> About This Site
Why the Name?
What's the Point?
Design InfluencesThere are lots of design influences I'm not interested in documenting, and probably lots more I'm not even aware of, but there are also a few I wanted to make special mention of.
The idea of putting things into a hierarchical structure is clearly very important, but I have no idea how to give credit for it. When was hierarchical structure invented? Before writing? Probably. Could the idea have been with us from the beginning? Do apes have a hierarchical structure in their groups? Do bees? Cells?
It probably would be possible to track down who originated the various methods of displaying hierarchical structure on a computer, but I haven't done it. However, I did write some design notes about how I chose which method to use.
The major influence on the essay side was the Portland Pattern Repository. I have mixed feelings about this site. On the one hand, it is very cool, and the process does seem to work; on the other, the lack of permanence still makes me uncomfortable. My careful discussion of site dynamics is probably in part a reaction against this lack of permanence.
One thing I know I picked up from the Portland Pattern Repository is the idea of reducing the column width to produce a ten word line, thereby making the text easier to read.
The major influence on the referends (works and actors) side was the Internet Movie Database. This is a very nice site, and I've used it more than once to check my facts.
I was tempted to just use the database pages themselves as referends, but there were several reasons not to. I wanted to do the following: include works of all kinds, not just movies; provide backlinks from the works to the essays; use selection to make my smaller list more worthwhile; and, of course, give my own opinions more prominence.
Finally, although my design was driven more by the philosophy that interfaces should be small, simple, and fast, I agree with the concept that sites should be viewable with any browser.
@ March (2000)