Web design stuff, a few questions.

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  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:04:37 2,602 posts
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    I did a load of web design stuff as part of my HNC but that finished in 2003 and I haven't really done much since. I was fairly good at using Dreamweaver and HTML (from scratch) and touched on XML and CSS, but the other day I was just thinking about how much I've forgotten and how I have no idea even what software people use these days, and thought it might be nice to have a bit of a brush up. None of it is job related, it's just interest, but I might build Rutty a site for his photography at some point.

    So a few questions:

    Do people still use Dreamweaver, or has anything else cornered that market?

    What about XML and/or CSS - should I brush up on these and learn a bit more, or is there some sort of Dreamweaver type thing that does it all for you now?

    I never learned anything about PHP or ASP or anything like that. Worth bothering with for the occasional tinkerer?

    Any good books you might recommend? Something about Photoshop for web design might be nice too.
  • Spanky 28 Jan 2009 14:05:57 14,536 posts
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    CSS all the way. Forget the rest... especially dreamweaver as it's aggressively shit when it comes to css.

    Plubs

  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:07:07 2,602 posts
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    Bloody hell Spanks, that was fast.

    So do everything with CSS and presumably HTML and don't use DW at all?
  • Spanky 28 Jan 2009 14:08:36 14,536 posts
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    Yeah that exactly, do everything with notepad++ or a text editor. Dreamweaver has became pointless as to know css is to handcode and to handcode you make DW redundant.

    Plubs

  • HoraceGoesSquiffy 28 Jan 2009 14:08:44 1,563 posts
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    Spanky wrote:
    CSS all the way. Forget the rest... especially dreamweaver as it's aggressively shit when it comes to css.

    +1. If you can handcode it's always so much more clean and robust.
  • Spanky 28 Jan 2009 14:09:53 14,536 posts
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    Actually the code view only in dreamweaver is alright... but yeah it'd just be a text editor at that level. The proper wysiwyg editor is shit for css based sites as it can't display it properly.

    Plubs

  • JohnnyWashnGo 28 Jan 2009 14:11:05 1,544 posts
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    I never used Dreamweaver - I have a radar for shit, bloated software that doesn't work... which explains why I don't use Windows as well ;)

    Spanky is spot on about CSS though - its all about separation of concerns. HTML Markup should contain the data you want to display, the CSS should be used to present that data in a way that makes you happy. You can even make several sets of CSS and swap between them for different looks, which is rather nice.

    I would also recommend VIM for file editing. A lot of editors will provide code completion for you which, though nice at first when learning, makes you a sloppy developer who relies upon his tools and can't do a thing without them. VIM, at its most basic, does none of that and relies upon you knowing what you are doing. Real men use VIM.
  • Xerx3s 28 Jan 2009 14:11:56 23,944 posts
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    People used dreamweaver? That's like doing frontpage and then saying you can make websites. ;)


    There is only one way, incode SSS XHTML CSS.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:12:20 2,602 posts
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    I remember trying to make tables go where I wanted them to go in HTML and usually failing miserably :D (It took me four attempts to type miserably correctly btw.)

    OK so any good CSS books?

    I tried to borrow a couple from my uni library yesterday, got to the counter and the woman looked at me disgustedly and said "you can't borrow those they're reference only". Oh, soh-ree. And they're all ancient anyway.
  • Nasty 28 Jan 2009 14:12:48 4,749 posts
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    NVU is free and good. Notepad++ for teh hardc0r3

    You can't know everything. But knowing when to use the different tech and their basic structure is always a nice place to start. I have a brain like a sieve so I use devguru.com so much I should be sending them a monthly payment and w3schools.com too. Don't have any books other than some old ASP 3 ones.

    I would say CSS, ASP, PHP, T-SQL, VBScript, Javascript would be techs you should at least have a good grasp of.
  • Deleted user 28 January 2009 14:14:20
    I use Dreamweaver to get rough idea of what I'm doing via the split view.
  • JohnnyWashnGo 28 Jan 2009 14:15:10 1,544 posts
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    Not sure about books (its been years since I needed a book beside me) but I love CSS Zen Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com/).

