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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by samsm
    Someone who is passionate on the topic could write an article ... "How to teach web publishing", something like that.
    It might be a little be personal, I know how I used to teach... but that does not mean that my way was the best. But I think that, at least for me, this should be the things a web designer should know:

    HTML (yes, including frames and tables) + CSS - Esential (including W3C recommendation and differences among browsers)
    Javascript - Esential (including differences in DOM)
    DOM (including W3C DOM) - Esential
    XML (with XPath, Xlink, ect) - Esential
    PHP (ASP) - Optional (only if he does back end programming)
    Perl - Optional (if he does back end/CGI programming)
    Java - Optional (depending if he is going to concentrate on back end developing)

    Adobe Photoshop - Esential
    Flash - Esential
    Fireworks - Optional (extremely convenient, though)
    Macromedia Freehand/ Adobe Illustrator - Optional (convinient)

    Dreamweaver (after learning HTML and hand code)

    Networking (even if he will be a front end designer, it comes handy to have certain technical notions of how the web really works)

    I think I include everything. This would be for a web designer, it does not include what a web administrator should know.

    I would also think that, for those who do program and uses PHP or similar, a course in Linux, Windows Server, web server installation and administration is also necessary, as you need to test your programs somewhere and it does not make sense to publish every time that you want to test something.

    But this is my opinion

  2. #102
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    molona I would agree with everything you said but Flash. Flash is not essential and will become less valuable as SVG becomes incorporated in all modern browsers, which I'm sure it will.
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  3. #103
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    molona I would agree with everything you said but Flash. Flash is not essential and will become less valuable as SVG becomes incorporated in all modern browsers, which I'm sure it will.
    Especially since Adobe just bought out Macromedia.

  4. #104
    SitePoint Zealot LSW's Avatar
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    I like the list but would add Servers, I only had a 1 nightstand/Quicky with Apache in my training, to install it and what folder to work in and call up local host and that was about it.

    Then I got into Server Side Includes and had trouble as did not ounderstand what I needed to do to tweak Apache.

    Now I am investigating different CMS's for two customers and I am having a devil of a time as it is calling for modulas, and ini files and .htaccess's etc and I am scrambling for some understanding of this in a short period I have to find a CMS so I ca finally start the developement to finish by the deadline...... I am really cursing my two schools for never covering this in depth, I ahve no one I can discuss it with but forums and they are only as good asthe question asked, so you have to have an idea of what the problem is.

    I think even the most basic web design courses should go into Servers much deeper as well as Databases so we ahve a good base knowledge so we can teach ourselves more later if needed. I would be up a creek so to speak if either of these customers used IIS as we never covered it at all.
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  5. #105
    SitePoint Member linemanint'l's Avatar
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    It's a shame that colleges are like this. Is it that we are used to the html and don't want to change or are we evolving into new types of web designers? I know that many people look for the quick fix. Is flash the answer?

  6. #106
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    Flash is definitely not the answer. It's not easy to update content or links or really much of anything in Flash. Even iof you had a flash header, you still need to wrap it in html/css to display it properly.

  7. #107
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    Yes, but it is widely used and most of the web designers have to comply with the customer's tastes.... even if you try to kindly suggest that it may not be the best idea.

    I know that Adobe has bought Macromedia (or will at the end of the year), but until Flash disappears from the market (if it does), I think it is still important. But, yep, it may not be esential.

    Quote Originally Posted by LSW
    I think even the most basic web design courses should go into Servers much deeper as well as Databases so we ahve a good base knowledge so we can teach ourselves more later if needed. I would be up a creek so to speak if either of these customers used IIS as we never covered it at all.
    I insist... for those that are more than designers, and complement with at least a little bit of programming, very specially PHP, ASP and the like (which are mainly used for databases), they should know an OS and Web Server Installation and Administration (call it Apache, or IIS)

  8. #108
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    Flash ain't goin' nowhere! I think you might find either Dreamweaver or Golive will bite the dust as features get merged but Flash will replace the defunct LiveMotion that was so horrible.

