W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-webplatform@w3.org > April 2013

Re: Offering the Beginner's Perspective

From: Chris Mills <cmills@opera.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 11:02:27 +0100
Cc: <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-Id: <2A5A8B1C-FD58-48E5-A062-0689D915BCD9@opera.com>
To: "David R. Herz" <mr@theherzes.com>

On 1 Apr 2013, at 21:46, David R. Herz <mr@theherzes.com> wrote:

> Dear Developer Friends:
> I am new to this list.  I am a lawyer, a teacher, and starting work as coach, commentator on manners, and organizer of real estate deals. I am here because I want to make my own web pages properly, as opposed to futzing with the site builders Ė ack! Ė that my web-hosting service provides.  My problem is I like to do things right, or at least efficiently. I donít know if that makes me a web-developer, but in this increasingly democratic (thanks to the internet) world, itís a direction in which I would like to expand.

Hi David, and welcome to our list! I think that your dedication to doing things right is to be respected, and I am confident that we can give you the information you need. At the moment, our site is far from finished. We have a noble goal - of creating *the* definitive web development resource - we have some passionate people involved, who want to make web development easier to learn, and we have a lot of "seed" content contributed from other resources.

What we don't have is time, and there is a lot to do. We are working as fast as we can, but as you've noticed, some parts of te site have a distinctly "in progress" feel.

But all is not lost. The beginner's section of the site is one I am particularly passionate about, and I would really like to make progress on it. And I think you can be of great help to me. Would you be willing to work through our material and given me feedback as you go, if I help you get over the current organizational hurdles we have, and make sure you are being sent to the right steps at each stage? From what you've said below, this pretty much sounds like what you would like to do anyway.

I am an experienced trainer with a proven record of teaching web development to beginners, so you are in good hands Ö I would hope others on the list would vouch for that ;-)

> I could go out and buy a web pages for dummies type of book, or just cut and paste my Microsoft Word documents into the WYSIWYG editor of my web page, or have it convert automatically to html, but it seems to me this will leave me with some really sloppy mark up code that is outdated and difficult to manipulate, and anyway, some of my ideas (there are a handful of site ideas that spin about my head) will be better served if I can program them myself and call to the databases that I am also planning to build and use.

Yes, definitely. There are so many advantages to writing your own markup and code that it would take too long to list them all here (although this is a separate thread that I would be happy to have with you at some later stage.)

> But thatís in the future. For the moment, I am really a beginner. Iíve looked at the web-platform stuff for ďbeginnersĒ (but maybe even that presumes more knowledge than I have), and I realize that I am getting a bit lost. I wanted to color certain text. From what I see, this might be best handled via a CSS definition (I couldnít even figure out how to do it in-line), but when I search for color or text color, I get a lot of information on various color coding systems, but canít figure out how to paint a few words red, or some table headings blue, etc.

The current beginners page (http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/beginners) isn't great; we were hoping to create a new set of beginner's information soon, which will take you through a whole project, step by step, giving you all you need at each stage. The proposed new beginner's landing page will look like this: http://docs.webplatform.org/wiki/TEST:beginners

The articles you see at the existing beginner's page are taken from the web standards curriculum, a tutorial series I developed a few years ago and then donated to this project. You can find a more easily accessible list of those articles at http://www.w3.org/community/webed/wiki/Main_Page

In the webplatform project we are aiming to break those up and disperse them through the other relevant sections, such as HTML, CSS, concepts, etc., and create something even more structured and suitable for beginners on the beginners page.

> So what I am offering is to work with someone to provide a beginnerís perspective as I learn what I am doing so that we can document the process and design the W3C pages so that the next person who comes here as a beginner actually feels like he can get the tools here to start developing (or is it only writing, and does that mean I am in the wrong place?) well-formed web pages.
> Iíd appreciate your input and advice on how we can move this project forward together.

See above - let's do it ;-)

> Thanks,
> David R. Herz
> mr@theherzes.com
> I set up an IRC account, but canít seem to reach the #webplatform page (I really am a beginner)

I can help you with this too. Have you downloaded a char/IRC client?

You need to make a new connection - this works pretty much the same in all chat clients. You need to set the server as irc.freenode.net and give yourself a nickname. Then when you've connected to that server, choose to join a room and specify the chat room name as #webplatform. #webplatform-site is also a useful one, if you want to talk more specifically about site structure, etc.

> skype: drherz
> aim: legal@theherzes.com
> 1-203-517-0518
> 972-4-641-8708
> 972-52-579-1859
Received on Wednesday, 3 April 2013 10:03:08 UTC

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