Life Of Navin

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Site Design Memoirs: GEC Tandav!!

On the 1st and 2nd of October, we held our annual intra-college event Tandav, and being a Comp. Science student, I agreed to design the Tandav site, currently online at http://gectandav.in.

The site, as with most of my recent web-dev projects, made use of Joomla, the super-awesome Open Source CMS. Less than a year ago, I had a hard time choosing between Joomla and Drupal, another open source CMS, but now I've totally become a Joomla fanboy! :)

Within minutes (literally), the basic framework for the site was set! Most of the site was meant to be static, and hence didn't really take much time to set up! Tandav is supposed to be a dark, fiery event, and as such the black-red colour scheme was a really simple decision.

After rounding up some pictures from DeviantArt and Vi.sualize.us, and a little lameass photo-editing, the site header was ready. Some even more lameass photo-editing later, a set of 16 'Tandav Wallpapers' were ready! Credit for these also goes to Nikks, who created some of the less lameass walls! :)

An important part of the Tandav site each year is the 'Heartbeats' section, which while actually intended to be a place for people to declare their love for one another, always ends up as the online battleground for the six branches participating in Tandav to showcase their aggression (read: swear at each other). For the site, I used a modified version of the Phoca Guestbook component, modifying the Guestbook into a To-From-Message script. Hats off to the makers of the component for packing in so many features including a built-in CAPTCHA system (that too with different types of CAPTCHAs), which made my job really easy.

I got a few friends to test the site before I took it online, and thankfully everything worked perfectly!

Moderation of the 'Heartbeats', which, as expected, turned rapidly into 'Hatebeats', was a breeze, and despite loads of them being overtly vulgar/crude (yeah, even by my low standards!), moderation didn't take more than 10-15 minutes each night!

The site received loads of praise, both online and offline, and thankfully never went down! :)

Easter Eggs:
Being a hobby project, I took the liberty of adding some fun easter eggs and customisations into the Tandav site:

1) 404 Page (Click Here To See)
I don't really think anyone noticed this (thankfully), but the Tandav site had a custom 404 page!


Super Mario Bros. was a huge part of my childhood, and (according to my mom) the reason for interest in electrical gadgets that I have, and this was a small way of me showing the same! Also, more recently, Nikks talking constantly talking about playing Mario retro-style had implanted the Super Mario idea in my head! :)

2) The Sambhavi Shambavi Shambhavi conundrum
Last year, on the Tandav site, a bunch of jerks took the liberty of using the anonymity (?) provided by the site to repeatedly insult Shambhavi, who happens to be a good friend of mine, with extremely vulgar (yes, again, by my low standards) comments. And so she'd asked me to set up a 'Shambhavi' filter, which would filter out her name. And I did just that! On the Tandav site, anytime someone used the string 'shambhavi', '***' showed up instead of her name! :)


It was pretty funny once people realised such a filter had been set up, and then tried to circumvent it using alternative strings like 'sambhaavee'! :P

Thankfully though, the filter didn't have much use, as she was spared the online insults this time around!

3) The Konami Code
Like I've said before, have been thinking a lot about retro-gaming recently, and something that had always inspired me was The Konami Code, and after seeing a whole bunch of sites at KonamiCodeSites , I was convinced I needed to do something similar on the Tandav site. An hour or so of tweaking later, it was all ready to go!

Now if you go to the Tandav site and go up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-b-a, and wait for ~5 seconds, you should be seeing the entire source code of the page. Super cool, and uber-geeky= iLike! :)



There are some really awesome sites listed on KonamiCodeSites. Do check them out!

Overall, I had a lot of fun designing and maintaining the site, and strongly recommend my juniors to take it up as a mini-project next time around! Trust me, you'll learn more about Web tech in a few short weeks than you will in an entire semester of Web Tech classes! :)

6 comments :

Skinny.Melon.Biris said...

Love love LOVE the mario 404 page. Stroke of pure genius. Keep posting, I'm learning stuff :) x

N0m4D said...

I was probably the only fellow who had noticed the 404 pg :P

Navin Pai said...

@N0m4D Probably coz U were the only person I'd told about the 404 page! :P

Neil "$av!ou|2" Dias said...

nope i noticed that 404 page too.... :) :)

Piyush Goel said...

Konami Code FTW!

Brian D'mello said...

"Or the webmastr is a jackass who can't code for monkeyballs"

Hehehehe
loved it!

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