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RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse

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Introduction

RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse is the flagship project of the RDWonline domain, and is the personal website of webmaster Ronald D. Willis. This website and its sub-domains feature an assortment of new additions and enhancements and adhere to HTML5 and CSS3 standards. To navigate through this website, please use the main navigation to the left or click on a tab to the right to expose the contents of its panel. Please enjoy the web experience presented here.

News & Updates

  • Friday, April 26, 2013, 8:11 P.M.

    In light of the release of jQuery 2.0, this current incarnation of RDWonline as well as all its sub-domains will continue to function on Microsoft Internet Explorer 8. However, starting from RDWonline v9.0, ALL websites under the RDWonline domain will NOT be functional using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, 7 nor 8. If the user is still using Windows XP, s/he is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to either upgrade to Windows 7 or later OR install the latest version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

  • Sunday, March 31, 2013, 3:08 A.M.

    Added link to personal Bandcamp page to help promote independent music.

  • Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 12:00 A.M.

    Happy new year to everyone once again! RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse was posted one year ago today. Thanks to all who have given their words of encouragement and feedback for this paramount release throughout the year!

  • Saturday, October 27, 2012, 10:15 A.M.

    Published updates to the RDWonlineMusicore and RDWonlineMagicollection databases, and newly refactored JavaScript and PHP code to production this morning. Any new changes and additions to the current application layer will be made after the availability of PHP 5.5.

  • Sunday, August 19, 2012, 2:48 P.M.

    Several bug fixes and enhancements have been deployed to the entire RDWonline domain this afternoon! The paramount changes include, but not limited to, the conversion of the entire JavaScript layer to object-oriented syntax, data corrections within the RDWonlineMusicore and RDWonlineMagicollection sub-domains, new display options within RDWonlineMagicollection, image optimizations and reorganization of the application layer.

  • Sunday, February 5, 2012, 1:04 A.M.

    The Quasareclipse was just added among the HTML5 websites on HTML5 Arena!

  • Monday, January 30, 2012, 1:40 A.M.

    The Quasareclipse was reviewed by the Fresh Focus Design group!

  • Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 4:06 A.M.

    New critique of this website was posted at About.com!

  • Sunday, January 8, 2012, 3:09 A.M.

    RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse is a featured website on the HTML5 websites page!

  • Friday, January 6, 2012, 7:40 A.M.

    Added Liquid Spirits and Loop Session to the Recreation > Music section

  • Sunday, January 1, 2012, 12:00 A.M.

    Happy new year to everyone! Arducane Development is kicking off the new year with two new websites and five website upgrades! The Arducane Development company website was consolidated to a more concise layout for better ease of use. Also, the RDWonline flagship website RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse went through a major rewrite and redesign, along with its sub-domains! The wait is finally over and all the new websites are online!

Biography

Birthdate:
1979-05-16
Age:
Family:
Ronald (father), Renada (mother†), Rodney and Russell (brothers)
Favorite Recreational Activities:
surfing the Internet, bowling, billiards, hanging out with friends, cruising around town, going to the movies, listening to quality music, playing classic video games, writing, collecting vintage TransFormers™ action figures, dining around town, website design & development
Favorite TV Shows:
American Dad, Chappelle's Show, Childrens Hospital, Drawn Together, Family Guy, Futurama, Looney Tunes, Robot Chicken, TransFormers (1980's series)
Favorite Movies:
2012, Alice in Wonderland (2010), Barbershop, Big Trouble In Little China, Chris Rock: Kill The Messenger, Coming To America, Formula 51, The Great Outdoors, The Hangover, Inception, Kick-Ass, Machete, National Lampoon's Van Wilder, Office Space, RED, Rush Hour 2, Shawshank Redemption, Sleepy Hollow, Trading Places, Zombieland
Favorite Music Genres:
contemporary & smooth jazz, neo-soul, electronica (UK), bossa nova, acid jazz, jazz fusion (w/downtempo, hip-hop), broken beat/nu-jazz, rhythm & blues
Advice:
"Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore, get wisdom, and with all thy getting get an understanding."
– Proverbs 4:7

Ronald D. Willis moved to Bloomington, IN to attend college at Indiana University (IU), where he studied chemistry as an undergraduate. During that time, Ronald became heavily involved with computer work and held many computer-related occupations that allowed his interests of information technology to be nurtured. Ronald's efforts would eventually offer him several work opportunities, including assisting with the inception of the crystallographic data exchange system Chemviz/Reciprocal Net at the IU Molecular Structure Center. In addition to computing, Ronald also acquired an interest in learning web graphic design concepts, which he eventually decided to pursue as a career rather than working in the chemical field. After completing his chemistry degree, Ronald picked up a PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor book and started to teach himself web design and development using open source tools.

