WTF ... IS WTF!?
We are a collective of people who believe in freedom of speech, the rights of individuals, and free pancakes! We share our lives, struggles, frustrations, successes, joys, and prescribe to our own special brand of humor and insanity. If you are looking for a great place to hang out, make new friends, find new nemeses, and just be yourself, WTF.com is your new home.

Web design/development

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#1
I'm bored and know there are some web designers/would-be web designers here, so I figured I'd post this.


Got a web site?
Post a link?
What kind of design do you do?
How long have you been doing web design?
What languages and technology do you know/use?
Have any tips, links, tricks, questions or tutorials you would like to share?
What about semantics and web standards?
Or do you just throw everything inside of <html>?


I've been interested in web design since I was probably 13 or 14. I've done quite a bit, although rarely professionally. I tried doing it professionally, but realized I didn't like using someone else's idea of a good design/technology/idea. These days I mostly build web applications, but I still do simple static designs on occasion. PHP is usually my language of choice, if only for it's wide acceptance and compatibility. PHP is a really shitty language! When I have a choice, I prefer writing in Ruby on Rails, although Subway (Python) is my newest interest.


I'm a stickler for semantics and standards compliance. Everything else on the internet "just works" because of standards, web pages shouldn't be any different. Email works the same way regardless of which client, protocol or server you use, without standards it would be a cluster fuck just to send someone and email. I really don't see why people still can't grasp, and even argue against and refuse to use, the concept of web standards.

I think design and content should be separate; CSS should be used for scalable designs and neatness. Embedded design (ie: <font> bgcolor etc) is old hat and asinine by today's standards. You can write much cleaner code using CSS, and improve load times. Tables aren't for design; they're for presentation of tabular data. Images and design are NOT tabular data, and adding 35934 tables to your site just makes it load slower.

Professional/serious developers write semantic mark up and validate their code. It's not 1999 anymore, and just throwing everything inside <html> won't cut it anymore. In fact, it's plain wrong. The web-dev dinosaurs need to keep up with their trade and learn the new technologies. What's the point in creating a site that won't even be valid HTML?

I think that if you can't be bothered to write a proper, valid and standards compliant web site, you shouldn't bother at all.
 

dustinzgirl

Banned - What an Asshat!
26,094
191
0
#2
WEll I can tbuild a website yet, but I am trying to get a good one together for my start up consulting bizness. Looking for something professional to add to your resume Jung? ;)
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#3
dustinzgirl said:
Looking for something professional to add to your resume Jung? ;)
Only if you have PayPal. ;)
 

LiberatioN

Trance Addict
1,432
0
100
#4
I took a web design class in high school and had the highest grade out of 150 students or so. I actually helped teach the class towards the end of the year and I helped alot of people really enjoy learning to build websites like I do. I thought I would take it up as a free lance service and maybe do some professional work in college, but I just haven't had the time or patience this summer. I got pretty good at developing style sheets and linking them to the directories I would create to make some sleek-looking web sites, but I never learned any web programming skills. I've heard from various sources that PHP is the language to learn...but I'm not really sure what language would suit me if I wanted to start doing some flash design and incorporate it with MySQL databases or other interactive (server-side) features. Did you take any classes in college Jung (or are there any programs/books I can check out to get me started)?

I guess the main problem with the web development education I've received is that it was taught ideally for HTML coding and understanding simple code. Several of my peers pushed the pace of the class forward so we ended up learning alot, but I'm WAY behind professional developers who use XML and CSS on a regular basis (as well as having knowledge of PHP, CGI, ASP, etc).
 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
5,438
95
142
#6
I used to maintain a website for a long time until i went into the military... then i didnt have any time anymore.. It was a site for a model rocketry club, and I had it at a level that it was one of the top club sites for the tri state area.. since I left tho it has degenerated into a newbie kind of slap together with no real structure.. a "frontpage" kind of website.. since I'm getting out of the service soon I offered to rebuild the site but they told me no thanks...

