Thursday, January 29, 2009

Journal 13: Seldom heard from Mr. Trump

So today, I was hired by the State News to be on their Graphic Design Team!!!

The hiring process is pretty complex, I must say: First, you submit a resume, then you get which time, if they like you enough, you are given a call-back at which point, they, in effect, test drive you by having you work on an ad (in my case it was a V-Day ad for a florist)...and if you find a way to not screw that up, they hire you...for a probationary semester...after which they decide if they really want to hire you.

I am at the probationary semester phase...for some reason, I feel like something like this should be on a TV show...


Well, anyway, I am the newest Graphic Designer at the State News...I may work my way up to web design as I get better at coding and the like...but for right now, web stuff is basically going to be confined to my WRA class and any downtime when I can be reading up on things I need to learn.

So in the words heard only once annually from the venerable MR. Trump, I had the privelege of hearing:

"Josh, you're hired"

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Journal 11 & 12: Forms

Well, I think I have a slight bug on my portfolio...I have no idea where the feedback saves I have to write in the code where the feedback goes? If so, that's a whole different can of worms that I'm gonna have to open! I always wanted to know how forms work...and also, how comment functions work on blogs...I'm going to be learning how to write my own blog code at some point and one of the main features is the whole notion of does one write code to save comments on a blog or portfolio?

I finally think I found something that I can throw myself at...web design. Every time I turn a corner, I find little things that just blow my mind...every time I have an idea, it's a little adventure to figure out the solution. Plus, with this huge explosion in online use, there are so many sites out there that are completely obsolete and, quite frankly, suck. I think I might like to fix that...maybe (virtually of course) burn the code that runs JC Penny's site and rebuild it from scratch so people can buy mediocre clothes at terrible prices conveniently*. It still astounds me at how bad this site really is...maybe I'm being a little bit harsh...but the first experience I had with JCP left me in a tailspin trying to figure out if I were going to be getting 1 or 2 pairs of pants, what color the aleged trousers were going to be, how much I would be charged, or if I was going to get a pair of pants at all...and in order to cancel my purchase, I couldn't do it online, I had to call some lady from like the middle of West Virginia to tell her that I wasn't going to be needing those jeans at this time, but thanks...and that's how I feel about JCP's site...questions?

*I think I would start at the bottom of the code and literally hold the delete key and watch every single little character be erased

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Journal 9 & 10: Grids and other observations

So lately, it seems that everyone (well, just a couple of sites/blogs I follow*) is redesigning their sites and they are mentioning the use of underlying grids...I'm curious as to what exactly "grids" mean...are the grids actually in the code or is it just something used in the mock-up? What determines what kind of grid is used?

The intrigue builds with this next bit of dad (aka Pastor C or PC) and I have scheduled a meeting to discuss the church website...he even sent me a project brief of sorts...I did find several tutorials on how to make drop-down menus with CSS, but the general consensus seems that the best way for menus is to use JavaScript, especially if you have more than one layer of drops...with js, evidently, you can mouse slightly out of the area of the drop-down and the menu won't just snap shut like it would in CSS, which enables one to mouse down thru a menu diagonally...which connects to the church site b/c one of the main ideas PC has is regarding drop-down menus.

PC also has some ideas as to what tone he wants to set (contemporary and ultra simple), which leads me to think an appropriate color scheme would be mostly white with some green, brown, maybe blue...some kind of Zenn scheme with completely sans-serrif font overall...but definately a gray text...I feel that's a must in this situation.

I feel pretty excited about the whole business...I know I have an extraordinary amount to learn still, but then again, this is something I want to learn...not something I have to.

*I have made some small attempts to contact the authors of these blogs...I think they may be some really good contancts to have

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Journal 7&8

I think my my favicon problem is that I am using a Dropbox public folder to publish my the browser may not recognize that I have a favicon...I'm not quite sure, but I think that's my main problem...

For an honors option, I think I would like to make my final project a web site with a couple of extra sub-pages and JavaScript or Flash embedded in it...maybe make my portfolio into a whole personal website...with links to my portfolio, my blog (perhaps learn to make a blog layout on my own) and maybe some other things...

Another idea I would be really interested in is making a website for my church...the idea has been floating around with the leadership team at the church and I was planning on getting the ball rolling this summer due to the fact that I was kind of waiting on some content from them, but I could put together a general template that could accept the content later on... i was planning on putting in at least 5-6 pages for this one including a web gallery, a blog/announcements page, a podcast page, a general overview of the church, and some others...because of the size of this project, I probably would not use JavaScript seeing as I would still have to learn and master that language as well as research how to make a working blog, a page for downloads and an effective web gallery...also, the demographic of the users would make it difficult to use Flash or JavaScript on the site as most of the users would have dial-up connections and relatively older machines and JavaScript and Flash would lessen the accessibility of the site to them.

