1. getting started

Welcome everyone. This has been a great first week for the CIS89A Web Development course. Thanks to everyone for their introductions. It is nice to “meet” everyone.

There is a wide range of expertise in the class. Please ask questions if you need help. If you know the answers, go ahead and respond. This shortens the time to getting a response.

Real time meet-ups

Several people have asked for a time when everyone can be online at the same time. Finding a time when people are available is always an issue. Many people take an online course so they don’t have to be some place at a specific time. We can work on this, so watch for additional information.

Same page, different browser, different display

Each browser must decide how to display the HTML code. The HTML specification tries to provide guidance, but there are millions of lines of programming code in each browser. Sometimes the HTML for the page includes bad code, contradictions, and/or old HTML that is no longer part of the specification. Browsers have to sort through all of this and come up with a “reasonable” page display. Something you need to be aware of as a web developer.

Mozilla WebMaker Timble, HTML editing

For this course, you should be hand coding most or all of the HTML. There are many WYSIWYG development applications that “hide” the HTML. If you use that, then you won’t be learning the underlying HTML and you will be missing the whole point to this course.

By learning the basics and practicing coding with the common tags, you will have a good foundation for any web development. A good reference book or tutorial is useful for adding more complex features to your site. You may not use these often enough to remember the code, but by knowing what is possible, you will be able to look up the exact HTML code to do the job,

Web developers rarely work alone. Inner Heroes, the discussions and projects are included to introduce some group work experience.

Advanced group

If you have some web development experience and would like to work ahead with others in the same situation, great! Please continue to participate in the discussions as they are current for the rest of the class. Work ahead on the coding and development. Dig more deeply into the functionality of the HTML code and parameters to really understand the range of capabilities. If you want suggestions for areas to expand your knowledge, let’s discuss it.

2. HTML Basics

This week we will be starting to code actual HTML. The WebMaker Thimble allows you to be more active in the development process while still requiring you to include the actual HTML code. Be sure to experiment to try out all the combinations of parameters for the tags. This is how you will learn. The trial and error practice goes really quickly when you can see what is happening right away.

By including Cascading Style Sheets from the beginning of the course, you will be jumping into some of the features that professional developers depend on. This means that the first couple of weeks include a lot of new information. If it is a bit overwhelming, just stick with it. It will get easier. Be sure to ask questions. Look at lots of examples and the work of others. Seeing examples is often helpful. It does make sense eventually.

I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. This is where it starts to get really interesting.

Let me know if you have questions. Use the Questions discussion so everyone can benefit from the exchange of information.

Have a great week. Happy coding.


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