In May 2006, Ronald was offered a position that allowed him to transition into the Microsoft technologies. That summer Ronald took a strenuous crash course in classic ASP, Visual Basic.NET, Visual C# 2005, ASP.NET 1.1/2.0 frameworks and SQL Server 2000/2005. Today, Ronald still divides his time in both technologies - .NET work at his employer and PHP/MySQL work for leisure.

When Ronald is not putting in an assiduous number of hours on the computer, he enjoys bowling, playing pool, going to the movies, listening to "non-commercialized" music, planning social events and hanging out at the local bookstores and cafés in town.

Interface History

RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse

Release Date: January 1, 2012

After the release of Volume 7, it had been decided that a subsequent installment of RDWonline would not be released until PHP6 became available. That hiatus turned out to be well over four years before Volume 8, and even then an official release of PHP6 has yet to surface. However, most of the new features were made available in PHP 5.3.x, and in 2009 Ronald set out as planned to tear down the entire application layer used to run all websites under the RDWonline domain and creating a more solid object-oriented foundation for subsequent versions. In addition to software upgrades from PHP, MySQL and PostgreSQL; Google released its Chrome browser to the masses. Furthermore, the new standards for HTML5 and CSS3 were being introduced to the current web browsers, and several JavaScript frameworks jumped onto the bandwagon as well. Needless to say, with all this new software and technology released, things really had to settle down a bit before work on the new RDWonline commenced. The interface for The Quasareclipse uses very few graphics (barring the splash screen), and utilizes more dynamic client-side behaviors to control and modify its "page panels" to display the information featured within using the jQuery framework.


RDWonline v7.0: The Seoquouloxolocadium

Release Date: July 7, 2007

The work done to produce the Epoccontinuum and the newly-divided sub-domains required for Ronald to focus more on the scripting and databases, while the graphics were pretty much an after-thought. Although the RDWonline series finally had a bright incarnation to list in its history, Ronald decided that it was time to bring the design back to more of a darker, abstract yet professional vibe. Furthermore, a more concerted effort to push the PHP codebase over to an object-oriented tree was made, as each page now executes a single derived object in order to render the markup for display. While this tableless design was more compacted than its predecessors, the overall execution was indeed harmonious and required little effort in ensuring that the design rendered as intended across the major web browsers. There is no real reason why this website has the surname Seoquouloxolocadium, but it seemed to fit with the somewhat abstract theme of the website design. This is also the first website produced by Ronald to exhibit full separation of structure, presentation and functional behavior.


RDWonline v6.0: The Epoccontinuum

Release Date: May 16, 2006

On September 6, 2004, Ronald embarked on yet another long journey to redesign and rearchitect RDWonline. The interface for the OmniFireball was enclosed, and all the predecessor websites used dark colors with white text for the staple layout. So this time around, Ronald brightened up the color scheme a bit, modeling his old black-purple-teal Reebok pumps (sans black). This website has the surname Epoccontinuum not because it was a work-in-progress for 20 months, but because the design and theme was formulated to integrate elements of time, clouds, ice and glass to better illustrate the elevation of Ronald's web prowess using the same tools as before and new technologies such as Ajax and JSON.


RDWonline v5.00: The OmniFireball

Release Date: September 24, 2003

The Internet is plagued with poor web designs and horribly-formed web pages. One major reason Ronald felt the need to rearchitect (not just redesign) RDWonline is to reinforce the importance of creating structure and presentation that is W3C-compliant for the most part. With graduation from graduate school coming in the following semester, Ronald melded RDWonline Designs & Productions and his personal website together with The Gravity Realm, rdwmusical and rdwmagicollection to create a 200-page website that he actively used as his conversational piece for forthcoming job interviews in demonstrating his web graphic skills and web programming prowess. The website has the surname OmniFireball because of that, and the fact that Ronald used 10 different applications in variance for its design and assembly.


