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rainwater
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Hi,I am just overwhelmed with XHTML and CSS. I have done the tutorials, gone through two books, and I still cannot understand most of the source code in other websites. I really need some help. I totally understand the very old HTML, but just cannot get this new stuff.Do any of you have any good referals to either an education institution or personal website teaching person(s)? I really need instruction. I am tottering along, but not even at babysteps. I feel like a big lump of pork fat rolling around in a warm frypan. Quite bad I tell you.Deb

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Is the core you can't understand by any chance within a <script> element? If so, that's JavaScript, which is a whole other animal. But there is a tutorial for that too on W3Schools.If it's something else, maybe you could give us an example, so that we could point you in the right direction (maybe it's something you already know, but haven't recalled).

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The source code of established sites can be troublesome, either because it is complex and therefore represents a lot of techniques in combination, or because it's bad and should not be imitated. If you've gone through some books and tutorials, the best thing probably is to ask specific questions, even if they seem very simple. I'm sure everyone here will support you if you check in 10 times a day with a "How do I . . .?" sort of question.

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Well, yes, I do not understand the JavaScript. When I made my site, I used DreamWeaver4 to do it, but that is no longer up to code, and I cannot afford to buy the new stuff now. DreamWeaver put all that JavaScript stuff in for me. Some of the other stuff, for example, Yankee Candle website: This stuff, how do I know to put in in, and where do they get that information from? <meta name="google-site-verification" content="1Cnbqe7nbIV6UMw-Yu2gS3FwWx6J4ht-g5QliXjl5EQ" /><meta name="distribution" content="global"><meta name="copyright" content="Copyright 2004"><meta name="resource-type" content="document"><meta name="title" content="Yankee Candle Company - HOME"><meta http-equiv="pragma" content="nocache"><meta http-equiv='pragma' content='nocache'>Then, if you look at their source code, it looks like most of the page is in tables. I thought we are no longer supposed to be using tables to style/design our webpages.I need a teacher.

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Maybe a good way to practice would be to start reworking your old site. You don't have to go live with it, just keep it local and practice with it. It's far easier (at least for me) to understand what you're doing if you work on something from the very beginning. That way you can see how everything fits together. I wouldn't even try to modify your existing pages, just start from scratch and build it from the ground up.

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Then, if you look at their source code, it looks like most of the page is in tables. I thought we are no longer supposed to be using tables to style/design our webpages.I need a teacher.
Just like DD said...
The source code of established sites can be troublesome, either because it is complex and therefore represents a lot of techniques in combination, or because it's bad and should not be imitated.
Looking at the source of other pages is not necessarily a good way to learn. Edited by jkloth
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OK, I still am not through the newer book I have and am going to the bookstore today to see if they have anything else that might help. I know you are all a wealth of information and always answer my questions no matter how redundant or simple they are.

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As I said, this is the danger of looking at source code. A lot of designers do still use tables. Part of the reason is that they are maintaining older pages and do not wish to completely rewrite them. Part of the reason is that they are nearing retirement and don't want to bother with new skills. This is especially true of designers who began as systems administrators, back when the web was new and not such a big deal. That personality type is very reluctant to change.Meta tags are highly specialized. You can live without most of them. Many are used for SEO. Even if they do come at the top of the document, I would not begin my HTML education with them. Become a good designer first and eventually learn how some of the bells and whistles work.

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I, also, thought I should just start from scratch...another problem....rebuilding a website...needing new ideas...just to get started.

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Ah. jkloth got to it first. FWIW, if you visit a site where you can assume that people know what they're doing, you should see more modern HTML. apple.com is a good example. There's a lot of other stuff going on there, but the basic layout is div and list elements, all tarted up with CSS.

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OK, thanks for all the positive chatter; it really helped. I will start getting my thoughts together and down on paper. I need new pictures, but can use the old ones in their place.OH, I have another question. I have an older version of Photoshop 6.0. Is there any free or shareware out there that can do more than that?

