November 7, 2011–Learning XHTML and CSS

Today, I sat at my iMac and worked on something I feel will be very beneficial to me in the long run.  No, this time, it wasn’t taxes, even though, I could use more study time on that.  The other half furnished me with a book called Build Your Own Website The Right Way Using HTML & CSS by Ian Lloyd, a Sitepoint book.  Like many other people, I looked at the contents and thought, “I am never going to be able to understand this stuff.”  My brain isn’t “programmed” to understand programming.  The only programming I understood was QBasic and the little bit of programming I did in Atari BASIC.  Yes, I could make a PC count up to really high numbers and I could make an Atari XE system play sounds.  I thought I was the shiznat!  LOL!

I sat down with the determination that before the day was over, I was going to know how to program at least a little with these two languages.  Once I started, I can say I was hooked.  I knew a bit of HTML that I managed to teach myself in the late 90’s.  There once was a site called Anglefire that allowed you to program your own webpage.  It would allow you to do quite a bit of editing.  I remember it as if it was yesterday.  I was very proud of the accomplishments I’d made.  I looked up everything I could from the Internet.  I had pictures of myself, lists, tables, and I even had a MIDI file that greeted people to the site.  These days, I absolutely hate if I land on a URL where someone added a sound to play automatically.  It’s annoying and some people have slow connections…even dial-up!  It slows doen the speed at with the page fully loads.

The book walks you through the steps of creating a website from scratch.  It tells you the best programs to use as text editors, i.e. Notepad for Windows and TextEditor on Macs.  I am choosing to do mine in TextWrangler as it separates comments, elements, and such into different colors, making it easier to distinguish lines and what they are supposed to do.  It helps you create an entire working website with clear explanations of the workings of the languages.  The major plus for the book, to me, is that the writer does not make things difficult to understand.  He writes as thought he is teaching it to someone who has never heard of a website.

It seems that I was given an older version of the book, but it does just as well.  Maybe a little later, I will get the newer version and see if there is any difference.  After completing the one I’m reading, I will be starting another language that can help out these two.  Maybe something that works along with a database.  That seems to be more and more relevant as the days go by.  This point in time, it pays to know anything and everything you can about computers along with their functions and capabilities.  I believe Sitepoint books are some of the best to achieve this goal..


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