RDWonline Personal Website v3.0

Release Date: July 8, 2002

Ronald redesigned his website in hopes of using it to supplement his application to the School of Library and Information Science graduate program. The website was renamed to RDWonline, and in celebration of that the audio theme was chosen after Ronald created a stereo using only Photoshop. Ronald likes to consider this website the 'minimalistic' and 'self-titled' incarnation since he focused on the basics of web design and development, using only Photoshop (with no 3rd party filters), Fireworks and Dreamweaver to create this entity.


The Personal Website of Ronald D. Willis, Volume Two

Release Date: July 23, 2000

While working on the beginning artwork for The Gravity Realm, Ronald took one conceptual piece and developed it into a large red pipelike structure, which ultimately became the interface to this website. The content of this website had almost tripled with the addition of Ronald's final chemical research thesis and information on other favorite pastimes. At One of the cooler features about this website was the Javascript double rollover used for the navigation.


The Personal Website of Ronald D. Willis, Volume One

Release Date: July 7, 1999

The first release had very humble beginnings. It only consisted of five static HTML pages with Ronald's picture and a gradient image for the background. At the time, Ronald was still very much a neophyte when it came to web design, however it only made sense at that time to develop a small website dedicated to his chemical research papers and favorite pastimes. This website would set the foundation for all of its succeeding incarnations.

Questions & Answers

  • Volume 7 was released over four years ago in July 2007. Why so long between releases?

    So much has occurred since that release. Got a new job the month after it dropped. Had to deal with some other personal things. It was always in the plan to do Volume 8 - it was just a matter of finding the time to do research and development and the time to get it all done. When the current web browsers started to support HTML5 and CSS3 and the PHP group decided release most of the PHP6 features in PHP 5.3.x, it was time.

  • How are you able to balance your responsibilities as a web designer and a web developer?

    It's not easy. Everyone has only one head, so you wear the hat you feel like wearing at that time. When you're tired of wearing that hat, take it off and put on a new one.

  • Hey, what happened to the TransFormers™ section on this website?!

    It's no longer on this website, but it's still on this domain. It's been integrated into RDWonlineTransFormersInventory.

  • The RDWonline.com domain is 10 years old now. Are you at all surprised about the direction that the website has gone over the years, or was this the plan all along?

    From a personal perspective, it has been pretty impressive to see this domain grow over the years from five static HTML pages to a domain comprised of seven web apps powered by a relatively large centralized codebase and backed with five databases. The greatest reward is the knowledge and experience procured during each revision, as that has helped with working through real-life scenarios in the workplace.

  • In your honest opinion, what are the two absolute BEST rap/hip-hop groups ever?

    The absolute best rap/hip-hop group ever is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The second best group is The Lonely Island (yeah, that's right). Anyone who can take The Chronicles of Narnia and Pirates of the Carribbean and make them into solid songs deserve "the throne".

  • Is there going to be a Volume 9 of this series, and if so when will it be completed?

    There will more than likely be a Volume 9. As far as when, it's anyone's guess, but it definitely will not be any time soon.

Downloadables

DISCLAIMER: Any reprinting, sublicensing, modifying, publishing, assignment, transfer, sales, or other distribution of any of the wallpaper images below, in parts or as a whole, is strictly prohibited without the prior written consent of Ronald D. Willis/Arducane Development. These terms of this agreement are subject to change without notice.

Résumé

Ronald D. Willis
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E: m70f1ccf41772fa7f8f4398857f7c0cec5ad16886oc.eni269a50e560d06ff06e0ec812d78a110edc420744lnowdr@retsambew

Objective

User experience designer & developer seeking a challenging position with a company actively involved in web development


