Monday, December 06, 2004

One Must Learn!

One of my hobbies is building websites. I have listed a few of mine on the sidebar. But since for me, site building is a hobby and not my profession as yet, I can’t devote the amount of time that I would need to become expert at it. Also, since it is not my profession as yet, I’m not in an environment where people are constantly talking about it and sharing information, so I don’t have as much of an opportunity to keep up with the changes that always seem to be happening in this field.

But I keep trying, and over the years I’ve been in contact with quite a few web designers. Without exaggeration, I’ve found that they are some of the nicest people around. They delight in sharing their layouts, designs and building tips with people they’ve never met, asking only for due credit in return. They’re good to newbies, too. A while ago an incredible young man from Chicago taught me a lot over several weeks. Today I got sweet replies from two very experienced, very high-powered designers about another question I had. One warned me that there were some problems with one of my sites, adding that sorry, he didn’t have time to check them out. That was fine with me, though. I’d rather break my head over my code. It’s tough, it’s frustrating, sometimes it makes me want to sob, “I’ll never get this!” But I always do in the end. It’s the best way to learn.

HTML Tidy is one example of how wonderful these folks are. It’s a service you can use to clean up your code for free. Someone spent (and still spends) hours writing it and put it up for everyone to use. Just like that. (Note to self: include HTML Tidy when counting blessings.)

So thanks to the tips I got from quite a few good people and the work of many others whom I may never meet, I can gladly report that these formerly problematic sites of mine now (mostly) validate. Yay! And when I need to update them again—as I will need to soon, since I recently discovered ways to get them out of cross-browser hell (oops, limbo)—I will go off and learn some more. That’s what it’s about, after all.

Thank you, Eric, Mike, Israel and all the other wonderful people from the various technical sites and e-mail lists who helped me out, today and in the past.

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