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This is my personal web site. Nothing I do here earns me money. I do design web sites for money, but I don’t expect that is why anyone is here. If you are interested in getting a site designed for you or your company, go to WindSword and have a look around, and you’ll get something sorted out. Don’t feel under any obligation though. Like I said, this is my personal site, and it’s about information, relaxation and fun.

So what’s it for?

One of the things I do here is play around with web design. Hence the occasional redesign (you’re looking at the fourth major version of the site). Because I design web sites, I like to experiment with ideas, and this is a good place to do it. One thing that is, I think, noticeable as I go on with this site is that most of the changes seem to be in the direction of increased simplicity. Almost all of the JavaScript I used to use has been shed along the way, in favour of a clean layout using straightforward (X)HTML. It should not, though, be boring.

The other reason for this site’s existence is the content, of course. Without content, a site has no point. The Rants are pretty much self-explanatory: something’s made me see red, and I’m blasting off at it; Views are sort of the rant’s quieter cousin. Everything is wholly my own opinion — feel free to disagree.

Reviews is pretty self-explanatory — so far these are just reviews of books I’ve read, but I may expand this to include DVDs or movies; I’m thinking about that.

The most frequently updated part of the site is the Weblog. I decided a while back that this would be much preferable to sending emails to friends and acquaintances saying, “You really should look at this!” By coincidence, the Weblog was ready for its first upload on September 11th — it didn’t actually get done until the next day — and this rather skewed the content towards heavy news for a while.

Get in touch

As I’ve said, everything here is my opinion and you are free to disagree. If you want, you can get in touch and tell me why you disagree (or agree, for that matter). Anything sufficiently interesting may end up on the site. So far, there hasn’t been much that has, because with one exception the e-mail I have received has either been of the “Your site is really neat!” variety or requests for advice on some aspect of web design. (If the problem isn’t too time consuming, I’ve even been known to give it.)

The one exception was a response to the very first rant, which I liked so much I put it up as a “sidebar” to the rant.

Web design articles

The remaining major section of the site is the Web Design section. These articles are, obviously, on web design. As I do this all the time, I have strong opinions on the subject and some expertise to share. Some of the pieces are “how to do it”; some are discussions of how to approach certain aspects of web design; others are getting pretty close to rants at times.

That’s because you can’t do anything creative on the Web for even a short time without realising three things: many web authors seem to know little or nothing of what makes sites work or fail; a lot of web technology gets in the way rather than helping; and Netscape 4 really sucked. (Nice to finally give that the past tense.)

So if you look at the web design columns, you’ll find stuff aimed at helping anyone starting out on web design (and hopefully of some help to more advanced toilers at the web face, too) as well as some venting of fury at web-related matters. As always, if you really disagree about something, let me know.

About the design of this site

This site has been designed to comply with the XHTML and CSS standards. What that means is that users of fairly standards-compliant browsers — Mozilla, Netscape 6, Konqueror, Opera 5+ (though there are one or two wee bugs in certain areas), Internet Explorer 5 (Mac) — will see the site pretty much as I designed it (bearing in mind that no one but me will ever see it exactly the way I designed it unless they just happen to have the same combination of hardware, software and installed fonts).

Users of Internet Explorer 5+ (Windows) will get a reasonable approximation. Users of older browsers — in particular this includes Netscape 4 — as well as browsers in development which don’t fully support CSS, will get very little of the cosmetic side of the design, but the pages should still be usable. If they’re not, let me know.

In general the articles have been presented in a graphics-light format for faster download. Exceptions are some of the web design pieces which have illustrations. For most of the pages the aim has been to provide a clean, easy-to-read look.

So relax, have a look around, feel free to comment, and enjoy yourself.

A Scottish scene...

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Copyright notice

All material in this site is copyright ©DC 1999–2006 and may not be used, copied, reproduced or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author. Users may view/listen to/print it for personal use. None of this limits appropriate quotation with citation or linking to the site provided that the source is cited and the site is not presented as being part of or incorporated within another site.