Employment

The Rawlings Group LaGrange, KY
January 2013 – December 2013
Systems Developer, Subrogation Division
  • Working with a team of seven developers and two team leads on Windows and web applications in the subrogation division
  • Developed new Letter Wizard component using Visual Basic 6, Visual C# 2010, EF, WCF and SQL Server 2010 on the Microsoft .NET 4.0 Framework for the Subrogation Recovery System (SRS) internal desktop application, which will allow customer representatives to accurately select among 600 internal letter templates to send to contacts, patients and providers
  • Designed and developed Letter Maintenance web application for administrators to manage letter templates, their corresponding attributes and transferring templates to and from SharePoint using HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, XML, Visual C# 2010, ASP.NET MVC 4, ASP.NET Web API and SQL Server 2010 on the Microsoft .NET 4.5 Framework
  • Written console applications to facilitate background processes that interface with SharePoint using Visual C# 2010 and CAML queries
  • Assisted with development of the SRS Group Portal web application with two fellow developers using HTML, CSS, jQuery, ASP.NET MVC 4, Visual C# 2012, WCF and SQL Server 2010 on the Microsoft .NET 4.5 Framework
AmerisourceBergen Technology Group Louisville, KY
August 2007 – December 2012
Software Developer II
  • Developing and maintaining web graphics & Tier-One user experience (UX) development and products module for IntelliOrder®, an online pharmaceutical inventory order & management system, using XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Visual C# 2005, SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 on the Microsoft .NET 2.0 framework on a team of three developers
  • Executing second-tier quality assurance tasks in application modules, customer training courses and documentation
  • Redesigning user interface and rewriting top-level programming for Mobile Materials Management, a PocketPC inventory barcode scanner and tracking application that interacts with aforementioned management system, using Photoshop and Visual C# 2005 on the .NET Compact Framework 2.0
  • Designed new interface, re-factoring database tables and adding new enhancements to internal company time tracking application using XHTML, CSS, jQuery, Visual C# 2005 and SQL Server 2005
  • Serving as second-tier customer support and quality assurance specialist for current and legacy IntelliOrder® systems
  • Edited documentation of workflow processes within IntelliOrder® system
  • Assisted with screening and interview process for candidates for contract programming opportunities within company
  • Updated product logos for mass e-mail campaigns to current and prospective clients using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Fireworks
  • Designed and developed dynamic UI pages using settings stored in XML for product dispense settings for new organization setups
  • Managed and facilitated two customer upgrades from legacy to current system and one new implementation

Republic Bank & Trust Company, Inc. Louisville, KY
April 2007 – July 2007
Contract Developer
  • Contributed to new wave of development enhancements for the 2007/2008 tax season by the Tax Refund Solutions (TRS) development team on software and web solutions used to process an estimated $2.5 billion in annual tax returns
  • Produced ASP.NET 2.0 online customer configuration confirmation application to replace postal InfoLetter mailer
  • Created ASP.NET 2.0 web application to allow bank customers to reset their account passwords using Visual C# 2005 and SQL Server 2005
  • Integrated service bureau management into TRS customer services application using Visual C# 2005 and SQL Server 2005
  • Re-developed new ERO setup application using various ASP.NET web & user controls and Visual C# 2005 programming
  • Authored workflow documentation to help maximize quality assurance testing efficiency for aforementioned projects
  • Fixed several low and medium-priority bugs and implemented enhancement requests in TRS software application

Sun Oak, Inc. d/b/a ipop.com Louisville, KY
May 2006 – March 2007
Web Applications Developer
  • Participated in rewriting and satisfying enhancement requests and new back-end development for inventory tracking systems in various web portals for the National Guard Materials Management Center using XHTML, JavaScript, Active Server Pages (ASP) and SQL Server 2000
  • Assembled an ASP.NET 2.0 knowledge base with management system for aerospace and aviation product supplier Shaw Aero using XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, Visual C# 2005 and SQL Server 2000
  • Converted classic ASP transportation reservation web application to an ASP.NET 2.0 web application for Travel Authority of River City (TARC) using Visual C# 2005
  • Provided enhancements to an existing ASP.NET web-based registration application used for entering participants in various baseball leagues for Midwest Baseball Academy using Visual Basic.NET & SQL Server 2000
  • Used Perl/CGI to add error trapping to web application used to capture and e-mail prospect patient data for The Best Kids dental office
  • Created and updated existing indices, functions, and stored procedures using SQL Server 2000
  • Translated clients' business processes into executable project plans
  • Conducted personal, individualized interaction with each client to ensure optimal satisfaction
  • Completed maintenance and updates for clients including, but not limited to:
    • C&I Engineering
    • Kentucky Group Travel
    • Kentucky Logistics Operation Center
    • Learning Resources Network
    • Louisville International Airport
    • Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Fetter Printing Company Louisville, KY
January 2006 – April 2006
Programmer
  • Developed internal web application using XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, PHP and MySQL
  • Created front-end design for developers' web applications using Photoshop and Fireworks