    There is a definite place for Flash in this industry... it can be a great way to show an animation online, show tutorials, as a small visually compelling part of a website, etc. I'm not a big fan of all-flash sites but think there are some well designed ones out there. No, Flash is going to be with us for some time to come.

    Freehand and Fireworks on the other hand...

  9. #109
    Xbox why have you forsaken me? moospot's Avatar
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    I never said Flash was unimportant or going away. I merely stated that Flash wasnt THE answer to solving the standards issue. I agree that Flash has a definite place and a lot of people use it. But essential it is not. There is a big leap from HTML coding and photoshop to Flash and ActionScripting. Either way, you still need to know HTML.

  10. #110
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Like Moospot, it's not that I don't think that there is a place for Flash, and I don't think that it is going away. I just don't think it is a core requirement to be a good web designer/developer. As such, it is not as important to teach as W3C specifications (HTML, XHTML, CSS, etc.), JavaScript, PHP (and/or ASP) and how to use PhotoShop, which are imparitive skills to be a competent developer. You can't design a good site without those skills, yet one can design very nice sites without using Flash.
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  11. #111
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    I feel sorry for all you guys, I am enrolled in a fantastic web program at our community college here in Michigan. The chair of the department stresses usability and the latest in coding. I feel like I am learning the latest and newest and the more I learn the more I want to learn. Too bad more colleges aren't like this.

  12. #112
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fieldfarms
    I feel sorry for all you guys, I am enrolled in a fantastic web program at our community college here in Michigan. The chair of the department stresses usability and the latest in coding. I feel like I am learning the latest and newest and the more I learn the more I want to learn. Too bad more colleges aren't like this.
    Indeed if the majority of colleges taught web development/design this way, there would be way fewer interoperability issues on the web.
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  13. #113
    SitePoint Member JMWeaver's Avatar
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    web standards not being taught in community colleges either

    I went to Edison Community College and even though I took HTML and two Web site design classes we were not taught about using CSS for anything more than just a few basic things such as coloring an H1 heading or aligning a paragraph.

    I will say that we did have to do a report on accessability but then it was up to us to incorporate what ever we could into a site that we made and we really weren't taught how to do that.

    I have called the head of the department about doing a CSS class for designing websites and they said it wasn't that important.

    Too bad for them.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    Like Moospot, it's not that I don't think that there is a place for Flash, and I don't think that it is going away. I just don't think it is a core requirement to be a good web designer/developer. As such, it is not as important to teach as W3C specifications (HTML, XHTML, CSS, etc.), JavaScript, PHP (and/or ASP) and how to use PhotoShop, which are imparitive skills to be a competent developer. You can't design a good site without those skills, yet one can design very nice sites without using Flash.
    Yes, I think I forgot to add to my list the most important thing... A designer's course!!

    The kind of course that teachs you about chosing (and the psychology behind of) colors, layouts, things to take into account (be it accessibility, usability or simply making the site like there is enough info but not filled in excess), when and how to use pics... and art in general.

  15. #115
    SitePoint Enthusiast runrobrun's Avatar
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    Teaching Web standards is challenging

    I have taught Web Design at two colleges over the past 6 years. Started out teaching HTML 3. It is such a challenge to teach Web standards when the background for the incoming students seems to be fairly weak. I have a pedagogy that seems to work well though.

    First, I make sure we view a group of sites using mutliple browsers and multiple OS. We even use Lynx and I try to get them to think as a user not a designer. We also read Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug to cover user design concepts. By this time we are three weeks into the course and we haven't even touched a text editor. I think create a base of HTML using only a text editor. We typically deat with the basic block tags such as paragraphs, ordered and unordered lists and images. I then move into formatting using CSS. This is where things get more difficult for the students and I have to spend a good portion of the semester explaining why we use CSS and that it is more than just a text formatting tool.

    This is usally what our base course consists of. We then in subsequent courses teach flash and graphic design techniques. I guess it seems pretty successful because we often hire students who have come out of these programs to work at our small web design firm.

