HISTORY AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
Last updated: January 10 2012, 11:27.
My first programming teacher was Yury V. Sotskov - a lecturer from the St.Petersburg Polytechnical University, who led the extra-curricilum classes in Informatics at the highschool #517. He was instrumental not only in instigating my interest to the computer technologies by giving us captivating lectures in the subject history, but also in laying a solid foundation in algorithmization, as well as the basics of BASIC and FORTRAN languages.
My dad, Associate Prof. Boris M.Lebedev bought me my first 8088 XT in 1995, and my good friend Yury Aldoshkin – now a successfull IT-specialist – has helped me to carry that heavy two-piece home, walking several miles in very slippery and cold weather. Another good friend of mine, Michael V. Sokolov, was very helpful in developing my PASCAL and animation skills.
My first personal website was based on the WikiPad engine by the Cherry Design Company. I was able to create it following the two introductory lectures by the senior lecturer of the Department of the Information Systems in Economics Alexander N. Poroshin, that were the part of the Faculty's professional development program in the Spring of 2008. Mr.Poroshin's online conduits were also really very helpful. He also took care of the hosting arrangements for me.
The total time that I have spent creating that first website amounted to 9 hours. (One has to take into consideration the fact, that the uploaded materials had to undergo a certain accommodation process, that included the elimination of the test quizes from the PowerPoints, file size reduction, etc).
- Hour 1 – I have understood the creation of the multiple pages via the "Site Map" files, created the templates for the three or four pages, learned to use the fancy links (i.e. those not displaying the full web address in the website text).
- Hour 2 – Have created the templates of all the pages necessary (the total of 11), completely finished the debugging of the Index page, "Site map" page and the first of the pages with the information. Started to process the materials for the publication, according to the UNIX system requirements.
- Hour 3 – The Economic Policy course webpage polished up as per requirements. Unfortunately, I was unable to upload several files, because they were over 2Mb in size.
- Hour 4 – "St.Petersburg Municipal Economy" and "Useful links" webpages took shape in compliance with the requirements.
- Hour 5 – "Seminars for ME group" page completed (actual time spent was 1 hour 20 minutes). Some minor improvements applied to the other pages.
- Hour 6 – Completed the "My publications" page and started to work at the "Macro2" page. Discovered that in order to perform the test upload of the files into the system it is not obligatory to use the WikiPad interface: the files can just be copied into the corresponding folder within the system.
- Hour 7 – "Macro2" webpage is completed.
- Hour 8 – Completed the pages for the Law faculy seminars, Faculty of Sociology, video files page and the schedule page.
- Hour 9 – Changed the visual appearance of the website (4 files in the "PIC" folder).
- Hours 10–13 (no precise timing was performed) – The materials were adapted for the server (files over 2Mb were not allowed) and uploaded.
That WikiPad-based website served me well over 3 years. The time has been passing by, and although I have greatly enjoyed the simplicity and robustness of the Cherry-Design engine, finally I have felt the urge to go beyond the Wiki playground and learn the real HTML language. I have Googled the Eugeny Taradayev's online HTML textbook and followed its course. In this process I have been using the Notepad++ HTML editor, which is a powerful free tool. I think, by now I have spent about two or three weeks, daily converting my Wikipad website step-by-step into the real HTML, and also translating it into English. I think, this latter circumstance has added to the overall process a great deal of time. It also took some time to get the website proberly hosted, and to solve the UTF-8 coding problem. Finally I have stumbled upon the Radyx.ru company, that has provided me with the free 250Mb of space and the nice short domain name. The only problem so far was my inclusion in the SURBL spammers list – apparently because someone has been sending spam from the tf9.ru node.
My good friend Boris Veselov has developed a new website design for me, and I have converted the old pages into new ones. The slimmed-down old version started to serve as a "mobile" version.
After I was finished with the new design, I started looking for a decent tool to study PHP. This took a while. There is indeed a plenty of online textbooks etc., but most of them are difficult to grasp, and are of poor quality. Finally I have located the Tizag.com tutorial that was good for me. After three or four weeks of studying it I have realized I have reasons to implement my new knowledge in converting the HTML website into more efficient PHP-based one. The conversion process has started on January 7th, 2012 and is expected to go on for several weeks.