Author Topic: OT, sort-of/New, improved (hopefully!) page on my website  (Read 16126 times)

Offline chriskleeman

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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2006, 11:14:45 PM »
Well, geez, I don't know where to start with all the comments, criticism, etc...

For starters, the person doing the website is doing it as an experiment, building the html from the ground up. He is a programmer with an interest in learning, and I stress, learning... about how to build an appropriate site. He hasn't charged me a dime, or a nickel either, and I have been learning how to edit html in the process, and I actually have a site... So, some of the harsher comments are a bit hard to digest. Not that they aren't appropriate, but the description of "webmaster" for my pal is only as a reference to the person who designed the site... and he is also the bassist on many of those sound-bytes. We all have to learn sometime...  nono.gif

I realize that most of the experts here at TS are much more web-savvy than I might ever be. I am a bit overwhelmed, but things like all the "404" errors are because I haven't loaded the sound-bytes into the directory yet... I was just actually excited about even having those CD graphics on a page with the sound-bytes. Some of the problems here are directly attributable to me. I was really looking for comments about how the idea of the page worked, and I definitly got more than I bargained for.  jawdrop.gif

Perhaps I jumped the gun here, and should have waited until I had time to make the donuts and get all those music links working, but I did put a disclaimer about that in my original post.  eek2.gif

But, I do get that most of you hate frames... and it has been a frustration for me without knowing why, and now I do...  wallbash.gif

As far as the animated .gif of my dog goes, which many of you have mentioned, his name was Sundance, and that .gif is a sentimental tribute to the best roadie I ever had. I never realized that people didn't like stuff like that. I have always gotten a kick out that picture, but then I guess few on the web looking at that would have any idea who he was.  wub.gif

I have been thinking about a downloadable picture page anyway, so maybe he belongs there.

I could keep going with more responses, but I'm done for now.

I thank all of you for your constructive criticism. I never meant this to be such a magnet for the sense of frustration I see in some posts.  rant.gif

Back to the drawing board. This is a rough crowd! wacko.gif

Chris K
« Last Edit: December 20, 2006, 11:24:33 PM by chriskleeman »
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Offline Paddy

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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2006, 11:31:35 PM »
Chris, don't take any of this too personally!!! Some of us do this semi-professionally/professionally, so we may be coming on a bit stronger than you expected. We are more than willing to help though - and I'll be happy to help you solve problems via email etc. if you want. smile.gif (Check your email - I'm sending you a PM)
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Offline chriskleeman

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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2006, 11:40:44 PM »
QUOTE(Paddy @ Dec 21 2006, 12:31 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Chris, don't take any of this too personally!!! Some of us do this semi-professionally/professionally, so we may be coming on a bit stronger than you expected. We are more than willing to help though - and I'll be happy to help you solve problems via email etc. if you want. smile.gif (Check your email - I'm sending you a PM)


Paddy,

Trust me, I measured my words in my prior post very carefully. I am, quite naturally, very frustrated at this point in time. I haven't taken this as personally as some of my comments might indicate, but when someone is trying to do something nice for me and his work gets trashed, it can be difficult to digest.

I am, however, appreciative of the criticism. In the end, my website will be the better for it.

I appreciate the offer to help; I am all ears.

And yeah, I did take the animated .gif criticism personally, he was one of the best dogs there ever was! (gone off to doggie-heaven 1984) salute.gif  notworthy.gif  superman.gif He traveled with me for over 10 years when I was touring; my friends along the way used to joke with me that I could sleep in the truck, Sundance could come in and sleep in the warm house...  rofl.gif

Chris K
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 12:34:03 AM by chriskleeman »
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Offline Frances144

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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2006, 01:45:49 AM »
Well, Chris, I like it and you have a very nice smile on your album covers!

It looks fine to me - and I use a black background on one of my websites that I made with iWeb (go see the "pencille" one at the end of my signature).

It all worked very well on Safari (latest ed).

Well done.

Frances

Offline sandbox

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« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2006, 02:16:52 AM »
Hey Chris, please don't take any of this personally, your friend is doing fine.

If you like the layout (format) have him look into using tables instead.

I'm a dog guy, I knew why he was there. The photos are on a page About You, I don't think that will confuse anyone. The slideshow tool is normally used when a lot of photos need to be displayed and space is limited. If you don't plan on adding more photos to that sideshow you may consider just displaying them side by sidish.

