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Strategies for making WWW-pages with HTML-programming.
by Ruud Janssen.
Since you view this page on the internet, you sure will have seen lots of WWW-pages on the web. Everybody has his or her own strategies for making their pages. In this article I will mention some of my thoughts on how I create my pages.
verion of this text : November 12th 1997
- The first choice is the most important choice. Do you want to create your own pages, or will you let someone else do that. I have chosen from the start to make my own pages because of some very simple reasons:
- I have full control over the texts and images that I put online. I can add things, delete things, and can react instantly to reactions I get on the internet. The WWW isn't a static world. If a homepage isn't altered every now and then, it will sure loose attraction to a lot of surfers. Of course there is the exeption: if a page is made for reference-use, it probably won't be changed that often. Historic information tends not change that often.....
- Since the ways people communicate is changing very quickly, it isn't possible to ignore the new ways we commnicate. My 'hobby' mail-art has always made me aware of all the different communication-forms, and in this information-society, I want to keep on learning what kind of ways there are to communicate.
- The next thing you should realize is that the longer one is working on the making of HTML-documents the more it effects your results. There are two effects which are obvious:
- Once you have found a way to make your pages, you don't easily change that way. If you have been working with a specific programming-tool, you normally stick with that one for a while.
- There is the law of inertia. If you were one of the first to start, you automatically will fall behind and will have created something that will look old-fashion
- O.K. let's take about strategies. Some pages online are really very beautiful with all kind of graphics and frames and all kind of other gadgets that are available. I myself don't use too many of them since I have a specific goal with the pages I create. I used to write a lot of texts about mail-art, and make list of words, interviews, etc. All text-related things, and the pages you will find online by me are mostly text-orientated.
- I do like computer-graphics, but making them myself is something else. I have found out since a long time that graphics on paper are much more fun to make. For me, that is. I like drawing, painting, and even some of the graphic techniques that there are (silkscreen printing , linoleum-carving of eraser-carving). Graphics start to live for me when I see them on paper, can see the structures that are created, smell the paper, can see how the light makes the picture alive. Most computer-graphics don't have that effect on me.
- The most interesting aspect of the internet and the HTML-documents is, that everybody who reads the pages can easily just download any of the HTML-documents and start to edit it. Some hackers already used this easy technique to replace some important pages once they hacked into some major computer-site. Some other results:
- The quality of the pages online is improved with a rapid speed. The editors that folow how the internet changes use the best things they find online and place them in their own pages.
- There is a big problem with © copyright. Digital information can be manipulated in all possible ways. The 'copy' has the same quality as the original, and sometimes it isn't even possible to know what is the copy or original. Most graphics used on the pages are scanned from analog images, but once online, anybody can download the image and use it for whatever he/she wants. There are even special sites that offer all kind of graphics, or graphic designers who offer to manipulate graphic so they are customized (like a special text in a special form ; things that are easily done with the right software). At my own pages I used some graphics that I found at other sites. But for the personal touch I did add some pictures which are obviously mine. But I realize that anybody can use or change them. A nice joke was that I once got a portrait-photo of myself back as attachment to an e-mail, and the one who sent it had erased my hair and replaced it with a bold head.......
- Most important with what I see on all the pages it the goal that the maker has with his pages. If there is a specific goal that is interesting for others, then it is o.k. For me, the pages I put online have a simple goal. I used to send these pages, printed on paper, into the world (the statements , the interviews, the word-lists and other informations). Because of the postage-costs this became an expensive joke, and also if someone would order a text, there was always money involved. Putting my texts online has resulted in:
- Everybody who is online and is interested in what I write can access the texts for free. Can print them and even make copies for others.
- The texts were already written on computers, so transferring them to HTML-documents has become quite easy with all the new software. The sites where I publish the texts are for free, and as a result I can publish for a cheaper price all the texts I want to publish. Costs are split between the writer and the reader, because both pay the phone-bills for access to the WWW (phone-bills and provider-bills)
- But finally I must admit one very important thing, and it seems that I am not the only one. The texts I find myself on the Internet, I do not read them when I have them on the screen. I rather read them when I am offline, and when I have printed them on paper. I only wonder if this is something typical for my generation. I wasn't brought up with computers. I only got to work with them when I was about 18 years old. So before that I have been trained to read texts from books, write with a pen on paper, etc...... It will be funny to see which way the world is heading. My strategy is to folow the changes, and to use what I think is an advantage to my life.
This page was made with the program WebEdit32 , a windows95 programm that makes it possible to type a text like in any wordprocessor and it automatically is transferred into a HTML-document which can be uploaded. The fun of this kind of programm is that you get a split-screen. One side shows the HTML-document, and the other screen shows the result as it would look online..
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