Stumped:: web HTML. Caution, may be OT.

Modulok modulok at gmail.com
Wed Jun 4 04:34:27 UTC 2008


> looks like what i need NOW is a debugger, :-)   i have virtually
> zero design skills .... except "keep it simple"

To quote Albert Einstein, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but
not simpler".

Much of the problem with the web today is the reliance on 'designers,' who are
primarily concerned with making things look pretty, rather than ensuring the
delivering of the underlying content. The latter of which far supersedes the
former in its importance.

To that end, the less reliance your page has on the client's environment,
something that is entirely beyond your control as a developer, the higher the
probability of successfully delivering the content. (Which should be your main
objective: If the content cannot be delivered, what was the bloody point?)
JavaScript, CSS, browser plugins,... despite modern trends, should be avoid
where possible. If they must be used, ensure that they do not compromise the
delivery of the content, in the event those mechanisms are un-available to the
client. For example, hyperlinks implemented solely in JavaScript is a sad state
of modern affairs.

The web is constantly evolving and may trends come and go, I can recall the days
where JavaScript was the hot new thing and everyone used it to do utterly
pointless things, like having snowflakes follow the pointer. Eventually it was
realized that this was pointless, annoying, and hampered the delivery of the
underlying content. Its usage faded out. Following this, was the rise of
websites built around the then Macromedia Flash. Flash was the new web, going to
replace conventional markup. This too was largely a commercial failure, as the
delivery of the content was impaired. Eventually, the long-forgotten JavaScript
had a resurgence with a new name and a few new friends (AJAX). Unfortunately,
it comes with all of the same old problems. Though solutions to many of these
problems exist, rarely are they used consistently and correctly. Additionally,
one must question if the added functionality is worth the reduction in the
probability of successful delivery.

Telling people to upgrade their browser, or enable certain features is a cop-out
which harkens back to the days of "make your browser this wide," followed by a
horizontal rule.

As far as editors and such, I personally write all of my code in a text editor,
regardless of the language. I have used hand-written code in a text editor to
implement websites for multi-million dollar companies. Ironically enough, I'm a
visual effects artist.

Anyway, I think I have likely gotten off topic myself and haven't contributed
much to solving your original problem. Enough rambling out of me for now. Best
of luck, Gary.

-Modulok-


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