Friday, October 29, 2004
|Unfortunately, despite testing and bugfixing before putting the new engine into production, there are some bugs remaining. Tom and I are doing our best to figure them out, but he's of course busy with his study and can only put in occasional bits of spare time, and I'm no hero with the new database, nor with the new code he put in, so we're getting there little step by little step. The bugs aren't really major, thank god. One of them is that the week now starts on Monday instead of Sunday, and I'm sure there's some way to fix that. Somehow. And another is that the current comics popularity tracker apparently tracks unique page views instead of unique visits to a comic/series, causing a very confusing and rapidly changing list of five most popular comics. So, fellow artists, don't worry, your comic hasn't suddenly lost popularity, people are just clicking around too much on various other comics, causing them to go way up. We'll attempt to fix bugs like these as soon as possible, but despite it being my vacation right now, I also have a schedule that's crammed full. Blah !
And, of course, then there's the half year report coming up on Monday... need to start getting the information together for that, as well... as well as many, many other things that require my attention. So if there was anyone out there envying me for whatever reason (say, the fact that I have two weeks vacation right now, for instance) --- DON'T. Trust me, I'm not in any enviable place yet.
Sunday, October 24, 2004
|It's currently Sunday night and my back and feet are sore from walking around endlessly on the Str!pdagen convention. I guess I should at least tell you all a little bit about it - I'm going to keep it brief because a bigger article should appear later this week on the site. With hopefully several pictures of myself and Bandirah in the crowd. I'm waiting for other people to put their pictures online - mine can already be found in this thread on the StripLiefhebbers Forum, but the commentary is all Dutch, bear that in mind.
I've seen four StripTassen (of 1500) and all contained the booklet (and none had a double copy) so I'm fairly sure everyone who got a StripTas has the booklet and now knows about us ! Bandirah got the copy from my own StripTas, and today the organisation was semi-randomly handing out the last remaining ones in the crowd by the time the day was nearly over. So I, of course, obtained a copy of my own as well now ;) Don't worry, other Probeersel artists, I will still be running a second printing (which will no doubt put me in red numbers again) especially for you and your friends and family, as I promised through email. So you'll all be getting one as well !
I also exchanged a fair amount of interesting links and email addresses, which means I'll have some more work coming my way this week, sending people stuff, adding new great links and reviews to the site, etcetera. I also really desperately need to work on The Grim DotCom because I'm behind on schedule and if I don't, soon no new episodes will appear. And today a nasty bug appeared in the new engine of the site which seems to fail to comprehend that a new week has already begun. I hope Tom can look into it because his programming code is way over my head (I already checked).
But all that work will have to wait because right now I'm going to give my poor back a rest, put my poor feet up, and enjoy a nice, fresh, cold Dronken Vis. I think I deserve it.
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
|It took several weekends and evenings of my time, but now it's almost finished: I've rewritten a large part of the site's engine, replacing the file-based data storage with a MySQL database. The result is that the number of lines of code is more than halved (and the number of bytes has been reduced by 44,3% (yes, I also spend my time sometimes with useless stuff, such as this calculation)). Everything seems to be working correclty now, but more testing needs to be done, before we throw it online.
So, what benefits does this effort have for you? Well, actually, there should hardly be any difference between the old and new engine. Well, at least not visually. The new engine is a lot faster though, so the difference is that it is less likely that the site will be thrown offline due to high serverloads. And with 1500 nice booklets being distributed, the traffic to the server might increase...
Monday, October 11, 2004
The booklet is being printed this week. This means that seven of our ten artist members will be appearing in print, most for the first time. Sure, it's just a small promo booklet, and it's in black and white, but still, there's 1500 of them being printed and as mentioned before, they'll be distributed in the Striptas on the Str!pdagen. I have the test print lying around in the house right now, in fact, and despite several points of perfectionism that annoy me, it came out pretty decent.
As for a few of the bigger issues with it, I already explained that to the people involved and I see no reason to mention that in public. The perfectionist things are embarassing enough as they are..
Anyway, just thought I'd keep you all up to date. So if you happen to be a member of Het Stripschap, or if you are one of the special invitees, expect to find this nifty little booklet in the free Striptas !
Now all there's left for me to do is pick the booklets up later this week, deliver them at the Archeon, and wait another week to see if Bandirah's prediction comes true and we really WILL see thousands of them just tossed on the floor in the Archeon, with muddy footsteps on them. If it does come true, I'll make sure to take pictures of the mess :)
Saturday, October 09, 2004
|Just to let all of you know, there is a site called ComicAlert out there.
This nifty site checks for you wether or not your favourite webcomics have updated recently and lets you know through an automated XML-file that is specifically yours and where you can add all your favourite comics to (provided they're in their extensive list already). Given all the controversy on the web as of late about deeplinking and sites that 'steal' your newest episode for reader convenience (in other words, sites that continuously show the latest episode of various popular webcomics, thrown together on one page, like here), ComicAlert was smart and basically only lets you know it's been updated, with a link to the page with the new episode on it.
This idea benefits both audience and creator, so anyone whose comic isn't in there yet should join the club ! I took it for a lil' testdrive after I noticed someone submitted The Grim DotCom (honest, I didn't submit it myself) and despite joining at a bad time (a lot of their service was temporarily postponed because of huge updates to their system and software) they helped me to activate the comic AND list me as its author relatively quickly. (Considering the amount of work it must have taken to rewrite large parts of their code and create more automated processes and easier ways for them to administrate the whole shabang, which is what they did (I was told), I think the one or two months that it took were short. After all, we've been updating the Probeersel.com setup for nearly a year or so now just to get the site more stable.)
In other words, it should go much smoother for other people. I got the worst-case-scenario (ha ha) and even that wasn't all that bad, plus I was kept neatly up to date by the people behind it who must have been flooded with questions about the delays.
So if you're really into XML-readers (and a lot of folks are these days) and you like The Grim DotCom and/or any of the other thousands of comics they list there, you should create your free account and start adding those comics to your list ! Please, don't hesitate to add The Grim DotCom, of course ;)
And if you're a webcomic artist looking to reach a wider audience through a banner-income-friendly route, sign up your comic !
Alright, I'm done plugging. I just really like the initiative.