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

RE: Offering the Beginner's Perspective

From: David R. Herz <mr@theherzes.com>
Date: Wed, 3 Apr 2013 19:25:21 +0300
To: "'Chris Mills'" <cmills@opera.com>
Cc: <public-webplatform@w3.org>
Message-ID: <00a801ce3087$d957ef20$8c07cd60$@com>
So first Chris, thank you.  I really don't think I am going to be needing
too much hand holding, but I am certainly happy to give my input as we move
along, and I am never shy about asking questions.  Where do you want the
comments?  Should I be commenting in the question heads where there is space
to comment or be keeping a list on the side, or cutting and pasting what you
have and rewriting it, or some combination of the above.

I already started my own cheat sheets for both html and css.  I'll share
those as they get anywhere.

I copy the list on this mail just to let all know what the status is and
that my questions have been addressed.  As to this particular endeavor, is
this already part of a working group that I should sign onto or join?  If it
is, I am not quite all there on how the wiki works or how such sub/groups
would be handled through it.

Anyway, thanks for the warm welcome.  I'm happy to play along.

David R. Herz
skype: drherz

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Mills [mailto:cmills@opera.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 03, 2013 1:02 PM
To: David R. Herz
Cc: public-webplatform@w3.org
Subject: Re: Offering the Beginner's Perspective

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 - ack! - that my web-hosting service provides.  My problem
is I like to do things right, or at least efficiently. I don't know if that
makes me a web-developer, but in this increasingly democratic (thanks to the
internet) world, it's 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

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 . 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 that's in the future. For the moment, I am really a beginner. I've
looked at the web-platform stuff for "beginners" (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 couldn't 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 can't 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 beginner's
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.
> I'd 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 can't 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 16:26:08 UTC

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