Positioning, no get your mind out of the gutter… Monday, Aug 4 2008 

In all honesty, I hate positioning with such a passion that for awhile now I’ve been a floated layouts only kinda guy mostly because it causes less stress for me across different platforms. Now this may be wise, but it’s also like trying to run a marathon with one leg.

Positioning is important but what does it exactly do? Found a nice article that put it very simple and basic like for me.

Position-Static: Normal, nothing is changed. This is the default, but you can set it specifically to this to make it normal again.

Position-Relative: Relative to normal. So you place an element in the flow, then tell it to go 40px left with position relative and it’ll move 40px left relative to where it was normally placed.

Position-Absolute: This takes the element out of normal flow and places it wherever you want. All the other elements will sort of ignore the element you’ve placed absolutely.

Position-Fixed: Also takes it out of the flow but displays the element relative to the browser position. (Doesn’t work in Internet Explorer)

So with this newfound knowledge I’m going to go for some more experimentation I’ve been meaning to do with overlapping navigation I’ve seen on some websites that might look cool.

Also found some nice stuff here and some info about positioning in CSS3 here.

Final Project Ideas GO! Monday, Jul 28 2008 

So I’ve been batting around some ideas and I think I overdue video games to death. Don’t get me wrong I love em, just need….something…different…

So I’m thinking of a store of some sort possibly dedicated to soccer, hockey, or football.  The store could offer merchandise, a forum, statistics on ongoing games, all that good stuff.

Anime store would be nice, but Angela would hate me because without even looking I know that’ll be her final.

So I choose soccer store since I have more experience with it, and in America here we’re not so soccer savvy as say compared to the British.

The Semantic Web Thursday, Jul 24 2008 

In my search for this seemingly recent concept that is growing in popularity I found a couple articles that were trying to tell the future of the web, articles about artificial intelligence, and about computers understanding natural language.

Naturally, I was overwhelmed, got a headache, then turned to good ole W3C to alleviate my dilemma. If my understanding is correct (I’m sleep deprived at the moment) the Semantic Web is about this:

Humans are capable of using the Web to carry out tasks such as finding the Finnish word for “cat”, reserving a library book, and searching for a low price on a DVD. However, a computer cannot accomplish the same tasks without human direction because web pages are designed to be read by people, not machines. The semantic web is a vision of information that is understandable by computers, so that they can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, sharing and combining information on the web.” from MiramarMike

So how is this different? Basically it’s the internet on easy mode. Instead of having to search for keywords, go through the sites and find the information you want. You can type in a place and the computer finds everything associated with that place automatically. The computer is doing all that searching and sifting for you.

Michael V. Copeland’s article really helped me connect the dots though with his Semantic Web Chart. Let’s take an example. Say I would like to find a restaurant nearest to me. I could go to Mapquest type in my address and search for restaurants. Ok not bad, with the semantic web I could just type in Dallas Restaurant in the search bar and it would find a restaurant closest to where I specifically lived if I wanted it to.

So in summary, instead of the computer being a vast and powerful tool we can use, the semantic web will have reasoning and can connect the dots per se for us instead of us doing all the connecting.

A semantic video Thursday, Jul 24 2008 

Before I make my post on Semantics I just thought I would share this.

Of Course I Got The First Assignment Wrong! Monday, Jul 21 2008 

Yeah, only I could mess up the first assignment so wonderfully bad. So in response to messing up, I will attempt to cover my rear.

In all honesty, I tried doing a Google Blog search for CSS design and shockingly it didn’t help much. So I turned to trusty old Google Reader instead and pulled some stuff from A List Apart firstly.

This article is titled Design is in the Details, and I couldn’t agree more. His article really details the whole process most of us go through whether consciously or not. This is helpful especially for myself because I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and “go wherever the wind may take me” kind of attitude sometimes with the whole design process.

So to be blunt, going through a process forces me to take a measured and professional look at what it really takes to design well.

The second article i found was in Douglass Bowman’s Stopdesign website. Bowman’s article serves to reinforce the whole concept of going through a process for design. From researching imagery to carefully picking your typography.

I don’t think people really realize all the effort that goes into making websites look professional and polished after reading these two articles. Designers just pull it off so well that we come to expect it as a standard. I can tell you though, a person can recognize when a website has done something bad, and I believe this process of design can help you overcome making your design and website bad.

Things I would like to learn Thursday, Jul 17 2008 

One of the main things I’ve pondered over the past few quarters here at the Art Institute is how to make those rounded rectangles for the web. It drives me absolutely insane! Now I’m pretty sure there’s a way to just take an image and have it repeat while you make the rounded corners an image and do it like that, but there’s got to be an easier way.

Mainly I guess the point I’m getting at, is I really want to break the mold of the simplistic designs I’ve been using and would like to do something fresh. I’m saying I’d like to learn how to design better.

Also, the one thing that has annoyed me to death is fixing all the problems in Internet Explorer that pop up; apparently though, I’m not alone in this regard.

Other than these few things, just the normal stuff would be nice. Like more CSS, PHP, AJAX. The scripting languages I’m not familiar with will obviously come later, but becoming really good at CSS and HTML design is my main priority right now as a basis for everything that is to come later on.