In-depth #8

It’s my last blog post this year for In-depth.  Overall, I think it’s gone really well.  I’ve definitely learned a lot, and already, my website looks better.  I haven’t been able to do quite as much as I wanted, in terms of design, but I’ve learned a lot, even if I haven’t been able to put it into practice.  In terms of how I’m going to present it at In-depth night, I want to show my website to people.  I’ll have a laptop (need a power bar), with my website displayed, and maybe a sample of my code printed out.  I will also have a short little paragraph about the differences between CSS and HTML.  I don’t want a really fancy thing.  I want to stay with the theme of HTML, which is simplicity, and easiness of use.  I just want to have a minimum of text, and more of what my finished product is.  I’m really happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish over my two years working with web-design.  I’ve started with little or no knowledge at all, all the way to being able to craft websites, with little help at all from tutorial websites.  I’ve figured out the form and structure I need, as well as how to solve the problems that consistently pop up.  In conclusion, I think that it’s been a really amazing project, and I want to thank my mentor, Ian MacKenzie, for helping me along the way.  He definitely helped my project along, especially when I ran into roadblocks.  HTML and CSS is incredibly difficult at times, but when it works, and I can see my finished project, that’s when I believe it was worth it.

Success! – In-depth #4

I’ve finally managed to get my website uploaded!  It’s very simple right now, just text, no decoration yet.  It’s time to actually get started on the fun part.  Customizing my webpage using CSS.  I’m planning on having a background picture that scrolls down with you, perhaps an animation on the front page, lots more colour, and some pictures or video.  I really want to try getting something interactive on  there, whether it’s a daily poll question, or something else, I haven’t decided yet.  I’ve also gotten my blog going too.  I’m going to be writing my new blog posts on there from now on.  For now though, I’ll leave you with the pictures of my new website.  As you can see, just black and white, but that’s definitely going to change!

andrew's websiteandrews blog

In-depth #3

Again, I’ve made a LOT of progress.  I’m finally starting on the meat of my in-depth project.  I’m writing my basic HTML code right, now, and it’s definitely a lot easier than last year.  Last year, I was concerned with writing all of the formatting tags, like <b> (bold), the font colour tag, and other font tags.  This year, all I have to do is write.   A sample would be this:

<p>this is how easy it is to write html code when using CSS</p>

rather than this:

<p style=”font-family:arial;color:red;font-size:20px;”>

Yeah, definitely a lot less time-consuming.  Of course, when you view the webpage, you’d only get a simple thing, with black text on a white background, all left-justified, but still, it’s definitely a start.  I find writing HTML very peaceful.  Once you get started, and you actually know what you’re doing, it’s easy.  You just slap in your tags, write a little bit of text, maybe add a hyper-link, and voila!  A new webpage.  The other thing that I enjoy about computer programming is the clarity of it.  It’s one of the few things in life that is black and white, cut and dried, right or wrong.  Either your code will work, or it won’t.  There’s no grey at all, either it’ll work properly, or it won’t work at all.  Plus, if you mess up, it’s your fault.  The computer isn’t messing with your code, it’s just that you made a mistake.  The only human error that’s possible comes from you.  There’s no relying on anything else.  The computer will read the code, and it’ll spit it back out however it reads it, and nothing you can do, short of fixing your mistakes, can change that.

Sometimes, having something that is either right or wrong is relaxing.  It makes for a nice change when there’s only two possible outcomes, rather than the myriad solutions offered by the situations that we find ourselves in daily.  Sometimes, it’s nice to get away from the indecision, and just….write.  Hopefully for next week I’ll have gotten my site uploaded.  Then I can start working on creating a blog!

In-depth #2

I’ve gotten off to a good start on my in-depth project.  It was really daunting for me at the beginning, because I just wasn’t sure where to start.  I knew what CSS was, but I didn’t know how to start it.  Turns out, it’s really simple.  I talked to my mentor, and he sent me the link to this site.  I managed to get a much better picture of how CSS works.  Before, I just knew what it was.  It was like the definitions in the glossary.  I knew the definition of a word, but I had never encountered in in real life.  It’s like knowing what meiosis IS, but not knowing how it fits into how the body works.  Same thing with CSS.  I knew what it was, but I didn’t understand how it interlocked and complemented HTML.  What I’ve learned is that you write your HTML normally, with only one major difference.  You don’t include any formatting.  AT ALL.  It’s a difficult concept for me to understand, especially since last year, I did all my formatting by HTML.  But all you do is use your heading tags (<h1>, <p>, etc) and write.  Just include everything you want to say.  No font colour, no font choice, no align-lefts or align-rights.  Just your text.  It looks something like this.Untitled

Then, you add in your CSS.  You create a new file, with the extension .css, with all your css.  An example of CSS would be something like this:

body{background-color:yellow;}
h1{font-size:36pt;}
h2{color:blue;}
p{margin-left:50px;}

Basically, when it says “body” in the CSS file, it affects everything under the tag <body> in the HTML.  Same thing for the paragraph.  Everywhere in the HTML code there’s the <p> tag, the text will be 50 pixels in from the left side.  I think it’s really cool how CSS works.  It means a lot less work for you.  Every time you try to change something, you don’t have to write a lot of code, with awkward formatting, you can change one thing, and have it affect multiple parts of a web page.  Plus, once you design a CSS page once, you can upload it multiple times, for multiple pages.  That means you can have the EXACT SAME theme for your entire website, but you won’t have to rewrite the code multiple times.  I don’t know about you, but I’m a big believer of not having to do more tedious work than you need to.

