Welcome to Arkanis Development


My plans for world domination.

Welcome to the chronological list of my projects. This list will grow over time as I publish new projects or clean up old ones. Take a look around. If you have questions about a project or just want to write me a few lines write a comment on the projects blog post or send me a mail (it's on the profile page).

The plains project

Status: prototype, maintained Tags: plains, organizing, webdesign, php, html, css, javascript, jquery, rest, usability

A small pet project to clean up my own mess of notes and ideas. Basically you can put everything on a 2D space and group it into "plains". A "plain" is nothing more than a rectangle in that 2D space that can hold notes, ideas and other plains. If much data is arranged like that the spacial sense of direction helps to find data very quickly (zooming is important for that). This structure also maps perfectly to files and directories and therefore the stuff is stored in that way.


Status: maintained Tags: nntp, php, programming, javascript, jquery, html, simplicity, atom, university

THe NNTP-Forum is a small and lightweight frontend to NNTP a newsgroup server. If you already have a newsgroup server running you can use it as an webinterface.

The development started with a small 2 day read only prototye. After some positive feedback I wrote a new frontend wiht all the usual stuff (reading and posting of messages, attachments, …). As with most of my web projects I used a very simplified and condensed version of the model-view-controller pattern to structure the code. Thanks to many well written RFCs it was easy to use the NNTP protocol directly. Same goes for the parser of the mails. However I built a state machine based parser. It only works on individual lines and does not need to load the entire mail. This is important to efficiently handle messages with large attachments.


Status: maintained Tags: php, testing

Born out of laziness and fun testing out PHPs anonymous functions Shinpuru developed into a full testing framework within just 3 weeks. It was an interesting challenge to see what can be accomplished with just PHPs own build in functions because I didn't want any external dependencies. Despite that limitation Shinpuru contains pretty much everything testing frameworks out of the Ruby world (e.g. Shoulda) usually do.

The Shinpuru project was also the testing ground for a new approach to documentation: all documentation data is contained within the source file and extracted when needed by the website. All examples are actually part of the test suite that covers Shinpuru itself. This gave birth to a sister project to extract patterns out of PHP code. Because of this and the unusual large documentation it took about 7 weeks to just write the documentation and examples as well as building the documentation system.

HTML obfuscator

Status: finished Tags: html, unicode, spam, javascript, jquery

A little JavaScript tool done in just a few hours (styling takes time…), primarily because I wanted to escape my own mail address but didn't found a nice tool for it. Libraries like Markdown give you the exact same (if not better) output if you write down your mail address but I don't want to fire up a Markdown processor for just a little text mail address. Plus, you can encode arbitrary text with this tool, e.g. your Jabber-URI and Skype name.

Arkanis Development v3

Status: finished Tags: arkanis-development, webdesign, simplicity, php, html, html5, css, css3

The third incarnation of my website. The main feature of this project is its simplicity: a few hundred lines of very simple PHP code, no external dependencies, no database, no fancy JavaScript… every bit of added complexity in this project caries more than its own weight. This takes maintenance down to almost zero. In a time where everyone seems to add complexity without thinking properly about it I wanted to know what can be done with only basic means.

This project also builds upon the new HTML5 semantic tags and uses CSS3 styles for almost everything in its design. Box shadows, rounded corners, transparency, HSL-colors, table positioning, etc. This page shows to a good degree what's possible if you ditch the old browsers and use the new stuff. It also makes webdesign simple again. No program like Photoshop or Inkscape was used to craft the design, it was created directly as of HTML and CSS code. Only GIMP was used to resize some images. :)

But this isn't where simplicity stops: there is no more user management and no admin or authoring area. The website is a simple frontend to the data stored in some equally simple text files (like this project description). New posts can be written directly with my favorite text editor on the server using SSH.

7th GamesDay

Status: finished Tags: organizing, games, university, webdesign, html, css, javascript, php, sqlite, atom, news-aggregator

Like the 6th GamesDay this project was too about organizing speeches and talks. This time however we had two month to pull the thing off. That time frame really made the job easier but also had some negative effects on the motivation: everything took so long… e.g. we had good chances to get CryTek for a talk but after one month of back and forth we finally dropped that.

Apart from all the organizational stuff I also created a website, again based on the poster designed by Darius Morawiec. I reused most of the previous GamesDay website but added an small Atom newsfeed reader that fetched the news for the website from a Redmine project we used to coordinate the GamesDay.

6th GamesDay

Status: finished Tags: organizing, games, university, webdesign, html, css, javascript, php, sqlite

The GamesDay is an event at the HdM Stuttgart where some people talk about different aspects of the games industry. It took Darius Morawiec, Martin Schmidt, Matthias Feurer and me two weeks to organize the 6th of these events from scratch. Two weeks with absolutely no spare time but it was an interesting experience.

Besides organizing the event (I have over 200 mails in the archive…) Darius designed the very beautiful poster and flyer I later adapted for the design of the website of the 6th GamesDay. It just was a simple website, little more than some static pages wrapped into a common layout using PHP. However later on a simple PHP and SQLite based live-chat (about 20 lines PHP and 50 lines JS) as well as an automatic picture gallery were added to the page. The event was recored and live-streamed and thats where the live-chat was made for: it enabled the online viewers to asks questions which were forwarded to the speaker.

This "one page, no maintenance" live-chat proved very robust and usable and I reused this component in some projects afterwards.

Arkanis Development v2

Status: finished Tags: arkanis-development, webdesign, rails, html, css, javascript, xfn, ie

This project was everything Arkanis Development v1 should have been. The "basic" blog was extended in almost every way: articles and static pages where added, a newsfeed came and Textile as well as Markdown found it's way into posts and comments. To be more honest: it was totally rewritten anyway. In addition the entire application was covered by test cases.

The most visible change however was the design. As with the Rails application the experimental never-finished design was replaced with a proper one. Well, not just one but tree in fact. All inspired by some photos found on Flickr. These designs were serious ones: accessibility, clean markup (good for search engines), browser support (Opera, Firefox, IE 7, 6, 5.5 and 5.0) as well as speed were taken into account. The designs were changed depending on the daytime and could be switched manually by those who like to play.

Arkanis Development v2 was more of a content management system than a blog. The administration interface featured some nice details like XHTML Friends Network integration and auto-growing text boxes. However I rarely used all of the possibilities I build into this website.

Arkanis Development v1

Status: finished Tags: arkanis-development, webdesign, rails, html, css

The first incarnation of my website and a basic blog with posts and comments. While the work on the design started as early as September 2005 and wasn't continued for many months the "real" website was created in a few days. It wasn't much more than a repurposed Ruby on Rails application created while learning Rails.