On a lark, I’ve put up an archive of past versions of this site stretching back to 2001.
When Proton launched in May, I was careful to provide a style switcher that allowed a choice between the new and the old.
While it would be fun to carry that idea to its logical conclusion and never drop a design as this site evolves, the fact is that things change. Synchronizing a whole bunch of versions is no fun, and things that aren’t fun don’t get done. So instead of tying Proton and Radar (and the others) back into the markup structure of the new design, I’ve put them to bed as alternate styles.
But hey, history is progress and we all love looking through what was. So even though it hurts, I’m putting up archives of this site back to the beginning. Including the special temporary splash pages, since I still have even those.
- v1 — The ‘undefined’ phase.
Nov 2001 – Jul 2002
Was it a portfolio piece? A publication? Something else? After mezzoblue was launched, the site itself lacked focus and frequent updates for some time. The thinking at the time was to create a publication of some sort that would feature a portfolio component. Heck, that part hasn’t changed a bit — what has is that I’ve actually gotten around to the ‘publication’ component, and the portfolio seems to be an afterthought now.
Oh yeah, and check out that markup. Got the validity down, but the separation of structure and presentation was still a ways off. It was 2001 after all.
- v2 — The weblog phase.
Nov 2002 – Feb 2003
A very lightly tweaked (but heavily designed) Movable Type install. Teeth-cutting experimentation at its finest, I’m still fond of this frustratingly inflexible design. mezzoblue as a weblog launched with v2.
One of my first real forays into committing to table-free code, although the ImageReady-generated mouseovers required one back then.
- v3 — The IPO phase.
Feb 2003 – May 2004
The one where everyone came in. A long life paid off for this sturdy, dependable design, dubbed Radar. A lot of layout and content tweaks saw it evolve over the year it adorned mezzoblue; this snapshot comes from earlier in its life cycle.
Originally built with tables (albeit valid tables), I converted to a genuine CSS-based layout in August 2003.
- v4 — The inscrutable phase.
May 2004 – Aug 2004
Some liked it; some didn’t. Proton was the cumulative result of a lot of thinking and re-thinking of various features. In fact, it got too big. Too much change resulted in a lack of direction and loss of the overall ‘big picture’ view near the end. The focus became just to launch it, not worry if it was a good idea or not. Is this a problem? 188 comments later, I’d say so!
Funny enough, I don’t seem to have a complete archive on hand so this one is a bit broken yet.
- v5 — The contemporary phase.
Aug 2004 – (present)
You are here. A result of learning from the problems of Proton, building on the successes of Radar, re-thinking the IA requirements of the site, and cumulatively creating something that is just plain better.