    Just a look from a Prof's perspective. This is a very interesting topic. Looking forward to reading more.
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  16. #116
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    runrobrun your course sounds very interesting. I wish I had had the opportunity to take it when I was learning this stuff.
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  17. #117
    SitePoint Member KmyLars's Avatar
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    Web Standards taught in College

    I am graduating next weekend with a degree in both Computer Information Systems (CIS) and Web & Digital Media Development (WDMD) from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). My class is the first to graduate with the new WDMD new major.

    My first impression of the WDMD major at UWSP was that it wasn't complete...we didn't learn anything about php or databases. The only real design course offered was on beginning photoshop. I feel bad for the people who do not have a CIS background, because they do not know anything about coding or building dynamic sites. I feel that most of the things I know today about web design are self-taught. However, the one thing that was stressed a lot at UWSP was web usability standards. We were taught from the beginning that CSS was important, and we were challenged to use CSS to replace the tables in our sites. We learned about XHTML, XML, and other standards used today. And although I know flash & action script pretty well, my portfolio is not in flash.

    After reading the post on how some colleges are neglecting to teach these standards, I feel much better about what I've learned at UWSP. But if you're thinking about going there, at least take CIS as a minor so you get a complete background in the technical area.

  18. #118
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    Question If not frames, what? (Novice question)

    I've noticed several times in this thread some not-to-subtle comments about frames that lead me to belived they are somewhat frowned upon and may not represent the leading edge of web design.

    As an accomplished, IMHO, programmer and a relative newcomer to web programming, what is the current hot ticket to implement 'frame' functionality.

    I find, for example, the frame layout of the conventional JavaDoc presentation quite useful with the lists of packages and classes shown 'permanently' on the left and the documentation for the currently selected class displayed 'dynamically' in the large window as different classes are selected.

    Could someone briefly say how to achieve this without frames and perhaps offer a couple of pointers to useful websites, tutorials, books, and such.

    I thank you in advance for your advice

  19. #119
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Jrobertcant, in regards to your questions about frames. Frames can have major usability issues and can reduce the search engine friendliness of websites.

    If the purpose of a frame is to keep a consitant menu without out needing to update every page everytime new items are added to a page, the best method to use is server side includes. Server side includes break pages down into seperate parts or objects. Thus you could for example end up with one file called say "header.inc" another called "menu.inc" and yet another called "footer.inc"

    Then each webpage makes references to these includes. When a webpage is requested, the server processes the page takes note of the include instructions and slips the lines of code from these include files into the webpage BEFORE it is sent off to the web browser. In the end this allows new pages to be added to a website by simply adding the new page and modifying the "menu.inc" file.

    Most modern websites work on some form of this principle.
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  20. #120
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    The college I graduated from has a great Multimedia/Web program (if you don't get the new part-time teachers) but now they're requiring the Graphic Deisgn students to learn the basics of web design and the way they go about it is all wrong:

    The graphic design teachers as a whole know approximately dick about (x)html and instruct the students to build an entire site in Adobe ImageReady. They don't give any concern to bandwidth friendly sites either, which is an appropriately huge problem when you imported all your content from a photoshop or illustrator document.

    My fiance built her site for that class with web friendly graphics in dreamweaver (with my tutelage) and got a lower grade than other students in the class for her site not looking as pretty as others' whose pages took several seconds to view completely on a T1. Imagine how long it would take a dial-up user to see that kind of work? The majority of the class linked their thumbnails to the source psd files or other formats that aren't native to the web anyway. If it were a class in visual appeal, then I could understand getting a lower grade, but FUNDAMENTALS OF WEB DESIGN should be giving her a higher grade for designing with standards in mind. Besides, when they offer degrees in Multimedia, why are they teaching graphic designers Flash? They don't even teach the GD students enough Flash to do anything useful with it anyway.

