Resurrecting BOKEH … day 3: photo gallery

Well. I’m now on the most difficult part of this website, as expected. Also as expected, the only reason why implementing the bloody photo gallery has been so difficult (aside from the fact that I’m even doing it from the ground up) is because I thought it would be a good idea to try an “alternative approach.” See, if you do a google search on php and loading images, you’ll eventually run into articles that talk about using php to make your browser scale the images once it recieves them. Bad idea. This is where the problem lies: unless I make a second set of images for smaller thumbnails, implementing an image gallery that downloads images at ~2mb apiece only to be scaled at dimensions no more than 2% of their original size is a complete waste of bandwidth – bandwidth that could be better spent on playing TFT ladder games or downloading pr0n!

I then located several threads (here’s one) that talked about “generating” image files (which I assume occurs server side), performing any number of manipulations, then sending the results your browser (I’m positive it’s the same technology used to make those images where you have to “read the number” to continue with your registration or something equally pointless). Hm, that sounds promising…

Fast forward about 8 hours + lots of jumbled code, and here I am, utterly exhausted, but with a prototype of the photogallery that works much to my liking. The moral of this story? If ever you need to write an image gallery that requires one (and only one) set of image files to work, ASK ME FOR THE SOURCE CODE AS A STARTING POINT – it’ll save you some sanity points and will probably allow you a few extra hours of sleep!

The Pillows rock, seriously (imbedded image test)

cd cover Okay, I admit — I listen to some Japanese music. Worse, I started listening to them from watching anime ^_^; But the music I like is not your typical bubble-gum J-Pop and their ilk. I am talking specifically of a lovely group called The Pillows. More aptly classified as being in the “J-Rock” genre, the group was pretty much unheard of until Gainax decided to feature them in their glorious animated series FLCL; now, well, they ironically still aren’t very popular, except for a few fans who fell in love with the series (myself included!).

It’s hard to pick out exactly why I like this group. Perhaps it’s because of their talent to create some of the most memorable melodies (Ride on A Shooting Star, BABYLON VERSES…, Last Dinosaur); or from an FLCL fanboy’s perspective, the fact that it simply went so well with some of the anime’s scenes (Funny Bunny, Last Dinosaur, Blues Drive Monster).

What’s my favorite song from these guys? It’s hard to say — I usually find myself repeatedly queuing up a song in my player for days, then would quickly shift to another song. Two songs I’m particularly fond of however, are Funny Bunny and Last Dinosaur. If you are trying to decide which song to sample, I’d highly recommend those two (watching/listening to FLCL works well also). =)

For more information (for us English speaking folk), check out instant music.

Resurrecting BOKEH … day 2

Just finished most of the db-driven stuff for blogging, which turned out to be a lot easier than anticipated — the whole thing was pretty much completed in a matter of hours, and I even had time to go out for a little bit! I guess spending a whole semester working on mySQL & PHP has really paid off… I only wish I had learned this much earlier!

Come to think of it, there were quite a few things I wish I tried to learn just a year earlier. OpenGL, MAYA, PHP/mySQL — if only I had known how much I would enjoy working on these things, I wouldn’t have needed to waste my time taking so many ancillary classes, especially since I’ve dropped that second degree in arts (it conflicted with my sanity). Drawing, photography, beginning piano (lol), and printmaking (sorta) have essentially been the only non-CS classes that I truly enjoyed. As for those other classes, while not totally worthless, let’s just say they merely reaffirmed where my true interests lie.

gg no re kthx 20/20 Hindsight.

Resurrecting BOKEH … day 1: design

After putting it off for almost a whole year, I’ve finally decided to give my website, BOKEH, a *much needed* facelift. Before its untimely demise that fateful day in August, the original BOKEH was (to me) an incredibly robust ActionScript image gallery mimicing an interface from the much admired studio twin website. A very significant amount of source code was lost during the crash, as did my motivation to bother updating…

Although Flash is still my favored medium of presentation, I’ve (slowly) come to realize the advantages of using a blog-style interface, even if only the databasing technologies are used. Rather than depend on the likes of blogger.com, livejournal, or even this Asian-Approved service, however, I’m going to build this bad boy from scratch. From the design, underlying mySQL database, to the PHP interface, they will all be homebrewed; which will certainly make for an interesting learning experience.

That’s not to say that I won’t have my “sources of inspiration”, though. 😉 Similar to studio twin’s dictating the overall design and function of the older BOKEH, there’ll certainly be plenty of well-made blogs that will influence the direction of “version 5’s” maturation, like A List Apart, and (especially) brookelyn.org for starters.