Testing… testing…

Jun 27, 2008

Posted by: John Admin


It all stared as a pretty cool idea,
and seemed simple enough – ‘Hey lets make an online version of the
Quibbler and we’ll put it in a book form so you can turn the pages!’

That’s like Thomas Edison saying “The
heck with light bulbs – I’m going for fission reactors!”

The fact of the matter is I have never
done anything remotely like a newspaper, and my Flash knowledge is
about enough to get me into serious trouble. That should have been a
warning. But as the saying goes in my neck of the woods: “A
farmer makes a plan.” Second warning right there: I’m a
software developer. I don’t even know where to plug in a cow.

Luckily I was not crazy enough to go it
alone and practically the first thing I did was yell “HELP!!”
and lo and behold the greatest bunch of geniuses appeared out of the
woodwork. This is the great thing about Leaky Staffers, dear reader,
they’re volunteers. When you say I need help, volunteers… well
they volunteer. Now the editing is done by a genuine editor who gets
paid to edit stuff as a day job – which is a good thing as you will
notice by reading this unedited rambling called a blog.

*Memo to me: Get someone to edit
this for me*

There are people coming up with funny
articles and pelting me with E-mails asking things like: “So in
the Quibbler’s version of the magical world do the books exist?”
And I get to play in Jo’s sandbox and say “Hmmm yes. Its a
authorized biography released to the Muggle world because of the
Freedom of Information Act but sold as a work of fiction.”

*Memo to Mrs J.K. Rowling: If you
happen to read this I humbly beg for forgiveness for insinuating that
you didn’t come up with the ideas of your books, but I needed to be
able to bridge the gap between the real world and the amazing world
you dreamed up*

But that’s putting the cart before the
horse. Before the marvellous example of the Quibbler that hit your
TV screen last month there was actually an earlier prototype. I used
it to sell the idea to The Powers That Be. It was 4 pages in total,
and I pounded it up on my work PC in the course of two extended lunch
breaks. Needless to say its not fit for public consumption but it
had enough people laughing (Its my spelling I just know it) that we
got the go-ahead.

The Flash object (in case your’e paying
attention and realized I have no clue how to work with flash) is a
freeware pre compiled bit of awesomeness that I got off of the ‘net
as-is. I just had to edit some XML documents and add the content.

So if I am such a lame-brain, why
should you care about how I bungle my way through each edition of the
Quibbler? Well because half the fun is behind the scenes, and also I
can explain how to go about making your own online magazine in plain
English. And you get to learn from my mistakes. Its a win-win
situation for you.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much as
I do.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.