December 5, 1998
Dozens of new sites have been added to the Loop, and the graphical index has been updated and should be current. If your site is not listed in the graphical index, or it has the wrong image, please let me know and I'll fix it. Quickly.
         Yesterday the server was offline twice for about fifteen minutes each time as hardware in the server was upgraded. Prior to that, the servers had been running without a reboot for two and a half months.
         Looking at my last note, four months ago, it seems I'm a bit late with the member logins page. :) This code got put on hold as things got a lot more complicated at Rock River Internet. Hopefully soon I will be able to complete that code.

August 10, 1998
First, I'd like to thank the sysadmins at Digital for identifying the source of the stats-hammering problem. They didn't have to do that, but they did.
         Next, the server was offline for part of yesterday and today. Even sysadmins occasionally make mistakes. The Loop script is back up and running, and as long as I was tinkering with scripts, I altered the "next 5" pages so that there is an extra link at the bottom to show the next five sites after that. A minor change, but there are more coming; I'm currently testing out Loop member logins (at last) and hope to have them available by the week's end.

July 31, 1998
The stats script is back online, for now. The initial page (the one you see when you first get the stats) is generated once each hour. This has the effect of making it pop up much faster. If you click any of the links to change the sort order or site/command filtering, you'll get a freshly generated page. That will take a little longer, but it's still faster than it was before. I think I'm going to have to abandon Perl if I want to make the stats script faster still. And that will have to wait a while.
         I've not heard back from the folks at Digital yet, but they may not have anything to tell me. I just hope the problem doesn't repeat itself.

July 28, 1998
The stats script has been taken offline due to someone (or some software) on a DEC server causing problems by attempting to "index" all its links. This put a severe load on the server here, causing other visitors to the site to get very slow repsonse. Fortunately I was aware of the problem within ten minutes and was able to disable the script.
         I'll restore the stats page when I've had a chance to optimize the script so it runs much faster.

May 22, 1998
The server was offline for a few hours today while a redundant net connection was installed. This is the permanent solution to the problems listed under April 17.

May 15, 1998
The Infinite Fractal Loop was briefly mentioned in a short piece on fractals that appeared in Science. (Specifically, the April 24th issue, page 491.) While not an enormous highlight, traffic has been up sharply for the past two weeks. Congratulations to all IFL members, who make the Loop worth visiting!

April 17, 1998
Due to some problems with our net connection (Ameritech mangled a line somewhere, or something) the server, and thus the entire Loop navigation script, was down for most of Thursday. Sorry about that!
         There have also been repeated problems with the sign-up script, handing out bad site IDs or reporting that information was missing from the form when it wasn't. These should, finally, be fixed.
         As you've no doubt noticed :) the Infinite Fractal Loop has yet another new look to its home pages. Hopefully this new look is a lot cleaner and less visually distracting. As always, I invite you to tell me what you think. Most especially, tell me if you find a flaw in any of the pages (either because of the new design, or just a typo or misinformation). While I was tweaking pages I refined the statistics page, and wrote a better explanation of what it all means.
         Congratulations are in order as well, for several artists on the Loop had their imagery used in "Among the Stars", a series of ballets with celestial themes. The ballets featured imagery by Julian Adamaitis, Don Archer, Mark "Bud" Christenson, Dan Finton, Sylvie Gallet, Terry W. Gintz, Alice Kelley, Garr Lystad, Bill Rossi, Les St. Clair, Janet Preslar, and Sharon Webb. For more information on the ballets, see the Among the Stars home page.

April 6, 1998
A new statistics page has been installed, this one gives a lot more information, and is sortable and filterable. Some of the column headings are not clear, so I will add a page explaining what the statistics mean in a few days.
         I also changed the graphical index script a bit. Now it will start the index at a random site, every time the page is generated. I did this because I noticed that a large number of hits are generated by the graphical index (all of the "go" command hits come from this page) and the page takes so long to load, most people are probably choosing one of the first few sites in the Loop. This isn't very fair to those at the end of the Loop, so by starting the index at a random location, everyone gets a fair crack at things. Think this is a raw deal? Tell me what you think.

