The exciting tale of this site (Duologue). Hold on to your
seatbelts for the most riveting story you have ever heard!
Can you contain your excitement?
Ok, yes, you probably can. But you're here, aren't you?
Hmm, actually, I ought to rename this page to "site history",
and make another page that describes accurately what the site is
about. Meh, that'll keep.
In The Beginning
...there was the idea
A few years ago, I was chatting on the phone to my old friend Alex.
From wherever, the idea of having a collectively-run website,
consisting of (amongst other things) a collaborative blog style of
thing, ended up being discussed. We decided this was quite a good
idea, and committed ourselves to such a course of action! Huzzah!
Of course, we would need a suitable host for our website...
What was this bit again?
Oh yes. We eventually decided on Geocities. Alex opened the account with
them, and we started putting some things on it. You can still see what
we put there here
if you really want to.
Pretty much all of what we put up was us trying to settle on a layout
and style and stuff for the site, and a way to generate the pages in
such a way that we could both write stuff to the pages without
tripping over each other. The original plan was to use something like
Awk, or maybe Perl, with little empty files on the site to implement
Mutex locks. This was around February 2002 (or earlier). We didn't get
Our hand is forced!
Then, going one day to update the site, I found
I couldn't FTP into the site. I wondered if I'd got the password
wrong, or if someone had changed it or something. But further
investigation showed that they had suddenly decided FTP was some sort
of luxury that ordinary users didn't need. Perhaps it's because
Geocities are owned by Microsoft (last time I heard) and they felt like
making life difficult for non-windows people.
Anyways, this kind of derailed our plan, so we decided to move sites,
to Angelfire. This time I opened the account, and chose the account
name- the first half I had to pick from a short list of their names
(I chose "super2", it seemed amusingly appropriate for a site intended
to be collectively run), and the second half was completely freeform-
I picked "duologue". And I know what you're thinking, I must mean
"dialogue", as duologue isn't a real word, but sorry, get yourself
a bigger dictionary. It has a roughly similar meaning, but sounds a
bit more intriguing, although now, it's
significantly less relevant to the site.
Of course, as I've no easy way of getting back into the old
Geocities account now, those pages are still there for you
to laugh at.
Meanwhile, I set about putting up some more designs for the layout
and style, and a certain amount of content - like a few of my little
programs, a few graphics things, a short links page, but updating
the site was grotty work without a proper means of generating the
pages automatically as I'd always planned, and I was unhappy
putting up the pages the way I was, with the excessively spartan
layout (ie- no layout whatsoever). Of course, the act of creating
the code to generate the pages was badly hampered by having no
layout or style idea for it to generate them with, and I still
couldn't come up with anything satisfactory, and Alex seemed to
have been too busy with work and real life to come up with
anything (or at least anything he wanted to put on the site).
Change of Plan
As it was becoming clear that Alex was largely too busy to be
involved any more, I ended up suggesting to him that perhaps we
should just do the sane, normal thing, and just each have our
own website instead. The collaborative conversational-style blog
thing had seemed like a good idea at the time, and I'd felt that
whilst many personal websites don't have enough content in them
to make them worth looking at, a site put together by 2 (or more)
people could end up quite well-rounded. But, a website that's
never updated because everything and everyone got too bogged
down isn't of much interest to anybody.
So, in January 2004, nearly 2 years after the original site was
started, I decided to pick some easy HTML layout with a
basic style I liked - I picked the splash screen from the
Dillo browser - and I set
about creating some macros for the m4 macro processor
program to produce the pages using separate files for layout
and content, according to that style (this basic framework
soon evolved into the mmss
Yes, BTW, I did ask the Dillo developers if they'd mind,
and they nicely gave me the go-ahead. I also got a kind offer from
Sunny Raspet that I could use layout from his site, but as
I'd already written the macros when I asked, I decided to wait to
see if I could use that layout first. So thanks to all of them.
Anyways, here is the site, the main differences between its
current state and the original idea are:
- It doesn't have that conversational-style blog thing (in the
style of, say, a web forum like Slashdot or various phpBB forums);
instead, I will occasionally put up exciting (read: uneventful) news
items, I'm planning on putting up a "Tag Board" or a
"Shout Box" that you can write stuff in, and I'll put up
the link to Alex's site at mac.com when he sends it!
- All the content will be put up by me. I may end up putting up
some content from Alex or other friends, if they send me some-
especially stuff like good links, as I'd like to make the biggest
links page known to man! But there probably won't be much stuff
like that. It probably wouldn't be that practical either.
- It won't look half as pretty as I'm not a web designer type
or a graphic designer like Alex. Doh!
Hope that clarifies things!