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Ziring MicroWeb Site Construction Information

This page describes how the Ziring web site was constructed, and explains some of the goals behind its design.

Our web site is hosted by Erols Internet, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) headquartered in Maryland.

Design goals for the Ziring web site

These web pages are intended to introduce our family to you, to provide some information and links to other resources, and to share our interests with the web community. These pages are intended to be acccessible to anyone, using any web browser software. With these goals in mind, I made up a few simple design rules:

At the time we started creating these pages, a fair percentage of web browsers were not table- or frame-capable. This has been changing over the last few months, so I may start using more complex HTML on some of the pages to add visual impact.

The last and most important design goal was: every page should be a thread in the world wide web. Essentially every page in the little web space has links, sometimes lots of links, to other web sites. I am aware that few surfers will come to this web space with the intention of reading it all. If you stop by, well, I want to give you lots of choices of where to go next. This is one simple way to thank you for visiting.

Tools used to build this site

A broad array of tools were used to build this site. Some of them are listed below.


Our Computer(s)
The first PC I used to create some of the pages in this web space was a Compudyne 486/33DX. The new one is a Micron Millenia P166.

Our Scanners
Almost all the photos and art images on these pages were captured with my ENVColor24 hand scanner. Sure, it works, but hand scanners are terrible - never buy one!. For a good deal on flatbed scanners, check out the Envisions home page.
Nowadays, we use a UMAX S-6E 24-bit flatbed scanner. It works very well, and all the pictures on the newer web pages (e.g. Saucy's page) were captured with it.

Our Modem
Our home computer uses a BocaModem 28.8 V.34 internal modem for all web site transfers. It has turned out to be a reliable device, although it only manages to connect at 26.4 most of the time instead 28.8. Learn more about Boca's products at the Boca Research Home Page.

Art Software

 CorelDRAW 5.0, 6.0
I use the CorelDRAW illustration program to draw all the marquees for these pages, as well as some of the other pictures. It is a very nice drawing package, and 6.0 is especially nice. Learn more about it from Corel's home page.

 Corel PhotoPAINT 5.0, 6.0, and 7-Plus
I use the Corel PhotoPAINT image editor to edit and adjust many of the images on these pages. Kai's Power Tools plugins were also used in a few cases. Some of the tiling images on the background sampler were created with the XAOS Tools terrazo plug-in.

 PaintShop Pro 3.12
This wonderfully flexible image manipulation tool was used for most of the format and palette conversions for my images. Version 4.0 is now available. Learn more about it from the JASC home page.

Web Software

 GNU Emacs
Much of the HTML code for these web pages was simply coded by hand, most recently using that most capable of all text editors, GNU Emacs! I've used Emacs, in various flavors but mostly GNU, since 1983, and I was even a contributor to GNU Emacs at one time. For making these web pages, I use Emacs for Windows95/NT.

 HTML Assistant Pro SE (16-bit)
This is the HTML editor distributed with the book Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML 3.0. It is a fairly good editor (for a gimme), and starts up quickly.

 Netscape Navigator Gold, Netscape Composer
Since Netscape Navigator Gold 3.0 became available in beta form, I've been using it as my main browser and occasional HTML editor. You can download a Netscape Communicator/Composer from Netscape's download area.

 PERL 5.003
All CGI scripts for this web site were developed using Perl 5, that incredible interpreted language.
To learn more about programming languages, visit my Dictionary of Programming Languages.

Other Stuff

I test my pages with Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, as well as old NCSA Mosaic 2.0b3.

 Sun JavaSoft JDK 1.0
The interactive Iguana Anatomy Applet and Saucy's Talking Image Applet were created using Sun's Java Development Kit 1.0.2 for Windows95.

Other Information about the Site

Pages on our site are rated with the RSAC-i (Recreational Software Advisory Council) system. Most of the pages are rated "(s 0 v 0 n 0 l 0)". rsacirated

Some of the pages are co-rated with the SafeSurf system.

Future Plans for this Site

In the near future, I hope to do the following things for this small web site:

Eventually, I'd like to add some VRML to this site, but I haven't had a chance to learn VRML 2.0 yet.

WWW Resources for Site Design

Creating Killer Web Sites
An excellent set of pages about the principles and mechanics of page and site design, by award-winning designer David Seigel.

SINGNet HTML Developers Jumpstation
A thorough collection of WWW and HTML development resource, nicely organized by category. Hosted by OneWorld.

D.J. Quad's Ultimate HTML Resource
A very helpful site with extensive information about HTML and related technologies. For beginners, it has some nice tutorials, too.

Netscape Web Site Design Resources
Tutorials on general web page design and on incorporating special features into your pages.

Web Page Design for Designers
An excellent introduction aimed at graphic design artists, by Joe Gillespie of Pixel Productions, London.

The W3 Consortium HTML Area
This page has links to extensive technical resources related to HTML and official HTML standardization efforts.

The Web Design Group - HTMLHELP
This site has reference materials, style guidance, and other HTML resources.

The Free Art Web Site
Laurie McCanna's art site has free images, graphics tips, and links to other HTML resources. It is also a pretty good example of "artsy" site design.

Yale C/AIM WWW Style Manual
A conservative style guide for building serious informational sites. Also has a good resources list.

Web Developers Community
This is the site for Dev-Com, an association for professional web site developers.
Has lots of tutorial and support information.

WebReview magazine
Cool and trendy magazine about web issues, site building, and architecture.
Also includes a neat "cool animation of the day".

WEBLint - HTML Checker
A web checker program can be used to debug your pages and find HTML syntax or standards conformance problems. This one seems especially picky.

...more later...

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This page written by Neal Ziring, last modified 3/19/98.