Some folks have a hard time with HTML, others with english or music, I'm sure all were trying to hit the right notes, they just couldn't hear what they were writing.  whistling.gif
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 02:18:11 AM by sandbox »

Offline jcarter

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« Reply #20 on: December 21, 2006, 09:24:45 AM »
Hi Chris, Keep on working on it! Do not become discouraged!   The first class I took, I was the lowest beginner in the class, and I sure did get some 'harsh' comments from the instructor.  And then some of my classmates jumped in and simplified some of the instructions, thus I was able to catch up to about 50% of the class!  Granted my pages look not too good, but its all in the learning process.  So keep on working!  I have saved some of the instructions that I got here too, put them into a folder in my classwork.  I already have selected some of the instructions right here in this thread, as some of my questions have been answered.
(And save all of your earlier work, dont discard anything, as you will go back to it for ideas and want to include some of it. Go to View_Source and copy it all, save it as you go along, but be sure to name it differently than your current page in progress. Save a template.)

You aught to hear me playing the kids keyboards, I am awful, but its FUN!
I would think that not a single person here can play and sing as well as you can, so we all excel in our field, but we must try NEW stuff all the time.
But I will not become discouraged even when they close the door to the music room!

So the first thing you should do, is open an account with www.pbase.com and put a memorial page up there for your dog.  (I will send you the link for our dog if you want to see an example.)  Use the black background.
Second, keep working on your page, and put the link on there to your pbase dog page.
I just signed up for another class, more geared for html beginners, I might even put my new pages here for critisizm sometime in Feb.
Jane

Edit/add I forgot these,
http://www.dynamicdrive.com/
 and webmonkey has some interactive tutorials
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 09:48:45 AM by jcarter »

Offline Xairbusdriver

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« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2006, 02:56:28 PM »
QUOTE
...have him look into using tables instead...
Uhmmn, it already is a table. However, as any html developer knows, tables are for data, not formatting. wallbash.gif At least in this age, where CSS is almost totally usable for even IE! harhar.gif

That this chap has not charged you is fine, but one would think that, as a 'programmer' he would first do some minimalist studying of html, CSS, graphics usage before 'developing' a web site. And certainly before 'publishing' one publically.

The point about the animated gif is not that we don't like your ( or anyone's ) dog, we just didn't understand what the animation was trying to say. That's what I meant when I said it had no discernible point; was it your dog, was it a generic "I like dogs" comment, etc. Making an image a link is extremely basic html. But so is not using deprecated tags like "font".

There are simply too many sites, articles, books, classes about the extremely simple 'language' of html for something like your current site to be acceptable, if you ask for its 'review' or 'critique'. Most of us would never have said anything about it, if you had not asked. Absolutely nothing I see in these posts was meant as a personal attack or even a put-down of you nor your dog or music.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 02:58:17 PM by Xairbusdriver »
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Offline Mayo

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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2006, 02:58:40 PM »
Chris, if you had provided just a wee bit more info regarding your "webmaster" (your description, BTW...) and what you are up to I would have obviously tempered my remarks. Seeing as how you are both beginners and he isn't charging you, you can strike those parts of my post referring to amateur "Web masters," etc... as they are not relevant to your situation.

When you wrote
QUOTE
My webmaster has rolled out a big improvement on my website
I naturally assumed that this was pretty-much a Finished Product.  Now that I know that it is a work-in-progress being done as a "learning experience" I can look at it differently.

In my experience learning HTML, CSS and similar coding languages from scratch can be difficult and frustrating (not to mention time-consuming) and the results often resemble your current "work in progress." I suggest getting a copy of RapidWeaver (use the coupon code MACSANTA to get 25% off through December 25; this is a STEAL!) and pick one of the many RW templates available to begin building your Web site.

Then you can look at the code behind the template and really see how HTML translates into what you are seeing on the screen.  It might not be quite as creatively satisfying as building a Web site from scratch, but few pros do it that way these days so why should you guys be struggling with basic HTML? If you want to try "tweaking" the code to customize your Web site you can have at it all you want and you will learn a lot in the process. There are many free resources online to help you along the way. But you will also be able to put together something that looks really good a lot quicker than hand-coding.

Offline Xairbusdriver

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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2006, 04:25:30 PM »
OK, I can't let mr. Mayo off that easily...

Saying that it is difficult to learn/use html/CSS is like saying that it is difficult to learn how to use bold, italics, underlining at TS ( or many other forums ). If you can insert a link to another site or graphics here, you can certainly do it on a web page. Saying html is difficult is simply not true. If you can navigate a web site, you already know how that should work, if you can use the "Show Source" menu item in any browser, you can already see how things are done. Saying that "most professionals" don't hand-code is an opinion, IMHO. And they certainly don't use RapidWeaver, nice as it is. Nor will you find it easy to 'tweak' a site designed that way. You still won't know anything about what does what, so how would you even know what to 'tweak'? wallbash.gif They do use templates, but not in the way that these programs do, same word, different method.

