PING: Charles Self

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Hi Charles,
I took the liberty of looking over some of the HTML on your site. I write web sites and pages by hand, so I though I would offer you a few suggestions based on my meager experience.
You are using layers (<DIV tags>) in your pages. Unfortunately, these use fixed locations, and different fonts will cause the problems you are seeing on certain browsers. As the fonts scale up and down, taking varying amounts of real-estate on the screen, the Layers stay stationary, fixed at a certain percentage or pixels from the top and left side.
If you plan on doing this frequently, you might consider buying Macromedia Dreamweaver. I would avoid Front Page like the plague, although it is better than it used to be. From the looks of the code you are creating with SiteBuilder, I would lose it as well. <g>
This is what I see on a box stock Windows install:
http://www.thevideodoc.com/Images/cs_page1.jpg
This is what I see on a stock Firefox install:
http://www.thevideodoc.com/Images/cs_page2.jpg
I would sit down with a piece of paper and come up with a layout that suits you, and translate it into Tables, and avoid the use of Layers entirely. Think about press layout/markups. Think Columns and Rows.
Use fonts that are present as native or substitutes on Macs, PCs, Windoze and Unix systems. The fonts you are using are going to give you fits! Fonts are often sold for print use, bundled with desktop publishing and word processing programs, and are generally copyrighted, so the fonts you have may not be on another's system.
Not trying to be a smart-ass, only to help.
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Greg G. said:

Download this file and look at one way tables may be done: (nested)
http://www.thevideodoc.com/CS_Hardwood.exe
(Self-Extracting EXE file - simply point it to a destination on your drive. This is so your browser will download it instead of opening it. The picture links should work if you upload it to your site.)
Grab the browser window and drag it wider and narrower and watch the way the different sections adapt to changing widths. Everyone doesn't run the same screen resolution as your layout machine, so take this under consideration as well.
Keep in mind I didn't take time to format this stuff, but the way you are approaching this is simply WAY too complicated and inconsistent to work with all browsers. It's a nightmare out there...
I know you are attempting to achieve a specific layout, but unfortunately the web is not a desktop publishing program. Your Sitebilder generated code is filled with thousands of unneeded font tags and non-breaking spaces and soft-spaces and DIVs and....
FWIW,
Greg G.
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Thanks, Greg, but whatever it was, when I downloaded and hit the extract button, it all disappeared.
I'm going to change some of the headers to images later today...but I'm not sure I want to get involved with Dreamweaver, or other programs that cost that much.
I've worked with HTML in the past, and, truthfully, I can't really deal with the boredom. I do have...if I can recall the name...NoteTab or some such already on my hard drive, so I'll try to look at the site with that later on. It may be possible to clean it up that way.
It does seem as if each and every fast and easy web site program either costs a small fortune or adds a lot of debris.
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Charles Self said:

XP Firewall probably ate it... ;-)

Sorry, I haven't priced DW it in a while, but it does generate clean code that is easier to modify by hand, and by other programs. I use it, but it's an older version. It is the only program that created code clean enough for me to abandon the use of hand coded pages... I do web sites in HTML, ASP, etc. as a supporting service to our relational data-base customers, and is a part of our income.
And while I don't care for some of the designs and color schemes customers chose - hey, they're payin for it, not me. ;-)

Yes, HTML editing is boring - especially on large scale projects. You could create a template and use it for all your other/new pages. NotePad comes with Windoze, and can be used to edit manually. DO NOT, however, use WordPad - it will make a mess of things.

