If you took the 'What the heck is up with your site being so dang plain?' link from the home page then here is your answer.
If you didn't take that link, tough, that is what this page is for...
This site is basically a vanity server for my own ego. That just isn't enough for me though, it needed a porpoise (sounding fishy yet?) like using it for an outlet of my frustrations and imaginations or and here we get to the rub: EXPERIMENTATION
One of the most interesting things happening on the web right now is a sort of quiet revolt against the very things that have made the web so exciting and yet occasionally abhorrent. The extensions and plug-ins and work arounds and abuse of html, graphics and proprietary extensions that have been employed in the past few years to force the web to conform to other mediums and emulate their strenghts AND weaknesses have wreaked untold damage on the fragile growth of this NEW medium.
People are basically control freaks when given layout or design tasks. Absolute control is seemingly required to complete the vision that the artist/creator has in mind. Unfortunately, for the past three years or so that simply hasn't been possible. The first problem is that the tools simply weren't there. HTML provided little in the form of text placement and style. It was concerned primarily with text precedence, as in, which portions of text weighed higher in importance. Bold, italics, Headings, quoting and such. The reason for this is the second problem; is is a big, wide, variety-filled world out there. HTML is designed to encompass that world. It 'names' portions of text based on inherent characteristics only in a grammatical sense. The final layout is left up to the browser software, so that it may take full advantage of the capabilities of the system on which it resides to present the text as clearly as possible.
The upshot of all this is that Mosaic, Netscape, Spyglass, Microsoft and others all came out with 'extensions' to HTML that allowed images, background colors and images, text color and font and size adjustments, centering and alignment, frames, layers and more. All of these things very nearly got out of hand until the market settled down a bit and the big players each felt the need to match each others feature sets.
In the middle of this market driven tornado, the people laid out the original specs for HTML have been busy on a new version that could save everyone from furthur fragmentation. Both Nescape (in version 4.0) and Microsoft (a little in 3.0 and more in 4.0) areshowing every sign of supporting this new upcoming standard. HTML 4.0 is a MAJOR change.
In a very real way, I am living that dream.
I am using this site to apply the absolutely wonderful concept of Style Sheets in the new HTML 4.0 (note that the link takes you to the main Markup page with links to both the current and future HTML standards.)
The plainness results from moving the style information to a central file that controls the style for an entire set of pages, even an entire site! The file, /style/hostile.css controls the style for the pages. This makes the style information more standardized and centralized. Very neat stuff. Get the newest browsers and check it out!
Thanks for listening