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Notes on This Web SIte.

NOTE: As you may have noticed, I have changed the look and feel of my web site (June 2012). This is more than a cosmetic alteration as I have finally broken my ties to Dreamweaver templates and libraries and based my site on CS to manage the overall look, and server side programming using PHP to manage common areas across the site (eg. Menu's, breadcrumbs, headers, etc.)

Dreamweaver templates and libraries are very nice and make managing a web site easy but when the site grows larger you spend a lot of time waiting for things to sync up with the server. This is because any changes you make to the template are applied to the source code for every page in the site. All these files must then be transferred to your server in order for the changes to appear on your published site.

With CSS you make changes to one file to change the over all appearance (something.css) and upload this one file which changes your whole published site. To change content in a common area, like the menu, you use server-side includes (e.g. menu.php). Simply change one file and copy this to the server. Since every page in your site uses this file to build the menu, the change is now automatically published across your whole site. Very cool!

I will be adding a page that describes how I have implemented these tools.

(Oh, I still use Dreamweaver to manage my files and servers because I own a version that I've been using it for a long time and it works very well. But, I don't like to be too tightly bound to any commercial package and I don't plan on buying any upgrades.)

First of all, his site has been built from scratch. I don't believe in these quick and easy web site constructor sites that provide cookie cutter style web sites where you simply fill in the blanks. In my experience I have found that, when programming computers to do anything, the closer you work with this computer's own language the better you will be in the long run. Of course this has to be tempered by the amount of time you want to spend learning and how much repetitive work you want to do. This is always a trade off and at some point you need to let the computer take over programming tasks.

The reason I shy away from construction kits is that eventually I will face a situation where the kit doesn't do what I need. At this point what do I do? I'm stuck because the kit has 'protected' me from all the complexities enherent to accessing all the power of the the computer. So my option is usually to either find a cloojy way around the kit or to back up and re-write the application in a more powerful and more robust language. So why not just start out this way and save the re-write all together.

The trade-off tipping point for me - on this project - is at the markup language level (HTMP and XML> with the additional use of PHP and MySQL to expand the functionality and utility of the site. These systems are all designed to play nice together and therefore are not 'work-arounds'.

I also use the Dreamweaver development system to organize and maintain the source files for my site as well as manage the transfer and maintenance of files on the web server at 1 and I also use some of the Dreamweaver system for maintaining CSS style sheets but I never stray too far from the source even with these and much of my work is in text edit mode.

Notes on my use of PHP and MySQL on a 1 and 1 host system: