[thelist] Aaaaagh! http://www.act-e.com

Bev digizan at digizan.com
Sat Jun 9 00:56:59 CDT 2001

Greetings ppl,

<writhing in agony class="despair">

I've bee asked to "fix" the following site:


Now it's a really "cool" site in terms of design but it's (IMO) highly
dysfunctional.  It's running on Apache/Unix so CF & ASP are not an option
(and I know absolutely no Perl or cgi beyond validating forms).

The original "coder" did the whole thing in DHTML layers and used framesets
inside framesets inside framesets.  The directories run 5-6 levels deep,
with image names that make no sense (many of them the same but using
different names and exiting in multiple folders, which makes them have to
reload).  I'm talking images named of1.gif, of2.gif, name.gif, bar.gif,
left_bar.gif, map.gif etc.--many of these being in deep, deep, folders in
each sub-directory.  Nothing so simple as a regular "images" folder in root
that has names like look_on.gif (a nav image) or lev2_title_whatever.gif or
even look_map.gif...  just thinking about it makes me want to wish for all
sorts of nasty curses to be visited upon the head of the original coder.

The owners of the site tell me it works on NS for Mac--yeah, wonderful, that
should cover about a fraction of a percent of visitors.  Their "guestbook"
(if you can even find it) doesn't line up right in IE 5.5.  The whole thing
starts with a totally useless & annoying pop-up window which you cannot even
get past in NS 6--dead in the water from the get-go with that one.  Oh, and
the navigation is 100% graphical (as is a good deal of the content).  Did I
forget to mention that they seem to adore the "envelope" look where every
page scrolls to the right forever?

Now mind you, these guys are "creatives" from Switzerland and are quite
talented, but I don't think they have a clue about how crippled their site
probably is in many browsers.  Who's their target audience?  Uh, I'm not
sure they even know--mostly other creatives I suppose--but my overall
impression is that they're aiming at a fairly young, international,
web-savvy audience who likes cutting-edge design.

Now, what they wanted me to do was get rid of the initial pop-up window so
that every page will load in the same frameset & fix any javascript errors
(they are getting reports of these, but don't know from which pages).
Jiminy Christmas, the pages have tons of javascript errors (when you can dig
them out from amid the framesets), and the structure is so nonsensical...
and all those, folders, divs & framesets...  aaaaaaaggggghhhh!!!!  I
seriously think it might be easier to just rebuild the whole darned thing.

Can you guys please hammer the site with your various browsers & OS's and
tell e what you come up with so I can convince them that it's not gonna work
to just make a few quick fixes?  I'm doing this project on a completely
volunteer basis, so if some sense cannot be made out of it real soon I'm not
gonna deal with it.

</writhing in agony>


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