 5, believe it or not) and therefore advanced browser detection, intricate requirements for content display, with posts having different layouts and content sets depending on their context, integration with pasting from MS Word (and hence handling special characters differently on the Web and in the RSS feed), and plenty more. All of this on a pretty tight development schedule. It's been quite a ride, so take a look. I have to say it's a damned good site.

11/17/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: N64kids.com

In what turned out to be quite a busy Fall, I managed to do the primary development (as part of the Synklynk, Inc. team) on N64Kids.com--the main site dedicated to a rather popular viral video, which has recently been picked up as part of a BMW ad campaign. I did the PHP/mySQL frontend and backend, as well as HTML/CSS. Neat features: a membership area, live XML parsing from YouTube, the ability for members to link to videos they've posted on YouTube, and the ability for admins to screen out any videos that might be inappropriate. As you'd expect from a Synklynk, Inc.-related project, the membership system is tied into the Synklynk, Inc. promotional and reporting engine I built earlier this year. A neat little project.

08/27/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: The Fort Pitt Preservation Society

While work continues on other projects, I was also asked to build a site for The Fort Pitt Preservation Society, a local nonprofit with the goal of saving a portion of the restored Music Bastion of Fort Pitt, a pre-Revolutionary fort on Pittsburgh's Point. I built a CMS, a blog, and a comments engine, with the administrative tools to manage them. Difficulty: I only had a day to do it. It's worked out pretty well, actually.

06/15/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: Synklynk

Since spring, I've been working on a new, expanded site and promotional engine for Synklynk, Inc.. This is quite a cool project: companies use Synklynk's system to give away free music files, and get information back about the people who download the promos, including geolocation data. The front end is working very smoothly, and there are very interesting reporting options on the client side as well. For the reporting, I ended up doing some very complex mySQL queries (including multiple virtual tables), and in several test runs with clients, we've gotten a lot of response. I've also given them a custom blog with an RSS feed, and other niceties under the hood. It's been a fun project, and this is something that people are going to use a lot.

06/07/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: The Rights Workshop

The Rights Workshop clears music for use in film, tv, commercials, and other media. They had a rather nice Flash site which they were unable to update easily, so they asked me to help. I preserved the look and feel of the Flash site, particularly with the movies, and added my easy-to-update CMS, with blog and RSS functions as well.

04/23/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: Creative Learning Productions

This was a project for a small publisher of children's books, Creative Learning Productions. They required an easily updated site, so I set them up with a web-based CMS, product management, and connections to the Paypal commerce system.

03/21/2006 PHP/mySQL/CSS: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

We've launched it! The latest version of the Harry N. Abrams, Inc. site is up! Most tables are gone and .css is how we're doing positioning (a few are used by staff in the feature pages; there's one legacy table on a search page, and there are tables for the calendar). Quite an undertaking, getting it to render properly on all major browsers, but it's a lot easier to maintain. We've also added a lot of interesting features: the ability to keep lists of books, send e-cards, and email pages to friends. We've also improved the interface in a number of ways, particularly on the detail pages. So take a look--it's quite a nicely designed site, too, courtesy of their Marketing Art Director Eric Diloné.

12/23/2005 PHP/mySQL/CSS: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.

I've spent much of the fall and early winter on a significant upgrade (including my first almost-entirely-CSS implementation) to Harry N. Abrams, Inc., which isn't actually launched yet, but we're getting close. In the meantime, their existing site is still working great. Stay tuned. I do have to say that doing a site of that complexity in CSS was a really great experience, and as soon as I get a chance, I'm going back to this site and taking out all the table cells.