True Commerce, Inc. Wexford, PA
November 2004 – December 2005
Marketing Specialist/Web Development
  • Developed and executed strategy for redeveloping corporate website into a 60-page W3C-standards-compliant entity using XHTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and MySQL
  • Implemented initiatives for public relations campaigns and tradeshow promotions
  • Reformulated page content and server configurations for pay-per-click advertising campaigns to increase visibility on search engines
  • Initiated and developed offline direct response web application for displaying and exporting of mass communication lists of prospects, customers and trading partners
  • Migrated Lotus Notes résumé submission interface to an online company career application using PHP and MySQL
  • Created and developed functionality for CD-ROM architecture of software demo


Digital Portfolio

http://www.arducanedevelopment.com/
  • Single-page HTML5 and CSS3-compliant personal business website
  • Published on January 1, 2012
  • Created graphics using Photoshop CS5.5 Extended
  • Used jQuery and jQuery UI frameworks to implement richer client-side behaviors
http://www.rdwonline.com
  • Single-page HTML5 and CSS3-compliant website and its five sub-domains collectively serve as professional digital portfolio
  • Published on January 1, 2012
  • Integrated HTML5 markup and CSS3 presentation rules & media queries into libraries and templates
  • Created graphics using Photoshop CS5.5 Extended, Fireworks CS5 and particleIllusion 3.0.1
  • Written 9,450 lines of JavaScript using jQuery and jQuery UI frameworks to implement client-side behaviors
  • Deployed on-the-fly DOM modifications and reasonable backward compatibility support using Modernizr and Selectivizr, respectively
  • Authored and performed quality assurance of PHP code syntax using NetBeans 7.x
  • Utilizes PHP template engine to facilitate separation of HTML5 templates from PHP scripts
  • Application tier consists of 382 PHP 5.4.x-compliant classes, interfaces, traits and 'enumerations'
  • Over 50 asynchronous server requests between application and presentation tiers that transport data in JSON and XML formats
  • Developed PDO wrapper classes to unify data access interface between MySQL, PostgreSQL and SQLite databases
  • Managed tables, functions, triggers and stored procedures in data tier using Navicat Premium 10.x

Recommendations

"Ronald is one of the best UI developers I have ever worked with. His knowledge of both front and back end principals is outstanding. The work he accomplished on the Intelliorder project was instrumental in providing a better user experience for the customer. Most companies would have to hire two or more people to rival his skill set."

Tom Turner, Consultant/Software Developer (10/2008)

"I worked with Ronald on a complete rewrite of the IntelliOrder web system at AmerisourceBergen where he provided top notch user interface design and development to help make the new product an easier to use web system. Ronald's user interface skills are a specialty, and he was instrumental in developing unique experiences for users of IntelliOrder. Ronald is very good at thinking outside-the-box to find the best solution for solving user experience issues. He is a great team player and would be an asset to any team looking for a great C#, ASP.Net, or PHP developer."

Ryan Fetz, Consultant (9/2008)

Digital Imagery

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Indiana University Exploration of Careers in Science

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RDWonline Celestial

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RDWonline OmniFireballs

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RDWonline Tri-Hybrid Index v5.00

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Websites

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RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse

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Arducane Development

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TrueCommerce corporate website

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RDWonlineTransFormersInventory

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Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce

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The School of Library and Information Science Webmasters' Handbook

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Association for Computing Machinery (IUB, 2003)

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Hallmark Rentals & Management, Inc.

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The Gravity Realm

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Personal Website of Ronald D. Willis v2.5

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Music

Ronald listens to music when he's working or lounging around. Approximately 100,000 songs, this collection spans over 10,000 hours of lots of genres. Let's face it - the music that's being played on the radio today is garbage and most of these newer artists have no real talent. In fact, Ronald has not listened to the radio in over seven years. If you're ever around him or riding with him in his car, chances are you're going to hear non-commercialized ('underground') neo-soul, jazz and hip-hop music - mostly from the UK or Japan.

To read more about these talented yet underappreciated musicians, click on the artist/group's name below. If you're curious about the music that Ronald owns, his comprehensive music collection can be viewed on the RDWonlineMusicore web application.

