Yiannis Colakides Part I
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Most moderators are humble, helpful TXP forum people who selflessly give their time to others and, imho, get very little recognition for doing a great job. So let's give colak some attention...
TXPQ Are you male or female?
YC I'm male, Yiannis is translated to John in English, Johannes in German, Jean in French etc...
TXPQ What is life all about?
YC Avoiding death.
I like work and I seem to be averaging a 15 hours/day 7/7 TXPQ How would you describe your general state of being?
YC Like most people I fluctuate. I would generally describe my self as busy. I like work and I seem to be averaging a 15 hours/day 7/7. I use the Textpattern forum for short breaks.
TXPQ Are you more artistic/intuitive or logical/analytical?
YC I would like to think of myself as being both. My training as an architect taught me that the one cannot exist without the other.
TXPQ Is the world just or just unjust?
YC Justice is a human construct. People AND the planet is dying because of constructs like that.
TXPQ What long-term aims or objectives have you?
YC I stopped dreaming about the future and I am now constructing it.
TXPQ Would you like to say anything about where you live, your possessions, your hobbies, your lifestyle, your choices etc?
YC I live with my life partner Helene Black, in an old, by Cypriot standards, small but newly renovated adobe house in the historical centre of Limassol in Cyprus. Neither me nor my partner like having a lot of possessions but we both like reading books (mostly on architecture, art and critical theory) so our bookcases take a lot of the wall space in the house. We have no hobbies and we try to live as simply and sparsely as possible.
TXPQ Would you like to say anything about your body, eg colour of hair, natural or dyed, colour of eyes, colour of teeth?
YC My remaining 32 teeth seem to be still capable of chewing.
Web Site Related Questions
TXPQ When did you create your first web site? Tell us about it. Was it successful or were your dreams shattered?
YC I 'designed' my first website for Helene Black about 10 years ago. It was hosted in Geocities and it was an absolute disaster in design and usability terms although her work did attract some attention from museums outside Cyprus. By the time I moved her site in its own domain and a 'proper' host I started learning Flash and her site remained as such until I discovered Textpattern. I never had any dreams regarding the .com boom. I saw far too many sites which I respected, disappearing or fading out in a matter of just a few short years. TXP Mag is one of them.
TXPQ How many sites have you created since then? Tell us about them.
YC I am by no means a site designer. Site design is a discipline which requires far more knowledge regarding the subject than I have. The only sites I have designed are those of neme.org, neme-imca.org, hblack.net and my office's which is a very old non-txp non-updated site. I find it very difficult to design anything which promotes myself although I know that I will need to sit down and do it at some point.
TXPQ Why do you use Textpattern?
[TXP] not only provided the flexibility I was looking for but also helped in the utilitarian day to day maintenance of the content YC Since my first attempts to design websites I always felt that it was extremely tedious to keep the sites updated. This resulted in my using frames and later Flash. I first discovered TxP in its rc1 pre-release stage and after experimenting with it online I found that it not only provided the flexibility I was looking for but also helped in the utilitarian day to day maintenance of the content. Beyond the software, the Textpattern forum was the one reason which I think helped me stick to the CMS. The people there are very friendly, quick in their responses and, as a whole, constitute a very mature, knowledgeable, intelligent community.
TXPQ Do you collaborate with other designers with regards to NeMe?
YC As much as I would like to, no I do not. Thanks to the Textpattern forum though, I get all the support I need. NeMe is open to suggestions and services or other sponsorship regarding our activities which include the design and the content of our sites.
TXPQ Would you like to describe the way you work, how you build a web site etc?
Design is what you do when you don't [yet] know what you are doing YC George Stiny, Professor of Architecture at MIT, once said that "Design is what you do when you don't [yet] know what you are doing." My method is very simple. I start by thinking of the individual pages and their content. Then I move on to the decisions regarding what groups of links and other information those pages should contain and where they should appear. Content comes (and features) first.
TXPQ Anything else you'd like to say about the web, sites, design, issues etc?
YC Everybody has an opinion regarding web design but few have the aesthetic and technical knowledge to put them together. As my technical knowledge is limited my approach is to avoid 'design' and focus - as far as the code goes - in producing valid html and css as well as producing pages which comply to the 508 criteria. Beyond that I try to optimise the pages for Google as it is currently the one search engine on the net which can offer visibility to sites purely based on their content. End of Part I
In Part II, Yiannis talks about art, video and neme.org.
In Part III there's architecture, LABS and moderating.
TXPQ Why not show colak your appreciation by leaving a comment?
Categories: Forum Support, Web Designer
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Interesting stuff and nice to have some background too. As an architect, book fiend (and translator), a generally happy-when-working person and earth-building fan no less, I can relate to quite a lot of what you said, and I haven’t even mentioned txp yet.
I definitely agree that content and its users/usage should be a primary determinator for site concepts and design, rather than technology or style. That’s easy to forget in a technology-oriented CMS forum.
Looking forward to parts II and III…
Keep up the good work, Peter!
Yiannis sounds like an intense guy but that comes with architecture. I am an architect too. Any chance we can see some photos of his buildings here?
You’ll see one in part 3, Ann, in a couple of weeks. You could perhaps contact Yiannis for more. Do you use TXP? If so that’s 3 architects – hmmm, perhaps one of you would like to write an article about the relationship between Architecture and Textpattern…:-)