The entry below is classified as a LEGACY post, meaning that it was written (well) before the current version of Avalonstar was released. Although these posts have survived the numerous moves over years, there is no guarantee that they've survived the trip unscathed (especially the links).

Batteries Not Included

... nor are a lot of other things.

For some reason, the site doesn't seem to be all that incomplete. Sure, you can't browse archives, post comments, see a home page or read about me--if anything, I did accomplish all three of the goals I had for this sprint1.

Goal, the first.

I wanted to blog again. I don't know if you've ever heard of somebody not being able to blog because of an overwhelming design, but that's exactly what version 25, Distortion, was for me. Not only did I feel obligated to write longer posts, I needed to write longer posts since shorter ones looked like complete crap. Valid reason? It was for me. So I departed from the sheer graphical mammoth that was Distortion with a design that was another challenge for me--one that was light, minimal and typographic (and chock full of HTML5 and CSS3).

Goal, the second.

Since I wrote about the second goal on the GitHub project page for what I code named the Phoneix Project, I'll just go ahead and post that here:

One day, I forget when, I had a crazy idea. I wanted to put a blog on Revyver. "Oh hell no," I said, "what about Avalonstar?" Well, Avalonstar is just sort of sitting there right now, but I really didn't want to pile Revyver news on Avalonstar and force people to go to Avalonstar when all they wanted to see was Revyver-related bits and vice versa.

Then I thought, maybe a custom theme. Nah, it'd be too weird. People would be looking through archives on Avalonstar, only to see a Revyver story, click on it and then get transported to a post on the Avalonstar domain that looked like it should have been on Revyver. Confusing right? Well, even if it isn't to you, it was to me.

Phoenix is the pony power behind Avalonstar, Revyver and the next version of Konokoi (Jen and my joint blog). It'll hopefully allow me to a lot of nifty things with regards to sharing content between the sites. The engine is still very much a work in progress, but I'm as happy with this codebase as I am with Hello! Ranking's.

Goal, the third.

My third goal was one that I've had for a long time now, almost as old as Distortion. As I was converting selected posts to Markdown for Distortion, I wondered about context. When most people redesign, their old posts assume their new design--and they lose context. I wanted a way to not feel guilty about redesigning (read: I got at least 10 questions a year after I retired the egg rolls about when they were making a return).

So Redemption is not just one design, it's one new design plus seven redesigns, or "memories," of old versions. If you click the previous button a few times, you'll see version 25, and so on, all the way back to version 19, Knighted. It's what I consider the crown jewel of this version. As I go on to version 27, 28 and beyond, these designs will stay to forever give context to the articles that were posted during their tenure.

So there you have it. While I haven't built everything in that you would come to expect a blog engine would have, I was able to accomplish my personal goals by building the blog first. In the coming days I'll be fleshing out the rest of the site (since I still have Revyver to work on).

Special thanks go out to my partner in crime, Greg Newman and my good friend Chris Harrison for starting the idea of the SiteSprint. It was definitely what I needed to get off my ass and start re-imagining my family of sites2.

  1. I don't go into extreme depth on any of these points, as I need to give myself more reasons to blog. :) I'm sure you understand.
  2. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I should bother adding comments back. While I adore conversing, I'm starting to really get annoyed at the "Smashing Magazine" grade of comment that's starting to become prevalent. If you'd like to "comment" throw me an @reply on Twitter and/or use the hash tag #as244.
Avalonstar is the 22-year-old personal website of Bryan Veloso: content creator, retired professional user interface designer, and compass of purpose.
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