This page is dedicated to Alan-Sama, who gave me
the excitement and faith to make this site happen.

Lehua's Site: A Discussion


Courtesy, respect, & inclusion are the center of this site. This requires freedom of choice and accessibility. Choice & accessibility have driven all of my design & technical decisions.

CONTENTS
Raison d'Ítre & Philosophy
Design & Technical Considerations
Tools
Tutorials & Resources
(Including my own HTML Tutorial)
Credits


Raison d'Ítre & Philosophy

Why a home site?

  • I have as many friends far away as are near. It's very satisfying to sit with my friends and show them the latest photo album of birthday pictures, though they're in Honolulu, or the Highlands, or Anchorage, or Milan, or Duluth, or Hastings, or Brisbane.
     
  • This site gives me a chance to highlight friends and activities that have no page of their own.
     
  • It's been helpful to fellow cancer fighters to have a handy set of links to information sites, and also to have access to my journal of first-hand cancer treatment experiences and remedies.
     
  • It's a convenient place to post my latest status for friends who are shy about asking, and saves me from having to repeat myself endlessly for those who aren't.
     
  • It's a widely accessible place to honor those who have lost the fight, and to provide a real life, un-Hollywood glimpse of the grief of those who remain.

Content:

This site is shamelessly about me. I've assumed that anyone who comes here has at least an embryonic interest in who I am. I've assumed that if they want to see Poz's homesite, that's where they would have gone. I assume that if they wanted to go to National Breast Cancer's site, that's where they would have gone.

I must admit, however, that the most fun I've had here is in making pages of and about my friends, whether it's the Myst Endgamers' Wall of Honor, the infamous OPB (Old People's Bar), or the pages on behalf of cancer fighters.

Out of respect for the wide diversity of my friends, I've toned my language way down from what it is in real life, and have spoken quietly if at all on matters of religion and politics. Again, there are many sites people can go to if they wish to examine such things. Nor do I think I have any definitive answers on those topics.


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Design and Technical Decisions

I began my site with fabulous wallpapers, animated GIFs, music, and boodles of images.

I came to understand that I was being a pain in the ass.

Out of respect for Art up the hill with his 9600 modem, and Joanne in Boston with her DOS/text browser, and many others who just work too hard to want to sit around downloading, I have changed things radically.

I ripped out almost all of my decorative images, and many of my wallpapers. I took out the automatically uploading music, and the image-rules.

This removal worked out okay, because it allowed me to indulge my fascination for the Colors of Coastside, which you'll see throughout the pages. I've had a long fascination with these colors. I took up watercolor late in life, though I'd been every other sort of artist since babyhood, and soon noticed that I had a very odd pallette compared to other painters. Eventually, I realized that what it was is, I have a tropical pallette, full of the greens, golds, teals, and ochres of my homeland. To me, Coastside's colors are exotic and fascinating, something to become known. They've softness and grace, yet strength and no nonsense, and suit the comparative harshness of this environment.

I left only minimal images on all main pages, as a signature for each section, and took the rest out-line. All the photo albums are on subpages, so that they can be reached only by informed choice. And to further the concept of informed choice, I've noted their contents, so that no one has to go thru the download hoping to see a picture of Malia only to end up with a picture of me sipping from a coconut.

Many of the photo images are old, before I knew enough to clip the size and to make crisp images, but they will gradually be replaced as time permits. I now try to make the images as small as possible, to reduce viewers' load time.

Again with respect equating to accessibility, I've avoided higher levels of HTML and most fancy site tricks. I've put in no pages that only lead to other pages.

And... I've enough love for fellow humankind to limit my use of frames.  I've eased up a bit on my no-frames stance, as frames have gradually become less buggy, but I still refuse to gee-gaw the pages into unusable chunks, refuse to use code that crashes on varied browsers, and refuse to commit the horrible rudeness of disabling my vistors' back-buttons and trapping them in my site.  My advice: If you don't code well enough to guarantee you won't commit any of these crimes, do NOT USE FRAMES!  To my mind, it's a matter of respect.


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Tools

HTML editing:
I've tried many, many HTML editors and hate them all, so I code by hand. This is not to say that all editors are bad, or that you won't like to use an editor, this is just a personal preference.

 
Site Validation:
I do, however, use a code validator:  WebLint®, by UniPress.  You can paste your code into this program, and it will give you detailed diagnostics of anything you've done wrong.

 
Hot-spot mapped graphics:
I am using MapEdit®, by Boutell.Com, Inc. It has some user-unfriendly conventions, but once you get used to them, it's reliable, rapid, and extremely easy to use. It's also very inexpensive.

 
Graphics viewing & conversion:
I have yet to see a product as easy & versatile as Graphic Workshop®, by Alchemy Mindworks. You can create readily viewable thumbnails of your pieces, and convert them from/to any format you're likely to use. It will also rapidly do scaling, reversals, and many other utility functions. It's also very inexpensive.

 
Graphics transparency and animation:
For this I use another Alchemy Mindworks product, GIF Construction Set (GifCon®). GifCon® is very intuitive and reliable. It's available in 32-bit. It's also very inexpensive.

 
Graphics acquisition and advanced manipulation:
I'm a longtime user of Adobe Photoshop®. It's difficult to learn, difficult to use, slow, and extremely expensive, but it does an incredible job on the images and has a wide range of features.

 
Scanning:
I'm using the Microtek Scanmaker III®. It was very expensive, by my humble standards, but does an unbelievably good image and is quite fast. Mine came with Adobe Photoshop®, Fractal Painter®, OCR conversion, and a transparency adapter.

 
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Tutorials, Design Guides, Resources

Note that all the following links are displayed, to allow easy printout and reference.
[Beta Testing]
Website Creation for Dancers
My own website building tutorial, especially designed for non-programmers and technophobes:
WEBSITE CREATION FOR FLAMENCO DANCERS, GOLD MINERS, AND FISHMONGERS (and pastry chefs, and horse trainers, and frog breeders, ....):
http://www.lehuanet.com/webclass
 
HotWired's WebMonkey
An excellent HTML tutorial, with good info on tables:
http://www.webmonkey.com/webmonkey/teachingtool/
 
NCSA--A Beginner's Guide to HTML
http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/General/Internet/WWW/HTMLPrimer.html
 
HTML Reference Manual
Sandia National Laboratories
http://www.sandia.gov/sci_compute/html_ref.html
 
HTML Quick Reference
Michael Grobe, Academic Computing Services, University of Kansas
http://www.cc.ukans.edu/info/HTML_quick.html
 
Rich's HTML Guide
Backgrounds: samples & usage
http://www.chelt.ac.uk/techserv/rich/html/back.htm
 
InfiNet: Netscape colors
Explanations and sample RGB values
http://colors.infi.net/colorindex.html
 
Novalink's BEACHRat
RGB-to-Hexidecimal Color Converter
http://www.novalink.com/hex/
 
PixelSight Graphics
Color Picker
http://beta.pixelsight.com/
 
Octagamm's Ball Boutique
Lots of free, very nice buttons, bars, lettering, etc.
http://www.octagamm.com/boutique/mainball.htm
 
Another RGB-to-Hexidecimal Color Converter
http://www.lne.com/rgb.html
 
Victor Engel's No Dither Netscape Color Palette
http://www.onr.com/user/lights/netcol.html
 
Victor Engel's No Dither Palette For 16 Color Systems
http://the-light.com/netins16.html
 
David Siegel's Web Wonk
Tips for Writers and Designers. Includes a useful discussion of background colors.
http://www.dsiegel.com/tips/index.html
 
Web Pages That Suck
Vincent Flanders. I HIGHLY recommend this site.
http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/
 