March 7, 1998
Analysis of the server logs here for the past six weeks indicates the Infinite Fractal Loop is averaging 1800 hits per week, which works out to be about 30 hits per site per week. Not too bad! Today I altered the loop script so that such traffic data is easier to access; this will pave the way for full Loop traffic statistics soon.
         While I was tinkering with scripts, I wrote a new script to generate the graphical index. This means no more missing images, and I can update the index more easily. If your site is part of the Loop, but isn't showing up in the graphical index, it's probably because you haven't told me which picture to use as a thumbnail. So, tell me.

February 4, 1998
The entire queue of waiting sites has been processed. Some sites seem to have disappeared, but most sites have been sent acceptance notices, and a few have already responded and are now part of the Loop.
         While testing a new script for handling submissions, I accidentally replaced the existing page, and some visitors submitted information that was never delivered. If you tried to join the Loop today, February 4, and your site isn't listed in the queue, then you will need to re-submit your site's information. Sorry for the inconvenience.

January 13, 1998
The text-only index works now. So does the Next 5 button. Also, the bug with the Random site occasionally giving a bad URL should be fixed now (I messed up while transcribing the database from WebRing).
         There is a new, low-impact banner on the Loop HTML Code page. And I rearranged the graphical index page to work better with some browsers and small displays.

January 12, 1998
OK, OK. I know it seems like nothing's been happening for a while. Well, things have been happening, they're just behind the scenes where you can't see them.
         First, several changes have been made to the appearance of the IFL home pages here; a few more color schemes for variety, a work-around for an IE4 font bug, and now thumbnails for every site in the Loop. Spiffy. (At least, it will be spiffy when everybody does send me thumbnails—right now there are a few sites which I don't have thumbnails for. If this means you, why don't you pick out a picture you think represents your site well, and I'll thumbnail it for you?)
         You'll notice that the IFL home pages have moved. I've moved from sunny Florida to Illinois, and in the process had to move the pages from my old ISP in Florida. Since I'd just registered the domain for my own gallery, it seemed like a good idea to move the IFL home pages there. As long as I run the IFL, these pages won't have to move again!
         The most important news, though, is that WebRing (which provided the script that makes linking between Loop sites work) has been sold and its new owners have indicated they will be stepping up the advertising content. Until now, ad content has been voluntary, and only on a few pages completely generated by WebRing's server—most sites in a web ring weren't affected. The new plan changes all that. Since several IFL members indicated they would need to drop out if ads were mandatory (due to restrictions from their universities), and since WebRing doesn't really send many hits into the IFL anyway, I have written a replacement script to do just about everything WebRing's script does.
         This means that the IFL no longer relies on WebRing for anything. If you have any problem related to the IFL, there's no longer anyone else to pass the buck to. :) So just send all the problems you have directly to me.
         There are still a few links which do not work. The "Next 5" button may not function, statistics are currently unavailable, and editing your site's information (Member Login) has not been implemented yet. If you need to edit information for your site, please just e-mail me with the necessary information.

September 23, 1997
Well, the new home pages are finally finished. Yes, I know it's taken me a while, but at least they were 80% there right away, and only the supplemental information was missing. If you should find an incomplete page or a broken link, now is a good time to tell me about it. You can even critique the style of the site, if you want. I won't mind.
         I finally realized that I had not finished customizing all the forms, pages, and mail messages generated by WebRing. For those of you confused by the information given you by WebRing, I humbly apologize. The problem has been fixed.
         New pages have been signing up more frequently. I've checked all the sites in the queue again today, so within a few days there should be several new sites for your browsing pleasure.
         Recently, two IFL members had their work shown in an exhibition is Rio de Janeiro, entitled A Fronteira entre Arte e Ciência (the Frontier between Art and Science). Reportedly the exhibition was a success, the most popular exhibit at the RioCentro. Congratulations are in order for Sharon Webb, Doug Owen, Eliana Guedes, Javier Barrallo, Linda Allison, Noel Giffin, and Paulo Gergel. (My own artwork was also featured, but hey, we know that's not important. :) )

Got news?
If you've got some fractal news you think should be posted here (like maybe your site got an award?) then please tell me.

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Copyright © 1997-99 Damien M. Jones