Welcome to the wonderful (NOT) world of HTML and cross browser incompatibilities... ;-)
Good Luck with whatever you decide to do... Sorry I butted in.
Greg G.
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Suggestions always welcome. Which doesn't mean they're always taken, of course.
Checked Amazon: Dreamweaver is $399. Ouch. That would almost buy the new lens I want (almost, minus $399--the lens is about $799).
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<<Checked Amazon: Dreamweaver is $399. Ouch. That would almost buy the new lens I want (almost, minus $399--the lens is about $799). >>
You can find a copy on ebay lots cheaper.
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Charles Self said:

And here is the _really_ sad part - in 10 years, that lens will still be worth near that much or more - the software will be valueless.
I don't blame you a bit for not wanting spend that much money on software for a single site. They all ultimately generate HTML code in the end. But do keep my suggestions about fonts, style sheets, and absolute positioned layers (DIVs) in mind - with whatever software you chose.
I am, at this moment, sitting amidst a crop of computers, including Win9x, Win2000, XP and Server, plus a couple of Linux boxes - simply for compatibility testing... No one said it was an easy job... ;-)
Greg G.
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I intend to keep much of what I've learned in mind, even if I don't, or can't, implement it at the moment. Playing with a web site that MAY be the source of future earnings is fun, but one does have to lean down, grab the traps and haul the sled of current earnings along, too. Which is what I need to do for at least 80 hours next week, some of which I'm looking forward to greatly. Some, well...
A lot of the problem with what shows up on SiteBuilder may be in how I'm using it, too. I kind of jumped in fast, and I find as I go along, there are more functions and features than I expected. Not as many as I had hoped, but still more than I can use at the moment.
I have four--no, five, my old, old, old Mac is buried under boxes in a basement corner--computers here. That's enough. One is unstable, either a bad hard drive or power supply, the laptop is a sumbitch with a pissant keyboard, and the other two are fine. Maybe my 19" Viewsonic monitor is part of the problem, though. Bright, accurate, semi-color corrected (colors match prints).
Next monitor change will bring a 20" or larger LCD. My wife's machine (actually, my back-up machine, but let's not tell her) has a 17" LCD that is wonderful, if not exactly like this one. Durned near as much viewing area as the 19" CRT, too.
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Charles Self said:

Understood. I'm not fully up to speed on the W3 standards myself - there simply isn't time for one human to digest all the changing technologies that exist in the computer world. It gives me a migraine.

That's how you learn. Or how I learn anyway... Play with it a bit, then read some of the documentation so that you now know what the hell they are talking about... <g> And it's still an excruciatingly dry read... Then play with it some more. Don't paint yourself into a corner while trying to stick with one method - but consider your options and be flexible. JMHO.

I use a Viewsonic 2182PS - they call it a 21" but it measures more like 19.5" diag. Huge freaking thing that eats up 3 square feet of desk space. But my aging eyes plus multiple concurrent screen displays make it a necessity. And, yeah, it sure looks pretty... <g> I use a KVM switch to select between the four computers that _may_ be in use at any given time.
But monitors sold for $199 or bundled with systems are notoriously bad at color correction. Pantone color charts don't quite pan out... Odd thing is, if they would take the time to provide a color correction INF with the monitor, some of it could be dealt with in software. It won't correct for sweep non-linearity and poor RGB tracking, but you can get the color and luminosity levels a lot closer than they are out of the box.

I've never warmed up to LCDs. The originals were horrible, and the off-angle viewing is poor on all. Other than sweep linearity issues, I still think CRT's look better than even the new units. Of course, they weigh a fraction, and have a much smaller footprint. Everything's a compromise, eh?
FWIW,
Greg G.
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I agree with that. I wouldn't even use NotePad. It has some surprisingly severe limitations that aren't apparent if you're just writing 2 and 3K documents. There's a NotePad+ freeware substitute out in networld somewhere that's installed as a substitute on every computer I get my hands on. Far, far better than the native NotePad.
However, I now use EditPad Lite and it's almost everything I've wanted in a text editor used for HTML coding.
I've downloaded probably four other editors, too, but I was already ingrained with EditPad when I did, so didn't feel the overwhelming urge to wring any of them out.
I, too, hand code all of my HTML. Obviously I maintain my own site (below), but I also maintain ShopTours.org, and I code articles in the Articles section at WoodCentral as well.
On my site, I have two or three templates that I use for most of the various functions, so the 500+ files on site don't necessarily mean I hand wrote every line of code for each. I mean I did, but the vast majority of it was cut-and-paste of my original work.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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LRod said:

Never claimed to _use_NotePad, only suggesting it as a possible solution. I use UltraEdit, and back in the good-old DOS days, used Qedit by Semware - which was then a local company.

