Friday, August 25, 2006

Comprehensive Overhaul of My Papers (Fonts, Backgrounds, Etc.)

From time to time I have heard complaints about how my website (and later my blog) were hopelessly outdated in the graphics department. Well, I have always placed far more emphasis on content than on style, and think all this craze online for having to have the latest gadget and snazzy new graphic the minute it comes out is silly and overblown, but I suppose that is the American consumerist culture.

Nevertheless, I am not totally indifferent towards such things. I updated my blog quite some time ago and I think it looks good enough to be at least presentable to those who place a high premium on mere appearance (much higher than I would: "don't judge a book by its cover," etc.).

The much larger task along the same lines was to update my huge output of papers (well over 1000; dunno how many there are now). I have been transferring many older papers onto my blog (often a very time-consuming process: sometimes taking an hour for a single paper) to make them look nicer. Then I systematically changed the font of my website papers and got rid of the backgrounds. All of my papers now have a white background, as do my topical web pages, except for a few which have a very light (plain) color.

But even then my task (which has literally taken many months) wasn't finished, because (as you know if you have surfed my website much), many papers had been linked to Internet Archive versions. I started doing this a few years back because I had a space issue on my website and had to pay more for more space. The blog has solved that problem, but there were still many many of my papers out there which were available only at Internet Archive. Oftentimes they would have a glaring turqouise colored background (long story, but I never intended for any paper to look that way).

That has now changed. In the past week, I've moved some 50 or so papers (most of them quite long) back to my website, and revised the fonts to my preferred one (Verdana). Virtually all of my papers on theological topics are now either on my website in Verdana font and with a plain white background, or on this blog, in standardized font and appearance.

A few remnants still remain on the Internet Archive: papers I deemed to have less popularity due to relatively esoteric or obscure subject matter; therefore not worth taking the time to transfer and take up more space (though I may still move some in the future; most to my blog).
If one looks at my Super-Links Page (which now takes up two separate pages), one will find that the first part (the first 35 of 79 total categories) is completely free of Internet Archive papers (i.e., all papers are now located on my website or blog). These sections make up most of the most important topics in theology. The same applies to sections 36-41 of the second part of my Super-Links index. But then we see this paper on a fairly "remote" topic:

The Development of Old Testament and Jewish Views of Sheol, the Afterlife, and Eternal Punishment

I really didn't think many are reading that (I had fun compiling it because development is my favorite area of theology), so I left it as is. The rest of the Internet Archive papers are as follows:
43) Scientific Materialism and the Teleological and Cosmological Arguments

6 papers

57) Movie Reviews

1 paper

59) Agnosticism, Atheism, Humanism, and Secularism

7 papers

60) Eschatology (Last Things)

2 papers

61) Jews and Judaism

2 papers

64) Ethical and Moral Issues

1 paper

69) Christian Philosophy / Philosophy of Religion / Philosophical Theology

4 papers

71) Scientific and Medical Issues

3 papers

72) Sociology of Religion

1 paper

74) Lutheranism

1 paper

76) Education

1 paper

79) The Problem of Evil

1 paper
That makes a total of 31 non-blog, non-website papers out of the entire list on this index: most of them not directly about theology, which is, of course, my main focus as an apologist.

Additionally, there are some further (older) papers not even listed on the Super-Index Page that are linked only to Internet Archive versions, on my Anti-Catholicism and "Traditionalism" pages. Here again the subject matter was relatively obscure (e.g., wrangling over whether Vatican II was a good thing, or whether Catholics think the pope is God: yes, someone actually maintained this!), so I decided not to take up more space with those.

Perhaps some day the 31 papers above will also be moved and updated in appearance and more convenience of access; we'll see. One has to have the time to do all these things. I hope you enjoy the improved readability.

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