Top Ten Mistakes in Web Design
Crossway Resources: Jakob Nielsen, SunSoft Distinguished Engineer. Contains among other things, excellent reasons not to use frames.
http://uxbridge.holycross.edu/resources/mistakes.html
 
How to Create Really Cool Web Sites by Gene Callahan and Mary Hopkins
More site-building mistakes:  A very funny (but very accurate) exposť of things you don't want to do.
http://www.best.com/~gcallah/BadHTML/bad1.html
 
David Siegel's Creating Killer Websites
Excellent information on everything. Includes a tables tutorial.
http://www.killersites.com/core.html
 
Lynn's Web Mastery
Links to graphics, fonts, tools, sounds, music, sample sites, and other resources -- great links.
http://fly.hiwaay.net/~nlf/graphics.htm
 
Kol's Korner
Excellent links to several tutorials, HTML & more. Also excellent links to MIDI music, graphics, animated GIFs, etc.
http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/3038/links.html
 
New World Creations
Buttons, animated GIFs, custom graphics:
http://www.nwcreations.com/
 
The Pixel Foundry
Backgrounds, textures, wonderful graphics
http://the-tech.mit.edu/KPT/
 
Randy's Icon Bazaar
Graphics and links to more graphics
http://www.iconbazaar.com/others/
 
ABWAM Resources
Backgrounds, textures, tools, etc.
http://www.abwam.com/help/webtech/colors.shtml
 
The MIDI Music Page
A superb MIDI site, including the Classical Masterpieces Jukebox (and pop music, too)
http://www.quicknet.se/home/q-112005/fmid.htm
 
The Midi Music Website by Dan Jansson
http://www.quicknet.se/home/q-112005/dan.htm
 
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Credits

Art-Sama
For more than a decade, Art has nourished and nurtured what little geekiness I possess. He has heeded my wails when I turned my VGA into tweed, or went postal over Trumpet. He's curing my mainframer's conviction that only God can touch a CPU. He can upend a CPU and slamdunk inscrutable objects into the slots, or upend a many-hundred pound sea lion and slamdunk him into a hospital cage with equal competence -- awesome to behold. There isn't any way on earth that I'd have adapter cards and and modems in my life if not for Art. And on top of all that, he's a good friend and a man of great integrity.

 
Alan-Sama
Alan has likewise been in my life for over a decade, and even when we first met, in a roomful of exhausted programmers who'd been up for 72 hours, up to our ears in cold pizza and empty coffee cups, I knew I'd met an exceptional person with a very rich mind. Even while busy writing his own "4,216 Steps to Building a Web Site" page, he gave me endless help with my own. And most of all, the inspiration I needed to make it happen. And... He brought Kaye being Kaye into my life, who gave me additional inspiration with the beauty and spirit of her site and, though I was a complete stranger to her at the time, also reached out with tons of excellent help.

 
Candy
Candy is my mother, daughter, sister, nurse, patient, and dear friend. It's a good thing she has no inclinations toward alcoholism, for my web fervor and babble would have driven a lesser person to the hard stuff. In fact, she has a remarkable geeky streak of her own, and will yank and rearrange wires with gay abandon. All content in my site has been thoroughly tested on and evaluated by this bright and alive woman. Candy will have a website of her own soon, and I shall attend (and herald) its birth.

 
Gene Bridges
I've known Gene for over 20 years, and he's always been several steps ahead of the pack. Though a minister to my programmer, he was PC savvy long before I was, and net savvy long before I was, and already had some net experience with his B&B's Hawai'i site. He put much time that I know he doesn't have into helping me with proofing and link verification, as well as many excellent suggestions on content and structure. And, good friend that he's long been, gave me the loving support needed for such boldness.

 
Bill Sawyer / KeyPoint.
The website coding course I took from Bill Sawyer of KeyPoint was an excellent kick-start and full of good information. It was just what I needed to finally pull everything together (and to get my furshlugginer images to align correctly).

 
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This page is the color of the ruffled lichens
that grow on the fallen redwoods

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