This Place Needs Some Pizzazz

Within about a week of me finishing my Astronomy course, one of my closest friends told me that he needed a Website. Before he could even draw his next breath, I immediately pounced on the opportunity to offer my help. Over the years, I think I've sometimes been a less than positive influence on him. So I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to do something for him that he might benefit from. At the very worst, it wouldn't make any difference at all, but it could prove to be beneficial/useful to him. When I offered to make it for him I knew there was almost zero chance of him actually using whatever I made. Just a quick look at how this place looks at the time of writing should be enough to see why. He's a musician; so, like artists of almost all other art-forms, if he's gonna have a Website, how the place looks is of the utmost importance; even more so than for most other commercial sites. If I've been sprucing the place up like I plan to be doing very soon, then (hopefully) you'll need to click the link to the screenshot of how the place looks whilst I'm writing this entry before smirking in agreement. If not, then I'm going to cry.

As well as this place looking like it was made on a typewriter, he also knows I have rather inflexible—although he would probably say stubborn, stupid and weird—ideas about how websites should be made. For example, I believe that a website must not require that Javascript be enabled in order for it to function. Obviously there are some cases where only Javascript can do what is needed, but far too many sites use Javascript to make a feature work at all, rather than providing a sub-optimal feature which is then optimised with Javascript.

When I offered to make the Website for him, I told him that I didn't actually expect him to use it and that I was planning to make something like it anyway. The plan was to build components based on or compatible with my site, so that by the end of the process he'd have a new Website and I'd have a few components that could be used to improve/replace the components for this place. Now that he's finally said he has no intention of using the site I was building for him, I've stopped building it and I can get on with the process of merging the code. Hopefully that won't take long at all and then I can start to make the place look a bit less ugly and boring.

Building another site also gave me something to do whilst I was waiting for HTML 5 to become a proper standard too. I didn't want to jump on the HTML 5 bandwagon until it had all its wheels. I really didn't want to waste time reading and learning a Recommendation until it had stopped changing. I knew that trying to keep track of changes to the specification would just cause me to get things horribly mixed up in my head, so I decided to let the dust settle completely before starting out. Of course, that means I'm well behind everyone else in terms of what's new in the world of Web markup, but at least I won't be getting mixed up about what is and is not in the specification. I did use a tiny bit of it to make a page for my friend's site, but I avoided going in to any real detail. So, for example, as far as I know, HTML 5 can be used as an application of XML and that's exactly how I was using it. However, at the time of my attempt to use an <audio> (or it could have been a <video>) element the element had an attribute that I needed to use, but the attribute was specified to have zero legal values. As anyone familiar with even the absolute basics of XML will tell you, that sort of thing just isn't going to fly in an XML processor. I would think it's safe to assume that problems like these have since been resolved, but I didn't want to build pages on shifting sands. Now I just need to read up on it.

Categories

  • (X)HTML
  • Javascript
  • Making Things
  • Personal
  • Web Development
  • XML