The House of Rapp is back!

Well, after talking about it for something like two or three years–maybe more–this site has finally been revamped, redesigned, rebuilt, and relaunched.

So what do you think?

There are a lot of new features. The biggest change (besides the new design, of course) is that everything is dynamically generated. Many of people are using the same software I am, but I don’t know of too many that are incorporating all the bits in quite the same way.

The textual portions and templates are pretty much controlled by Movable Type. I love this thing. After looking at PHP Nuke, PostNuke, phpWebSite, and a dozen other CMS applications, I just couldn’t find quite the right software. Even Movable Type didn’t have everything, but it was the easiest to adapt.

The photo gallery, previously managed by software from ImageFolio, is now running under Gallery, which is not only free but incorporates a lot of neat features like slide shows, image transitions, online print ordering, improved administration, and most importantly, automatic thumbnail generation.

Anyway, Gallery was been embedded into Movable Type so that it shares the same look and feel.

As if that wasn’t a tall enough order, I also wanted the ability to have multiple designs that were user-selectable. If you look the in the lower left corner of the page (at the bottom of the menu bar), you’ll see a “style selector” that allows you to pick from five aviation-themed designs. Give it a try! The system will also set a cookie to remember your preferences for the next time you visit.

One of the biggest problems with the old site was that it used frames–which I have learned to despise–and a million table tags. Using tables to control the design of the page is a trick as old as the Web itself. Alas, that’s not what tables were designed for. The result was a lot of very messy, spaghetti-like code.

No bueno.

The answer was to build the new site so that it used standards-compliant cascading style sheets and XHTML. Now the code on each page is compact, clean, and easy to edit.

So that’s the story. There’s not a lot of content here at the moment, but the tough work is done and it should be all downhill from going forward. The photos–all 1500 of them–have been moved over, and I’m finally starting to write.

The “Flying” and “Stage” pages are blank for now. Eventually those will contain some details about my lives in the aviation and theatrical worlds.

I have to add one final note of thanks to David Dasinger. I’ve worked with him on several sucessful projects in the past, and this one will certainly get added to the list. He’s the guy who made all this happen. Thanks, David!

  2 comments for “The House of Rapp is back!

  1. November 29, 2003 at 10:38 pm

    So, how did you embed Gallery on your blog? I’ve been meaning to do that for a while. Care to share pointers?

  2. November 29, 2003 at 11:08 pm

    I got help. 🙂

    You can get step by step pointers from a number of folks who have integrated these two packages. Here are a few links worth reading:

    Here’s one.

    And some Movabletype support…

    And Gallery help…

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