About this Site's Design and Development

This site is a collaborative effort between designer Boelts Design, Inc. and developer Lisantra Technologies, LLC for James A Cook, all in Tucson, Arizona.

Programming

Lead Developer Michael Gatto comments on his choice of technique:

“I really enjoyed working on this site; I became familiar with James' amazing interpretations of culture through sculpture. James' writeup to each sculpture page was a revelation. From a technical perspective, I also had the opportunity to depart from my normal routine of heavy back-end programming and write beautiful HTML markup.”

“I used the latest in Web technologies: HTML5 and CSS3, which most new browsers support. Of course, I had to consider users of older browsers as well, including Internet Explorer 7 and older versions of Firefox. Happily, while presenting a beautiful website to these older browsers, I still implemented some cutting edge features into the site, including its ability to change its own layout depending on the user's screen size.”

“One of the new and very useful features is how I used the revived @font-face method of including fonts in a webpage. This way, I was able to faithfully reproduce Jackson Boelts' design intent. Finding an open source font which matched his design proofs was easy with Font Squirrel.”

“I basically had already decided I wanted to depart from my usual Php programming and concentrate on advanced markup. However, developer efficiency is always paramount, so I turned to Dreamweaver's templating system as a stand-in for scripting languages. I pushed Dreamweaver's templating language beyond its limits. To address some of its shortcomings, I even investigated some PERL and Python packages. One major shortcoming was nested templates not working with imported Xml content. I innovated some creative workarounds in my workflow to alleviate it.”

“I managed the source code in Subversion, which also allowed me to revisit this old freind after having switched some years ago to Mercurial as a Version Control System. I also experimented with advanced Subversion branching and merging techniques, even running into a long-standing bug involving mergeinfo metadata in a repository.”

“I also performed a considerable number of media conversion such as re-encoding video from gigantic Quicktime .mov files to much smaller MP4 files usable by HTML5 video. I also tried some newer formats such as Ogg Video and Google's brand-new WebM. I used JWPlayer and Javascript to play the videos in all browsers.”

“I tested the site on a virtual machine to Although I was tempted at points to just use dynamic scripting languages, I stuck with the plan and am quite satisfied at how it turned out. I hope you are, too.”

Technologies

This site uses open-source internet technologies, web standards and clear design. Among them are: