Actually, one thing that's just struck me is that HTML + CSS + PHP is simpler and more powerful than the frameworks I've come across to make the stuff they do simpler. I mean, start out with a basic set of conditions that simply work and keep adding things until it doesn't work any more, at which point you take away the last thing you added and maybe try something else.
Whenever I've encountered frameworks, I've always reached a point where I'm exasperated, talking to the screen "What? What is it you want me to do? Why won't you work?" Often quite quickly. Even Wordpress often feels like going to the shops in a jumbo jet.
But then, what do I know?
(Spoiler: it's not very much)
Graphics are a sort of serpent-in-the-garden thing, aren't they?
So, yes. Mmm. That's some sort of header. Just a randomly chosen script font and an equally randomly chosen background colour. And... I suppose it does pull things together a bit.
No, it immediately got worse, who am I kidding? Interesting that it did, though. The previously blameless text suddenly starts looking scrappy.
The thing is, put that in and suddenly the column width wants to be wider (it just looks so tiddly), and all the other text, which was perfectly happy in Times or Helvetica or whatever the browser wanted it to be, decides that now it wants to be styled too. So after I've done the screen shot that will mostly likely appear below, I'll widen the column and maybe - maybe - start looking for fancier fonts. Though, I don't know if I should be leaping to webfonts so quickly. Maybe just force it to be sans or Georgia or something and play with the sizing and scaling until it looks less uncomfortable.
I like the way the title scrolls across the header, though. I do have some thoughts about that... Still, as of right now, the site looks like this:
I found a use for the IMG tag.
Still wondering about headers. I mean, for a web site that only three people are likely to see in any given week, one of them by accident, another one a bot and the third one me.
So, quite apart from the "unique identifier" thing (bearing in mind that there are a number of blogs on the web that use the default Wordpress theme with the default header image still in place), what is it for?
There's a bit of a need to Put Something Designy Here. But, to declare my mental weakness in advance, I've grown to have a thing about headers that in fact run up the left hand side of the main text, at least on Desktop. In fact, by the time you stumble across this, that might well be what the site looks like.
(As of right now, as I type, it looks like this:
Ooh, I found a use for the IMG tag. Huzzah!)
By the way...
No, there isn't a header yet. Perhaps it will come.
Also, there isn't a menu. There are only three entries and this one doesn't really count. What would you need a menu for? Hmm?
I just decided to leap straight to CSS.
For a short while I thought about doing it in tables for old times' sake. A very short time.
I even did a test for myself using a table to hold text, but it just felt... clunky. It always did, really. There always seemed to be something excessively scientific about it. I mean that in a 1970s Open University lecture on particle physics sense of the word scientific. Despite the fact that there was a person who presumably understood what he was talking about right there talking about particle physics, even when the programmes were made all one could see was someone who had recently made a number of enthusiastic but misguided fashion decisions.
I forgot to mention the grey yesterday; The early internet was yellow, blue and grey. And the grey was there mainly because of the tables, which defaulted to putting a thick grey border around everything.
Yes, I'd forgotten that, too. Until trying to make a table brought it all flooding back.
Probably incredibly useful if what you want to do is lay out information in a tabular fashion, which is what scientists do all the time, I think.
Anyway, I made a table just, as I said, for old times' sake and quickly decided against using them, even for an experiment. I remember what it was like well enough, am quite aware of its unpleasantness and don't need to do it again, like adolescence and BBC3 youth-oriented programming.
So I just leaped straight into CSS: 40% max width on the Body, expanding to 90% below 40em. Entirely arbitrary, but it ought to do for the moment. What I didn't do was style the text. It's actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I've not even chosen between serif and sans yet, so on one computer it's Helvetica on another it's Times. Either way, it doesn't look that bad. A bit austere, perhaps, but not hideous. A reminder that people put a tremendous amount of effort into making their early websites look horrible.
That said, I just thought it might be a good idea to insert an HR between entries, so it's going to get worse before it gets better.
I still haven't found a use for the IMG tag, but it's early days yet.
There was a time when the entire internet looked like this. All four pages of it.
So, there used to be a website here. Of a sort.
For a long time I did a diary - every day, relaying my dull life in some detail (depending on how much time I had to write it down - ironically, the more interesting it got, the less time and energy I had to write about it. Shame). I've not added to it for a long time, and I doubt whether anyone actually cares what I did ten years ago, so I wanted to replace it with something.
First I thought a normal person's blog using Wordpress, and then I realized that since it was just a URL I owned, since it wasn't as if anyone was going to look at it, I could make it anything I liked.
I mean, I enjoy coding web pages, like the sad old man I doubtless am, and if that's the thing I like, I might as well do it.
It's adaptive. That's modern, isn't it?
Mostly I'm interested in looking at what a site's like without any styling on it, and then a bit and then a bit more. I'm at least ten years behind in web development anyway.
Actually, I remember the internet being in Times, and mostly being yellow and blue rather than black and white, but it's a start. I think I'll skip the yellow and blue, if that's all the same to you.
I'm not sure whether the next thing I'll go for is the IMG tag or basic CSS formatting. Probably the formatting.
Oh, and I'm probably going to use modern (or at least HTML5) tags. Because, why not? It's not an exercise in nostalgia, it's an exercise in perversity and bloody-mindedness.