Nor do those professionals use DreamWeaver or their ilk because they don't know html/CSS. They might be using those programs because they have great site management tools. But you certainly don't need that for a few dozen, well named pages!

Just as we have shown many of the common, non-professional ways that the site you have, you can easily see the same things done in many other sites. Some are even paying for them! But as long as people 'support' SPAMmers, they will continue to pay for badly designed sites, I guess.

One sure sign that a site has been designed from a 'template' is to see strangely and totally non-humanly named CSS classes. What does "class='e1'" mean to a human programmer/site developer? Nothing, of course, and that is why many sites have to be almost completely re-written when they outgrow the capabilities of the original 'developer'. It's usually faster for a professional to simply start from scratch than first decode what the stoopidly named CSS classes and definitions are for. And converting a page from a table to a really flexible web page is another time waster.

Surely, by now, it is obvious that web browsers on computers are not the only way people want to access a web site. Don't get suckered into thinking you can't understand the basics of html and even CSS and then get blind-sided by someone who claims to be a 'professional' web designer. Snake oil salesmen are still around, just say "NO" to them. smile.gif

html has about three dozen 'tags'. Many you'll never use. Some you'll use once on  every page. There are only about 10 to 15 that you'll really use every day and that's only if you need tables and lists. You probably already know more words that that in French, even if you never studied it! wink.gif

CSS is more complicated, but much of that is learning that it is so rich in its capabilities. But it is so useful, I can't imagine any web designer not using it. It would be like writing plain, Courier text, instead of making use of site specific fonts/styles/colors/sizes/positioning/etc. without ever touching javascript and its evils! It would be reverting to Henry Ford's attitude; "You can have any color you want, as long as it's black." wallbash.gif And it replaces many of those tags that will one day be completely forgot, that are already deprecated, such as "font", "size", "color", etc.

Just as you don't need Word to write a letter, you don't need anything more than a very little knowledge and any text program to write html and CSS. Period. And please don't keep saying otherwise, ladies and gentlemen, you are simply reinforcing a web rumor.
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Offline chriskleeman

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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2006, 04:56:32 PM »
Ok,

Let me say one more thing: All of you should know that he has hand-coded the entire site.

He sat here on Saturday all day on my couch writing code. All I had to do was cook breakfast! Why hand-code, you may ask? Because he says he has not found a neutral html editing program. He is hand-coding so that it will display on all browsers pretty much the same way. And learning what works and doesn't work in the process.

So, if any of you gurus know of a PC-based html editing program that is neutral, now is the time to make your recommendation; it would be great if there is one for Mac too, especially if it's the same one. I use Composer in Sea Monkey for what I need to do to the site, but I'd sure like to learn to do more.

And the other reason I wanted folks to take a look was because we were rolling it out on a new server, so I wanted to see if there were any problems loading the site...

Thanks for tempering your comments Mayo, much appreciated. whew.gif

XABD:

QUOTE
There are simply too many sites, articles, books, classes about the extremely simple 'language' of html for something like your current site to be acceptable, if you ask for its 'review' or 'critique'. Most of us would never have said anything about it, if you had not asked. Absolutely nothing I see in these posts was meant as a personal attack or even a put-down of you nor your dog or music.


I didn't take it as such, but do remember I am a sensitive artist after all harhar.gif and I'm almost as grumpy as you are! rant.gif

I just had no idea how worked up people get about this stuff! So now I know, and I'll be very careful in the future about what I ask for, that's for sure! Devilish2.gif

Ain't a newbie anymore, so thanks for the spankin'! oops.gif

Chris K grinch.gif  santagrin.gif  snowman.gif
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 05:20:05 PM by chriskleeman »
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Offline Mayo

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« Reply #25 on: December 21, 2006, 05:31:42 PM »
Not to let Mr. XAirBusDriver off so easily...

QUOTE
And they certainly don't use RapidWeaver, nice as it is.


They probably don't, but I was suggesting an inexpensive program meant for beginners.  DreamWeaver is NOT for beginners, nor is it inexpensive.

QUOTE
Saying that it is difficult to learn/use html/CSS is like saying that it is difficult to learn how to use bold, italics, underlining at TS ( or many other forums ). If you can insert a link to another site or graphics here, you can certainly do it on a web page. Saying html is difficult is simply not true.


