China, an Inner Realm is a site that explores three areas of China: Land, Culture, and Language. These three areas are what set China apart from the rest of the world. The Beauty of China's vast and diverse Land gives it awe-inspiring mountains, lush forests, dry deserts, fascinating waterfalls, and historical landmarks. The Destiny of China's long-living Culture creates magnificent tradition and boasting continuation.
The Eternity of the Chinese Language displays a communication that lives forever, that spurs curiosity throughout the world. Beauty, Destiny, Eternity, Land, Culture, Language - this is what makes China unique and special, a world within, an Inner Realm.
China, an Inner Realm is a project by Adric Hartin, Ginny Min, and Giles Peng, three students who devoted a majority of their time to give the rest of the world a glimpse at a fascinating country. One might ask, how did such a project come about between three teens at three different ages living in three different parts of North America?
It all began early in 1998 when the three decided they wanted to participate in Advanced Network & Services, Inc.'s ThinkQuest® contest, an annual competition that challenges students to use the internet as a collaborative and interactive teaching and learning tool. Each spent a short period searching for partners and ended up becoming a team together. Thus was the formation of
Thinkquest Team 20443. After batting around ideas for the theme of the project and pondering over topics such as the Mechanics of Physics or an HTML Tutorial, the at-first "somewhat interesting" suggestion of having China as the project theme became reality as the three finally agreed on a topic.
The next big challenge was thinking of a perfect title heading for the project. Before conquering this, however, the team had to figure out exactly what the content of the page would be in order to make the title effective. They agreed that covering everything about a whole country, especially one as big as China, was definitely out of the question. Even covering just the history of the country was made an unconsiderable option. One could guess that a relief came about when it was decided that the Land, Culture, and Language of China would be the big topics. Not really, as the team had to go back to their original problem: a title heading.
At first, none of the team members had a real preference, and each figured that coming up with a title heading wouldn't be too difficult. Yet anyone would know how difficult it can be to get three different people to agree on one single thing. How about "An exploration of China"? No, too generic. Or "China: The Land of Hidden Secrets"? No, not relevant enough. What about "China: the Land of Beauty and the Heart of Creation"? Too long? "China: a Dream, a Place, a Reality"? It wasn't as easy as they first thought.
Finally the idea of "China, a World Within" came about, and three teammates agreed that this was a good representation of China. This eventually led to the synonym "China, an Inner Realm." The three subtitles of "Beauty", "Destiny", and "Eternity" were determined a little later.
Due to being busy with school and other activities, "real" work on the project did not begin until the late Spring and early Summer. It was hard for the team to figure out exactly who would do what in terms of research, creation, and design. They soon decided that it would be a mix and a combination - everyone would do a bit everything. Output was slow in the beginning as the team, up to this point, had only communicated via email. In July, however, the team for the first time as a whole in channel
#tqchinaon IRC (Internet Relay Chat).
Afterwards, the work pace quickened and meetings began to occur more frequently. With the entry deadline being August 31st, the team had no choice but to get a move on it. All three worked diligently, gathering loads of research from books and the internet, scanning pictures, organizing information and files, enduring long amounts of time in trying to get CGI scripts to work, writing out introductions and all the information, creating and designing graphics and HTML to make the page look "just right", and recording audio files.
At times things didn't look so well as the members became frustrated and even overworked. But with the help of each other, parents, and coaches, the team was able to realize that they should enjoy working on the page, not stress themselves out. After all, getting it done wasn't the real priority - if it was finished, great; if it wasn't, at least they were able to share a unique experience and celebrate three unique and wonderful aspects of the great China, if not with the rest of the world, amongst themselves and together. And there's always another chance! So the team continued to work, this time in a different light and with greater optimism.
HTML files were mostly done by hand in HomeSite 3.0, Arachnophilia, and Notepad via Windows 95 and in Pico via Unix.
Audio files were recorded using Real Encoder.
Graphics and pictures were all created and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop 4.0, with some help from Paint Shop Pro 4.2 with image browsing and LView Pro with screen capturing.
© 1998 Thinkquest Team 20443
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