State of the Website 2013

2013 already. I don't know where the time goes, but I hope I find it while I'm still young and ambitious.

Well, to start, I did just update the agenda page, which gives a brief summary of my current site goals. I've also been brainstorming the previously mentioned layout tweaks for months, though the only part I've actually gotten done so far is changing a few filenames (and thus Shinken Red and long-haired me are temporarily back). January is my site anniversary month (13 years!), so if nothing else I plan to at least update the banner by the end of the month.

As for actual content, I'll expound upon the updates to the agenda page. Right now, the Sailor Moon scripts are the highest priority, since A) I'm getting pretty close to the end, B) roughly 100 pages of comic per month is a relatively easy goal to meet, and C) staying ahead of the official releases helps ease my guilty conscience. Resuming Dragon Ball guidebook translations is right behind it, but between the recent flood of Sailor Moon double chapters and side stories, and various poor life decisions, I ended up having to put it on hold again. However, I will resume it as soon as I get through my Moon backlog, which will likely be next month.

I believe that covers the bulk of the current content and goals. But I also want to give an update on my Japanese ability. There is definitely progress, but no matter how dedicated I might be, true fluency is not something that will come easily. As far as I know, I don't have any particular disorders or anything, though I've had annoying issues with concentration and short term memory since my early teens. And throughout my adult life, I've never been able to do anything quickly or efficiently. There are only so many hours per day, and I can be really bad at managing time, but this is definitely an attainable goal... eventually. TLDR: It'll be a long ride.

General Foolishness

On April Fools (Fool's? Fools'?) Day, people usually like to play pranks on others. But I prefer to just poke fun at myself. So the joke this year was that I didn't have any jokes ready in time. Yeah, let's go with that.

Actually, I did have the usual Sailor Moon update on the 1st, and with it came the subtle debut of the new on-site news blog. That's something I've been meaning to do for months, but I put off setting it up for various foolish reasons. This means that you can now comment on Dragon Ball and Sailor Moon updates, and the general status updates can be commented on locally. But the journal will still serve as an off-site mirror for news, in case of potential problems. I'll likely do the same with other, more relevant social sites in the near future. I think the site Twitter is going fairly well, but does anyone have any particular requests for other social sites I should use?

This hasn't been directly implemented into the Dragon Ball section yet, mostly because I wanted to save it for the next update, since it also involves redoing RSS stuff. And the next update might be a while, because there's something I want to try. If it works, it will be super awesome.

But as for general stuff, I really want to tweak the layout, partly because everyone has fancy little phones with internet now. And along with that, I'd like to make the banner look a little more professional. But that's all low priority while I focus on content. On that note, I think the agenda page is way out of date, so I should fix that soon.

Oh, and if you're curious about the Japanese thing: it's going well, but I still have a lot of work to do. Ideally, I'll have something nice to show for it in the next few months.

Japanese Disclosure

So obviously a lot of my projects involve translating Japanese to English. But I'm not yet an expert or a professional at it. I often try to explain this in casual conversation, but I feel like I should finally explain it in detail somewhere publicly.

Back in roughly August or September 2000, I started teaching myself Japanese because I wanted to play some video games with no existing translations (at the time, anyway). A noble endeavor, right? Anyway, it wasn't long before I'd mastered the grammar basics and learned to read kana almost as well as I can read the Latin alphabet. But that's the easy part.

Fluency is about vocabulary and ease of use. Eleven years would sound like plenty of time to gain that fluency, wouldn't it? Except that I did not spend the full eleven years actively studying. Probably not even a fourth of that. It's not that I've been lazy about it so much as I've been undisciplined and unfocused for most of the past decade. I've also been hindered by the fact that I haven't had a teacher to guide and correct me, or a pen pal or someone to converse with regularly.

But I have learned a great deal. Far more than the average fanboy. And I constantly see improvement in myself whenever I look back on old translation attempts. (The fact that I can go back and correct my old errors is the main reason I pretty much only do translation work on my site, rather than in any outside group projects.) So I'm confident that my unorthodox learning methods can work (along with some new study methods I'm trying). I've also recently gained the focus and discipline I need, so I'm going to bump up my immersion in the language.

Which finally brings me back to the website, and that stuff I mentioned a couple weeks ago. You'll be seeing an increase in translation projects, as part of this increased focus. I know people would prefer that I went back to the Dragon Ball guidebook translations, but frankly I think it's a little out of my league at the moment. Instead, I'll be focusing heavily on my Sailor Moon projects for the next few months, until I feel more confident about going back to the guidebooks. I need to surpass myself and climb over the wall of Super Translator before I can defeat the Daizenshuu.

Autumn Adventures

Various computer problems have hindered some site things I had planned for the summer, and now summer is over for my hemisphere. So, things didn't happen.

On another note, for a number of personal reasons, my site priorities will be shifting a bit in the near future. I'll go into details in the next couple weeks, but in short, there will probably be a lot more progress on translation projects than writing projects. You can speculate if you want, but the majority of you will probably be disappointed, unless you're a fan of racecar drivers, violinists, and cyborgs with multiple personality disorder. That's not to say that any projects are canceled, by the way.