It certainly can be difficult for beginners and inserting a link in a TS link is NOT the same thing as adding links using hand-written HTML code.

QUOTE
Nor do those professionals use DreamWeaver or their ilk because they don't know html/CSS. They might be using those programs because they have great site management tools. But you certainly don't need that for a few dozen, well named pages!


That is also an opinion, IMHO.  And I seriously doubt the claim.  And if a person is designing a simple Web site like Chris CSS likely won't be needed anyway.

QUOTE
Just as you don't need Word to write a letter, you don't need anything more than a very little knowledge and any text program to write html and CSS. Period. And please don't keep saying otherwise, ladies and gentlemen, you are simply reinforcing a web rumor.


I think that the real Web rumor here is that it isn't done right if a Web site isn't hand-coded. Balderdash!  That sort of thinking is soooo 1997... And if it takes so little knowledge to create a basic Web site why didn't Chris' friend get it done after spending an entire day on the project?  

The Bottom Line:  You can do it the relatively hard way or the relatively easy way. My opinion is that it is much easier to learn HTML and CSS if you can easily compare the code with what it produces and looking at already developed Web site code is a good way to do just that.  I don't mean to imply that learning HTML and CSS is impossible or shouldn't be done.

So what if the code isn't perfect as long as it displays correctly? Many good looking Web sites are designed every day using RapidWeaver and yes, even iWeb.  No, the code isn't always "clean" (even the pro-level GoLive, Bless It's Soul, didn't produce perfect code and DreamWeaver probably doesn't either but it's used by many pro designers to do more than just "manage their Web sites") but it often doesn't matter unless you insist on picking-nits.

If you want to learn coding from scratch and just use a basic text editor to do the job, Have At It.  But if you want a relatively painless method to quickly develop a Web site (and learn more if you want...) then don't be put-off by the Hand-Coding Zealots and dismiss using one of the really excellent programs designed for just that purpose.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 05:32:01 PM by Mayo »

Offline jcarter

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« Reply #26 on: December 21, 2006, 05:34:59 PM »
OK, Jim, you have done it!
You really have to write a class for us!
Really, I'm not kidding.
Your explanations are wonderful.  Do you have the time to do this?
Look at EclecticAcademy or LVS.  You might be the one to do this, as you have a knack for explaining stuff.

I posted a notice on a remote Terragen forum a few years ago looking for an instructor for Terragen, and I had a response.  We have now on LVS an amazing Terragen instructor and she also knows Bryce.
So think about it, you might be the ONE!
And you would not have to fly or drive anywhere to teach.
Jane

Offline chriskleeman

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« Reply #27 on: December 21, 2006, 06:30:44 PM »
Aw, geez, look what I started... I feel special!!!

So what if I don't know my rear-end from a hole in the ground about web design?  jawdrop.gif

I agree with Jane, Jim, teach that class! cheer.gif

Mayo, chill out! If you want to design my site, then go for it!!! coolio.gif

I would remind both of you that many who checked the site out liked it just fine. It does have it's problems, but it is my website, and it's a work in progress. And all of you have presented a spectacular critique with some great suggestions.

In the meantime, why don't we all go wrap some Christmas presents?

Peace, Joy, Happiness, and a great Holiday to all!!!

Chris K WOW.gif  whistling.gif  yahoo.gif
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Offline Mayo

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« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2006, 07:11:57 PM »
Now I'm sorry that I put my little ol' Two Cents in... I thought that you wanted a critique and I modified my comments when I found out what was really happening.  Sorry that I don't happen to agree with XABD!

Me thinks that I will just keep my opinions to myself and let the TS experts handle things... More time for wrapping presents and All That.

Happy Holidays!

Offline chriskleeman

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« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2006, 07:20:16 PM »
NO,NO,NO, Mayo, you're doin' just fine!  biggrin.gif I'm just having some fun, at your expense, apparently, a far cry from where I was last night about 2 A.M.! I think your comments are absolutely on point. I'm just trying to inject some humor here. I wish I had a clue to some of the knowledge both you and XABD are sharing with us. The learning curve here is steep. Don't stop, ever! eek2.gif

Sometimes we invest more emotionally in our projects than we are aware of. That is surely the case for me here in many respects. I always respect your posts, and your opinions and insight are always a great addition to this forum... I mean, what do I know, really??? Devilish2.gif

All the best to you and have a great Holiday!

Chris K notworthy.gif
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 07:21:42 PM by chriskleeman »
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