At this point, The Morpheus Company Online Portfolio has been through three distinct incarnations.
While not a strict taxonomy, one could break down the generations something like this:
the big frigging head years
Like all children, The online portfolio started life with a head far too large for its body. The entire site was designed around an enormous client-side image map of a sleeping head, who's brain was visually sectioned into links to the various attractions on the site.
It seemed like a very good idea at the time.
The big frigging head was more or less continually revised, redrawn and remapped for several years in a feeble attempt to improve upon what was ultimately determined to be an utterly ridiculous idea.
Thankfully, a decision to update the whole of The Morpheus Company's visual image retired the big frigging head from the public eye for good around 1998.
It was replaced by a large M.
the m sygil
In contrast, the M Sygil era was actually comprised of some very good ideas. Over this generation's lifespan, The Morpheus Company Online Portfolio won awards, received acclaim for good design and generally made everyone happy.
The whole look centered around our new logo. The only thing kept from the old site was the color purple, adjusted to compensate for the lack of big frigging head reflection.
Well, that's not entirely true. This descendant also inherited the genes for bad html, confusing "mystery meat" navigation and a lack of focus that bordered on meandering.
Still, it was a gorgeous design, and the site thrived and grew for a number of years. Like kudzu.
Before we knew it, the site had gotten completely out of control.
Our once modest site had bloated into a hand-coded nightmare of hundreds of pages of poorly designed code. It was impossible to manage, difficult to update, confusing to navigate and generally too scary to consider fixing.
Drastic measures were taken. Words like "MacNamara" and "Napalm" were used in the design sessions.
welcome to m2
What now stands on the rubble of the past two generations is M2, named for the fact that its release coincided with a minor redesign of our "M" logo.
M2 is a leaner, meaner design. Of course it's not just a pretty new face, it's got some brains too.
Like its ancestors, it's designed for the audience of its era. Prehistoric web surfers wanted to explore a website like it was an exciting new land, because frankly at the time it was. The Morpheus Company got here early, and set up shop when it was a new idea to do so. We remember when yahoo had a url as long as your arm, and viruses chased you home from usenet every day (both ways, up hill).
The new generation of netizen already lives here, and isn't impressed so easily. Modern net-people will only respect us for the content, and we're going to do our best to provide it in a framework that doesn't make you wince when you interact with it. (Or make us wince when we update it.)
Some of the completely free software tools used to develop this website include:
The Morpheus Company runs on coffee, passion and open source software. We "defenestrated" the last of our proprietary operating systems and software around the end of 2004, finishing a slow orderly migration to the linux platform by way of a fast chaotic hard drive failure. One for-pay operating system said the drive in question was fine, but the free-as-in-speech operating system had a dissenting opinion. It said, "Get your data off...now."
Tux, the little linux penguin that could, did, and saved ten years of design files that day.
Long story short, we chose the penguin and gave the other option the bird. We've never looked back, have never been found wanting and chuckle every time we read a security advisory.
If you're interested in our experiences with linux and free software, feel free to contact us. We're always willing to speak geek, especially to other artists.
06 / 05 / 2009