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I thought we are no longer supposed to be using tables to style/design our webpages.
Think of it this way - "I thought smoking is bad for your health, as well as those around you"... yet, people still smoke. Why? Habbit and/or they don't know any better or they only care for a limited set of people.In the same fashion - tables for layout are bad, but they are still used.The contents of <meta> elements is not (completely) defined by the HTML spec. The <meta> element exists to provide a way for browser vendors and other parties (standards bodies included) to place arbitrary "meta data", i.e. data about the data. In this case, Google have defined a "google-site-verification" meta name, with some kind of data that only they know how to process properly. I haven't heared about the rest of the metas before.<meta> elements with an http-equiv attribute define that the content is equivalent to the content that would appear in a certain HTTP header, so the browser should therefore follow the meta as if it would follow the header. In this case, the last meta defines the meta as being equivalent to the "Pragma" HTTP header, which is used to specify that the page should not be cached by the browser.[edit]Damn, am I slow today... you've had several posts exchanged while I was writing this...[/edit]
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Have any of you used Mambo or Joomla or WYSIWYG6 ?I did get Contex downloaded, but have not installed it as yet. Someone suggested Bluefish, but that one will not completely download.There was a lot of info about meta, a lot of thought and explaination. Thank you.

Edited by deb
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I have to go pick up a kid....I'll check back in later to see your replies about my questions. I thank you all so very much.

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I think most of us would agree that it is wiser to learn as much HTML and associated technologies "in the raw" before picking up systems that automate those tasks. Getting dependent on Dreamweaver or Joomla or something can actually keep you from understanding what's really going on. I don't say they are bad. I just recommend learning them later on. That way, if something breaks, you'll know how to fix it yourself.

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definitely agree on the Dreamweaver/Joomla comments. At its heart, HTML/CSS is purely a text based language, and should require nothing more than a basic text editor to get you the desired results. Moving onto JS, PHP, etc obviously requires a bit more to develop with, but even those can be written in a text editor. Keep working from the ground up, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be asking these questions and getting all this good advice. We've all had to work through the changes in recommendations passed down from the W3, but they are meant to help us as developers. It certainly can be quite an adjustment if you're looking at things after not having been "around" for the past few years as things have been changing. Such is the nature of technology.

Edited by thescientist
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Just to reiterate what's already been said, it's probably not a good idea to start learning in Dreamweaver or other WYSIWYG editors. It's best to learn with a basic text editor. As someone else said, you can fix stuff when it breaks because you understand how everything works.In fact, when I took my HTML class in college the first six weeks were strictly done in notepad. There are a lot of free text editors out there that offer useful features that won't hinder your learning. I use Code Genie here at work and I know that Justsomeguy will swear by ConTEXT.

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  • 2 weeks later...
...I have an older version of Photoshop 6.0. Is there any free or shareware out there that can do more than that?
<snip> Edited by Synook
No links to illegal software, please.
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snip??? what is that?i did take some classes in college, graduating ten years ago and the oldest in the school, using a text editor. so, i do know the old basic html.

Edited by deb
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The text "<snip>" is generally placed when a moderator removes a piece of text, to help indicate where the former content was located. The actual reason for the edit can be found in the edit summary.P.S. GIMP is a program that aims to provide an open-source alternative to Photoshop and other image editors. Also, WYSIWYG is a user interface paradigm, not a product.

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As I said, this is the danger of looking at source code. A lot of designers do still use tables. Part of the reason is that they are maintaining older pages and do not wish to completely rewrite them. Part of the reason is that they are nearing retirement and don't want to bother with new skills. This is especially true of designers who began as systems administrators, back when the web was new and not such a big deal. That personality type is very reluctant to change.Meta tags are highly specialized. You can live without most of them. Many are used for SEO. Even if they do come at the top of the document, I would not begin my HTML education with them. Become a good designer first and eventually learn how some of the bells and whistles work.
Tables are bad? I was going to use tables for a review site that I'm working on.
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Tables are bad? I was going to use tables for a review site that I'm working on.
tables are bad if they're used for anything other than their semantic intention, which is organizing and displaying tabular data. The current standard for designing websites is through the use of <div>'s and other semantically appropriate HTML elements and styling/positioning them with CSS. Edited by thescientist
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