Universal guide to Qbasic Internet Sites

All QBasic internet sites, when viewed from a certain prospective, are about the same. Although some are more elaborate, some a bit faster, and some use so many animated GIFs that you run out of available RAM, a universal guide to navagating qbasic sites applies to all sites.

Quality & selection of programs, speed of site, and overall quality of the site:
If the site has its own domain, it is probably an expericened programmer who has seen many programs and can make valid, trustable judgements. However if the address is members.providername.com/username/qbasicsite, one of two things is true.

(1) The webmaster is a newbie programmer who is lucky enough to know how to use hyper text and thinks a flikering, but thinks an animated, single line is a sign of pure excellence and superior programming skills. He/She incorporates a "Must Download" or "Must See" sign around such programs. (Be cautious when programs entitled "PSETEXAMP.ZIP" are labled a "MUST DOWNLOAD!")

(2) The webmaster is a highly advanced and experienced programmer who knows a good program when he sees one. The webmaster's programs are most likely of the finest quality and incorporate as many memory and speed saving tricks as known to mankind.

-Sadly, it is often difficult to quickly recognize which of these may be true. Rest assured in the knowledge that this particular site is of the latter and created for the lover of fine things and a man of good taste.
-Of course any webmaster who uses a website provided by his internet service will experience speeds only slightly faster than a sex-crazed snail.


Overall structure of website
All qb websites have 5 main catagories: (1) Main (2) Files (3) Links (4) Projects (5) News

This is the initial or "home" page where the surfer is taken to begin browsing the site. Generally the webmaster's latest achiement or program discovery is listed in letters so large they extend beyond the capabilities of your monitor. Frames are generally used for navigation since only a browser ancient enough to have been blessed by Crist himself would not be equiped with such a feature.

The files secition contains, you guessed it, qb programs and nessecary files, usually zipped. SWSoft would like to recognize a moment of silence for PKWARE.......thank you. If it were not for PKWARE or some other form of compression, all those BLOAD files no one seems to understand how to combine into one file would become lost and hopeless in cyberspace. They would also take incredibly large amounts of time to download. Hopefully, the files are orgranized into GAMES (containing 85% of the files), GRAPHICS (containing 12%), UTILITIES (containing 1%), MISCELLANEOUS (1%), and SOUND (0-1 file). Usually the files are alphabetical, however, unless the distance of letters in the filename from the letter 'A' is inversly proportional to the rating of the program, this is not at all useful or practical. A better way to organize the programs is in order of rating

Links are the savior of the website for the surfer. In desperation, the programmer may always rest assured that if he doesn't find what he's looking for at that website, at least he has 50 links to other qb sites to search through as well. Of course, as luck would have it, the ratio of the description of all the sites with broken links to the descriptions that match exactly what you're looking for is 1:1. But, not to worry, simply go to one of the two sites that works, immediately go to their link section, and repeat process.

The projects page is the main focus of the webmaster and the page of second to least interest to everyone else. This is where the webmaster has a chance to show off his skills as a programmer and give elaborate, exicting sounding, and boastful descriptions of the 10 "Best Ever" QB games he has "in progress". Each one comes complete with a download which either fails altogether, locks up your computer, or does something, but you're not quite sure what it's supposed to be, and there are several numbers changing in the upper left hand corner of the screen which the programmer used to make sure the program was doing something. However, this is absolutly meaningless to anyone who tries to decipher it and is better off waiting until the final release. (Which will probably be estimated as "3 months" although everyone knows that after two, the webmaster will move on to number 8 of his 10 "Best Ever" QB games.)

This is the section that no one could care less about. Generally, the latest news is "MM-DD-YYYY: added 2 files to files section". Also used as an extention of the projects page: "worked two more hours on John the killer tomato! (final release in just two months now -- download demo here!)"

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Copyright 1999 by Timothy D. Mowrer for Secret Weapon Software.