AAW FAQ Site Info
Frequently Asked Questions (and of course answers) about Akemi's Anime World itself for the rhetorically curious.
These questions are, in fact, frequently asked (honestly, we're not just coming up with questions that we wish people would ask). If you have a question that isn't answered here, though, feel free to ask, and we'll try to reply. And, you know, if you and five friends all ask the same thing, we'll probably add it here.
Q: Are you Akemi?
A: No. Not exactly, anyway. Most of the writing at this site (unless credited otherwise), and all of the day-to-day management, is done by Marc Marshall (aka "Makosuke"), her husband. The name was her idea, and she designed our logo; she's responsible for executive oversight, translation, background research, and checking any Japanese cultural notes for accuracy, since she's native Japanese.
Q: I want to link to your site. Is that OK?
A: Of course, and there's no need to ask permission. This is the web--the whole point is that everything is connected. Direct-linking images is the exception--please don't do that (and trying to embed them on another site won't work anyway).
Q: Do you want to exchange links?
A: Sorry, but we'll pass. If we put up links for every exchange offer we got, the site would be a wall of linked text. The same goes for banners; we're open to tasteful advertising (see below), but that's it.
Q: Can I advertise with you?
A: Absolutely. You can go through Project Wonderful once we've got our account up and running there, or contact us directly if you have something bigger or more targeted in mind.
Q: Can I copy reviews (or other writing) from your site and put them on mine?
A: No. As is the case with most websites, linking is great, but we don't generally allow other sites to copy material directly from AAW for publication elsewhere. Just link to the page you're interested in and let people read the information at the original source. Small quotes for the purpose of discussion are, of course, acceptable under fair-use.
Q: Can you send me pictures/music/whatever from [insert series here]?
A: No. We don't have the time or the desire. Google it yourself--you'll almost certainly find as much as you want.
Q: Who is your webhost?
A: DreamHost. They've got reasonable prices, a whole pile of features, buy carbon offsets to make an effort at being green, and best of all, they're nice people. At least for the needs of AAW, I think they're one of the best in the business.
Q: I want to start my own site. Can you recommend a good webhost?
A: See above. And despite the fact that we get referral credit if you sign up through a link here, I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't think they were that good (think about it--we're using them, which is a pretty good vote of confidence). There are many other good ones, too, some cheaper, some with more features; A Small Orange is the only one I'm familiar with that I've heard good things about. If you do decide to go with DreamHost, you can use the promo code "AAW50OFF" when you sign up to get $50 off your hosting plan.
Q: When are you going to review [insert series here]?
A: Someday. Maybe. Or not. Since we don't do this as a job, our reviewers have a limited amount of time to spend writing reviews. We'd love to review everything, but that's not possible, so we stick to what we've been watching recently, be it new, old, popular, or obscure. In fact, we tend to skip really popular series, since they're already covered almost everywhere. You can always tell us you're interested in writing your own review, of course.
Q: When are you going to update the Japanese lessons?
A: We're working on it, honestly, but it's going to be a while yet--there's a bunch of other stuff in the pipeline first, and we want to do it right when the time comes.
Q: Can I help?
A: Maybe. We certainly can't pay you, and we can't even offer much credit, but if you'd like to help out we are always looking for people willing to volunteer a bit of time. If you want to write reviews, start by writing us a note to let us know you're interested and give a sample of your writing. Might take a bit, but we'll get back to you. If you have other talents that you'd like to volunteer (or no useful talents, but some free time you want to offer) contact us, and we'll see if we can do something to reduce your boredom.
Q: I want to merge my site with yours. How 'bout it?
A: No. If you want to volunteer some time to AAW, let us know, and if you're desperately seeking to donate a site you're no longer caring for or can't afford to host, we'll see what we can do. Otherwise, AAW is AAW, and will remain such--we don't have any particular interest in combining with another site, since we like this one the way it is.
Q: What tools do you use to make this site?
A: All the writing on the site, as well as all (X)HTML, CSS, and scripting is done in BareBones' TextWrangler (before that existed we used BBEdit Lite; both are fantastic text editors). Spellchecking is done with the built-in MacOS spellchecker, and uploads are done with Nolobe's Interarchy. Screen captures are currently done with VLC or MPlayer OSX Extended, and post-processed with Adobe Photoshop CS3; batch compression is done with Lemkesoft's GraphicConverter. It all lives in a little, carefully backed-up folder on my hard drive, and gets uploaded to a DreamHost webserver in Southern California when something changes.
The site was originally made from hand-pasted-and-linked templates. Now, all static pages are generated using the Perl module Webmake from text files and (X)HTML templates hand-coded in TextWrangler. Everything should be standards compliant (valid HTML 5 (formerly XHTML 1.0 Strict or Transitional, depending on the page), with the possible exception of the occasional adbox, which we don't have any control over. All styles are supplied through CSS (including some CSS3 stuff, which you'll see if your browser supports it). Data on the static pages is occasionally supplemented a bit through SSI includes. Dynamic pages are generated using an assortment of open-source freeware or custom-built scripts (mostly PHP, some Perl), with a MySQL database backend.
Page testing is done on pretty much every available browser either running directly (cross-platform browsers), or (for IE) via a Virtual Machine running under Parallels Desktop or VMWare Fusion. Our 2010 redesign should look the best in Safari 4.0+, Firefox 3.5+, and Chrome (plus any other good modern browser), and will look pretty good in IE8. Earlier versions of Firefox or Safari won't look quite as nice, and IE6 and 7 get a custom, somewhat less spiffy stylesheet. IE versions older than 6, Netscape 4 and earlier, and most other ancient browsers should get a perfectly usable unstyled page.
The computer in question, if you're the curious geek type, is currently a 17" MacBook Pro (2.16GHz Core Duo, 1st gen with some upgrades), a 27" i7 iMac, and a 2009 mini used as a server, all running the latest MacOS (10.6.2 as of this writing). In the past the workstation was a PowerMac 6500 running MacOS 8 or 9 up until 2001, at which point everything moved to a dual G4 533 running MacOS X, then on to a dual G5 2.0GHz (rev. A) with 2.5GB RAM.
Q: How do you do the graphics?
A: All original art is hand-drawn with pencil and paper. It is then inked and scanned or photographed. Finally, the line art is cleaned, colored, edited, and composited in Photoshop CS3. All graphics work is (currently) done on one of the computers listed above, or the artist's computer (20" iMac G5 1.8GHz with Adobe's CS1 suite as of this writing).