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  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
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    I'm going to be making a site soon (i'm a hardware geek...) but I only know HTML, and I'm not even that great at that!

    Now I need to know CSS and Java and SSI and all this crazy crap so I can do my layout. I've done some, but without those languages it just isn't too spectacular.

    I like the http://www.fullon3d.com layout because its no frills, clean, but fairly attractive (that may be because my favorite color, by far, is navy blue ). Only problem is, not only don't I want to plagiarize and do a layout on my own, but upon inspection, there is CSS in there! I copied a news table thingy (please don't laugh too hard at me ) to see how to do it for when I work on my own layout and I noticed that no colors came with it! So I looked up and I think it is in the CSS scripts right beneath the title...I think.

    Really, I'm not expecting anyone to explain CSS or Java or SSI to me, but I would like some recommendations for articles and guides to how to do this cool stuff.

    I also like the anandtech.com layout, but daaaaaum is it bloated! My friend on a 56k modem refuses to go there because of the load time...I'm glad I have cable, because thats my favorite site.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Now this topic seems familiar. Here's the same thing I said in the other thread....

    SitePoint has loads of information to help you.

    JavaScript, Java, Perl, SSI, DHTML, ASP, PHP, CSS, XML, and the rest of the alphabet soup are nice to learn, but you can get by with just a good understanding of HTML.

    JavaScript - lets you do a lot of interactive things, such as dropdown menus. I rarely use JavaScripts myself, and I can always head over to DynamicDrive if I want a script.

    Java - slow, and the first thing that always comes to my mind is that "punch the monkey" banner. Not really worth your time to learn.

    Perl - dying every day, but used to make everything from a hit counter to a message board. I don't recommend you learn it since it is dying.

    SSI - lets you dynamically include content and insert data...the server processes the page and then sends it to the surfer. Great for navigation bars

    DHTML - slowly but surely catching on. It's used for animating text and parts of websites. Fun to play with, but isn't professional most of the time.

    ASP - Usually on NT servers...probably won't ever catch on. Great for manipulating MS Access Databases.

    PHP - Basically the UNIX version of ASP. Much more powerful, and its great to learn if you want to go into web programming.

    CSS - lets you set styles on websites, not too important to learn.

    XML - eXtensible Markup Language - this is the future of HTML. I don't know much about it, but you'll be able to create your own tags.

    Hope I didn't confuse you there

    I am on a 26.4 connection and I think Anandtech is pretty bad...

  3. #3
    Skills to Pay the Bills Sparkie's Avatar
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    Hello Zippy and welcome to the SitePoint Community!

    As said before, you can find heaps of helpful web development information right here at SitePoint. If you're looking for recommended software, or are in search of the perfect programming book, you'll find reviews and popular programs on this site! If you have a question, don't hesitate to ask your fellow forum members! Remember that we cater to programmers and designers of all levels here, from novice to expert, and I'm certain that there will always be someone to help you when you need a hand.

    I also recommend you visit http://webdesign.about.com which has loads of information on everything from CSS to SSI. They have great articles on web development, programming and graphic design. Between About.com and SitePoint, I'm sure you'll find everything you need to build a successful website.

    I hope this helps you in your mission If you have any other questions, simply email me or ask here in the forums.
    Good luck!

    Sherice Jacob - Web Improvement Expert
    Improve Website Conversions | eBook Covers
    Follow Me on Twitter!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    http://www.pagetutor.com/ also has some good tutorials to download.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    Hiya, certainly can find loads here. Another fountain of newbie knowledge can be found at http://www.webmonkey.com - articles on just about everything you can shake a stick at, and then some.
    ~The Artist Latterly Known as Crazy Hamster~
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    Currently delving into Django, GIT & CentOS

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
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    Hi again! Thanks for all the helpful responses from such nice people! I know some message boards like to break in the newbies (I'm guilty of doing that in my area; computer hardware).

    I read the SSI and CSS articles here and the CSS one didn't quite sink in. However, that is probably because I read it while half asleep. The SSI article sunk in better and my friend (freejavahelp) really hammered it home.

    SSI is so cool. However, he only explained how it could make my life easier by putting an include tag so I wouldn't have to keep copying the layout onto each page and so I could change the page layout but not the page content with only 1 file...not hundreds. He mentioned, before he had to go do school work, that he should be using SSI in other ways than the way he described on his site...

    What other ways are there?

    Also, seems like Netscape compatibility is gonna be a ***** for me because I am doing the text/area roll-over thing like they do at anandtech (check the top menubar there for what i mean). Could I get around this by having a javascript that detects the users browser and redirects netscape users to different SSI files which don't have the rollovers, just links?