Also, I've been considering turning the main site news feed/journal into a combined news feed for all my projects, but I'm not sure how visitors would feel about that. Would it get redundant, with all the individual news sections and feeds? Would it clutter things too much, so important general site news is lost in the (theoretical) flood? Are people already happy with the site Twitter and main page to combine all the news as it is? Or would it be a welcome change? I would love some feedback, either on Twitter or LJ (the only options at the moment, until I set up a new site email).

The combined news on the main page is a pretty recent stealth addition. It currently requires a lot of manual tweaking to do what I want, but I might try to improve it in the near future. I also want to improve a lot of visual and technical things, but actual content is still the highest priority (believe it or not).

And one final note: Chris Jericho didn't win last season, and Cell isn't on the current season, so we don't care about Dancing With The Stars anymore.

Totally Serious, Not a Joke

2011 sure is flying by. So much to do, both on the website and in my personal life. I did find time for a few updates this week, but I was hoping it would be slightly less few than it actually is. I'll list them all here.

-A new banner for 2011. It's pretty much the same as last year's, but it has a more recent picture of me (still grayscale, for stealthiness), and GoukaiRed instead of ShinkenRed. Sidenote: One of the people in the banner is currently competing on Dancing With The Stars, and doing a pretty good job, so you should vote for them. It's not Cell, although now that Dragon Ball Kai is over, he's free to compete next season.
-A Sailor Moon news feed, so now all the big sections have their own feeds, for people who don't like all my stuff. I also reorganized that section quite a bit, so now it has much better navigation.
-I also added a script for Sailor Moon Act 17, which I think is the first new one in at least two years. Oops.
-And I added a Dragon Ball name/spelling preference list, which is probably more useful to me than it is to anyone else. But hey, it's there.

All of this is completely real and not fake. No lies. Only truth. If I wanted to play a joke, wouldn't I have pretended to do even more updates than this? And had this ready at midnight?

Actual End of the Decade

2010 is almost over, and though I haven't accomplished nearly as much on the site as I'd planned, I think it has been my busiest year since 2004. Maybe 2011 will be even more productive, but I don't like to make promises.

I recently started using PHP everywhere, although so far, there haven't been any interesting new features because of it. It removed the need for JavaScript on the main page, and made a couple of server-side things more convenient for me, but that's about it. Maybe I'll try something fancy later. But most pages have a new filename because of it, so there could be some errors or broken links. I think I've accounted for all of them, but tell me if you do find any.

I've made lots of blog posts, most of them forgettable, and there are many more unwritten ones to cover the near the future. The news makes me want to write lots of political rants, but I fear that would alienate more people than my WWE or 90210 posts already do. I also continue to chug along through old Dragon Ball content, at a theoretically much better rate than I had been, thanks to making lots of template pages. (That was the "big but not really" update I'd previously mentioned.)

More things will happen if and when they happen.

Tweak and Tweet Collection

Wow, it's already August now. 2010 is running away. But I've made a handful of minor updates to the main pages, mostly within the menus. I tried to do something slightly bigger that would have affected everything positively, but by the time I nearly got it working properly, I noticed it doesn't work in IE8 (it's only CSS2!), so I just scrapped it all. I might try again when IE9 goes public.

Also, I'm ready to debut the Twitter account I've made for the site. Actually, it's been around for a while, but time passed, and I didn't get around to it until now. Much of it is auto-posted by scripts and magic (isn't it enough that I write the RSS feeds by hand in text editors!?), but if I gain followers to converse with, then I will get a little more personal with it. If you like Twitter, feel free to follow and force me to become more social.

And in other news, I'm currently working on a very large Dragon Ball update. Unfortunately, it's only structurally large; it will have very little new content with it. Keyword being "new," so feel free to speculate, if it isn't already obvious. You'll see soon enough, either way.

April Fool's?

The previous update could have been an April Fool's joke, or it could have been the truth. I'm not even sure myself anymore. Anyway, I ended up not changing hosts, so there was no downtime after all. I also tweaked the layout a little more, but I don't even remember how much of that is noticeable or had already been online. I guess it doesn't really matter. There are things about it I'd like to change, but there are more things to worry about right now.

Blog posting kind of slowed down because I'd been busy with not only addictive videogames, but Dragon Ball content as well. I made a Dragon Ball-specific news feed for it, in case that's all you're interested in. I'll likely do the same for other sections (in other words, Sailor Moon) the next time I update them.

All this tiny updating was not easy, because my FTP program doesn't get along with my spazzy mouse at all.

State of the Website Address 2010

I can only sum up the past year with this: "Sometimes that happens."

I don't know the exact date, but January marks the tenth anniversary of my website. I'm both proud and ashamed of this fact, so I'm celebrating by getting back on track with the fixing for the first time in months. But at the moment, the only things I have to show for it are a new layout, a blog, and RSS feeds. There are more things I need to fix up before I can put them online, but you should see them in the coming days, or perhaps even before you read this.

I do have some actual new-ish content in the works, but it's not quite ready yet. I'm not going to make any promises about when, other than, "before 2011."

Oh, and I may have to change server hosts in the near future, which has slightly hindered some of my plans, but I'm still not sure. Either way, a transition should be relatively easy, so I wouldn't expect there to be much downtime. If you use the new feed, you'd be able to keep up with the developments easily, though, since that's not hosted on the server itself.

None of this will apply to the old server for the time being, however. There's still a lot to do before I can turn it into a proper mirror.