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News & Updates for August 2003

Mai Shiranui (Fatal Fury)
Sunday, August 31, 2003

Added the character profiles for Shiori Minamo (from Yu Yu Hakusho), Julian Star (from Card Captors), and Chitose Hibiya (from Chobits). Added additional descriptions to the profiles for Van Fanel (from Escaflowne) and Yahiko Myojin (from Ruroni Kenshin). I also made a bunch of corrections, but still have a few more to go.

Sorry for not doing any updates for the past few weeks. I've been kinda busy. This week I did a little redesigning, as you can probably tell. What's that? You say you'd like me to go through all the changes with you? Why, I'd be glad to!

First I split the basic information section of the profiles into two columns so I could more accurately show the info for both the US and Japanese versions of the anime and characters. And that means I had to go through all the existing profiles and make sure all the information was properly split up. This took quite a while, and I'm sure I probably missed some, but while doing so I was able to find the Japanese names for a bunch of anime of which I only new the English titles. Still, I wasn't able to track them all down, so quite a few remain with only the English title listed. I also split up the height and weight info so that the Japanese column would list metric measurements and the English column would list the English measurements.

Next I changed the way that parenthesized text was displayed. The two-column layout reduced the available width of the text fields to about half of what they used to be, so displaying additional info in parentheses often wrapped the text onto an additional line. This usually made the profile look cluttered, so I replaced the parentheses with a little icon-image I created (which is supposed to look a little text bubble), and set the title of that icon-image to the text that would have been in the parentheses. Now, when the mouse is held over the image, the web browser should pop up a tool-tip box displaying the text. But that tool-tip box didn't really pop-up fast enough for my tastes, and it also eventually went away. So I then wrote a JavaScript function to pop-up a little tool-tip style table (containing the text) next to the mouse. This seemed to work really good on both Internet Explorer and Opera. Unfortunately, it didn't work on Netscape, so Netscape users will just have to rely on the tool-tip the browser pops-up for the image title.

After that, I changed the underlying structure of the section tables, although the visual structure didn't change very much. I did make the bottom of the tables rounded now, too, plus provided options to use rectangular tables with a drop shadow and/or the classic HTML grey borders. And while I was at it, I figured I'd add a few more background images, which is something I've wanted to do for a while. Along with that, I made an option that would set the background of the tables to a solid color, which looks good on lists since I made alternating rows a slightly different color.

I also changed the navigation bar at the top of the pages. The image links I made are now gone, replaced with plain text links. I'm sure I'll probably put some icons there again, but I just didn't feel like making any now. You probably noticed that there are fewer links there, too, which should make it easier to navigate. The rest of the links, the ones that probably wouldn't be used very much, are now at the bottom of the page.

For images, I decided to open them in a separate window that's sized to the image. No more will a giant browser window open just to have a tiny little image, and no matter how many times you click on the image link, it will always open in that same window. Before, a new browser window would open each time. And this is true even if there are multiple images on a page. The window will just resize to the new image.

Another thing I did was to create an array of companies and their web address. This way, when the script makes the anime profile, it can automatically add a link to the company names. And since I use regular expressions to find the company name, it doesn't have to be exact. For instance, I could have AD Vision on one profile and A.D. Vision on another, and the script will recognize both as the same company, putting the link and the version of the name that's listed in the array.

There were a few other minor changes here and there. On the Anime On TV page, the date sort now lists the most recent dates at the top, instead of the bottom. On the profile indexes and the directory lists, I added previous (<<) and next (>>) arrows. On most pages, the top section listed the date that the page was updated in the right-hand portion of the title bar. This date was actually the date of whenever the script built the file, so I changed it to be the date that the data file was modified. And the remaining sections on the page usually didn't have anything over in that right-hand portion of the title bar, so I added links that will jump to the previous page or the top of the existing page (the previous page link only shows up if there is a previous page available).

Okay, so much for all that. I've been up to some other stuff as well. This week Victor launched Audio Atrocities, a new website dedicated to bad voice acting in video games. I helped design the look and layout, and wrote a script to build the HTML pages using data files, so that any changes we decided to make to the layout would only have to be done once to the template file. Plus, the script auto-generates the index pages, which can be sorted by game title, publisher, game system, or date. There's some pretty hilarious sound clips there, so go check it out.

Treese and I went to see Freddy vs. Jason on Sunday, and we both enjoyed it. The killings weren't nearly as clever as they were in either of the previous saga's, but there's just something so sweet about Freddy and Jason trying to hack each other to pieces. I am definitely a Jason fan, while Treese's always goes with Freddy, so that rivalry may have made the movie more enjoyable than it would have been otherwise. I'm sure we'll end up getting it on DVD. We already have the Nightmare on Elm Street DVD box set, which I got Treeses as a gift, but we don't have a single Friday the 13th movie. I think we'll probably have to rectify that situation soon. Now if only they'd make Alien vs. Predator....

It seemed like either our TiVo or our Sony satellite box started acting up again last week. The TiVo was doing that weird thing with not changing to some of the channels, which soon became none of the channels. But also our satellite box seemed to start turning itself off. It would be on when we left in the morning, and off when we got home. So this kind of made me thought that it was the satellite box that was messed up, and not the TiVo. Well, after a lot of experimentation over the week, I believe that I finally figured out what was going on. It was a combination things. The serial cable that connects the TiVo to the satellite box was fairly loose where it plugs in to the TiVo. And the reason for the box turning of...was the remote. Yep, that damn Sony is at it again. Apparantly the satelite box and the audio/video receiver use the same remote code to power on and off. It probably just started happening because I moved things around to get behind the equipment while trying to fix the channel changing problem. So the only fix I could think of for that was to tape cardboard over the front of the satellite box.

Saturday, August 14, 2003

Added the anime profile of FLCL (Fooly Cooly).

Saturday, August 3, 2003

Added the character profiles of Lady Eboshi Gozen (from Princess Mononoke), and Tatsuhiko Shido, Riho Yamazake, Guni, and Cain (from NightWalker).

Saturday, August 2, 2003

Added the anime profiles of NightWalker: Midnight Detective, .hack//liminality, Please Teacher, Blue Gender and Berserk. Added the character profiles of Yayoi (from NightWalker), Peruru (from Sailor Moon), Van Freiheit (from Zoids Chaotic Century), Joey Heald, Yuji Kaido, and Marlene Angel (from Blue Gender), Saburo (from Kikaider), Griffith and Guts (from Berserk), Ryo (from Digimon), Rem Saverem (from Trigun), Suzaku and Koto (from Yu Yu Hakusho), Domino (from Pokemon), and Shadi (from Yu-Gi-Oh!). Added an audio file to The Big-O! and .hack//sign.

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