I would also be willing to tutor people in the class for web coding...I am pretty familiar with HTML and CSS coding so I could be of some help to students who may not have that much experience in web coding...maybe a powerpoint presentation to the class on some common things they will see when using HTML and CSS coding like link tags, div id's and so on...

And of course, I would be open to other ideas as well...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Journal 6 thing I'm working on at the moment is drop down menus and rollover effects...I can't remember how to do the code, but it is something I have been working on.

Also, I can't seem to get my favicon to work...I've been trying for like a half hour now and still no headway...urgh*


Monday, January 19, 2009

Journal 4 &5

Well, there really isn't much else to report at the moment...oh! I finished the favicon gif (left)...I still have to convert it to .ico, but I did finish it...and I know how to put it into code for my's really just an href tag in the header that new browsers automatically use as your icon...pretty nifty huh?

I didn't really know what to do that represented me while still being memorable, so this is what I got*...maybe eventually I'll make the favicon my logo rather than this lil guy...but who knows...

One other thing that came to mind as I'm sitting here at like 2 am...I want to know how to make links to downloadable files like pdf's and podcasts...I'm heading up the web design for my church and one of the things I wanted to do was to make my dad's (aka pastor Compton) weekly sermon recordings into a podcast that could be downloaded from the site...I still have to do some research as to how all that stuff would work, but mainly I want to know how to link to downloadable files...any help from the blogosphere?

And how do you make links that open in new tabs? I always find it a pain when I'm reading something and I click on the link and it leads me away from the original site I was viewing...most likely, if I make a link inline, it's supplemental to what I'm talking about so I want the reader to be able to stay on the original site but view the other page at the same exactly do I do this?

*it's a little bigger than real life ;P

Friday, January 16, 2009

Journal 2 & 3: Still Under Construction

CSS. I like.

So I just recently finished my digital least the major body of it...I still need to add descriptions to my pictures and Next and Previous buttons to the pages. And some other minor things like adding a Favicon (thanks to Jam's wonderful insight and guidance).Tedious comes to mind.

Now for the actual meat of this post. So for a few days now, I've been trying to add a little banner in the corner explaining that my site is still under construction. From my previous life as a CSE 101 student in the Web Track Program, I knew the best way to do this was to make a div and tell the index where to put it with the all-powerful CSS sheet that Photoshop so conveniently generated for me...sounds pretty simple right? I already did it once with the link (a picture ) for my Homepage (which is still in the virtual womb with only that maroon rectangle in the background to show for my extensive work*), so I knew generally what to do...absolute positioning and 0px top and left...but it wasn't working. I had put the div in the line above the < / body > tag...if it's absolutely positioned, it really doesn't matter where you put the div as long as it's in the body...but no what about right under the <> tag? I want it at the top of the I'll put the GIF at the top of the What about just inside the top <> tag? Random place, but it might WTF? So for about a week, I tried to figure out what I was doing wrong...and one day it hit me...what if I take out the space in the div id?** Turns out that little space makes all the difference.

I now have a Still Under Construction banner in its rightful place...but it was a pain...moral of this story...with div id's, no spaces or else

*building a table half from scratch is a pain in the ass!
**my div id was .under construction

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Journal 1

First thing...I really want to know how to make those little GIFs that appear by the URL navbar (see right) prof told me that the code for this is in the head...but a lot of sites have tons of stuff like CSS code and stuff like that in looking for something I don't even know the name for is really kind of annoying when it's burried in CSS and other random crap.

Second thing...JC Penney has a terrible website. It is never clear about what is actually available to order and what is out of stock, the load times are uber slow, the pics of the clothes are extremely innaccurate; the consumer has to go through like 5 different links to actually order an item and there is no place to actually redeem gift cards once you are finished navigating the labrynth of pages you have to go through before being able to complete an order. I'm already predisposed against online shopping and this experience definately didn't help. A company website that involves potential revenue is definately not something you just hand off to your interns and temps to play around with.

Third...I am going to have a rough semester and this journal most likely will be an outlet for complaining and stress...I really am not this angry all the time. ;)

Online Journal

So to anyone out there who happens to know the background of my blog...the content here at The Way I See It is going to be changing drastically...unfortunately, over the past however many months it has been, downtime has become a commodity...including the time to write out coherent and interesting posts. Because of this, I will be using this site for my web authoring class as an online journal. Feel free to comment on the posts as many of them will be posing questions about web authoring and telling of frustrations I have with whatever I am working on...but no more real 'Blog-ish' type content from my end.