Design & Development

Ronald has been working wholeheartedly in website design and development since May 1998 as a hobbyist before making the transition to becoming a professional in April 2002. Since that time, he has come across a plethora of programs that have been promoted as being the must-have tool(s) to add to a web developer's arsenal. For all websites found within this domain, Ronald used his three staple applications Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Photoshop (together knows as The Triumvirate) among others. Below are descriptions for some of the applications used by the Arducane Development staff to produce websites:

Adobe Dreamweaver

Ronald had been a Microsoft FrontPage (please don't laugh, no seriously...stop) user up until April 2002. FrontPage is good for people who wish to create static websites with images, and can enhance that power if and only if they understand the code to put it all in manually. This notion was indeed the case for Ronald's earlier projects, including The Gravity Realm. However, Ronald felt that his subsequent work needed to follow the current trend of dynamic web pages, and so he began to work on server-side scripting using PHP and Perl (mostly PHP). As of now, Microsoft FrontPage cannot support either language. Adobe had been well-known for their website developing tools Dreamweaver and Dreamweaver UltraDev. However, both programs contained annoying little popup windows that blocked about half of the screen. Because of this, Ronald continued to use FrontPage until the preview release of Dreamweaver MX was released. Adobe had done away with the popup windows and instead created a collapsing menu interface, which was ideal for increased workflow. It also supported PHP and contained references as extension modules that could be installed within the program. Moreover, document editing was a lot more efficient, as excessive and useless HTML is not inserted into pages. With all that in consideration, Ronald vowed from then on to work with Dreamweaver for all subsequent projects, and has done so for over a year. It also has the ability to interact with cascading style sheets and MySQL databases and other live data sources using ColdFusion. Adobe Dreamweaver is also excellent in tackling accessibility issues, making it one of the best commercial web page editors on the market today.

NetBeans

Dreamweaver has been an asset for its color coding and native PHP function hinting. The problem that arose starting with Volume 8 of RDWonline is that there was an immediate need for an integrated development environment (IDE) to be able to use reflection to determine which methods and/or properties were accessible depending on the current context of the current class, similar to how the IntelliSense functionality works in Microsoft Visual Studio. This can only be accomplished in Dreamweaver if and only if the methods and properties were contained in the current class, but cannot "tell" the developer of the other methods and properties defined in other classes and interfaces within the same namespace. A few applications were able to accomplish this feat, but the one that Ronald settled on was NetBeans. This open-source IDE made short work of keeping all the class methods and properties straight among the immense namespace that now powers this entire domain, and considering that PHP is a dynamically-typed language. It would be nice if one day the IDE was able to identify which objects were indexers by determining whether the object implemented the ArrayAccess interface. Nonetheless, this application was very helpful in picking up where Dreamweaver fell short.

Navicat Premium

Before Volume 8, Ronald was perfectly fine with having to write the necessary SQL statements for his web applications inline with his PHP scripts. The statements would be tested using phpMyAdmin and phpPgAdmin to confirm its execution time and accurary. However, the latest release of MySQL ushered in support for stored procedures, which was sorely needed for certain areas of the RDWonline domain, especially for RDWonlineMagicollection. After doing some research, Ronald came across Navicat Premium, which is a client-side application that can interface with MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite, Oracle and SQL Server concurrently. The other advantage to using a client application like Navicat as opposed to the php*Admin web applications is not having to deal with server timeouts, especially with having to deal with binary large objects (BLOBs).

Adobe Photoshop

Now what's a website without graphics? Graphics are what initially sparked Ronald's interest in website development in the first place since they were the easiest to create in the early days. In the search to find a graphics package that was worth learning, he found that 97% of the websites surveyed used Adobe Photoshop in some way, shape, or form as the staple graphics editor. Overjoyed, Ronald began playing around with Adobe Photoshop 4.0 in the student computer labs on campus. His perseverance with the program has provided many opportunities for him as a graphic designer, including the official Indiana Science Olympiad 2003 logo and the IU OneStart website. Nowadays, most of Ronald's graphic work gets imported into Photoshop for manipulation in some degree, and in the case of the RDWonline websites, almost entirely produced and generated. Ronald favors the glass/plastic, metallic and industrial styles, but does so in his own unique way. Several websites later, Ronald has learned much of what Photoshop can do, and is still learning more to this day.

At times third-party filters are used, much less now than before. Third-party filters are Photoshop modules that are using within the host program to extend its capabilities. These programs can produce an array of effects, including lens flares, fire, smoke, distortions, glass and textures. Like many inexperienced people, Ronald was certainly among those who saturated their images with these filters with minimal effort. Over time, Ronald began to value the abilities that Photoshop natively possesses and used fewer and fewer third-party filters over time. Nowadays, if third-party filters are really necessary, they are used. Ronald's favorites include Kai's Power Tools 5, AlienSkin EyeCandy and AlienSkin Xenofex.

