Welcome to my MySpace

Good Design(?)

Well, I made my first “homepage” using HTML and CSS, and I have to admit I was immediately transported back to my parents house in the early 2000s. I never used MySpace, but I loved Xanga, a blog-based social site that allowed users to edit their own code. I spent hours researching the correct HTML for important things such as:

  • Background music that played when a user visited the site
  • Cursor options that transformed the mouse into small animals and objects (there was likely malware associated with this)
  • Font colors and styles, etc.

I imagine for many students my age, this was the first experience with HTML they had. What struck me the most in this week’s homepage repo assignment was how complex a simple, elegant web page must be behind the scenes. Yes, it was relatively straightforward to change my font to Comic Sans and add a gif of Neil Degrasse Tyson. However, those notably beautiful webpages (Atelier AM, American Documentary, and others here) must have been painstakingly designed to be beautiful on a range of devices.

CSS Stylesheet

I decided to link an external stylesheet to my HTML file, rather than use inline CSS stylings. The Codecademy exercises on CSS made me appreciate how quickly CSS styles can accumulate, and how much more organized it felt to have them all in one place. (Though I will admit I wished Codecademy had hinted to alphabetize the styles for ease of use—which seems like a no-brainer best practice.)

I struggled for a while figuring out how to link my stylesheet to my HTML file, and finally realized it was a combination of incorrect href syntax AND incorrect CSS syntax, so that even if the files were linked, the changes weren’t appearing in my test browser window.

After a few episodes of trial and error, I was ready to give up on the separate stylesheet and just add in-line CSS styles, but I knew that for my final project I would want them to be separate, and I would be better figuring it out now rather than later. I’m glad I did.

A note about GitHub:

I can appreciate the utility of a tool like GitHub to manage the uncountable tiny changes and bug fixes/additions to code. The mechanism of committing changes is simple enough to understand, but I’m concerned that the more changes you commit, the harder the code is to actually read. It takes practice, I guess…

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