Pokemon Fan Universe was started by Shining Arcanine on November 13, 1999. It started out as a response to all of the little pokemon sites that had little to no content but evolved into a much larger site that exceeded even Shining Arcanine's expectations. Unlike other sites, its development was primarily done by a single developer, Shining Arcanine.
= Beginnings =
During its life it went through a number of host changes and one complete rewrite. Its first host was homestead.com, there Shining Arcanine used a WYSIWYG editor to design and create pages rather inefficently. It had little content and didn't gain much popularity. It was also poorly written and after 2001, couldn't be published anywhere but on homestead due to the greed of Homestead's executives. After much work and a 1.5 year period of no activity due to sheer exhaustion, Shining Arcanine eventually met individuals such as Meowth346 and Pojo staff members who gave him advice. One particular Pojo staff member wrote a Digimon site, showing him what hard work can do over a summer while Meowth346 showed him something he had never before known, writing webpages with standard HTML and CSS, the way websites are supposed to be written. Inspired by them, in September 2002, he set out to leave homestead and start
Pokemon Fan Universe from scratch, written from the ground up by hand with proper HTML/CSS. This change set the groundwork for Pokemon Fan Universe's presentational code, code that is still used on Pokemon Fan Universe, even to today.
In October 2002, Shining Arcanine published his rewritten site on a webhost called AlwaysWebHosting. It flourished there while Meowth346 introduced Shining Arcanine to a server side scripting language known as PHP. Eager to make use of a potentially time saving code called PHP. He used it in a rather crude design (that still exists to this day in some parts of
Pokemon Fan Universe) that merely included sidebars so that it would be possible for him to add new sections to Pokemon Fan Universe without editing every page like he did on homestead. Today, Pokemon Fan Universe has a world class PHP Pokedex that ranks among the finest in the world. In October 2002, Shining Arcanine was still writing his pokedex by hand in HTML. Although certain elements laid the framework for a small portion of Pokemon Fan Universe's future pokedex's presentational design, it was extremely unimpressive.
However, this soon changed. With a good heart that is always willing to help, Meowth346 suggested that the
pokedex be written in PHP. He tried to write a PHP pokedex but at first he didn't grasp the main concepts of the language. So he continued writing his pokedex by hand in html. Then after a few more conversations with Meowth346, he asked for help. That was the major turning point in Pokemon Fan Universe's history. Through AIM, Meowth346 helped him write his first script, a pokedex. At first it was also rather unimpressive but lacking as it was, it did have an entry for all 251 pokemon (as was then the number of known pokemon in the world). And over time, Meowth346 helped him with content (moves and a few minor lists, which were greatly appreciated) and in doing so taught him the concept of his pokedex's then current storage system (which was rather inefficent). After a few months of help a pokedex started to take shape and Shining Arcanine could write content for it on his own. Then on March 16, 2003, the pokedex went live and for the first first time in its history, Pokemon Fan Universe had unique visitors by the hundred.
Then about 8-11 months after arriving at Always Web Hosting rising with rising bandwidth costs, Shining Arcanine decided it was time for
Pokemon Fan Universe to leave AlwaysWebHosting and go elsewhere. Pokemon Fan Universe's next host was The Forum Host, which sponsored Pokemon Fan Universe giving by it free webhosting in exchange for a text advertisement at the top of every page on Pokemon Fan Universe. Unfortunately months later, it went under and was taken over by another webhost, whose number is currently unknown but is believed to have also went under. Pokemon Fan Universe didn't stay until that happened through. After learning about 1&1 Webhosting, a webhost that was giving away free 3 year professional packages, Shining switched so that Pokemon Fan Universe could once again be ad-free in December 2003. Unfortunately 1&1's servers were insufficent to serve Pokemon Fan Universe's visitors so in January 2004 Pokemon fan Universe switched to a webhost that was created for the sole purpose of giving away cheap webhosting. It later evolved into A Small Orange Software, a commercial business but fortunately this provided Pokemon fan Universe with a reliable and inexpensive webhosting and fortunately was its last host move.
In the time that followed,
Pokemon Fan Universe was under constant development and recorded days of 2000+ unique visitors. The rest is history.
Pokemon Fan Universe's pokedex was orignally designed with extensive help from Meowth346. However, as time passed, less help was needed and its development became self-sufficent. This pokedex became known as 1.x. By mid-2003, Pokemasters was developing a new pokedex and in response Pokemon Fan Universe's webmaster began drafting plans for a new pokedex, written from the ground up and with no equal. It took a year before the webmaster had the expertise to design such a pokedex, but in late July 2004 development started slowly but surely. After a few weeks, the code amounted to over 400 lines (in comparison, the current version online is written with 500-600 lines; excluding template data). Unfortunately, the need for the webmaster to study slowed development rather significantly. It progressed slowly but surely. In early december a release date was set for a public preview - Christmas. Development lagged and missed Christmas but within the few days after enough presentation code and data was ready.
Minutes after New Year's day, Shining Arcanine released a public preview of the new
pokedex as a New Year's present to the world with a promise to finish it by early Feburary 2005. It's design was considered by Shining Arcanine to be revolunary, as it combined the ability to update its content without rewrites, advanced search capabilities and ease of use into one script. Something the old 1.x pokedex never could hope to do. An unexpected death in Shining Arcanine's family prevented him from making that deadline and almost was the end of Pokemon Fan Universe. Right now development is expected to pick up and finish during the Summer of 2005. Shining Arcanine hopes to make the release of the final version as revoluntionary as the Preview. Given the amount of functionality currently unexposed in the templates, this is possible depending upon one's definition of revoluntionary.