Adobe Fireworks

As stated previously, Ronald does a vast majority of his graphic work using Adobe Photoshop. However, at that time the JPG compression algorithm implemented by it and Adobe ImageReady is inferior when compared to that of Adobe Fireworks, which could certainly explain why Adobe discontinued ImageReady. Ronald generally uses this program for image slicing and optimization, and chooses it over similar programs because of its straightforward approach. Adobe Fireworks is ideal for graphic designers who wish to interact with sharp vector graphics for navigation bars and menus. Graphics created in Fireworks can be seamlessly imported into Adobe Flash for rich multimedia and Internet applications. Ronald has utilized this program extensively for RDWonlineMusicore and RDWonlineMagicollection.

e-on Vue Infinite/xStream

Initially overwhelmed by the complexity of 3D applications, Ronald first decided to ease into 3D graphic design using a more controlled environment: landscape generation. The first program Ronald was able to use to initiate this was Bryce, which was surprisingly powerful to him at that time. However, over time, the atmospheres, especially the clouds, were simply not as realistic as desired. One night, while discussing 3D with some people online, Ronald learned about a 3D landscape application that far surpassed the power of Bryce with relative ease. Vue d'Esprit, a 3D atmosphere generator developed in France, is indeed an interesting program with similar capabilities of Bryce. The interface of Vue d'Esprit looks like it was made for the Mac because of its heavy use of the aqua pills for buttons and headers. Furthermore, Vue d'Esprit is argued to be so intuitive that people decline to open the printed manual until after they have played with many of the program's features. Ronald first became acquainted with the program at version 4 and did not begin to really produce serious work with the application until its 2007 release of Vue 6 Infinite and Vue 6 xStream. The latter program operates exactly like the former when run in standalone mode; however it is different in that a host 3D application such as 3ds max, Lightwave, XSI, Maya and (in Ronald's case) Cinema 4D can open scenes created in the application and can therefore commingle with the environment of the host application to create even more astounding graphic creations.

GenArts particleIllusion

The two main graphics used for Volume 8 make heavy use of particle effect stills as layers within Photoshop. Before the creation of particleIllusion, graphic designers had to rely on particle plugins and render them using high-end 3D applications, which can take several hours depending upon the level of detail desired. This application works solely in two-dimensional space and utilizes the OpenGL to accelerate rendering speed, which speeds up the application's performance and rendering times considerably on inexpensive video cards. particleIllusion can export animations in various formats, including each individual frame in JPG format.

Maxon Cinema4D Studio

Ronald spent a lot of time researching standard 3D applications in hopes of discovering one that would create astounding 3D renders without a egregiously steep learning curve. After several months of deliberation, Ronald settled on Maxon Cinema 4D over Autodesk 3ds max (at least for the time being). To some 3D designers, Maxon Cinema 4D is a lot more "powerful and stable", though it is quite a pain to find books on the software at your local bookstore. Recently, Ronald has been using Cinema 4D to render different shapes and/or Booleans, or manipulating vector splines into 3D shapes using HyperNURBS. Fortunately, Ronald was able to add in a couple of abstract renders from Cinema 4D into this user interface. Expect to see more 3D renders and compositions produced using this application in the coming months.

Bookmarks

Credits

RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse
Executively produced by Ronald D. Willis for Arducane Development

Ronald D. Willis would like thank God from whom all blessings flow, and for the strength to overcome all trials and tribulations. Thanks to the family and friends for their support. Special thanks to Adam Alexander of Botch's TransFormers archive, and to Greg Martin, abduzeedo, The Filament Group, noupe, the PHP Group, the jQuery team and the talented artists from DeviantArt for providing the inspiration, lessons and/or tools that helped take RDWonline to the next level.


RDWonline v8.0: The Quasareclipse is dedicated in loving memory of Bridgette Renada Willis.

particleIllusion is a registered trademark of GenArts. Cinema 4D is a registered trademark of MAXON Computer Inc. Vue Infinite/xStream is a registered trademark of e-on software. Photoshop, Fireworks and Dreamweaver are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. All music album cover artwork is copyrighted by that artist/group and/or their respective record label(s). "The Quasareclipse" background image contains a portion of the photograph "NASA Astronomy Yuris Planet," courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. All other works featured within the RDWonline domain are produced by Ronald D. Willis and copyrighted by Arducane Development unless otherwise stated. ©2002-2014 Arducane Development. All rights reserved.