SomethingDark

Latest somethingdark news

Developing a website such as SDk and the magazine it hosts takes time. That's why we think contributors and others interested in what we are doing deserve to be kept informed on our progress. This page has been designed to do exactly that: to keep you up-to-date as to where we are. We're pleased to have you with us.

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Sub-editing for the web, and the pressures of refinementSDk Updates ->

Thurs 12 Nov, 2009.

The process of sub-editing text for the web is a vastly more complicated and compromised process than it is for print publication, and Daryl is learning the hard way that it's taking around four times longer to produce results that are not as precise as print. And then he gets home to view the fruit of hours of labour only to see in front of his eyes once again that the Mac platform, in rendering fonts in its own way, makes SDk appear haphazardly constructed. 'Tis the stuff of tears.

Yet all is ultimately good, and we are expecting much of our innovation to be copied shortly after SomethingDark has gone live. That's another reason why we have to "get it right" as much as we can for SDk 01 – because every detail, every refinement we put off until SDk 02 in favour of launching as soon as we can, will increase the chances of big companies with whole teams of developers at their disposal producing copy sites that take our web design and ideas and go one step further by instituting anything we have left undone. It all adds to the pressure, and we are both feeling that rather intensely at present.

We press on.

The journey through darknessSDk Updates ->

Wed 04 Nov, 2009.

Development of the website and construction of the webmagazine continues with even longer and ever more intense meetings through stealing time from other commitments to ensure the drive towards publication maintains pace.

Daryl is in the process of moving house at the moment, while Chris is preparing to do likewise, adding massive turbulence to life for both; thus has our journey through darkness become more personal, but our commitment to SDk is as strong as ever.

A measure of the SDk project in terms of communications inputSDk Updates ->

Fri 16 Oct, 2009.

At last, we're on the final run to launch. SDk has been a marathon, but as we've maintained all along, it will be worth it. As a measure of this marathon we have undertaken, email communication alone between Chris and Daryl, when compiled, now amounts to more than 500 pages (A4 format); this is in addition to communication by telephone several times a week and many meetings in person.

Technical issues with web development, and, lately, copyright permissions, have sapped enormous amounts of time. SDk is at the stage now, though, that "publish and be damned" is the reality. So we press on, and revel in the knowledge that, hopefully, we will indeed be damned by assorted rogues and scoundrels including but not exclusive of politicians, bankers, financiers, moralists, radical feminists… In general, that is, anyone of an overly censorial or authoritarian mindset. We'll enjoy the publicity....Read more

We've said it before, but now we're confirming a very tough lineSDk Updates ->

Tues 15 Sept, 2009.

As the last few weeks have ground past, the agony and the ecstasy of creating an innovative webmagazine have certainly not relented. Actually, we have to say it's mostly been agony, and this has been due to the corporate entities that control the web. We'll say it like it is (with a dash of embellishment, of course): rather than collaborating for the benefit of the end user (that's us, and you), they (the bad guys – said corporate entities) all sit in their tree houses scheming and (this is important) separately believing they are the only giant gorilla in the jungle and that all other unruly beasts should conform to their hairy-chested demands.

These gorillas, of course, are the self-styled barons of the web – the manufacturers of web browsers.

Creating a fully functional website and pressing current web technologies to their limit is a task made very difficult by the many competing web browsers available, each wanting the controlling market share of the industry and each allegedly doing their best to conform to the supposedly established standards of website coding practices – but, "somehow", managing to get it slightly wrong, not admitting to the fact, and not complying either with the standards or with each other....Read more

Re-working the nuts and bolts of website technicalitiesSDk Updates ->

Mon 07 Sept, 2009.

The last two weeks have seen some furious work on the nuts and bolts of website technicalities, together with some important policy decisions that will affect the overall value-added effect of the broader SDk website. It's difficult for us to say too much about the latter before SDk webmagazine is actually launched, as some of the concepts involved are closely guarded innovations that will set SDk apart from standard online "magazines".

Regarding website technicalities, Chris has made a major change in the method of page creation that will improve the ease and efficiency of this aspect of producing the magazine from this point on; it will also have benefits in improved stylistic attributes for the webmagazine, specifically in the way text is rendered.

At a more fundamental level of website development, we determined to optimise SDk only for up-to-date and standards-compliant browsers: it's about time some of the wild beasts roaming the internet jungle were tamed a little, and we think it's up to innovative developers such as...Read more

Celebrating a minor victory and relocatingSDk Updates ->

Wed 26 Aug, 2009.

Chris and Daryl are pleased to announce that our horns have unlocked with those of bureaucracy; fortunately, it was not a struggle to the death, although we did have a lot of trouble with a potential objection to one of our trademark applications that was both time consuming and stressful. C'est la vie in an image- and economics-obsessed Anglo–Saxon world where, as Oscar Wilde would put it, the economic and political mandarins, their legion of minions and the duped public, know "the price of everything and the value of nothing".

We are, at present, celebrating a minor victory and can now relax a little and get on with our broader project.

Other, more personal issues, have caused delays with SDk, namely, ...Read more

Contributors provided with log-ins to secure copies of their profilesSDk Updates ->

Wed 22 July, 2009.

Contributor profiles have been undergoing further refinement over the last week, and as of today, all contributors have been emailed their own unique log-in to a secure copy of their SDk profile so they can check their profile and advise of any changes.

Just before we launch SDk magazine, we will be providing contributors with open access to profiles for a last-minute chance to beef up and polish their profile.

Contributor profiles at an advanced stage, and the latest on locking horns with bureaucracySDk Updates ->

Fri 17 July, 2009.

Chris and Daryl have been working hard to build contributor profiles over the last few weeks, and we're putting the finishing touches to profiles right now and will be sending out unique, individual logins over the next couple of days. We curse perfectionism! They've been a long time in the making, but contributors to SDk should find the promise conveyed in our Latest News entry of 06 May taking tangible form as SDk01 nears publication.

Regarding our locking of horns with bureaucracy, the SDk hurdle appears to have been cleared. Unfortunately, a sister project seems to have been challenged and we'll have to see how that pans out. We do, however, have contingency plans, and whatever happens, SDk is secure and we can proceed with confidence.

Discretion, valour, and enduring design elementsSDk Updates ->

Wed 10 June, 2009.

"Discretion is the better part of valour", it is said, so we've decided to roll with the bureaucratic process and ensure that all legal permissions, etc. are completely in order before we launch SomethingDark webmagazine. This is largely a formality since we are not expecting any problems, and the indications thus far support this optimistic view. However, there is a set period of time involved, and this means sitting it out for the time being.

In the meantime, designing SDk01's pages is proceeding apace. This may sound a simple and even enjoyable task, and, while the latter is the case, it is certainly not a "simple" task as it involves the development of enduring design elements for the entire magazine that will be used for SDk henceforth.

Building a significant online presence for contributorsSDk Updates ->

Wed 06 May, 2009.

Both Chris and Daryl have, along with everything else, been paying a lot of attention to developing SDk's contributor directory and associated profile pages. Not just developing, but getting it "just right", which is easier said than done. Marrying standard, international formatting conventions for a wide variety of profile types with the technicalities of web management and SDk's aesthetics have proved to be another challenge.

When fully functional and online, which is expected to be in the next few days, we will be contacting all contributors for SDk01 and inviting them to take a look and see how developing their profile on SDk can work for them in the most rewarding way. Because SDk is combining a top-quality, professional profile that is linked to examples of the photographer, artist or writer "in action" - together with interviews with, and articles by, contributors - all published in SDk magazine, we think a fully developed SDk profile has the potential to become a de facto home site for many contributors.