Haven't use that one - but there are literally thousands...

Here is a scary though... It took me forever to break the habit of the using WordStar conventions while typing. CTL-K, D etc. I absolutely despise(d) Windoze - although less so as they began to include hot keys for common operations.

I don't have the time to code by hand anymore, and use DW for initial layout, but still tweak by hand. I haven't updated my bloated, ADD* personal site since 2000. It was the first site I wrote, way back in 1998, and consisted of various experiments grafted together into one big, offensive mess. There are more graphics, JAVA applets, eye-candy and animated GIFs than should be allowed by law. ;-)
Maybe I'll fix it one day...

The gist of my original site was a JavaScript Engine that pulled pages into a framed screen - similar to pressing buttons on a TV and receiving different channels. There is a JAVA applet in the top frame, a music player frame, a static navigation frame, and all the _other_ things a good designer avoids. But the actual pages were nothing but content, and were boiler-plated. So it made updates and additions a snap to perform.
Since I have since decided that television and most other things electronic are the devils spawn, I should update it to CSS (which did not functionally exist at that time) and be done with it.
Believe me, none of my customers have been burdened by such an atrocity... ;-)
*Attention Deficit disorder...
Greg G.
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On Mon, 05 Dec 2005 14:32:41 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

There's always vi.
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Larry Blanchard said:

Ah, yes. But I have to write this stuff on Windoze, not *nix. We are MVPs~ for SQL and Access DB stuff. While there is WinVi, it's spotty and doesn't provide hex editing. And I refuse to use an editor named Elvis... ;-)
~ = A pointless, misleading title that actually means nothing...
Greg G.
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I'm not sure where Note Pad came from in the discussion. I mentioned, or meant to, a low priced program I bought about three years ago, called Note Tab Pro. It's actually pretty easy to use, but, IIRC (haven't used it in a couple years) is one helluva long ways from WSIWYG unless you have broadband or a lot more patience than I was born with.
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You could use,

Ah, nevermind. Elvis has, in fact, left the building.
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On Tue, 06 Dec 2005 05:40:27 -0500, Greg G. wrote:

I'd forgotten that one. There was a vim for Windiws, IIRC - or to be acurae, for a DOS in a window :-).
I'd meant the vi reference more or less as a joke, but it really is a lot more powerful than a lot of folks realize. The problem is leaning all hose esoteric command sequences :-).
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Greg G. wrote:

It is still a local company. We started out in Smyrna, moved to Kennesaw, moved to Marietta, and then moved back to Kennesaw. All in Georgia :-)
-- Sam Mitchell semware.com
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snipped-for-privacy@semware.com said:

I wasn't aware you guys were still around. I really loved QEdit - especially the ability to write your own help, macros, and keyboard maps, and then write them back into the EXE, resulting in one compact executable to keep track of.
I lived less than 5 miles from your place in Marietta back in the late 80's. Lived in Florida from 1992-2000, then moved back to Georgia after a brief stint in NJ.
How do you like the traffic these days... ugghh....
Greg G.
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Greg G. wrote:

I remember that one too. But my favorite was the full C compiler (no, not a subset) that ran on the Z80. Others had said it couldn't be done. Came on 2 (IIRC) 8" floppies. I wish I could remember the company name, but my memory is getting old along with the rest of me.
And my favorite computer error message was from a Fortran compiler written for the GE400 computers by Charley ... (damn memory). The message was:
"The compiler has gotten lost - there are a myriad of possible reasons."
Still makes me chuckle :-).
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

Now you've ticked me off cause I should remember. Now I'm gonna be trying to remember for days. :-(
I presume this was for CP/M -- cause I do remember something -- and I don't mean Microsoft who was doing their Commercial BASIC as I recall.
Maybe we should give a free Dynabyte System to the person who remembers...

Never saw that one -- must have been a better FORTRAN programmer than I thought I was. :-)

-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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