oh well...
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#7
Darklight said:
...i went into the military...
I didn't know you were military. What branch and MOS?
LiberatioN said:
I thought I would take it up as a free lance service
Just as a side note, www.scriptlance.com is an awesome site for doing freelance work. I've made quite a bit of money off that site, it's like an ebay for coding projects.
I've heard from various sources that PHP is the language to learn...but I'm not really sure what language would suit me if I wanted to start doing some flash design and incorporate it with MySQL databases or other interactive (server-side) features.
PHP is the most widely used language aside from Perl(CGI), so it would probably be a good start. I use it more often than anything else, but it really is a shitty language. Right now I think Ruby on Rails is probably the best web framework out there, with Subway and ASP.NET coming in second. Unfortunately, "the best" language isn't always the most marketable...

If you plan on doing database driven apps in PHP, check out Pear::. Pear has a really good database abstraction layer.

For Flash + SQL it would probably be wise to learn XML and XPath.
Did you take any classes in college Jung (or are there any programs/books I can check out to get me started)?
I took some semantic web and web programming classes, but nothing spectacular. I've learned far more by reading on the net and playing with things myself.

W3 Schools has some really good tutorials. For Flash stuff, actionscript.org is a great resource. For PHP tutorials, all you really need is php.net. I learned PHP in a weekend, just by reading the tutorials and such on the site. Granted I already knew how to program at that point, but it's not that hard to get started.
 

Darklight

Oppressing your posts...
5,438
95
142
#8
navy... bout to get out next month..
 

jamesp

In Memory...
1,714
1
0
#9
hey DarkLight, me too, whats your job, im an HM.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#11
LiberatioN said:
I've heard from various sources that PHP is the language to learn...but I'm not really sure what language would suit me if I wanted to start doing some flash design and incorporate it with MySQL databases or other interactive (server-side) features.
I just came across this link while looking for some XML info for Ruby. These seem to be pretty good guides aimed at beginner programmers. This might be something you'd want to look into.

http://www.loudthinking.com/arc/000199.html
 

countrygrl

Highly Excitable
446
0
0
#12
I do some web design but it's not my forte (sp?). I agree that design and content shoud be seperate and I write my application in such a manner. Web sites that I have designed are thrown together and are "for free". I don't put my name on them because I know that they could, and should, be better than they are.

I hate tables for layout but, considering the purpose and the time limitations, it is the the quickest and the easiest way for now.

If I had the time and the pay for my web designs they would be all dynamic rather than static....Alas...... (sigh)


****side note...you should see some of my manufacturing software. :p
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#13
countrygrl said:
Web sites that I have designed are thrown together and are "for free". I don't put my name on them because I know that they could, and should, be better than they are.
Me either. The only code I've ever written for money belonged to my employer anyway. I fully support OSS, and will never charge for my programs. I'm sort of OCD about quality though, and tend to not put my name on them unless they're something I'd be proud of...
I hate tables for layout but, considering the purpose and the time limitations, it is the the quickest and the easiest way for now.
Not trying to argue, but CSS is a lot faster and cleaner once you learn it. Tables take forever unless you use a WYSIWYG editor, and I won't touch them.

People have made the point that tables are just easier to visualize, but I can write (or generate) structural html fairly quickly. Then it's just a matter of styling the information.
If I had the time and the pay for my web designs they would be all dynamic rather than static....Alas...... (sigh)
Surely you know either VB or C#, ASP would be right up your alley. Use the language you're comfortable with to write your web apps.
 
32
16
72
#14
I do a bit of web design. At this point all I know is HTML, CSS, and a bit of Javascript. I've been trying to learn php though.
 

Fire_ze_Missles

Martha Fuckin' Stewart
1,622
12
38
#15
I know php back and forth, but most currently have been working with C#. I find it to be an amazing language. I love it! My current C# learning tool is the creation of a blogging utility. It's pretty awesome!

The thing that I am most proud of is a custom class/namespace/whatever-they-call-it that mimic's all of php's date/time functions to a T. If anyone were interested, I could post the code.
 