    Thanks for the help! This place is great!

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard TWTCommish's Avatar
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    Hi There,

    First thing is first: Don't try to learn CSS until you have an very good handle on HTML beforehand. HTML needs to come first - if you're focused and set aside some peaceful time to learn, you won't take long to learn it.

    Secondly: once you've got HTML down, CSS should "sink in" much easier. You can make a very fine looking page without CSS...so don't let that stop you from working on your site before you learn it.

    As for JavaScript, Java, PHP, ASP, Perl, XML, etc - none are needed in terms of a design and layout, and most site owners (I would imagine) don't know any of them.

    I could be way off, but here's how I've learned/will learn:

    1 - HTML (especially tables and forms)
    2 - SSI/CSS (SSI is very simple)
    3 - Some Perl (just to get a handle on it)
    4 - PHP (getting a handle on Perl makes it easy)
    5 - JavaScript/Java (tough stuff so far...but worth it)
    6 - Depends on what comes along.

    I'd take it easy and cross each bridge when you come to it...just my advice.

  8. #8
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    DHTML - slowly but surely catching on. It's used for animating text and parts of websites. Fun to play with, but isn't professional most of the time.
    DHTML is not a language. Many people make that mistake. DHTML is simply the application of javascript and CSS in making a dynamic website. That javascript mouseover is DHTML, that CSS a.hover link is DHTML.

    Chris

  9. #9
    SitePoint Guru Vincent Puglia's Avatar
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    Hi zippy,

    If all you know is HTML, javascript is the next logical step. I would recommend going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com and check out their javascript primer. It's geared for newbies, amusing, and well-written. I would also recommend buying a book. If you are a heavy reader -- O'Reilly's Javascript: a Definitive Guide or Danny Goodman's Javascript Bible (if you have enough money -- both). If you are a light reader -- SAM's Javascript in 24 hours.

    Once you know the basics of javascript (vars, functions, event handlers), you can move onto CSS & dHTML (which as aspen implies is actually an implementation of various scripting languages and the DOM -- document object language)

    Vinny
    Where the World Once Stood
    the blades of grass
    cut me still

  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot freejavahelp's Avatar
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    hey zip

    sorry i didn't tell ya what else SSI can do!

    it is really really good for dates, time of day, etc.

    Some people try to convince you to use JavaScripts to do this. Personally, I think its a waste Why use 5 or 10 lines of code when you could use 1?

    Some of the SSI variables can tell you:

    -GMT Time
    -Time as shown by the server
    -Remote Host (domain name of the client)
    -The IP of the user
    -Server name
    -server software

    and much more, i just listed a few check out the SSI tutorial at echodev.com for more stuff

    Jim
    http://www.freejavahelp.com
    Making Java REALLY Easy
    Tutorials, Forums, and Articles

  11. #11
    SitePoint Member
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    Thanks jimbo, but why didn't you tell me this when you were over at my house earlier?! :P

    Heheh, anyway, thanks.

    I'll check that tutorial out.

  12. #12
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    Take a look at http://www.123webmaster.com THey have some really good scripting resources and their network of sites is very usefull for those who wnat to learn. You also might want to take a look at http://www.digitalthread.com, it's a good resources for any webmaster I think.

    Another thing is that it helps if you look at sites that have good designs and then see how it's done. A nice directory of well-designed sites can be found at http://www.coolhomepages.com

    Hope that this helps you!

    [Edited by Isaac on 09-28-2000 at 01:26 AM]
    Isaac
    [www.disegno.com]www.disegno.com[/url] -Coming Soon
    isaccofedele@yahoo.com

  13. #13
    Idea Developer
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    I think you should buy a book, its around 20 bucks, and it will help you a lot.
    Professional PHP programing / Hosting
    aim: downtoi3iz icq: 74637813

  14. #14
    SitePoint Guru
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    I think that you are very lucky for all these hints on how you can get started as a good web site builder. There is nothing that can replace good professional advice and tell us now what decision you have taken so far. I mean since you posted your message. Tell us how you are going to wade through all these mountain of information to build a professional web site?. You will not need to buy one book many many?.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member
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    Hi everybody!

    Thanks for all the advice! Its been VERY helpful! I've been so busy with school I haven't had time to reply until now. Well, I've decided to leave out CSS (at least at first) due to Netscape incompatibilities. However, I do plan on using SSI, it just makes good sense so I don't have to change each page if I change the layout in the future!

    I plan to work on my site this weekend a bit, once I get a good looking layout that works in both IE and NS4 through NS6 I post a link and get some input on it.

    Thanks again!

    This place is great btw, most forums are rude to newbies. :P

    -zippy


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