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The blog is being migrated and merged with multiple Imphenzia blogs so the format and content will be inconsistent for a while.

New Site launched

Many many hours of hard work finally resulted in the launch of the new 2009-look for Imphenzia.com. All previous sections (music, games and soundtrack) have been united and also a new addition is the section textures which is a searchable database of textures for game makers and modellers.

The new site has cross functionality between the sites and it was developed in PHP with a MySQL backend. The sections now share a common user account feature which will enable anyone who has previously purchased a track, mp3-album or registered a game to access this content at all times.

Another feature is that it was designed with the ability to skin the site so it can be customized, maybe becuase you want a different look or because you want a bigger font or narrower page size etc. There is only the default skin available at the moment but now that the site is launched I may find some time to create some skins.

I hope you like this new site and please feel free to give me feedback or comments. You can also discuss it in the Imphenzia forums :)

Working hard on new imphenzia sites

Just an update to say I've been working extremely hard on the new Imphenzia site structure the past week, probably put a good 40+ hours of development into the sites the past week and I hope to be able to make the results visible over the coming week :)

I've also added the blog to
Nynäshamn
bloggkartan.se :)

Protecting the site & AJAX

It's been  a long time since I've spent so many hours on something producing such a small visible result. First of all I had to learn all about protecting PHP code and form fields that are inserted into the database when logging in with mysql_real_escape_string and the joys of some servers having magic_quotes_gpc enabled and when stripslashes should and shouldn't be used. I've finally protected the code enough from malicious visitors - I don't want to end up like the old imphenzia forums once were if you remember those days. Since I already developed the login / logout / remember me features of the new sites yesterday, the 4 hours I spent on just protecting the code was just plain boring - but not wasted as the result is good and I learned something very useful.

Originally I used a javascript called "Live Validation" to verify the contents of form fields as you type in them and the result was quite cool - what it didn't support, however, was verifying on the fly that a username already existed or if invalid characters were entered. A friend of mine advised me about AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and this is something I find very exciting (sadly enough!). What AJAX enabled me to do (amongst a million other things) is to verify if a username exists in the database as a user is typing into the form field. If the user enters a username while registering that already exists, the web page will warn you that the name is taken - this all without submitting the form or using the tedious back button etc. Now then you might think - why waste so much time on learning this stuff as I may never have a huge amount of registered users on imphenzia.com - but my reply is that learning this stuff is extremely useful as fast and intelligent websites is the future.

I found out that when troubleshooting javascripts, FireFox with the extension 'firebug' is very useful for debugging when things go wrong. Firebug will display error messages and scripts neatly and in my case the AJAX feed that is returned. At the same time, I must admit that I very much prefer IE as a browser - mainly because it renders web pages much nicer and - and also because so many sites look incorrect in FireFox... and if you are a true FireFox fan you will probably explode now and say that all these sites look horrible because they were incorrectly developed, the fact is that they still look horrible regardless of who's fault it is hence me prefering IE :)

Well, I still have some work left to do with the validation method tomorrow and the easter weekend is nearly over. Once validation is finally taken care of I can move on to more fun stuff on the site such as the music section.

Web site '2K8' progress

Today I've spent a good few hours getting more comfortable with CSS and I must say it is a huge step forward compared to only using HTML as it is extremely easy to keep consistency in the design and position different elements. At the same time as I am learning CSS I am converting from ASP to PHP. I can produce ASP code much faster, but PHP has a much better array of commands and functions and is also widely used on both Linux and Windows web-hotels so you don't have to restrict yourself if it were to be necessary to move.

I have high hopes for the new web pages and it's fun to mess about with! Due to having many interests I am fortunate enough that my interest does a "round robin" and at the moment it's web design that I'm enjoying, a couple of weeks back it was all about music and releasing "Illusion" and in a week or two I'll probably be programming away with Performa Cars.