    You can make the site look the way you like by writing your own CSS. There are so many examples of that site, on the site, which look completely different from one another.

    That may be a good place to research CSS.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:17:43 2,602 posts
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    I thought Fireworks had died out actually, I guess I was wrong?
  • Dirtbox 28 Jan 2009 14:25:56 78,570 posts
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    Only an idiot would try to layout with PS and fireworks is for novices. Making graphics is definitely a task for PS though, but only if you've got the skill.

    +1 / Like / Tweet this post

  • catterz 28 Jan 2009 14:27:31 8,763 posts
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    I learnt most of the basics (and a small amount of some more advanced stuff) from w3schools.com. It's a good site with free tutorials that will teach you all you need to know.

    If you're really serious about web developing, you'll want to learn XHTML, CSS, Javacsript. And then possibly ASP or PHP (I prefer ASP) or even ASP.NET (requires some expensive kit). SQL knowledge is also good.

    I wouldn't say I'm an expert, but using a combination of XHTML, CSS, Javascript and ASP I can make some pretty nifty stuff. Unfortunately some of the best stuff I've done is on the intranet at work so I can't show it off.

    Still stalking this place, old-school style (UID: 1053)

  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:29:25 2,602 posts
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    Dirtbox wrote:
    Only an idiot would try to layout with PS and fireworks is for novices. Making graphics is definitely a task for PS though, but only if you've got the skill.

    I used to make banners and buttons and backgrounds, that kind of thing, in PS. Anything more elaborate than that was too advanced for me.
  • moggsy 28 Jan 2009 14:33:43 3,860 posts
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    Dreamweaver templates and library objects are useful though. How do you notepad code monkies get around that then?
  • Dirtbox 28 Jan 2009 14:34:30 78,570 posts
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    Some of these sites might help you out.

    http://www.htmlbasix.com/
    http://www.htmlgoodies.com/
    http://www.thesitewizard.com/
    http://www.lissaexplains.com/
    http://www.w3.org/MarkUp/html-spec/html-spec_toc.html
    http://www.yourhtmlsource.com/
    http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa286532.aspx
    http://alistapart.com/
    http://css-discuss.incutio.com/

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  • Deleted user 28 January 2009 14:38:21
    I might be on my own here but I prefer Fireworks to Photoshop in every single way.

    Being able to design a page in FW, then send it to DW to code on, then back to FW to tweak again and so on is a god send.

    As Spanky said though, learning to hand code is the way forward. I do use Dreamweaver but only because I've got used to how it colour codes my PHP code. The handy built-in FTP/file uploader is useful too.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:39:08 2,602 posts
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    Thanks DB and everyone. I've been looking at w3.org, it's a mine of information. I'll have to crack out text editor and have a go, see what I can remember. The only html I use these days is for making linkies on EG :D
  • Deleted user 28 January 2009 14:39:51
    Fireworks is also so much more intuitive than PS. In PS I struggle even doing basic things like drawing a fucking circle outline with no fill.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:40:32 2,602 posts
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    I vaguely remember Firefox being a bit like MS Paint.
  • Deleted user 28 January 2009 14:40:54
    I can also heartily recommend W3Schools and Plus2net.
  • HitchHiker 28 Jan 2009 14:41:13 2,777 posts
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    HTML dog is a good tutorial site too.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:47:59 2,602 posts
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    blizeH wrote:
    angeltreats wrote:
    I vaguely remember Firefox being a bit like MS Paint.
    Fireworks has now evolved to be pretty much a lightweight version of Photoshop, with the excess stuff trimmed off, and some more intuitive web stuff (ie. good vector support) added

    Did that happen before or after Flash MX? Cos that's the version I've got, not that I ever used it.
  • angeltreats 28 Jan 2009 14:57:39 2,602 posts
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    I meant Fireworks, sorry!
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