Honestly speaking, this site is not a very huge project. It's a blog which we are using to post articles. But there were quite a lot of work that had to be done in building up the complete site. Let me just try to give a brief summary.
- The Idea: AUSTronics is the brainchild of Adnan sir. He initially discussed this plan with me and Kanto, and asked us if we were interested. We were always eager to spend some time in the net (whether for something productive or just wasting time). Me and Kanto also had gathered some experience in amateur web development using GPC and blogger over the last year. During the last semester I also learned the basics of HTML. So we were quite interested in this project. So the journey of AUSTronics began.
- Gmail Account: To receive posts we created a gmail address, email@example.com.
- The Name: We were having trouble deciding the name of our magazine. "AUSTronics" (combining AUST and Electronics) was suggested by Adnan sir. There were a few more contenders, Electrozine, Emitter, Electromotive. Being unable to go for one we decided to hold a pole in the four of our sections. And it was a landslide victory for "AUSTronics".
- Collecting Articles: All of us had to go to the teachers of our department several times to request them to submit their articles in the upcoming site. Everyone seemed very interested and eager to participate in the magazine, but getting submissions from them seemed to be a tough job. By the end of our initial deadline, we had only collected one article. After a few weeks we somehow managed 5 (frankly, we didn't expect much more).
- "Read More" Links: One problem with blogger was that it didn't provide "Read More" links by default. These links allow only a portion of the article to be visible in the main page, the visitor can read the rest by clicking the link. So I had to dig into the Blogger help group to find out how it can be done. Without much trouble I found out the trick and implemented the necessary HTML on our template.
- Google Pages Account: To store various files I created a Google Pages account using the gmail ID we created earlier.
- Header Image and its Width: We had to have a custom header. But there was a problem even before we could create one. We found out that the header images, once uploaded, get automatically shrunk, and the image covers not more than 60% of the page width. I knew this had something to do with HTML so yet again I turned to the help group. But this time it didn't help. The locations the experts were pointing to had no problem in this case. So I decided to try to sort out the problem myself. After a long session going through line after line of codes, I was finally able to locate the source of the problem. After a few trial-and-error attempts, I finally overcame the width bug. Then comes the issue of the image itself. To create the background of the header image I searched the web to find appropriate photos. As the background, I put up 4 relevant images and used a blueish tint to match the color scheme of the blog. Now creating the textual logo of AUSTronics was Shorif's job. And he did a fantastic piece of work. Interestingly he was able to incorporate the AUST logo into the text. His logo fitted perfectly with the background, and the header was done. But the trouble weren't over yet. When the images were uploaded, although it was now fitting the full width, for some reason the quality of the image was being reduced. So I had to upload the image to the GPC account and used the image from the web source.
- Feedback Form: Typically if you create an HTML form for feedback, what it does is simply opens your default email software to send the mail, unless you knew CGI scripts. From a GPC help site I got to know about a service called Jot Form, which makes the whole process a piece of cake. I decided to give it a shot, and I wasn't disappointed. The form is easy to use, and the message is directly sent to our email address without any hustle. It works great.
- Short URL: A shorter URL address for the blog was created using a URL redirection service (shorturl.com).
- Bookmarking Buttons: I implemented two social bookmarking buttons, one for simply bookmarking the site, the other for subscribing to the RSS feed of the blog. The buttons allow you to add bookmarks to your browser or to the various social bookmarking services like Page Flakes, Technorati etc.
- Custom Favicon: Favicon is the small icon that appears at the left of the page title (like the "G" of Google). I created the favicon just by snapping the "A" out of our header image. The image was created in 32X32 size in png format. Putting it up was easy as blogger allows you to edit the head section of the template.
- Google Analytics: I inserted the Google Analytics code to acquire various statistics about visits on our site.
In many cases you plan to do something so seriously, make a lot of preparations, and in the end fall short, or don't get on the road at all. All praises to the Almighty Allah, we have been able to do what we wanted to do. Special thanks to Adnan sir for his friendly supervision over the complete project. He has been our "Chief Adviser". Actually Adnan sir has even bigger plans centering AUSTronics, I hope all his revolutionary ideas come to life. Congrats to my team mates in this project; Shorif, Razie, Tahsin, Kanto, Arif for making AUSTronics a reality. Thanks to all of my friends for their encouragement. Inshallah by Allah's help and the support of all, AUSTronics will go way further than we can imagine.