Title: 1364

Friday, Jan 21, 2005

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Let me just clarify a few things for some people.

January 21, 2005
2:02 PM

I thought I’d take a few minutes to discuss a few things that I’ve made VERY clear in the past, but people seem to forget. I’ve been getting a few e-mails – nothing over the top, but they show up from time to time – from people telling me I’ve lost my touch, or I used to be funnier, or, well… you just come up with your own permutation, and that’s the gist of it. I’m PROBABLY wasting my breath by saying it again, but let me make it perfectly clear to anyone who feels the need to criticize my strip : I. DON’T. CARE. As has been pointed out before, I am not PAID to do this, by ANYONE. This is simply a site I maintain, and a comic I do. If I decided to quit doing it (don’t worry, I’m not going to), I could simply say “well, that was fun. Enough of that.” I wouldn’t have to answer to any employers, I wouldn’t have to worry about breach of contract, because the ONLY person to whom I answer is myself. Numero uno. I don’t do this comic for YOU. I do it for ME. I do it because I enjoy it. The fact that you get to read it is nice and all, but do not confuse a privelage with a right. (and for the love of pete, don’t try to think I’m saying it’s a privelage to read Real Life – it’s more of a punishment. You know what I’m saying, though.)

But seriously – where the hell does someone get off telling me what to do with MY website? I don’t have a box on the site labelled “suggestions”, and I CERTAINLY don’t have one labelled “demands”. So I say again to you, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart – If you no longer enjoy the comic, for WHATEVER REASON, I would vastly prefer you simply delete your bookmark and just stop visiting instead of sending me an e-mail telling me what I need to do to make it better. I’m not some kind of internet whore that has some kind of need to pull in every single possible reader I can. My goal is simply to put out a comic I think is funny, and people who share my opinion will read it. Hopefully I’ve made it pretty clear now, so I swear upon all that is both holy, unholy, and INERT, that the next e-mail I get telling me how to run my show will result in me on the top of a clocktower with a high-powered rifle, picking off innocent civillians one by one.

Another type of e-mail I want to prevent from now on is from anyone suffering from what I call “big man syndrome”. The e-mail that sparked this whole rant is from someone telling me that instead of bitching about people using IE and old browsers, I should focus my time on just making the damned thing work. Which, frankly, I agree with, ON THE BASIC LEVEL. But when you throw in lines like “no one cares about your craptacular rollover menus”, you lose any credibility you might have had. Here’s my stance on things. ONE. I agree that a website SHOULD be programmed to work, regardless of the browser. That’s my goal, and currently, from what I gather, it DOES work on any browser right now. It worked on any browser BEFORE. Matt included a bit of code in the CSS stuff that enables our CSS menu to work in Internet Explorer. So, on the base level, your argument against me is completely deflated. POINT TWO. While I believe a site should be coded to work regardless of browser, it makes life for web designers increasingly difficult when the browser 85% of users are using is NOT STANDARDS COMPLIANT. When you have to put in EXTRA code in order to make it work on two different browsers, you are quite literally slowing down the internet. It’s extraneous data that wouldn’t be needed if the browser in question simply conformed to standards. The fact that I have to use a little bit of javascript in order to make a purely CSS menu work in IE is complete bullshit. And frankly, I’d really, REALLY like to be able to use alpha transparency in PNG’s on RL… but due to limitations on IE, no can do. (Yeah, I know you can do a workaround using CSS, but that only applies to images linked with an IMG tag… not to images used as, say, background elements in a table or somesuch. That’s where alpha transparency would come in REALLY handy.) POINT THREE. I am not blessed with a wealth of free time, despite what people may think about me. I work all day, and while generally it is an easygoing job, I usually have stuff to do, or people interrupting me. I’ve got a comic to do. At home, I have home things to do, and a relationship to maintain (not to imply that it’s work, but any person knows that if you don’t pay attention to your significant other for long periods of time, a relationship will start to fall apart.) What this all boils down to is that unlike in my single, part-time job years, I don’t have a lot of time to just sit and STUDY things like I used to. I often have to take shortcuts. Or outsource. I’d love to learn CSS better myself, and over time, I plan to – but that takes a lot of uninterrupted time. I don’t work well when I get interrupted. Because of all this, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to the site. Yes, pages are incomplete. I know this. I want to make the site perfectly W3C compliant and all that jazz, but the long and the short of it is that it’s going to take TIME. You really just have to be patient with me – I’m not the ubergeek I once was. I don’t have a head for coding – I can DO it, I just don’t EXCEL at it. So to bring this last, admittedly GIGANTIC paragraph full circle, please don’t e-mail me calling me an asshole or something for not having a perfect website. It’s not necessary. I KNOW my website’s not perfect – I’ve never made any claims that it was. But just because you want to feel like a big man or something doesn’t mean you have to go around picking a fight. Just do what I try to do, and work on your own site, and try to make it as good as you can. Leave me out of it.

I know this post sounds kind of angsty or bitchy – that’s really not my intent. I’m actually quite calm and collected as I write this, I just figured it’s something I should get out into the open so people know where I stood. Believe me, I’ve got other things to worry about right now that trump this left and right. 🙂 Anyway, enough of that. I’ve got work to do, and hopefully I can get a few of the other pages fixed today. *crosses fingers*

Oh, and before I go all angsty and whatnot… :D

January 21, 2005
2:36 PM

I just want to thank everyone who has sent us congratulations on the engagement. It really means a lot to us, so thank you. 🙂 And to those who have sent in donations : You helped us be able to pull this off in as short a timespan as we managed to. Everything is set up for our March 20th wedding, and we literally couldn’t have done it without you.

Well, it’s a step in the right direction, anyhow.

January 21, 2005
5:09 PM

So, I redid the daily.php file using the new CSS layout… kinda. Never has it been more apparent to me that I’m in over my head with CSS. The page looks fine in FireFox and a few other browsers, but it’s giving me some spacing issues that I don’t care for when loaded with IE. I’m gonna get Matt on the case to see if he can’t figure out a workaround. I also just noticed the spacing between the comic and the rants on the mainpage in IE… hopefully we can get that fixed, too.

And to give you a glimpse into why I “take the site down for maintenance”, here’s the limitations I’m under when I want to work on the site (and a reason why I’ve tried not to do much work on it). First off, I don’t have FTP access. All file operations, ALL of them, are handled through a web-based backend. Meaning, I can upload files, five at a time, provided I select the files I want to upload manually. Secondly, file overwriting has been broken for a long, long time. If I want to upload a new copy of a file, I must first DELETE the old copy, then upload. (These are issues, by the way, that Ukyo is fixing for Ioncomix 2.0) Third, the web-based backend runs off of the same server the comic runs off of. The trouble with this is that I’m under the same wait times you guys are during the day, WHILE WORKING ON THE BACKEND. So, in order to help myself out, I simply delete the index.php file, which bumps any requests for it to the “down for maintenance” page. Hopefully, I’ll have FTP access with the new ioncomix, and I can do all my work that way. *crosses fingers*