Alpha/beta site

Earlier, we talked about content management. Essentially, there are a couple (for now) sides of computing that are like a car user and its mechanic. The users go places with the car, show it off, and other things. Some users look under the hood. But, it’s the car guy/gal who looks under the hood.  Please note that we’re ignoring the car manufacturer, etc.

The point: use versus support. It’s an age-old thing in computing. Of late, a whole lot of the latter has been pushed off to the user (who is supposed to use helpers, to wit, call centers, chat rooms, and the like).

So, a few years ago, we were happily ensconced in OfficeLive. That went away, with prior notice. At the time, I moved over to what I was familiar with. HTML/Tables (with Sea Monkey’s, and a text, editor). That main page (version 1) is still there and worked for a long while. But, we need to get more modern, for several reasons. For one thing, a lot of new stuff has come about. Too, going forward, we will be adding functionality.

So, playing with the buttons seemed to be a good start. Why? In the move from OfficeLive, where the design was done with a modern WYSIWYG editor, I cut the buttons to images (see version 1) and used a table for layout adding links. It worked. So, that button work was done and has been distributed (except for some Gardner Beacon issues).

For now, the header image was cut from OfficeLive. I want to redo this using either shapes in CSS or javascript. However, why not start with the basics.

From now on, as I tweak the code (see disclosure, below), I will be using the website to test (see Alpha/Beta link from the main page). Of course, Alpha implies an earlier status than does Beta. Changes will migrate to the production site after they are thoroughly tested (against multiple browsers).

Aside: So, one thing that I learned was that turning on history, in the browser, allowed a lot of the mischief (poor decisions on the part of developers and original suppliers as they started to traipse on the rights of the users of the “cloud” or whichever computational framework you want to discuss ) that we see nowadays (more later – see disclosure). Has that story been told?

Note that in beta, there is only one page (the main one), however the links are active. Other pages will follow.

For now, there is no database, but, as we add that capability in, we’ll have to re-address the issue.

— Disclosure —

We mentioned Codecademy several places, such as we did in the post Does code matter? It was mentioned that the blogger has used over 50+ languages. Consider a timeline from the early mainframes to the smallest of the mobiles. That whole framework is spanned by two organizations to which the blogger belongs: ACM (computing society) and IEEE (advancement of technology). Too, the blogger was involved with the advanced portion from the beginning. Advanced edge? Yes, a rolling wave.

So, these last few innovations fit right within that framework in the mind of the blogger. He spent a little bit catching up with HTML/CSS (plus php, javascript). He had already used Python in several modes. Codecademy’s little system allowed a refresher look, so to speak.

But, too, the blogger ran across a site that claims to be on Time’s list of best in 2013. Say what? If the list contains more site like that, someone is not doing their homework. Or, they’re bedazzled by flash.

You see, the blogger’s experience is with real difficult problems including those where handling measure issues is imperative. A lot of what one sees now in web sites and applications is user interface. Or moving, showing data. Now, that last is okay as the blogger has worked database issues from the early types all the way to object types. As for communication, the blogger was involved in remote calls, synchronization, and similar things way early.

There is probably more to say here, however we’ll cease, for now.

Let’s close by listing some improvements expected to be coming soon. These are format, user issue. At the same time, the changes will propagate down the tree of pages. At some point, the Beta site will be forward looking rather than catch-up.

To do list (will be moved to the tech journal): position the header as fixed (float), create header image on the fly, use flex block (iframe), increase content on the footer, use cascade on menu items, Gardner’s Beacon (reorganize main page (menus), redo menu items, better links to PDF and blog posts, …), fix main nav menu, get blog (WordPress?) under TGS site, …

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