This site is fuelled by the power of WordPress.
WordPress is mainly a free and open source blogging tool. So using it as a content management system for static pages my seem ill advised. But we did not choose it arbitrarily. One of two central goals we set ourselves was to provide internal communication capabilities for the ochestra's members. And that is where wordpress can play out its strengths. In short: no wordpress, no site.
As they say on their respective about-page, Bootstrap is a very popular front-end framework by Twitter. It is an open source project originally created at Twitter in mid-2010 by @mdo and @fat. It was originally released in August, 2011, and -as of 2013- has had over twenty releases since, including two major rewrites. It is maintained by the founding team and a small group of contributors.
We gladly make use of Twitter Bootstrap in version 2.3.2 for this site's responsive layout. It provides a fantastic approach to varying screen sizes and access modes to the web. We are grateful for their lenient licensing policy. Responsive design FTW!
The Pods Framework is an open-source, GPLv2+ licensed PHP project released on October 8th, 2008 by Matt Gibbs.
Pods helped us to make full use of our CMS, by enabling us to create custom post types, content types, taxonomies, users, media, or comments. Using pods allows us to easily manage and put out our site's data. We were so happy when we first found it and enjoy using it. Our thanks to its developers and the community.
"Roots is a WordPress starter theme by Ben Word based on HTML5 Boilerplate and Bootstrap with some very unique features. Roots includes Bootstrap for faster web development, but it can easily be removed or replaced with your preferred CSS framework."
For us that was the reason to choose roots as a starter theme template, the foundation of our site. It allowed us to integrate Twitter Bootstrap with its responsive grid design. Among other aspects we came to be particularly fond of Roots' relative URLs.
It is fair to say we underestimated Roots' complexity at the start, but in the end it brought us to a more fundamental level of understanding.
"XAMPP is a free and open source cross-platform web server solution stack package, consisting mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages."
Whew. But there are people out there, who actually know their way through all of this, so maybe you are one of them. I vividly recall the moment when we came up with XAMPP as a solution to a problem I could'nt fully appreciate we were having at the time. It is a web-development tool for designers and programmers to test their sites on their own machines. And that is exactly what we did. And we are very thankful for it.
Thou wakest Dean
Thy darkness holds a power
Which nourishes the coder flower
Redeemest us from listless limbo
And makest thrive upon thee Ingo
Humble black conceals thy gold
May thy fervor not grow cold
A beverage of high esteem
Acquired taste, an art we deem
Of high renown and splendor
We beg thee, let our graphics render!
Thou rhimest well on dehydroxy
We thirst for more of thee, oh coffee
This site relies on nerd magic, which will eventually turn coffee into code and sometimes -it would seem- into poetry.
GIMP is a popular free photo editing program. Since we developed and retouched almost all of our photos and graphics with it we want to thank gimp's development team and maintainers. For us this wonderful tool proved invaluable. Oh, and it is available for Linux, OS X and Windows!
Inkscape is an open source drawing tool to create SVG's and more. Any time vector graphics are in demand we happily turn to its capabilities. Since it is open source software anybody's contribution is much appreciated, as they say on their site:
"We can always use help from more people."
All our vectors are belong to Inkscape.
This is not an advertisement.
"Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose. You'll love the slick user interface, extraordinary features and amazing performance."
Really. That is the unvarnished truth... at least for our use of Sublime Text 2. Thanks to its extended trial period we used it over a large part of the developement process. This one proved a must buy for us. Thanks for all its goodness.
"Stack Overflow is a question and answer site for professional and enthusiast programmers."
Yep. They have it right. Countless times our profound lack of light err... dawned on us in the dark chasms of coding. At least that is what it felt like at the time. But -and that is the essential part- Stack Overflow took us out of there more often than not. This site with its wealth of clever solutions to stunning problems proved a priceless resource, a lifeline, a light in the dark.. ok, ok. Oh, but one thing: It is 100% free and they don't even require registration.
As you may be aware Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google. It is freeware, open source to a large extent, and according to some sources it could be the most widely used web browser in the world. Others however put it in third behind Internet Explorer and Firefox based on the size of their respective user bases.
We would not want to praise this free browser more than others. We simply used it a lot for its developement tools like the inspection mode. We also tested for browser behaviour with it as well as cross platform compatibility. We liked it especially on the tablet.
Mozillla Firefox is a web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation and its subsidiary, the Mozilla Corporation. It is a free and open-source browser developed for Linux, OS X and Windows, with a mobile version for Android.
We would not want to convey the impression that we appreciate this free browser more than others. We used it a lot due to its remarkable popularity especially in germany where it is considered the most popular browser as of 2013. Being a free and open-source browser however fits in very well with the spirit of our site. Sharing is good.
jQuery is used by the framework and many plugins. It is free and open source, licensed under the MIT License. I surely don't understand half of its capabilities. The wiki puts it this way:
This site makes use of it in so far as many plugins require it.
An awesome, fully responsive jQuery slider toolkit by WOOthemes. We utilize FlexSlider many times on this site whenever we feel the need to show more than just one inert picture. It is very flexible indeed, can be used in many instances on one page and even offers swipe-support for touch interfaces. What more could we ask for? Thank you so much.
Maps Marker is a plugin that allows you to "pin, organize and share your favorite places & tracks through your WordPress powered site easily."
And in general that is a good thing. We originally used the Leaflet Maps Marker to show the rehearsal location on google maps. During our developement period Maps Marker was always updated regularly. However, it has significantly expanded in scope. So much so that it now far exeeds our needs. So we decided to simply use Google Maps' embed function instead.
