Site Technical Information

Tools Used In The Creation Of This Site

This is the big one. None of the Curators used any HTML tools or software in designing the pages of this site. Every page was created using a basic text editor. (And, while he can't speak for the other Curators, Raptor really did use Notepad.)

Adobe Photoshop
No surprise here. Adobe Photoshop is one of the best-known and most powerful image editing products available. Raptor got his first copy (version 3.0.5) bundled with a SCSI Flatbed Scanner in 1996 for only $100 extra! Once you have a registered copy, the upgrade cost is very reasonable. He is currently using version 7.

Paint Shop Pro
Since Photoshop wasn't always as suitable for web graphics as it is now, Raptor previously used Paint Shop Pro from Jasc Software. This software made it very easy to work with individual pixels and transparency (for link buttons and tiny images). It also loads and runs faster, especially if you don't have a fast computer.

GIF Construction Set
Currently there is only one animated GIF file on the site which was actually created by one of the Curators. It's the animated banner at the top of the main page of The Cave and it was created by Raptor using GIF Construction Set Professional from Alchemy Mindworks.

Hiding Email Addresses

There was an excellent article in the June 22, 2004 issue of PC Magazine which discussed a method of keeping your email address from being collected by spammers who use software to scan web sites for addresses.

Basically, the method is to use graphics or javascript (or both) instead of plain text.
Here we have an active link to Raptor's email address (the blue underlined text) which uses javascript in the page source. Just in case someone has javascript turned off (for security reasons, perhaps), we also have a GIF image of the address. The benefit of this is that the address does not appear in the text so automated scanning software can't find it. (If you view the source for this page, you will find a horrendous mish-mash of javascript code instead of the email address.) The address is only visible when the page is actually viewed in a browser. Of course, the negative aspect is that if someone has javascript AND images turned off, they won't be able to find the email address.

Like they say, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. According to the article in PC Magazine, 97% of spam is generated from addresses gathered by automated software so we'll live with the trade-off. You can get the javascript code to implement this on your own site, for free, from Automatic Labs. The online form is here.

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Comments or questions about this page should be directed to Raptor.