Overview galleries for initial con list – DONE!

23. 2. 2022
Europa pony

Phew… all the galleries for the European convention overview pages currently described on this page are finished and published! This was a lot of work, mostly because there were a lot of materials to go through and select the representative ones.

Let’s take Hearth’s Warming Con as an example:

  • my event archive contains ~4800 items (photos, videos, graphics designs – from all 4 events)
  • selection to choose from: ~2700 photos (where I was able to reach authors and they agreed with publishing their materials here on site)
  • final representative selection: 30 photos and 6 mascot designs

Photos and designs are grouped into categories corresponding to the paragraphs in the event description – there is a 6 items limit per category to keep it event description relevant (large galleries are planned for event-by-years pages).

Every photo has a description (metadata if you want) – short description, long description (if applicable), year of the event, and author. In some cases, it took some time to find out the corresponding metadata (local VA guests’ names, etc.) and the authors of some graphics designs remain unknown to me, despite an extensive search.

So yeah… the initial ready-to-publish version is finally done! YAY! Now the static pages, calendar, reporting system… and then finally open beta.

Adding the content – overview galleries

8. 2. 2022
Europa pony

A long time ago since this journal’s last update. But not without changes here.

The main work is now the overview galleries for the convention descriptions. Does not seem so, but finding representative photos for respective topics in thousands of pictures taken at the conventions (of course just for those, I asked and got approval for publishing them) takes a LOT of time. Few hours for one event to be more exact. Also searching for metadata (guests names, artists’ credits) takes sometimes a lot of effort. Many information just vanishes from the internet: pages are decommissioned, artist pages are deleted, social media accounts closed, art marked as private… you name it.

Oh and… since the new year, the page also needs a “cookies approval”. It gave me a lot of pain in the… yes, there… but it’s done now. As this page uses no tracking or advertising system, there should be no need for the complex stuff around this: photos and designs are locally stored, YT videos previews are static, and using YT with no cookies… yeah, another big load of invisible effort. Still, it took some time to have it even this easy as it is. Hope it will work as expected and not disturb anypony.

Actual plan: 5 archived events and one living con overview page still awaits their galleries. Then the calendar update. After this is all done, this page can be opened to the public. Per-year event materials (photos, videos, and other stuff) will be added later as it’s gonna be another huge load of work (not to mention the reports from those events).

Also, Czequestria 2022 is slowly knocking on my door, so my attention will be needed there for sure. The convention chairman never rests.

Publicly announced for the very first time

6. 10. 2021

Less than a month since the review, many technical things were fixed and things were made ready to drop the IP block for the website front page. Yeah… it is still just “This site is under Maintenance”, but still better than “Forbidden”, I suppose.

My thoughts about this site project are circling around a few topics:

  1. No time for this project until the New Year (at least). First, I’m heading on vacation with my very special somepony, following the MLP convention in the Netherlands (see below).
  2. Winter Karaoke Party 2022 – annual whole-country brony meetup in Prague, organized by our team. Last year was online and this year we are determined to make it in-person, with all the anti-pandemic rules in place. No idea how big a challenge it will be. But we all miss the brony events badly and serve as a testing ground, if (even if I hope not) this approach will be necessary for Czequestria next year. This will make me busy until the middle of December at least.
  3. Panel at the Ponycon Holland – an actual motivation source for this site. It all began many years ago with panels at Czech and Slovak conventions about pony events, stories from there, and brony group travels. As time passed, I’ve visited many more brony events and made panels about them at various conventions. The newest version of this panel will be on air on the 17th of October at the very first Ponycon Holland in the Netherlands. Let’s say, one hour is really tight, could be easily two hours. And I hope most of those stories will make it to this website. Later. There are more important things to do first here.
  4. Release plan – so many things to say, so many things to publish, and sooo little time. In order to make this site usable as soon as possible, I’ll split the release into smaller parts, beginning with the calendar, events’ general description. Also, the site will remain “Open” after being introduced on PonyCon Holland. Hope that will be a bit of motivation to continue.

It’s not much, but even the longest journey begins with a single step, right? So it was with the decision “First brony convention in Europe named Gala? I’ll be Gala Fluttershy there”. And the rest is… consequences called amazing life 🙂

Ready for first private review. I hope.

9. 9. 2021
Europa pony

Time flies fast, especially during summer like this. Finally, the page is in the relatively consistent alpha stage, so I can be shown it to someone else and ask for another opinion – most probably at Everfree Encore, happening in a few days.

Oh, and I finalized the page header and the site… let’s call it an avatar because OC is too much noble for this creation 🙂 an earth pony, designed deliberately in a vague way – with a European continent silhouette as a cutie mark and a light blue body referring to the seas and oceans around the Old continent. Because in all the diversity among us, this land and the neighboring sea are the home to all of us who call it home. Name’s Europa, as it is.

Putting it all together

4. 8. 2021
Europa pony

Work continues, initial texts about conventions are done and passed the first proofreading. Many details were changed, but that was kinda expected. Made me a bit sad though. Now to put them here and adjust to the website.

Event calendar should be essential for this site – I’ve tested some plugins before I found the one suitable for usage here. As these are all free-to-use plugins, CSS coding and adjustments are on me. Sigh… but yeah, I knew this from the very start: this is a non-profit activity. At least I’m refreshing my web coding skills and never stop wondering, what’s nowadays even possible with stuff like flex design.

Also, another big part is done and that’s requests for permission to use the events graphic designs here! Loading graphics from other websites turned out to be a bad idea. It took a lot of time and messages but seems like most of that is done! I’m happy to report that I got “Yes” from everypony I’ve asked.

Although I’m still struggling with designing some page elements and also the version for mobile devices, I have the basic page design done. Yay! Now bug hunting and calendar design.