The other thing I learned about was the different types of CSS sheets.  There’s three types, external, internal, and in-line.  External is the method I’ll be using, it’s when you create an external file that contains all of your CSS code.  Internal is where you write it actually in your HTML file.  For example, you would write <p>, and then below that, you would include something like p{font-size:36pt;}.  In-line is the trickiest one to use.  My mentor said that I shouldn’t use it unless I absolutely have to, because the whole point of CSS is to clear up your code, but in-line CSS totally defeats that purpose.  It’s when you write something like <p style=”font-family:arial;”> and in side of it, you include your CSS.  Essentially, it’s HTML.  Just with a different name.  It goes against everything CSS is meant to do.  I’m going to use the external method, because, as my mentor Ian MacKenzie said,

you can have full control over every page

I don’t know about you, but I like being in control!

Now that I’ve learned a lot more about CSS, I’m really eager to actually get started on it.  I’m glad I took the time to look through a couple different tutorials, and talk to my mentor, before I started.  Since I now know what CSS is capable of, I’ll be able to have realistic goals, and I’ve got a much better idea of what I want my website to look like.  My goal for my next blog post is to have all my HTML written, and then I’ll start on the CSS formatting part of my website.  Stay tuned!

In-depth #1

For my in-depth project this year, I’ve decided to do CSS, an extension of HTML.  Last year, when I was doing HTML, I found it to be fun and challenging.  I really enjoyed having to be creative and thinking of different ways to format my website, but it was always really challenging when it came to moving around the different pieces.  That’s where CSS comes in.  Cascading Style Sheets were invented to distinguish between the content (HTML) and the presentation (CSS).  It enables you to have a lot more control over how your website looks, as well as the location of various individual parts.  It was first developed by my eminent person, Tim Berners-Lee, because he felt that the mark-up tags were starting to spin out of control.  Web designers were inventing tags, such as the <blink> tag, when it should  really have been classified as CSS rather than HTML.  CSS is a way to organize your website, as well as making it user-friendly to edit.  It’s really all about the ease of use, of being able to make minute adjustments to your site.  HTML is like the typewriter.  It’s good for getting the basics down, but CSS is Microsoft Word.  Any fancy things like tables, graphs, and pictures, you need to use CSS.

I have also been fortunate to get a mentor again this year.  His name is Ian MacKenzie, and he was the man who documented the One Week Job.  He’s a new media producer, and one of Mr. Jackson’s friends.  Mr. Jackson was kind enough to introduce me to him last year, and he’s agreed to be my mentor this year again.  He’s always been very good about helping me with my various problems, as well as answering my questions and furthering my understanding of web design.  I’m really looking forward to working with him, and by extension, this project!

Presenting…My Website! (In-Depth Blog #3)

Yay…I’ve finally finished my home page of my website, and I’m now officially published on the web!  It’s not much right now, but it’s definitely up there which is what counts.

It’s really cool, knowing that anyone can look at your site, go to it, I’m really proud of myself right now.  Please, take a look for yourself, and tell me what you think…I appreciate the feedback and criticism, but I can’t say I’ll take it well :D.  So far, I’m really enjoying the project, and I feel like this is the first BIG milestone I’ve reached.  Like the first step is learning it, the second part is actually using it, then placing pictures on, then the big one…publishing it.  And now I’ve done it, for the first time, so it’s I’m relishing in the fact that I’ve actually done it.  Sorry for repeating myself, but you know, I’ve actually DONE IT!  I’VE DONE IT!!!! yay.  Okay, now that my impromptu celebration is over, I know that there’s a lot that I could do to make it better.  For one thing, videos and other media would be a start, and creating a new page so that I can have my blog posts there would also be good…but for now, I’m going to celebrate!

In-Depth Blog #2 – SO CLOSE!!!

I’m officially EXCITED about my In-Depth project!  I’m almost ready to publish my site.  Hopefully, by Sunday I’ll have my website up and running.  I ‘m really glad, because I’ve been thinking about trying to use my website to write my blog posts, instead of Edublogs, because I think it’ll be a better way to get a better understanding of how I’ve progressed.  Hopefully I’ll be done by Sunday…Right now I’ve got the basic workings of a website, with a lot of text.  I’m hoping to get some pictures and possibly try to embed a video or 2 on my website by the end of next week (after the Pro-D Day)  I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far, and I think that I’m really learning the stuff quickly.

My mentor, Ian MacKenzie has been very helpful.  He’s sent me many links on how to write HTML, and has also volunteered a wealth of information about publishing my website using an FTP client, and using a Telus webmail account as the host server for my website.

My project is coming along quite well I think, and I’m really enjoying what I’m doing so far.  I’m excited to try some different things, and to get my site published.  Hopefully, by the next time a blog post is due, you’ll be reading it on my website!!!