In Praise of Raw Code

Written by Stefene Russell

The first program I ever used for web layout was Adobe PageMaker, and it was hellish. I was trying to learn how to use PhotoShop atrepparttar same time, and it seemed like neither of them would do what they were supposed to do-I'd scan something, and it would show up seven or eight times larger than I'd expected; or I'd accidentally turn something green or black, or cut off a huge chunk of my picture, or all of my text would be smashed up againstrepparttar 134667 top ofrepparttar 134668 page. I don't remember being that frustrated since learning how to talk forrepparttar 134669 first time.

Six or seven months later,repparttar 134670 internet company I worked for sent all ofrepparttar 134671 editors to a introductory HTML class at Salt Lake Community College. Like a lot of people, I was intimidated by HTML, which is why I started out with a WYSIWYG editor. Coding is definitely more time-consuming, but it's easier (because it's logical) and is much more precise. I remember wishing that I'd learned how to code before I'd started blindly messing around with PageMaker, not only because PageMaker had nearly given me a stress ulcer, but I'd wasted so much time feeling around inrepparttar 134672 dark and feeling like an idiot. I had no idea this whole thing was really so easy.

Not that I'm patient enough to code from scratch; no way. I use Dreamweaver. The problem with Dreamweaver, of course (and lots of

Bad Web Design: Strange Cursors

Written by Richard Lowe

I've been to some sites lately which have some pretty fantastic cursors. You probably know what I'm talking about - cursors that have little balls dangling from them, look like a heart or consist of a string of letters waving as if inrepparttar wind.

The first time I saw these cursors I thought, "that's pretty cool, I wonder how they did that?" The answer was obvious sincerepparttar 134666 cursor requiredrepparttar 134667 download of a special Internet Explorer plug-in.

I see these cursors all overrepparttar 134668 place. I visit a lot of sites, and many of them have some strange or not-so-strange cursors running. Some sites even have a different cursor on each and every page!

What'srepparttar 134669 problem with this? Well, on a personal home page, nothing. In fact, a nice, cute cursor on someone's page about his wife or dog is a great touch, adding some special nicety which makesrepparttar 134670 pages stand out. A little waving flag on someone's page about their Vietnam War experiences is great, and a heart can make a romantic page really stand out.

But on a professional site these cursors tend to be, well, tacky. They turn away visitors for a number of reasons. These don't matter that much on a personal site - after all, most people create personal sites forrepparttar 134671 satisfaction, not to make money or get a high hit count.

Professional sites are different. You want your visitors to stay and read your message, comprehend your data or buy your products. Under these circumstances it is critical that you do nothing to chase anyone away.

Some ofrepparttar 134672 drawbacks of special cursors includerepparttar 134673 following.

1) Including special cursors requiresrepparttar 134674 download of a plug-in. This has a tendency to turn away visitors right away. People are afraid, rightly so, of anything that pops up a security alert, and attempting to download an ActiveX control will do exactly that.

2) Most of these animated cursors will only work on Windows and only inrepparttar 134675 Internet Explorer browser (and often onlyrepparttar 134676 newer versions at that). This limitsrepparttar 134677 people who will enjoyrepparttar 134678 effect.

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