    It's a sick world when they give ballerinas classes in neurosurgery.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLB
    That sounds like teaching W3C standards (or more accurately put specifications) to me. This is very refreshing. Think you could lobby your counterparts at other fine institutions to do the same?
    Unfortunately I haven't even been successful at doing that at our 30 or so campuses! In fact the latest squabble is that our corporate tech department is trying to force us to use Dreamweaver as a replacement for our HTML editors because they see a duplication of software!

  22. #122
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy KLB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wayne_b
    Unfortunately I haven't even been successful at doing that at our 30 or so campuses! In fact the latest sqauabble is that our corporate tech department is trying to force us to use Dreamweaver as a replacement for our HTML editors because they see a duplication of software!
    Maybe the best argument against Dreamweaver and other WYSIWYG HTML editors in the classroom is:

    When we first began to learn math we were not allowed to use calculators because we needed to learn and understand the underlying principles. Web development is no different. In order to fully capitalize on the power of webpage development "languages" one must learn the basics. This means, that students must learn to hand code XHTML, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Not until students are profecient with these languages and fully understand the way they interreact with web browsers, PDAs, etc. Only once students understand the underlying principles, should they be taught how to use WYSIWYG HTML editors.

    We wouldn't teach math by giving third graders calculators, and we shouldn't be giving new web development students WYSIWYGs.
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  23. #123
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    What's funny is that I learned to build web sites with Notepad/Simpletext and sometimes still do. Recently, the only time I use Dreamweaver is at my job, when the builders before me made such a mess (and the owner requires a godawful system of deleting spaces that makes reading code quite impossible) that I have to use the ability to click on an element to be taken to the code that generates it.

    Other than that, I only use Dreamweaver as a glorified text editor. The refreshing preview is the only aspect of it that I use for basic building. Personally, I agree that people need to learn with the simplest of tools to start. How can you be the best at a game when you don't know the controls?

  24. #124
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    Agree with iriel 100%

  25. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrobertcant
    I've noticed several times in this thread some not-to-subtle comments about frames that lead me to belived they are somewhat frowned upon and may not represent the leading edge of web design.

    As an accomplished, IMHO, programmer and a relative newcomer to web programming, what is the current hot ticket to implement 'frame' functionality.

    I find, for example, the frame layout of the conventional JavaDoc presentation quite useful with the lists of packages and classes shown 'permanently' on the left and the documentation for the currently selected class displayed 'dynamically' in the large window as different classes are selected.

    Could someone briefly say how to achieve this without frames and perhaps offer a couple of pointers to useful websites, tutorials, books, and such.

    I thank you in advance for your advice

    In web standards (and for search engine marketing), frames are a big no-no. The reasons are various, one of them, and probably the most important, as KBL said, is that search engines do not like them.

    If you are working in an intranet, a much more controlled enviroment, the issues are not that big, but if you are building for the web, oh boy!

    As professionals, we somehow live depending on search engines... because, why do you want a site if nobody will see it? Search engines are not the only way to promote a site, but if you are successful, the amount of traffic you can get is so big, that makes it worth. Not all the spiders can follow pages with frames, and those that do, don't like them because of the extra work.

    Frames also have bandwidth issues. Remember, you are loading more than one html document into one page. Depending on the page the difference may be minimal, but I have seen a few dramatic examples. In an intranet is not that important as the number of users will be quite limited.

    Frames do not help with accessibility. Huge issue for persons with discapacities. Think extreme: a blind person. Blind people surf using a special software that reads the pages (tags and everything). If you use frames... well, you just simply drive them crazy!

    Frames make bookmarking impossible. Hey, you just lost a user that thought that your page was cool!

    So, you see, frames have their place, but if you can avoid them... better!

    How to work without frames? well (X)HTML and CSS, of course...


    Here is a very interesting thread http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/show...ghlight=frames

    Where to learn? Well, I do not remember if there are any links in the thread, but if you just google it a little bit, there is lots of tutorials, or go to the HTML and CSS forums, the first thread is always a welcome with lots of interesting links. And, obviously, http://www.w3.org is a must, as the web consortium is the one behind the web standards... a little tough to read, thouhg, but very good to go to sleep


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