Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Mountain Is Still In Labor...

Well, I continue to make progress on getting The Wizardry Capitalized up. However to no one's surprise, there are a few little glitches along the way.

Right now I've got memory problems. Not my computer's, mine.

Although I deal with web design, usability and such constantly as a tech journalist, it's been years since I've actually had to put a site up. I have done it. I used to be able to do it. But I don't remember all the grubby little details.

This is almost as frustrating as not being able to write fiction. I know pretty clearly what I want to do, and it's a simple site. But getting the stuff in the right place is just not happening.

It doesn't help that the native web building application on HostMonster is quite literally unusable for me. The morons who designed the program didn't make provision for moving the window around on t he screen. It's fixed at the bottom of the screen where the last few lines -- including the boxes you have to click on to make things happen -- are unreachable.

Instead I'm using KompoZer, a Mozillafied version of NVU. It's free and a decent WYSIWYG page builder (modulo all that "WYSIWYG page builder implies). So far I like it for what I'm doing, but since its not the standard Hostmonster page builder app, I can't get much help from HostMonster's support staff. So I'm stuck trying to find other sources of help.

(BTW: The HostMonster support people, with whom I have developed a close personal relationship, are quite good, in my experience. They not only speak excellent English, they're patient and they know their stuff. A win for HostMonster, IMHO)

Normally I'd get by with some help from my friends. Unfortunately, one of my best friends for this purpose -- the model for Jerry in the Wiz books -- is in a rehabilitation center recovering from a serious traffic accident. (When you weigh as much as he does, even a broken leg is life threatening.) Another of my friends is in the middle of the long, hard grind to take the next series of MSCE exams. Others are tied up with projects personal and professional and so it goes.

However someone has suggested a friend of theirs who is apparently pretty good. I'll contact her tomorrow and see if we can get something going.

Well, hell. If it was easy anyone could do it.



Jonathan said...

I still maintain my site using a text editor, writing HTML by hand. The results I get are not pretty nor professional-looking, but it's quite easy to do and not difficult to remember. If I want to start a new page, I copy one of my existing pages for a kickoff.

I believe that other people write HTML with a text editor and get much better-looking results, because they have better design ideas than I have.

Rick Cook said...

I frequently use a text editor as well. The problem here isn't creating the HTML, it's posting the stuff.

While I write a fair amount of simple HTML, I don't usually put up web pages. I've pretty much forgotten how and its the process of uploading the files to HostMonster that's causing me difficulties.

Never fear, I'll work it out with some help from my friends.

Luis Felipe Abad Guzmán said...

I see you're using Apache 2 on wiz6.com, so it might have PHP installed, To develop a simple and custom application for content posting wouldn't be a short term work. Maybe it would be easier to use a Plone, Wordpress or even a Wiki for that, as these applicatios usually handle links between pages pretty well.

Sorry for the late post, and remember you count on us to help.

By the way, I usually code my sites layout using CSS 2, the downloaded specification rests right at the left of my browser icon, and I use the webdeveloper toolbar extension for Firefox to debug those tricky misplaced elements.