Thursday, 29 September 2016

Well, it's late. That I am sure of, but my assignment is due at 23.59 tonight and I haven't got the foggiest of what to write! I've made plenty of websites over the years, but I've never blogged about making them. Applying for college was daunting, but I got in and I'm now studying for my degree in Computer Science. This blog is part of one of the ongoing assignments for my web development module, but I think I should've starting blogging many moons ago as I have learned a lot over the past 10 years as a designer. I've designed for musicians half the way across the world, for hotels in the rainforests of Brazil and yet, writing content for a blog always felt daunting. Then again, when I was about 11 years old sitting in front of my father's computer trying to figure out the difference between a <tr> and a <td>, building a website was more than daunting. But I persisted and here I am, blogging about my lab work for my web development module.

Hard to believe it's week 3 already! While I have done more than my fair share of designing and developing over the years, I'm very glad to be doing web development as part of my coursework. While I feel I know a lot, as with everything there is always more that can be learned. I intend to focus on my speed in creating functional content rich websites while doing this module and also  to try some new methods. In lab week 1, we worked primarily with basic html. Even so, I have found it very beneficial to read up on the documentation provided by the W3 schools on some of the newer element tags. Browsers (including IE) seem to finally be getting up to speed with html5 specs, which is fantastic news for designers and developers the world over. Another great website stood out to me as a great tool, especially for beginners in this field - the W3C's Markup Validator. As with any language there are rules for vocab used and syntax. HTML and XHTML are no different and the validator checks for syntax errors on pages you specify. A very handy tool indeed.

Tables.... How I hate(d) tables. Not sure if the '(d)' belongs with the end of 'hate' just yet, but I'm sure it'll get there eventually. Looking over the brief for the lab I saw we needed to use a table. Flashbacks to my disdain of <tr> and <td> took hold! Thankfully, the great Jonathan McCarthy - our lecturer for this web development module - gave me permission to use divs instead of using tables. Now, it's not that I have a fear of tables (it's not a listed phobia - I had to check!) but I remember a time when entire websites were entirely made of tables. We should never go back to those times and if you ever find someone who has built a website out of tables, you should try and block them from ever accessing the internet again! So in my head, tables are for sitting at and eating at, not for structuring content. But then again recent experiences have started to change all that. But then again again, using divs and utilizing proper classes  to structure the divs can lead to a better and more responsive layout for data that needs to be displayed in a table-like manner. Check back next week to see if that changes (...it's doubtful).

 To wrap this week up, the rest of the lab work was fine. No fears or phobias regarding tags or elements came up for me, so I went ahead and used them (appropriately of course). The regular <p>, <img> and <hr> (my disdain for <hr> tags are another weeks mumblings) were slotted in and in the end I needed for my own sanity to hook up a css file. I can't finish something until it's finished. This week's styling was a bit bare, but I did what I could to glam her up.

Okay, 2 minutes to midnight - next on the playlist.

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