Table Boot Camp

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In Lesson Two of XHTML and CSS Essentials the focus was on coding tables by hand.

Since the free webhost I’ve been using up til now has been unavailable to me I’ve chosen to use another domain to present my exercises for this lesson.

I found the calendar exercise somewhat challenging; the necessity of using percentages to define the columns was a little… out of my comfort zone, I guess. I wanted them all to be equal and probably spent too much time fiddling with cellpadding and spacing and 14% vs 15% than I should have.  I was required to build my own banner that will be used later on the course as well, so everything on this page is my coding and creation.

For the second part of the assignment; I had more difficulty deciding on the contents of the tables than I did coding them.  Figuring out what data I wanted to present that fit exactly into 2 rows x 3 columns was more trouble than I expected.  Once I had a topic, the table building/coding went quickly and easily. I did have to look up a couple of things, but found them easily enough in the annotations I’d made to the lecture in my textbook.  While I enjoyed the challenge, I do look forward to doing such coding in a wysiwyg editor from now on ;).

Because I used a different domain I uploaded the files and images from my home computer, a macbook pro. I used Cyberduck after trying unsuccesfully to remember how to use raw FTP in Terminal.  I guess I need to brush up on those skills too.  Never know when you may not have an automated FTP program handy.

Looking forward to my mark in this assignment 🙂


XHTML, CSS and other cool stuff

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For anyone keeping track, I’ve finished the Web 101 course, with a final mark of 100%. 

Thanks to those who were kind enough to click through and provide some traffic for me to analyze and the encouraging comments you’ve made to me elsewhere.

Here is the first assignment for the next course,  XHTML and CSS Essentials.

In the first lesson of this course I worked through adding HTML tags to pre existing copy as well as applying a prewritten CSS style.  To see how I did there go to:

(little side note: that’s cookie recipe is very well known in my family and is considered *THE* cookie to cut your (baking) teeth upon.  As each of my children reached the age of wanting to bake something, this is the recipe I’ve started them with.  I’m expecting the youngest to ask to do these soon and while it’s an exciting step, I’ll be a little sad.  Course, there are grandchildren 😉 )

The second part of my assignment was to write my own copy, and hand code it myself incorporating headers, an embedded photo, an ordered list, emphasis and a hyperlink to another page.  Click the link to see how I did.

As before, please feel free to leave comments if you wish.  Just remember that the page is monitored by my instructors and myself so please keep the critiquing to the helpful kind.

New course work added

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As a part of my studies in Web Design I’ve been given some startup code and asked to add certain aspects to the site. These include some coding changes, some content including badges for Digg and Flickr as well as embedding a YouTube video and Flickr slideshow.
I used the FTP manager provided with I found it very easy to use especially in comparison with such managers I first used for uploading files 8 or 10 years ago while making vanity pages for my children.

I prefer to use a Mac at home, though I do have win7 laptop as well. Oddly enough, I find I prefer using  Notepad++ vs BBedit, and not just because for one of the few and far between times in my experience, the windows based program is free while the Mac one is not.  Too bad that Notepad++ is only available for Windows.

Having the tags in color really helps me sort out what’s what. When I first tried to use Windows text editor Notepad to edit code the extensive (but welcome) comment section confused me very much. Seeing them in color really helped.

Most of the coding changes I made were cut and paste of code snippets offered by such sites as YouTube, Flickr and Digg.  Most of the time this was a simple matter and only required deft use of ctrl+C and ctrl+V, and knowing where in the existing code to put the snippet once copied.

I found that I had to revert to using ‘old code’ to embed the youtube video. The site was different from the example shown in my course and it took some poking around to find the ’embed’ option.

I enjoyed this exercise and look forward to revamping and customizing my site more and more to reflect what I’m learning as well as my personality.

Please feel free to comment here regarding my above noted website if you so choose,  however, this site is a work in progress and is constantly being viewed by myself and my instructors so please refrain from crude language, spam and unneccessary criticism.   That said, if you’ve suggestions regarding it, please do.

Welcome to the Web

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I am a long time volunteer for the Chamber of Commerce in High River, AB.  During the time I’ve been involved in increasing the Chamber’s presence on the web. I am excited to present this online newsletter/blog for the benefit of the Chamber, its members and others who may find it of interest.  This site is intended to be an addition to the official site at High River Chamber of Commerce.

This blogsite is presented as a part of my assignment for a course in Web Design I am taking at the Academy of Learning in High River, AB. This course is presented online through a partnership with Online School of Design. 

In this exercise I have set up accounts with Twitter, Digg, Flickr, YouTube and of course, WordPress. The Chamber already has a Facebook page that is cared for and fed by another volunteer but it will be my responsibility to keep these pages updated with timely information regarding the Chamber of Commerce and its membership.

 I had my reservations about using Twitter for the Chamber, but during the sign up process for it I was pleased to note that the World Chamber of Commerce has a twitter feed.  I believe Twitter can  come to be a valuable tool, provided our membership is willing the embrace it as such.  We are a rural oriented community near Calgary, AB and while we do have a number of citizens who commute to Calgary the town is also heavily involved in agriculture and business enterprises conducted right here in our little home town. So the challenge will be to have people in our community remembering to follow us.  The town of High River has recently started using Twitter as a part of its emergency response program; so it isn’t a totally new concept to our community.

The word ‘twitter’ is defined as: short burst of inconsequential information,’ and ‘chirps from birds’. Which to its devloper, Jack Dorsey, seemed a perfect example of what it was.  Launched publicly in 2006, Twitter has quickly become a part of the online culture, with many celebrities using it to maintain a more personal contact with their fans.  Even the current president of the USA, Barak Obama has a twitter account.  The messages are called Tweets and followers are referred to as Tweeps (twitter plus peeps) in the currently acceptable venacular of web lingo.  

Along  with the Town of High River, AB, many cities and towns are using Twitter as a part of their emergency response programs as well as daily informational ‘tweets’ about traffic issues, road closures and other ‘quick bursts of information’ perhaps more consequential than originally intended.  Twitter is very easily accessed by apps on various smartphones as well as the almost old fashioned online website access.

Of course, the fun part of Twitter usage  is still about being able to tweet with your favorite celeb.  As a cynic, I’d venture that while some celebrities probably do take twittering with their fans seriously, there are a fair few who employ someone to strategically tweet about upcoming ventures and performances.  Celebritydom is, after all, a business and exposing one’s business to the largest audience is a tried and true method of creating revenue. 

In just a few short years, from a closed system to world wide access, Twitter recently entered into other worldly communication with this noteworthy Tweet.

“The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASAastronautT. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010.  By late November 2010, an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts’ communal account, @NASA_Astronauts.”

Just as it’s become common place for companies to include a URL in their print ads, it’s equally as common to have a Twitter feed as well.  Some have ventured as far as saying that if you’re not on Twitter you’re not fully connected to the world.

What makes Twitter such a shining example of Web 2.0 for me, is how dynamic it is. This isn’t just some message posted on a forum somewhere waiting for people to find it. This 140 character message is ‘pushed’ out to the followers of the party sending the Tweet, inviting response, commentary and sometimes even action from its recipients.  You don’t even need to follow all your faves on Twitter, as many other media sources often quote Tweets as part of human interest and in some cases, hard news stories.

-Your Chamber at Work

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