|Everyone needs a daily
dusting-off from the edges of the work-a-day world. Most
of us do this by going to a movie, enjoying humor, music,
books and magazines, sports, or playing games. Everyone
has his or her preferred method of entertainment, and some
extension of these favorites can be found on the Internet.
When fun, games, and the Web come together, it's
an especially exciting time. Many analysts suggest that
the Web is moving in the direction of merging the many
forms of in-home entertainment enjoyed today. When
bandwidth problems are solved, and technologies such as
cable TV and new media converge, the world will know new
levels of interactive pleasure.
A great example of this movement toward
convergence, but with respect toward today's bandwidth
limitations, can be found at the 40K Miracle site.
Dedicated to creating great animation and games that all
come in under 40 kilobytes, this site is well designed,
superbly interactive, and very entertaining. Because the
enjoyment of this site requires that you enjoy indulging
in it yourself, I'm going to focus primarily on a more
general issue—how to be sure people get to your site!
Next up is the Film Vault, a humorous
and well-designed site for film buffs. Film Vault offers
up capsule reviews, extended reviews, and a very nice
search function where visitors can decide whether to view
film information by genre, director, or date. Using tables
for design layout, which is becoming commonplace, is
examined, with a helpful guide to various table elements
and what they do.
ActiveX is Microsoft's exciting addition
to Web technologies, and I'll offer a little information
as to what it is, the types of applications it is used
for, and where to get more information on how to develop
ActiveX functions for the Web. Quantum Chess is an
excellent example of ActiveX; I'll use this Internet-based
game environment by BR Labs as the jumping-off place for
the ActiveX discussion.
A very entertaining magazine for "next
generation" users is T@P Online. Offering coverage in
literature, music, style, and sports, this is a sassy and
fun e-zine that provides hours of enjoyment for visitors.
I'll examine the <br> tag, as well as the HTML 3.0+
additions to it that have made it an extremely powerful
and functional HTML element.
A little humor is always in order, and
that is sure to be found on Max Cannon's Red Meat site.
The macabre cartoon is becoming one of the world's most
popular, with translations being offered as far away as
the Czech Republic! The balance between visual design and
content is an important conceptual lesson, and I'll offer
some points to ponder when discussing Cannon's humorous
GRP Recording, a subsidiary of
MCA/Universal, has a stunningly well-designed Web site
dedicated to the Jazz and Blues artists represented under
its labels. Proximity is an important design concept that
will be examined in this overview. Then I'll jump back
into film, and look closely at the Sundance Channel's
site, where the clever use of typography has been aided by
the HTML <tt> tag. Sports enthusiasts are sure to enjoy
Sportsline, a very extensive site with all there is to
see, do, play, and read about in the sports world. Here,
I'll examine character entities and how to apply them to
effectively communicate various symbols, signs, and
special characters most often required by Web designers.
Paramount has a visually attractive Web
site that offers a very fine example of graphic
proportion. And, if you haven't had enough of film, I'll
give you one more site to enjoy. A fan of director Martin
Scorsese has created a very interesting set of pages, well
designed and highly functional, and with the most
impressive treatment of a hit counter that I've ever seen.
I'll discuss the problems with hit counters, and show that
if you have to have them, the way the Scorsese site has
used it is at least attractive.