December Sun – A Web Comic

March 29, 2009

The 301 redirect

Filed under: 3,computers,misc,programming,web comics — admin @ 11:05 pm

an image that has nothing whatsoever to do with this post, from DS #5

 

 

 

I’ve been hammering out the woes with this webcomic since December of last year, and one of the things from the beginning that’s puzzled me is the fact that the basic URL is supposed to be:

 

http://www.dscomic.com 

…yet all of the actual site content is stored away in 

http://www.dscomic.com/wordpress-2.6.3/wordpress/

(in and of itself a problem, as what happens to this directory structure if I decide to upgrade WordPress?  Am I going to be stuck in 2.6.3?)  

Anyhow, the problem was that I wanted the primary site to be DSCOMIC.COM, yet I had to redirect the site visitor to the wordpress directory.  What I had been doing originally was an HTTP redirect, using the following logic:

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”1; URL=http://www.dscomic.com/wordpress-2.6.3/wordpress/”>

This worked, I suppose, but never seemed like the right option, since when you’d go to DSCOMIC.COM first, you’d be at a blank white page with the text “December Sun”, then you’d be routed to the index file in the  /wordpress sub-directory with all of the site content and goodness.  I suppose I could have kept doing this, but it seemed like this wasn’t the most efficient way to go (and I seem to recall reading in the “Building Findable Websites” book that these sort of redirects weren’t a good thing for a site, as far as search engine ranking went.

So I dug around a little more, and found a more simpler option: now if the user starts at DSCOMIC.COM, the following springboard kicks into play to shoot the user over to the wordpress subdirectory.  Instead of an index.html file with the meta listed below, it’s just an extremely simple PHP program that quickly does the move…. 

<?php

header(“HTTP/1.1 301 Moved!”);

header(“Location: http://www.dscomic.com/wordpress-2.6.3/wordpress/”);

exit();

?>

I thought I’d share this here, in case this of any benefit to anyone.  More than likely, though, is that this post will just elicit eye-rolling from readers as to my total naivety with PHP and redirects.  Ah well, I just like drawing funny books…

March 17, 2009

Entrecard, both a promotion tool and a way to find other decent blogs

Filed under: 3,add ons,web comics — admin @ 7:25 am

my entrecard image for december sunI recently added the Entrecard code to my website, because I’ve come across this frequently when searching through other blogs.  It’s an interesting enough feature for a site: as I understand it so far, it’s a way to create your own advertisement card (like a business card) and then campaign to have this appear on other sites, using some sortof virtual credits that you build up to ‘buy’ advertisement on other sites (how and where these credits come into the picture I haven’t quite figured out yet, but I seem to be slowly accumulating these somehow.)

Anyhow, what’s cool about this is the fact that you can select who can and can’t advertise on your site.  This level of control is nice: you give the approval for an ad and the ad content will not change: it’s the same ad that you gave the ok for (unlike, say, Project Wonderful, which I’ve really enjoyed adding to my site and learning about; but every now and then, some questionable image will appear in their ads, like a half-naked anime character.  I thought I had my Project Wonderful ads set to be ‘family-safe’ or something, but again, I’m still getting the hang of this stuff.)

Anyhow, another feature of Entrecard that’s pretty cool is that, when surfing, if you’re currently logged into Entercard, and you find another Entercard advertisement on a site somewhere, there’s a ‘drop’ option below the ad, so that you can “drop your business card” to the site owner.  Pretty nifty!  I’ll admit, I’m pretty dense, and this wasn’t as intuitive to me at first, but now I’m slowly starting to get the hang of this, the more I toy around with it.

Entrecard also gives you a profile page with summary, so other Entrecard members can learn more about what is about.  While “campaigning” to add your advert to other sites, you get some controls to view various categories of other member sites, to learn more about what’s out there.  Some blogs are cheap to advertise on, and some are fairly expensive.  I’m 8-credit things, which I don’t know if that’s good or not…  :)

Anyhow, Entrecard is worth checking out.  It’s a good way to advertise while also being able to find some other interesting sites online.  I haven’t figured it out completely just yet, but so far I’m impressed.

February 23, 2009

‘Man of Sorrows’

Filed under: 3,comic books,comics,web comics — admin @ 1:15 pm

man of sorrowsI just setup an account with Drunk Duck (an awful name for a web comic group, but hey, it’s free) and I’m going to post some pages there for a story I recently wrote and illustrated as part of a charity book with Brian Bradley and Kingdom Comics.

The story is called ‘Man of Sorrows’, and it’s a one-shot story unrelated to anything else I’ve ever done before. It shares no relation to December Sun or anything else, but rather serves as a backdrop for an idea I had about what if the FDA took over the world? It also takes on the topic of self-sacrifice in a world where one man has had, basically, the entire world turn their back on him.

I tried not to get to soap-boxy. The Food and Drug Administration is not mentioned by name, although I find this organization endlessing irritating. Giving blanket approval to unsafe medicines (and vaccines) and unsafe foods (hydrogenated oil, deceptively allowed in food with labels of “trans fat free”) and drinks (namely anything with aspartame) and, dangit, I am on my soapbox after all. Let me climb back down…

Rather, the idea is that this scientific government agencies manufactures a disease and, in the process, ends up damaging most all of civilization as a result. So the story revolves around one scientist who opposes the waves of science and government telling him that he’s wrong, and ultimately being willing to sacrifice for the sake of what he believes.

So I’m posting the pages on Drunk Duck to check it out. My initial thoughts about DD are that it’s interesting, but the controls and administration is a little wonky. I think it’s cool how a creator can very easily get started with creating a web comic with DD, and can immediately start uploading pages. Also, being able to browse other work and leave comments and ratings is a nice touch as well. I do have a little trouble with the inclusion of mature material, but this can be filtered out (Somehow… I haven’t found that particular configuration yet.) The other thing that seems to be missing is much in terms of profile information. This feature is sortof skimpy. But there are plenty of badges to earn, which is always a great draw (a badge system is what got me so hooked on blasted kongregate.)

Anyhow, three pages of the ‘Man of Sorrows’ story are posted as of this writing, and I’ll probably upload the rest shortly.

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