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One Year Anniversary of 'The World Around Me'

The World Around Me

One year ago today, I lunched "The World Around Me" on my university website. It was a meager project with just a few pictures. I used XML to store the seperate galleries in one file and XSL with JavaScript to break apart the file to display only the pictures in the selected gallery. Unfortunately, this method meant that only people using the latest, or near latest, version of Internet Explorer could see the galleries.
In a day or two I had put together the basic layout to show three galleries, each with about three pictures. The home page was the gallery "Art is Where One Looks" with two galleries shown to be inferior. Over the course of a few months, I added a few more pictures and turned three galleries into six. I also made it possible to read the gallery titles in one of a few languages. First I added Spanish titles on four galleries and later Russian on four, though not the same as for those in Spanish. This required a different home page to allow people to choose which language to view.
Then, at some point, I had the brilliant idea to expand "The World Around Me" and put it on my private website ( was, unfortunately, already being used for my unsuccessful site for years. "Yoda's Intranet Site" was a collection of many things that had just caught my fancy. However, no one ever visited my site and the hope of creating Forums to bring people together and to my site was never fully realised. The Forums worked, as they had years before, but no one came or had reason to come. I started work to allow people to use my site as a private blog, but I lost interest in developing the idea with all its intricate needs. So I threw it all away and started work on making "The World Around Me" available for everyone.
I determined that the best way to organise the information was to still be in XML. However, this time I would put to use my knowledge of Perl, which I used to create the Forums, to now interpret the XML data into simple HTML for every computer to read. I knew that in addition to my carry-over galleries, I would need to add galleries from vacations and whenever I took pictures of any interest. With the family reunion in Michigan in a few weeks, I knew I had to be sure everything was ready and launched before then. Thankfully the family vacation to Myrtle Beach had provided me with pictures to display immediately.
So now, one year after I started displaying my pictures online, I look at how it all has changed. Just do a search on this site for "update" will outline most of my accomplishments since "The World Around Me" launched on in July, seven months ago. I look at what I have created and I see that what I wanted has been acheived. I have a place to display my pictures, to write about my life, and bring people together with a thread of discussion on each of my entries.
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