[BNM] Odd request for a member of this list...

Simon Atkinson simon at positivesounds.com
Mon Nov 3 00:05:03 GMT 2003


Simon
Thanks for the advice, I am a complete novice so your route sounds much
more appealing than many I've heard.

Cheers

Simon

-----Original Message-----
From: bnmlist-bounces at brightonnewmedia.org
[mailto:bnmlist-bounces at brightonnewmedia.org] On Behalf Of Simon West
Sent: 31 October 2003 13:52
To: Brighton New Media
Subject: RE: [BNM] Odd request for a member of this list...

Simon,

>There are a few different routes you can go down in the ways of web
design
/
>development.

Yes.

> The first thing you need to be able to do is to do valid xhtml & css.

Maybe if you're planning a career in web development then fair enough
but if
you just want to get yourself a nice little web site set up with minimal
fuss then I doubt that this is necessarily the best advice. Especially
if
you are using Dreamweaver 4 since many CSS design features are not fully
supported or at least are not straight-forward to implement for the
novice
user.

I would suggest reading some simple books on Javascript and HTML before
you
jump into the joys Dreamweaver. It is a good idea to get an
understanding of
the basics and try to write a few simple pages in Notepad so that you
can
get an idea of what it is Dreamweaver is attempting to do as it writes
your
code for you. Something like 'Fun Web Pages with Javascript' by J.
Shelley
or 'Beginning JavaScript' by P Wilton will teach you how to make simple
dynamic web pages. Once you've grasped the basics, the syntax and
structure
of HTML then you should have no problems using Dreamweaver to make your
pages.

Once you've got your web pages looking and behaving the way you want
them to
you can revisit them at any time and change them to use CSS once you've
got
your head around that and the same goes for XHTML. These are the latest,
cutting-edge methods for designing web pages but HTML still dominates on
the
web and will do for at least a few more years so there really is no
urgency
to learn these things unless you want to get serious about web design.

In terms of your disk space, your MP3s will take up approx 1Mb per
minute of
audio. So it should be easy to calculate how much disk space you need.
The
disk space required by your actual site will be almost negligible in
comparison.

The simplest way to create a password protected area is to configure a
folder on the server to request HTTP authentication - i.e. a box comes
up
asking for a username and password.

There are lots of hosts out there offering good deals but you could
start
with a basic account from http://www.pair.com/pair/shared/ which offers
200Mb disk space, with lots of bandwidth as well as an easy to use
interface
for setting up password protected areas for $10/month. It is best to
check
the prices and packages with several hosts first though but I use these
guys
and I definitely rate them.

Have fun with it.

Simon.
www.onemorewild.org

-----Original Message-----
From: bnmlist-bounces at brightonnewmedia.org
[mailto:bnmlist-bounces at brightonnewmedia.org]On Behalf Of Martyn Haigh
Sent: 31 October 2003 09:08
To: 'Brighton New Media'
Subject: RE: [BNM] Odd request for a member of this list...


Simon,

There are a few different routes you can go down in the ways of web
design /
development.

The first thing you need to be able to do is to do valid xhtml & css
(obvious but really will set you up in the long run!).  The actual
coding
itself really isn't that difficult and you can get a wysiwyg editor to
take
most of the hard work away (DW 2004 is quite good and will tell you if
the
page is invalid and why).  And (as an added bonus) there are a few
really
good websites that will give you good tips on why & how [1].  I often
find
after reading an article on some of these sites that it really inspires
me
(geek).  There are also a few really good books [2]

So - after you have got the xhtml stuff down (and hopefully you aren't
using
tables for anything but tablature data), you have to decide if thatís
where
you want to stop (in which case get a copy of photoshop and go start
playing
about with design; although it's going to take you a few goes at making
sites until you know better the things you can or can't do).  However,
if
you decide you want to go down the development route, then there are a
few
choices you can make: php[5], asp[3], cold fusion, java, asp.net[4],
perl
etc.
Along with the different languages you can use, you also have the
associated
DB's
asp & asp.net - SQL server or access.
Php - mySQL[6] & others(?)
Perl - Ingress & others(?)
(alright - getting a bit out of my depth here)

All M$ stuff you have to pay for - but a lot of people have office, and
on
most editions of windows you can set up a web server - so if you are in
that
position then you don't really need to shell out any cash (apart from
hosting which you will have to do for any language you choose).

Php & MySQL is all free - although I have no experience of setting it
up,
but there are plenty of people on the list who have and I'm sure you can
tap
in to their resources.

So - you really need to choose what direction you want to go in and then
start asking questions again!

Hope that helps.

M





[1] www.alistapart.com
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/doctype/ - why you need doctypes
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/tohell/ - why you should really
ignore
non css compliant browsers
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/netscape/ - another one about
ignoring
netscape
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/betterliving/ - Zeldman on xhtml
There are loads and loads more on this site - but these are a few good
ones
to start you off.  Apart from the why's, it also has a load of stuff on
the
hows - and has loads of really good ideas that you can implement.

www.evolt.org
again there is shed loads of good articles here - and they are all rated
too
too, so you can get a better idea if the writer really knows their stuff
or
is blagging it.
http://www.evolt.org/rating/index.html is the whole list with the
highest
rated at the top.

[2]
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0735712018/ref=sr_aps_books_1_1
/026
-0415494-8122853 (http://tinyurl.com/t4d7) Designing with Web Standards
(Zeldman) £13.75

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0789723107/026-0415494-8122853
(http://tinyurl.com/t4db) Don't Make Me Think!: A Common Sense Approach
to
Web Usability (Steve Krug) £12.75

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0735710627/026-0415494-8122853
(http://tinyurl.com/t4dj) Web Redesign Workflow That Works  (Kelly Goto,
Emily Cotler) £17.50
this is a good book for going through the process of designing a site,
helpful if you are doing it as a profession, but also really good for
learning about common pitfalls etc

[3] & [4]
www.4guysfromrolla.com, www.asp.net

[5]
www.php.net

[6]
www.mysql.com
--

Martyn Haigh :: Project Co-ordinator :: Nixon McInnes Ltd
tel. 0845 345 3462
martyn at nixonmcinnes.co.uk :: http://www.nixonmcinnes.co.uk


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