June 27, 2009

Find Some Style

After a hiatus from web programming, I began trying out cascading style sheets (CSS) this afternoon. Thus far, I've created an external style sheet and tweaked the font type, background color, header properties and text alignment. This particular element of web programming seems daunting to me because I know that it can be very powerful and so I assume it'll be complex and subtle.

My goals for the weekend are to:
1) Review HTML Dog's CSS tutorial
2) Review and try every one of the basic style elements: box model, border, outline, margin, padding, list & table
3) Add all of these elements into a web page with a wedding theme, as a very first draft
4) Determine my next three steps to be completed before Wednesday

Thus far, I'm using the w3schools CSS tutorial
Next up is HTML Dog - Apply CSS

June 02, 2009

Picture Perfect

This evening, I learned how to include images on web pages. This included specifying the size, alt text and alignment aka the basics. Then, I also tried out making the image a link and working with borders.

Of course, this is key... no one likes websites that feature "walls of text" but images need to be well-done to look good. I felt like the basic tutorials were too brief, and I ended up searching for additional resources, which included:
HTML Goodies - Basic HTML: Images
w3schools.com - HTML Images

I have one challenge left - to add a drop shadow and the basic tutorial didn't provide any resources, so I found:
Dynamic Drive CSS Library

Finishing Up Forms

This morning, I felt too tired to bike into work, so I decided to be productive with my morning and finish up my HTML Form Challenge. I resolved my issues with the text area input and discovered one small flaw from last night; I put a space between the two words when I named the input type "textarea."

I'm going to continue with the basic HTML tutorial but later one, I definitely need to return to the advanced form tutorials:
W3C Recommendations
HTML Dog - Advanced Forms

June 01, 2009

Forms Can Be Fun

Today ended up being much busier than I initially expected, so I was only able to devote about 45 minutes to my studying. I experimented with adding an image but was slightly confused by the file path... since I'm currently building html files on my hard drive, there is a lack of translation to a real webpage.

After putting it off last week, I finally tackled forms and was able to easily build a simple form with text boxes, radio buttons, drop downs and check boxes. However, the text area eluded me.

Building a form so easily was really exciting, because this may allow us to have our guests RSVP for the reception dinner electronically! Of course, there's another layer of complexity in actually receiving the data in a usable format. I'll probably end up asking my friends for help, but also - I am may intentionally choose a more friendly hosting site, so that I can rely on their tech support initially.

Link to pick up on tomorrow:
Form Challenge
Guide to Forms on HTML Dog

May 29, 2009

Becoming More Hopeful By the Moment

After posting my last blog, I continued to experiment with HTML and downloaded Kompozer, a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) HTML and CSS editor. I was immediately able to make some progress, but I know that if I'm really going to learn this, I need to continue the lesson, so today I studied up on the basics (meta data, title, header), lists and forms. The lists were a challenge at first, but I did figure out how to use both bulleted and numbered lists, with nesting - for creating an outline.

I moved on to forms, feeling pretty certain about my new skills, and I was completely wowed by the details and new tags, so I circled back to some of the basics that I'd accidentally skipped earlier.

I don't feel as though I made much progress today, but this will come, one step at a time.

May 26, 2009

Summer 2009: A Time for New Projects

With this summer free from coursework, I decided to endeavor out onto the internet and teach myself web programming. Based on several helpful links from Lifehacker and a few Google searches, I've discovered 2 really great free, online tutorials.

Over the past few weeks, I created a bare bones index file and today I experimented with:
Markups including strong, emphasis, italics, bold, paragraphs and line breaks
Links including external, internal, global and e-mail hyperlinks

All of this loveliness is confined to my little lappy for now, as I haven't invested in a domain name. Once I have a concept and some skills, a friend is going to give me a piece of his currently dormant domain, so I'm really excited to make that reality. Also, if I progress quickly enough, I'll purchase a domain to create the "wed page" for my wedding in September 2010.

Based on my experimenting with tutorials, I am really appreciating the sites that provide challenges, so that I can do and then compare. It really helps me make sure that my concepts can be fleshed out on the page.

Thus far, my two favorite sites are:
Web Design - Wikiversity

August 28, 2008

Thing 23_And She Was Not Really Done...

As I mentioned in my prior post, this is not at all the end of my technology journey. I chose to partake in this particular exercise as a way to explore and document my knowledge about web 2.0 and technology. I'm glad that I did it, despite the pressure of time that has been an element throughout.

The fall semester at St. Kate begins September 3rd and I will be taking 2 courses: Library & Information Center Mgmt and Knowledge Management, while continue to work full time. I'm excited because I expect both of these courses to be informative and have some opportunities to explore new technology.

Overall, I believe this program is a wonderful opportunity both for students and current practioners. I do believe that libraries can find great possibilities within technology but only if it is applied thoughtfully by people with a sense of the options, flaws and possibilities. And so librarians have a great opportunity to serve as guides in this new realm. To carry forward the light for all who have not yet taken a swim in web 2.0....

Let's dive in and learn even more!