[thelist] Do you help people who know nothing at all?

Carol Whitney cwhitney at islandnet.com
Sun Feb 20 17:16:37 CST 2005

Dear All,

Well, I *almost* know nothing at all. So how basic do you get here? I 
know a little HTML, and a little CSS, but I get lost very quickly. 
I'm uisng the WebDeveloper Forums, and somebody there mentioned 
evolt.org, so I took a look, and love the definition of evolt.

I started to try to build myself a web site, knowing truly nothing, 
around 1 November last year; it took me a week to try the tools at 
Geocities and decide (in one day) they were not for me - couldn't 
*stand* what they produced, and also, I had to install Sun Java! 
ARGH! (I'm UnComputer  person to begin with; I can manage, with great 
effort, to learn to operate my lovely, not fancy, but quite 
competent, machine, given to me a year ago, running Windows XP SP2 - 
so now I can keep my machine clean, and use my email client, four 
browsers (only used IE till I started trying to build a web site), a 
text editor - the basics.

I tried some of the tools. I'm on a constantly-eroding pension, so 
have no money, have to use free stuff. But I get space with my email 
account, and my ISP is really great - hugely helpful, as far as they 
can be - they don't teach web-design, though (not free, anyway). I 
thought at first I'd love to hire someone to build my web site, but 
now I'm addicted to trying to learn to do it myself, despite the 
incredibly sweat it is for me.

I cannot STAND my layout. I've been trying to change it for a long 
time (relatively speaking, of course). I see I have too much on one 
page - my Home Page, for instance. The fonts are all too big (though 
I go for big fonts because my vision is rotten). (Just learned today 
I could control that with CSS.) I need to make sub-pages for my Home 
page, and plan numbers for my Articles page, plan to reorganize my 
photo galleries, and re-shape the styling some.

Here's what I want on my (personal-only) site:

Not a table to be seen - all CSS.

No Javascript.

(If later, I want to do stuff that requires either, *then* I'll 
gladly bend on that one, but until I need it, I want to use CSS for 
everything - oh, well, with HTML, of course.)

I'm going for HTML 4.01 Strict - forget XHTML for the time being. I 
don't want to use any of the tools, because I don't understand the 
code if I do use tools, and I truly need, I think, to understand the 
code if I'm really to learn, so my text editor is what I'm using.

Is that a sufficient introduction to give an idea of where I'm going, 
where I'd like to go? And to find out if anybody here offers 
assistance to such beginininininininers? <hehe>

I do have Paint Shop Pro 8, and am doing all my own graphics; I'm not 
all that skilled with the program, but not too bad with it. I have no 
working printer, so am simply not worrying about printer-friendly 
stuff; can't test it anyway. I might do that everntually; for now, 
it's just visual formatting.

Although there's a bit of content on my site, it's relatively small; 
I have tons on of work to do - I want to get the structure and layout 
right before I tackle the content.

Oh, I would so like to get past my layout hurdles! My problem is, I 
can parrot okay - that is, copy code. But then I don't know how to 
alter it to suit my needs! I'm learning slowly, very slowly, partly 
because what I'm learning isn't unified; I'm learning in bits and 
pieces, and when I get stuck, I don't know where to go next.

There's a page on my site that sketches a general idea of what I'd 
like the layout to look like; it's at:


I've been playing with tutorials from MaxDesign (stuff by Russ 
Weakley) - interesting stuff - but while they seem useful to me, and 
I'm maybe learning something, I'm too new to it all, and I get lost 
very, very easily, in my sea of disorientation.

Thanks in advance for any direction from anybody here. If what I'm 
asking is too basic, I'll read with pleasure anyway. I'm used to 
reading way ahead of myself; I find that eventually I learn some 
stuff that way.

Sun, 20 Feb 2005  15:16:26

Carol Whitney
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