..Yanno, sometimes I call it Zone: 0, other times ZONE: 0, ZONE:0, Zone:0.. I'm yet to decide on a definite, official choice for how the name should be written. Maybe we should hold a vote..?
Anyway, yes, welcome to the blog, which will hopefully be updated regularly both with me droning on about new updates to the site, and droning on even more about the latest Sonic developments and my opinions about them etc.
Just over week ago, aside from a few short lines and scraps, I'd had limited experience in using the PHP scripting language at all, let alone connecting it to a database that can hold information submitted through forms and then be dynamically displayed however I want. But I've very much had a PHP week this week, as I suddenly got hooked on it last Sunday, and I've been coding away like some sort of geeky beaver ever since. I built the core functionality of this blog system from scratch in only a day or two, and spent the rest of the time on another website I'm creating as a freelance job for someone. I've done programming before, and even connected to databases in ASP a little bit, but still, from scratch in only a couple of days, I think that's pretty good. My eyes and muscles are certainly paying for it though.
All of my entries and previous updates will be stored on the blog page, with the three most recent entries up on the home page, and when opened in the blog page, any visitor can leave their comment to any entry. I'm very chuffed about the whole system, and actually can't believe it all works so well, with very minimal problems encountered throughout the whole week!
It's an amazing technology, and given the amount of time I've spent carefully crafting html pages over the years, often re-writing the same information such as a layout or menu navigation, and then getting frustrated when I have to change it a little bit on every sodding page, you can imagine how great it feels to be in control of a system this powerful. With well written code, you'd only ever have to change anything once.. More or less. I guess it just really appeals to my desire to maintain order and efficiency - and I may actually be transforming into some sort of Nazi. Hitler loved a good database, you know.
So can it actually be used in any way with the content of the site? Well, that's what I've been throwing around in my head a bit today. I think the implementation of a "reply" system for each page within a game section, whereby you guys can add your own responses to what I've written or add more details to things I've missed is likely - I think that'd be a good thing to have. As far as using it to actually make the pages, they're all crafted rather individually. It's not just text, couple images, text, couple images, all the way down. Every paragraph and accompanying images are chosen to be presented in a certain customised way, and that's how I like it. Even though it can look a bit untidy sometimes. It does take extra time to make though, and I'm wondering if I can build a PHP "application" for myself that I can actually use to automatically generate some of the code for me.. Could be quite a challenge, but if it means increasing my productivity on this site, with no sacrifice to quality, it's worth investigating.
Wow, this is a long blog already. I always tend to waffle on way too much. But anyway, that about wraps up all the PHP stuff. You'll notice that the Sonic 1 section has recently been fully completed (or there abouts) and that means I'll be starting on Sonic 2 soon. All the text for that (and Sonic 3, S&K and Sonic CD) has already been written months ago, but I'll need to read through and probably edit it a bit, then take my screenies and start building the webpages, starting with the Emerald Hill Zone. It might be more logical to begin with the general info stuff, but levels are way more fun to me, and they're what the site was really always supposed to be about anyway. Can't say when you'll see Emerald Hill up, I'm going at my own pace rather than working to a deadline, but expect it to come complete with maps for both acts.
Well, that about sums up my first ever blog entry - I hope it comes through ok! If you think this one is long and waffling, you ain't seen nothing yet, believe me. I do have a tendency to just keep on writing about stuff, even if it's not even remotely important that you know about it. Look, I'm doing it now! Still, detail is what this site is all about.
Enjoy Zone: 0, and do tell your Sonic friends about it! I could use alot more visitors.