Its been a long couple weeks relearning php and learning my way around the drupal content management system but after all that time I can finally say the site is ready enough to go live. That's not to say that the site is completely done, there are several things i wish to still add and several section that sill need some work but i'll talk about that a little later.  While this site may be dedicated to advertising myself to people around the world I also wish to use this blog as a sort of storage of solutions for all the random problems that i come across during the course of the day. I hope to post solutions to problems that I encounter that either have no solution that is easily googable, or solutions that have not been cached by google yet. Hopefully I created this site with good enough SEO(i doubt this is the proper way to use it in a sentence) so that other people who encounter the same problems can find a solution without being a tripple black belt at google fu. I may do this by reposting blog entries from other sites or just creating my own content. I will tell you this right now, I am not an english major and don't expect anything posted to be gramatically correct in any way. 

Some notes on the site construction: 

First I want to say that while Drupal is the best structurally laid out CMS i have ever worked with it does have its downfalls that have frustrated me to no end recently.  All my issues mainly boil down to just two points. If there are drupal developers lurking out there reading this they may pull their hair out in frustruation and call me an idiot for encountering these problems but as a first time drupal user i say that they are legitimate concerns of an oblivious noob. 

  • The Drupal API, while extensive, has little to no navigation so in order to find a function you want to use you either have to spend a night and go on a journey of discovery or have a good idea what the function is called. 

  • Drupal 7 introduced the concept of renderable arrays and everything that is sent anywhere is put in that format. Unfortunatly the description for that structure is sorely lacking and in order to make a modification to an existing array you either have to take several shots in the dark or find a way to print the array out and dig through it manually. This last tactic is often impossible to do with arrays that are handled behind the scenes so you are left with a trial and error approach, which sucks. 

Besides these issues working with drupal has been a dream that could not be achievable with a CMS like Joomla or Wordpress. It has allowed me the freedom to build everything you see on the website except the photoviewer and the comment system from absolute scratch. Some really neat things like ajax search function (which is 100% custom) have been achieved by having this much control over the workflow of the php backend and direct access to the server itself. There are a few more features i would like to add latter on and maybe i'll be blogging about them in the near future once i get past the roadblocks i'm currently stuck at.  

Current issues with the site that will be worked on.

With all this hoopla about the site going live there are still a few things that i need to work on in the near future and if you don't happen to see these issues then that means i've probably already fixed them. 

  • The searchbox does not display correctly in some browsers. The searchbox and the submit button should be on the same line and level with the bottom of the header border.
  • IE 7 still has major issues with displaying the site. Suprisingly getting IE 6 to display properly was easy compaired to 7. I'm still debating wether or not i should even attempt to support its old ass. 
  • I am still trying to decide the best way to sandbox the project demo pages so that my old crapy code doesn't accidentially give the keys away to the castle. If anyone has any ideas on how i can do this without affecting functionality i'd love to know. 
  • The server the site is hosted on was hand configured and may need some hardening. Hopfully this can be achieved without breaking anything in the process. 

Things that may be coming to the site at a later date:

  • I am still playing around with adding extra content on the main page in another column. I may abandon plans to add anything like an article archive if i find it is not necessary.
  • I am still playing around with the color scheme of the site. It won't be major changes but subtle ones that i hope will make the site look better. 
  • Ajaxified blog loads. I have gotten close to this but it looks like the drupal API has let me down with this project.
  • Ajaxified contact form. I've gotten close to a working product but i'm stuck at the moment. 

So with that novel now written i can finally say welcome to the site! I want to say a special thanks to the CS department of SDSU and Alan Riggins for giving me the knowledge and the hosting space to allow for the construction of this site. if you have any suggestions or notice any bugs please comment or send me a message via the contact form.  I'm sure there will be tons of bugs to be squashed around. 

 I think i'll take a break from this project for a bit and actually enjoy my last summer, so i think its time for a beer cheers!