masthead

About these pages

The personal web pages found on this site have a long and complex organic history. When HTML markup first appeared in the early 1990s, I already had experience of marking up academic print documents in SGML (the parent markup language of which HTML is no more than a tiny subset). Learning the new webpage tags and their scope was a pleasant two-hour Friday evening job, as I remember. To this day, I continue to write my webpage markup 'longhand' as I did then -- it's simply always been quicker for me that way.

The first pages/websites I produced were not, in fact, personal pages; but almost exclusively sites and pages written for others who were prepared to pay for the work to be done. Anything personal was usually a quickly scribbled afterthought, fitted in if possible between teaching, writing code to do the work behind the pages, and other similar tasks. Thus my own pages tended to be scrappy, disjointed; and not very edifying or interesting at all. Meaningful to me; but not to anyone else. More notes than texts. And mainly they tended to reflect attempts at mastering new markup techniques, rather than anything I particularly wanted to set out or publish for myself.

However, as time went by, personal information, and pages reflecting my personal interests, began to accumulate -- in a highly disorganised, manifestly organic, fashion; with no attempt made to regularise presentation style, or even organise content in any disciplined way. This continued for years -- the pressure to do work for others always took precedence over anything I felt I might want to do for myself.

But at the same time, the very idea and nature of 'personal publishing' was beginning to emerge, and take on an importance it had never had before. New media technologies and print-on-demand processes were beginning to change the very nature of traditional publishing, and favour the individual's ability to produce and present their own work digitally. Rapid development in internet technology meant that global marketing and distribution methods were also suddenly available to anyone, however small or specialized.
Suddenly, the ability to present one's own work, one's own ideas, became not only possible, but almost de rigueur.

The (current) result is what you will find here.
As for the future -- well, we'll see how these pages develop and grow.


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