The Trials and Many Errors of Learning HTML/CSS

Trial. Error.  Trial.  Error.Error.  Trial. Success! (and repeat). I don’t know about you, but that’s been my initial experience working with Adobe Dreamweaver over the past week. It’s been a while since I’ve learned something so completely new that it requires a great deal of energy just to make a little progress. I didn’t realize how much I missed the excitement of seeing success until I started working in Dreamweaver. Although there is a great deal of frustration involved with this work, it’s been extremely satisfying for me to gradually understand what’s going on when I’m typing in code. Beyond just the creation of the code, working in Dreamweaver has taken a bit of getting used to. There’s been a high degree of unfamiliarity with everything about the program and that stared from the beginning with simply understanding the interface. It took some time to simply figure out how and where to save my html and css files so that I could use them again later, or on a different computer (I’m fairly certain that has been resolved at this point). But again, I can’t help stressing how exciting it is to have certain actions click into place.

I think the clicking really started when i started watching the tutorial on Lynda.com titled Creating a First Website in Dreamweaver CC. I was a bit worried when I saw the tutorial was over four hours, but when taken in chunks the time flies and I’ve really learned a lot. I’ve had good success when I watch a specific sequence of the tutorial and then go to my website and try to make the same changes. So far that seems to have worked as my portfolio is steadily coming along. I have noticed a major difference between what we learned in class, and the instructions in this tutorial. The instructor for Lynda.com relies heavily on the CSS Designer. While in class I was using the CSS document and manually typing in the codes, the Lynda tutorial mostly uses the CSS Designer to alter the CSS. I have found that to be a much more understandable way of enacting the necessary changes to my site, but I want to make sure that I am also learning how to type in the code without the use of the designer. To do that, I’ve been checking the CSS code page as I make the changes with the designer to see exactly what has been added. Overall, I feel this has really helped me understand what the CSS controls.

As much as my brain has been overwhelmed with information over the past week, I still have trouble with some basics. Most notably, and frustratingly, has been my inability to figure out how to make my website fit the page. With the handy tool of viewing the site in a browser, I’ve been dismayed to see my content dominate the left side and center of the screen, while leaving a wide blank area on the right. Referring back to the first sentence in this post, I’m sure that it will take many more trial and errors before I have the site where I want it. I’m thinking maybe the font size needs to be adjusted, or maybe even the padding or margins of the content need to be adjusted. The options are endless, yet there’s only one answer! As I sign off, my goal is to find that needle in the haystack and make my site presentable by Monday.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Trials and Many Errors of Learning HTML/CSS

  1. Hi Mason! I really enjoyed your blog post this week and can definitely relate to trial and error. Between our readings this week and the lynda.com videos, I have a good idea of how a website is supposed to look like, but every time I burst into Dream Weaver I have my “dreams” slashed. Until I get that one part of my text to do that one thing I wanted it to do (about two hours later) and then it is a great victory! Here’s to hoping what we want to happen with our portfolios comes to fruition soon!

    See you in class!

    Stephanie Anne

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