[09/16/16 06:28]
Randy MacKenzie, NM
Community Chess Club

How did you learn HTML?

In the mid-1990's, I procrastinated for months in learning HTML, a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.

While playing chess on FICS one bright Saturday morning, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it? A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever.

I resolved to learn HTML. Usually I went inline skating on Saturday. But I fired up the windows for workgroups 3.1 editor and grunged my way through a version of "Hello World" as a link in a web page. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code. True story.


"Chess problems demand from the composer the same virtues that characterize all worthwhile art: originality, invention, conciseness, harmony, complexity, and splendid insincerity." (Vladimir Nabokov)

Why write valid HTML code?

At the bottom of this page are links to W3C validation tests for W3C HTML5 compliance. The higher the level of conformity, the more uniformly the pages will render among the various browsers. It also helps by catching errors, which I correct. There are other reasons to validate html, including the fact that search engine spiders often can't effectively parse or categorize sites with bad html. Most webmasters write sloppy code and hope that the browser will automatically correct the errors. This is only partially true. This page has cross-browser uniformity, having been tested in chrome, safari, firefox and microsoft edge. It adheres to standard code and validates. The pages generally load quicker without the proprietary browser specific code. But varying degrees of W3C browser compliance affects minor cosmetics such as rounded corners and drop shadows. is probably a good choice.


"Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it." (Anand Viswanathan)

Is being a webmaster difficult?

Being a webmaster without a computer is difficult. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2017, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some fifteen miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.

The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind. And it breaks my heart to reject players' game submissions, but I must maintain high standards.

I learned HTML in the mid-1990's after procrastinating for months. It's a mark-up language originally designed for non-technical acedemics to create web pages. I have no formal training.

While playing chess on FICS, I met JohnnyRio, who said he had worked in an illegal auto chop shop, stripping down stolen cars for parts. While serving thirty-seven months in an Oregon State Prison for Grand Theft Auto (GTA), or soon thereafter, he created a Bobby Fischer fan web site. It was a simple web page and had a little table with an "x" marked for months that he had Chess Life magazine issues. Thrilling, isn't it?

A convicted felon had a web page. I had none and had recently been cleared of all charges. Something about they never found the head. Whatever. After this lucky break, I resolved to learn HTML. Maintaining this web site has necessitated updating those rusty HTML coding skills, first to XHTML and then to HTML5. That taught me to be more thoughtful and careful in producing good code.

"I have added these principles to the law: get the Knights into action before both Bishops are developed." (Emanuel Lasker)

What's it like being webmaster?

It's difficult because I don't actually own a computer. I plan to buy a nice one in late 2017, finances permitting. For now this means a slog of some seven miles, twice a week. I walk through snow and cold in winter, the rains of April, and the searing heat of summer. Arriving at the Henrietta Public Library, I use a free computer. Bus service is sporatic.

The hardest thing is supervising, training and selecting staff. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind.