Welcome to my site (note that when I refer to "my site" below I'm generally referring to everything below http://harkless.org/dan/, not necessarily to other parts of harkless.org, though many of the same issues apply, in cases where I've helped other family members create their pages).
My pages are hierarchically organized. Here's a site map.
I actually did my first web authoring way back in 1993, when Mosaic was becoming popular in the academic world, but that was done for my boss at UCI. Actually, as of this writing some of those pages still exist, though they were modified by others after I left UCI in 1994. This Internet Archive copy of one of the pages as it existed in 1997 (the earliest archive they have of the wave.eng.uci.edu site) has my author line removed, but preserves my original wording where I called them "Mosaic pages" rather than "[world wide] web pages". It's also amusing that the graphs were only available in PostScript form, rather than a format like GIF viewable directly within the browser.
At some point a "People" directory was created on wave.eng.uci.edu so people could put up personal web pages, but I didn't do anything with mine. Here's the earliest copy that the Internet Archive has.
As you can see, the only thing there was a link to my page over at Unitech, the company I was working for in 1997. It was that year, when I got access to some web space on their server, that I first put up a personal page (one of the two guys at the company to do so). The first (and still the main) "killer app" for my site was my Bookmarks page, which allowed me to access all my links whether I was at work or at home. The first version of the page was simply an uploaded copy of my Netscape Navigator 3.0 bookmarks.html file (complete with its weird use of definition-free definition lists).
Pretty soon, though, I got up some of the other main categories that exist on my site today. Here's the October 1997 version of my site (actually the mirrored copy from my UCI account, which my boss had graciously allowed me to keep after leaving) from the Internet Archive. It doesn't include the background graphics, so on the top page you'll need to Select All to be able to see the white text of the links (other pages didn't change the link colors because they used backgrounds that blue and purple looked fine against).
After moving from Unitech to their ISP sister company SpeedGate in 1999, the URL of my page became http://www.speed.net/~dan/.
I wanted to register the "harkless.com" domain name and use that for my site, but I missed a couple of opportunities, finally settling on "harkless.org" in 2000. The full story on that is on the "About harkless.org" page.
Between 1997 and 2006, all my pages were written in HTML 3.2. It was the current version at the time I started the site, and I intentionally stuck to it, at first because desktop browsers' support for HTML 4 was extremely buggy and inconsistent (and there was still a significant population of pre-HTML-4 browsers), and later because the vast majority of browsers on cellphones and PDAs didn't support HTML 4 (or supported only small parts of the standard). Only as I write this in late 2006 are handheld browsers with decent HTML 4 / CSS support starting to become more common.
Other than that use in the footer, though, I'll probably continue to use the HTML 3.2 subset of HTML 4 features for a while, since there are still a large number of browsers being used out there (now primarily on handhelds) without good HTML 4 support. I understand the philosophy of using HTML 4 or XHTML and purely using CSS for layout, but when you do that, pages look really terrible or are even unusable on HTML 3.2 or non-up-to-date HTML 4 browsers (and despite the claims of some, there's plenty of common layout that can be easily achieved with tables that's impossible to reproduce with CSS). Though I'd say I'm a content-over-form guy, aesthetics are important to me, and HTML 3.2 allows best-effort layout regardless of browser.
In accordance with my desire for maximum accessibility, I avoid purely
graphical design, I always include
ALT tags on images, I use
logical markup like
<VAR> rather than physical
<I>, where appropriate, and I make sure
my HTML strictly meets the specification (try clicking on the "Validated"
link on the right side of my footers). I code all my HTML by hand, using XEmacs' HTML mode.
As of June 2003 I've become aware that Google does only minimal spidering of URLs containing a '?', and Alta Vista does none. Therefore, I no longer do the modification date embedding that I used to do. To replace that, I'm currently writing a site-map-generating script that'll make a page that includes per-link modification dates.
If you like, you can access my site using SSL encryption (or email me and have your mail be encrypted in transit, if your mail server(s) have proper support for STARTTLS). More info about my SSL certificate is on my "About harkless.org" page.
|Dan Harkless Last modified: March 1, 2009||Validated HTML 4.01 Transitional|