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Who?! lol. It’s been so long since I’ve had time to come on here and blog. I miss it!

I have been immersed in classes. One of the last semesters and I take on the largest class load! lol. Why do I do this? I don’t know. As I ponder the answer to this conundrum, let me blog a little bit!

I am on the down hill stretch of a five class semester, so you know what that means don’t ya? It means that I can get this blog back into my daily routine. Do you know, that as much as I liked Farm Town and Farmville (because they remind me of SimFarm of the 90s – that I used to play on my first Mac.) that I have not had a chance to get on them more than two times in over a month. Tragic isn’t it! lol

I will say that I discovered a game called CafeWorld thanks to my friend Amy – author of the late chica chica blog. sigh….(I tried! haha.) That game and Fish World are my current ‘take-five’ time fillers. My cafe is pretty cool! At least I think so! 🙂

Currently, I have a web project I am working on. It isn’t that much different from the one I did in the spring. Some of you might be familiar with that one – although I was never able to fully incorporate it into iweb, thus it still isn’t on the web. I’m proud of it though. It was my first complete website attempt. The site I have to do for this semester – due in less than four weeks – is a minimum of 10 pages and includes what is being called dynamic content. We are sort of using ASP in the class.

The web site project that I’m working on now is/will be a live site. Most of it is pretty good. I think the biggest hang up at present is the usage of css. While I used it on my last project, it didn’t use as much css. This is more specific and can possibly tie in the navigation. Going back in days gone by, (ok…I mean last spring.) when I learned XHTML – I learned using tables. We didn’t learn frames as they are a bit out of date. But I didn’t really learn much about div tags. Thus, I’ve learned quite a bit this semester from my own studying and talks with friends.

The thing I love about coding is that once you see and understand how it works… it’s a pattern. It works this way, it doesn’t work that way. You can do this and tweak that…etc. I love that. Thing is that you have to have the chance to learn it in a way that you can grasp it with your own learning style. – we all learn in different ways you know! That’s another thing that makes us humans unique. lol.

So, yes, my dog has gotten used to me sitting and staring at my large computer screen all day long. That started in the spring with my XHTML class. I’d turn up the music cd of the day and I’d read/complete the tasks in the book we were using. It might not have been the best textbook on coding ever- but for someone like me whose only knowledge at the time was the fact that I liked coding — it helped out a lot. I think it gave me a good starting point and we did a lot of coding with it. The tests were just that – you were given a coding task and had to fulfill it. Because I had put in a lot of study time and had ‘grasped’ the coding ideas and patterns, I had fun! Crazy as it sounds, I actually enjoyed the tests and all. But honestly, I can say that because I can see where I was starting from! I started out at basically square one and look at where I’m at now. I’ve been able to code some pretty cool stuff! Not a lot and nothing earth changing, but when I look at it- it makes me smile.

Coming from my Commercial Graphics background, I love making Mocks (as I learned they are called last night at our Mac group) for my sites. In printing circles, whether you are screen printing the next Coldplay shirt, or you are designing the new Texas Steakhouse menu, you always make a “dummy.” It’s a drawn out replica of what you are going to print. [First step is drawing out thumbnails, which are abstract drawings of what you think the placement/layout will be. Then the next step is drawing out dummies, which are a more specific/detailed model of what really will be designed on the computer and go to print. I like to go ahead and even include the text and basic sketch of what the pictures will look like. If you do the creative work on the front end and get the client to approve, then you only have to get on your computer and Adobe or whatever programs you use and make it a reality.]

In the world of the web design, a “Mock” isn’t that different except for the fact that what I’ve seen of them, they are started in detail on the computer – whereas with the print world “Dummies” you have to have amazing detail sketched out before you even open Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. I think I always put a lot more detail in my “dummies” and “Mocks” than might be typical…idk. I got that idea with my last web project anyway.

The big thing for me right now is taking my Mock up and turning it into an active website with a few dynamic elements (i.e. web/email form, database drawn info – like journal/news entry). As far as having a Photoshop or Fireworks document that looks like the web page in question and turning it into code, I watched a pretty awesome Adobe workshop on doing just that – they used Fireworks and imported the sliced file into Dreamweaver. They were using CS4. However, this requires some slicing know-how and CS4. lol. I’ve got CS3 and I’ve never done ‘slicing’ because I always used Photoshop!

At the meeting last night, the topic of auto-generated code – i.e. like going from Fireworks to Dreamweaver – came up. One thing that was talked about was that the auto-gen code can sometimes add extra tags that just make the files more cumbersome to search engines. A web crawler is only going to look so much and the search results have a larger chance of not being effective. And we all know how frustrating it can be if our searches aren’t really, really good. Just thought that was an interesting side note.

On this note and word count – according to WordPress- 1073, I shall call it a night. I’ve still got several class times standing between me and the weekend, but I am hoping to get some work done tomorrow. Until then, I shall see if the pizzas I have been cooking in CafeWorld are ready and call it a day. Hmm…even though the weather is really cold I am already dreaming of a Homemade Frappe… either for breakfast, lunch, or brunch – whichever.. drinking one is inevitable.

Have a great Wednesday evening!

p.s. If my blog seemed to ramble, I apologize. As it is my first real blog in a few months, I know they’ll get back to being a bit more structured soon.