22 January 2016
The idea for Josh's Exposition came at the start of 2002 and work began on 22 January. Content for the site was scanned gradually throughout the year and it was formally launched on 11 February 2003. The Exposition didn't enjoy a long life as an active website, being supplanted by A Pic A Day on 25 July 2004, which, while initially a separate project, eventually became the active art gallery site. Josh's Exposition went offline when the joshgulch.com server was wiped in September 2009. Where the rest of the joshgulch.com sites were restored almost immediately, Josh's Exposition went on the backburner pending a much-needed redesign, rather than returning an unsatisfactory site to the web. The single biggest criteria of the new design would be rescanned artwork, presented larger and standardized, and with rules erased where drawn on notebook paper. That criteria, to do better than the original scanned-and-uploaded images, presented a considerable workload.
The first move toward redesigning the site kicked off as soon as joshgulch.com was reinstated, in October 2009. Revision 2009 would have kept the same basic color scheme and site layout, only really tweaking the artwork pages slightly to allow for larger images. A handful of pages were reworked and 18 drawings rescanned before work was abandoned. While the interest in finishing off the site existed, the motivation to put the labor into it took another six years to foment.
September 2015 saw a new drive to rebuild the Exposition. Evolving from ideas introduced in the abandoned Revision 2009, Revision 2016 aims to give the website greater breadth. A more structured directory and interface will allow room for expansion and the later inclusion of more sections, including articles if the need for them arises in the future. Art pages, rather than displaying scanned artwork at sizes that necessitate considerable scrolling to get to information and/or navigation buttons (a problem exacerbated by pieces with multiple images), will now display each piece as a reasonably-sized thumbnail through which a much higher resolution image can be accessed. Revision 2016 will be carried out in three phases, described below, with the goal to have a new site complete (per Phase I) and ready to be uploaded on 11 February 2016, the thirteenth anniversary of the Exposition's public release in 2003.
The work on Revision 2016 will be carried out in three phases. The first, Phase I, will be the largest, intended to get the site back online after a six-and-a-half year hiatus. Phase I will return all artwork available when the site went offline in September 2009 and will not yet include any newly added material. All artwork will be standardized in size, with high-resolution copies linked, and processed to the best quality attainable. Phase I will also debut a new look for the site, but this will only be on the surface, with the older, obsolete coding remaining underneath. With all of the work required to complete the images -- the de facto purpose of the site -- updating the coding will wait until after the 11 February relaunch.
A new site, under the hood, will be built during Phase II. This will follow after the relaunch, though no time frame is yet decided. Phase II will make the site more responsive for viewing on tablets and phones and will convert all pages to CSS in order to make maintenance easier. The site design introduced in Phase I is essentially a model to follow. Phase II will adapt that design into something more functional and easier to update.
The redesign will end in Phase III, which will follow Phase II's completion and may be rolled into the same release. This final stage will revive the site into an active archive status; that is, not receiving newly-created (i.e., present) materials but able to receive newly-processed (i.e., pre-July 2004) materials that had not previously been included in the site prior to the September 2009 wipe. During this phase it will be decided whether to keep the name "Josh's Exposition" or to rename the site.
Revision 2015 offers a three tier approach to relaunching Josh's Exposition, breaking each heavy workload into approachable phases. In addition, this redesign of the Exposition will be the first in a series of redesigns and upgrades for the other gallery websites hosted by joshgulch.com. Once Phase I of the Josh's Exposition upgrade is complete, an identical three-phase approach will be applied to A Pic A Day, with a similar upgrade to Poor, Poor Jeff to follow at a later date. This work is in line with the Era 3 revisions of joshgulch.com websites that began with the HomePage v.5 redesign in April 2012.