</rant>

Tenderony
528
0
0
#16
I use photoshop to make it look nice, chop it up and slap it into dreamweaver. Do a fair bit of freelance work, and have h=just made a new folio site.

I would post it, but it has my real name and mobile number on. Due the amount of fucking idiots that browse this forum its not really a good idea to post it.

I will pm you it though if your genuinely interested..

The problem I have is cross browser compatibility. Each one does something different to the design. Im a front end makeitlookcool designer, not a coder so this is probably my problem. I let DW do all the coding and it is most likely shite.

So. Where onto now. I hear CSS is the way to go, but you lot have mentioned other stuff.

Graphics are no problem for me, its the backend stuff that I lack knowledge in.

Any pointers?
 

Fire_ze_Missles

Martha Fuckin' Stewart
1,622
12
38
#17
I'd say as far as the front-end goes, definitly CSS. It is infinitely better than writing <font></font> tags, with the same parameters, over and over.

And as far as the backend, if you aren't a coder at all, php is a very straightforward language to learn. It shouldn't take anyone, anytime at all to master.
 

Jung

???
Premium
13,998
2,267
487
#18
</rant> said:
I use photoshop to make it look nice, chop it up and slap it into dreamweaver. Do a fair bit of freelance work, and have h=just made a new folio site.
Not to flame you, but that method will only produce horribly invalid web pages. If you want to see the shortcomings of using Dreamweaver for yourself, run one of your sites through http://validator.w3.org/ and see how bad it complains. Keep in mind that if your mark-up isn't valid, there is no guarantee that it will work in all browsers.

Also, nobody is doing sliced images anymore, or tables. Sliced images inside tables don't load any faster, no matter what anyone says.

Oh, about Dreamweaver, it's not completely useless; I use the code view for code completion and the FTP ability all the time. The WYSIWYG mode is horrible though, and no self respecting developer should be using it. ;)

The problem I have is cross browser compatibility. Each one does something different to the design. Im a front end makeitlookcool designer, not a coder so this is probably my problem. I let DW do all the coding and it is most likely shite.
A quick, yet hackish way to fix what Dreamweaver shits on is HTML Tidy. It's not perfect though, and definitely shouldn't be used in place of actually learning HTML/XHTML.

HTML/XHTML aren't hard to learn at all; it's not like they're big scary programming languages. In fact, they're not programming languages at all. It would really benefit you to learn both if you plan on doing any web design at all. And honestly, if you're selling anything less than a valid website, then you're ripping your customers off.

CSS, although not perfect, will go a long way towards cross platform compatibility. Almost all browsers, even IE, support CSS1 and most support a good bit of CSS2.(although CSS2 is where IE fails, and why it's the bane of web developers) Once you learn it, you'll be able to create sites in half the time it takes to manually write tables, they'll be more semantic, and your tweaking will be limited to your stylesheet. No more digging through 50-100 lines of HTML just to fix a simple alignment problem.
Graphics are no problem for me, its the backend stuff that I lack knowledge in.
It really depends on what you want to do. PHP is probably the most widely supported web language, and it's relatively easy to learn or non-programmers. It's only downside is that it contains certain 'features' that make it anti-intuitive for beginners, and lead to bad development practices and/or insecure web applications. Just remember to stay away from register_globals, magic quotes and addslashes/stripslashes.
 

</rant>

Tenderony
528
0
0
#19
Nice one, I think im going to get right into this.

:thumbsup:
 

countrygrl

Highly Excitable
446
0
0
#20
junglizm said:
Not trying to argue, but CSS is a lot faster and cleaner once you learn it. Tables take forever unless you use a WYSIWYG editor, and I won't touch them.
Just haven't had time to learn it or even get started on it. Tables are a pain.

junglizm said:
Surely you know either VB or C#, ASP would be right up your alley. Use the language you're comfortable with to write your web apps.
I have written entire applications in both java and asp. I do know how to do it I just think that unless a web application is needed due to location issues or compatablity issues that you get a much more user friendly, more robust application if the application employs forms and windows for the user interface.