A brief history of mark.schofield.free.fr

Introduction

I have been working as an IT professional since 1997 and using the web since 1999. My interest in web development started in 1999 when I realized that a website was the ideal format to make my art available to a wider public. I created the website mark.schofield.free.fr in 2000 and I have been here ever since.

Version 1

The first version of my website was online from 2000 to 2002. It was essentially a short-lived experiment in PHP and JavaScript and featured just a small collection of my art.

Version 2

The second version was online from 2002 to 2006 and featured a larger selection of my art. It used a multi-level tab-based interface that I developed to show a hierarchy of web pages, the principle of which has survived down to the latest version of my website as a tree-based navigation system.

Version 3

The third version was online from 2006 to 2013. It was the first website I had designed that used DIV elements to control the page layout instead of tables. It was also the first to use an object-orientated programming model based on a PHP implementation of the Model View Controller (MVC) architecture. The MVC architecture had the advantage of making the site more modular but it also added a layer of complexity.

Version 4

The fourth and current version went online in 2013. I revisited the architecture and eliminated some of the complexity by reducing the code to an absolute minimum, replacing PHP programming with standard XHMTL wherever possible. This made the site easier to maintain, allowing me to focus once again on the content instead of the technical aspects. The English and French language support, which had been present since 2000, was finally dropped in favour of an English-only version simply because I found maintaining two versions too time consuming (and my French a great deal more limited than my English !). In any case, modern browsers such as Google Chrome allow for fairly accurate translations natively, so this is less of an issue than previously. I also revamped the stylesheets, simultaneously moving from a fairly narrow fixed-width page to a fluid full-page display and abandoning the overly colourful page design for a more sober grey. With these changes, I was able to give greater emphasis to the artworks themselves; 100 x 100 thumbnails were abandoned in favour of scaled down full-size images and the galleries were rearranged by category and sub-category so that I could group works together by theme.