Still, we want to say thank you, Maps Marker.
Admittedly, we have a soft spot for fonts.
Perhaps fonts are the strongest influence you have on the appearance of your site. Of course there are more obvious choices for that: Images, colours and layout are certainly important. As is the tone you set in whatever you put down in writing. But the typeset is pervasive and sometimes can be almost subliminal. Fonts are the deep, dark current that carries our words and lends its voice to our silent texts.
Respect the font.
Wholegrain. That is the english word for "Vollkorn", the free typeset by german font-designer and illustrator Friedrich Althausen. What a name. What a font. Similar to the ubiquitous "Times New Roman" "Vollkorn" is a font intended for daily use in countless contexts. Since it is such a bread and butter font it is very aptly named. It probably is a completely futile endeavour to try and describe why this font makes long texts so readable and large words so appealing when you see its stunningly beautiful curves. Instead let the master take you there on his terms and on his site.
"The Lobster Font is a lovely, bold condensed script fully loaded with hundreds of subtle ligatures and alternates."
At least that is what impallari.com have to say about their beautiful font. They have many great font-projects going on, one of which is the Lobster font. Another brilliant script-font by them is the Kaushan Script formerly known and kickstarted as Fast Brush Script. Donations are very welcome to keep the lobster healthy. Or indeed any of their outstanding fonts.
"Ubuntu Font Family is an OpenType font. It became the new default font of the Ubuntu operating system in Ubuntu 10.10. It was designed to be a modern humanist-style font with a distinctive look and feel by London-based type foundry Dalton Maaq, with funding by Canonical Ltd."
Its clear, modern appearance makes for a healthy contrast with our choice of Lobster as an effect-font. The Ubuntu font keeps the strong retro feel emanating from a sole Lobster script in check. The Ubuntu Font Family is licensed under the Ubuntu Font Licence.
We like it intensely.
Boston Traffic is a free ttf-font by Vic Fieger. It is freeware like around 80 other fonts created by him. Its rugged stencil appearance looks as if it was the go-to font for anything military. You just want to write "heavy duty" in it. But it also has something improvised to it with its rough outlines indicating cardboard templates. We used it happily for our unicorn graffitti and the licenses header image. Thanks.
Drop Type is strange. And beautiful. It is a handmade eps font based on din-bold outlines. It was created by interactive designer and illustrator Filiz Sahin and is free for personal and commercial use. We used its playful droplets for our background ornaments. Thanks!
Google Fonts strive to make using web fonts easy for everyone, including professional designers and developers. Their stated goal is to create a directory of web fonts for the world to use. And everyone can use those in every way they want, privately or commercially, in print, on a computer, or indeed on the website you are currently reading.
We consider that a useful if not indeed a worthy project. In trying to stay true to the site's spirit we gratefully implemented Google Fonts. In their own well chosen words:
"A web with web fonts is more beautiful, readable, accessible and open."
We would like to thank subtlepatterns.com for its well curated selection of ... subtle patterns. Their absence would drastically change the appearance of this site - and not for the better.
We use the following unaltered pattern designs:
"Zig Zag" by Dmitriy Prodchenko. Used for the almost imperceptible hum of the dark header.
"paper" by Blaq Annabiosis. The paper background completely covers the site, quietly nestling our colours in its light gray tint. In combination with dark gray lettering, fading effects, and shades of transparancy we found it to establish impressions similar to ink on paper. With its almost haptic feel it unobtrusively lends corporeal palpability to an otherwise abstract surface.
"Xv" by Lasma. This stylish floral pattern quietly wraps around the secondary NavBar and gives it a festive air.
Why not seize the opportunity and offer our thanks to the orchestra? Firstly to all the musicians for sharing music with everyone. Certainly to the conductor for his work (but he gets payed and so in this list he doesn't really count;-). To the board for all the extra hours of organisational grind. And last but not least to the supporters for offering their help, where it is needed. (And that includes the people, who organized those delicious cakes for everyone!)
HF! Make more music!
Thanks to our technical staff. Which is a staff of one.
So, thanks Dean for the most fundamental part of our project. Thanks for getting down to it and aiming high from the start. Thanks for HTML and CSS and PHP. And why not write LESS some more? He simply would not cease adding yet another programming language we barely knew. Because of... reasons. So we had LAMPS and XAMPS, Wordpresses and Bootstraps and Roots, Pods, SQL's, AWS's and AMI's. Hand me the Boilerplate, please. And could you remind me, how Apaches got involved?
Thanks for soldiering through and keeping the coding on in the wee hours of the night.
Thanks to the art department. Which also is a party of one. The arty party?
Thanks, Ingo, for content and style. He has written almost all of the site's texts including the credits, he has taken or retouched most of the photos including those instrument beauty-shots. With the exception of proprietary logos, he designed all graphics or graphical elements, buttons, logos and whatnot, let alone drafting the orchestra's graphical stuff in the first place (like business cards etc). He made the early drafts and colour schemes, this site is based upon. He also came up with the unicorn emblem. He would not stop changing phrases and correcting typos to bring everything up to scratch.
Thanks for relentlessly inking and gimping away, bringing the site forward and keeping our motivation high.
That's us, basically, the site's devs. It is an absolutely inofficial name, but it stuck. Since the developement of this site was a two person project, there are two parts of reciprocal thanks. Code and Content. Now comes a secret: we made them appear seperate, although our efforts always have a large overlap.
Sharing a brain is weird but very useful.
Thanks to everybody for their faith and patience, most notably my wonderful wife Ulrike Jung.