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Catch a Train!

More training for me, woohoo! Specifically, a 4-day training in JavaScript, in mid-October. Makes a nice little birthday present, actually. :)

Normally we're not allowed to use much (if any) JS where I work, due to 508 compatibility regs -- JS cannot be used for any site-critical functions, in case people are coming to the sites with old browsers, screen readers, etc., etc. We can put JS on the sites, the site just can't break without it. But we're usually operating on such tight budgeting constraints that there's just no time to put in any redundant stuff.

However, I'm doing a big "internal for a client" project for which my boss wants to have all possible bells and whistles, including using JS & CSS to make tabbed interfaces that swap on the fly (via "visibility"), calendar widgets, and similar sorts of hoo-ha. Also, he's been pushing for me to add more JS extras to the sites we build, as much because he's as sick of doing dull sites as we are and wants some fun toys, as anything else.

I've played around with JS occasionally on my own, but generally it was via copy-'n'-paste from free sources on the web. I can usually decipher the code just enough to figure out which bit I need to switch to make the scripts work with my data instead of the sample data, but there's a big difference between that, and actually knowing what you're doing.

So anyway, time for to level-up in Web Programmer again. :) This, and last month's CSS training before it, are really things I should have had three years ago ... but better late than never! Anything that gets me out of the realm of hackdom is a positive step as far as I'm concerned.

-The Gneech


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
So, just how many ranks of Web Programmer DO you have, anyway. Heh.

Ageis J. Hyena, signing off, over and out.
Aug. 28th, 2007 01:53 am (UTC)
I'd say I'm somewhere around Writer 5/Cartoonist 3/Web Programmer 4.

-The Gneech
Aug. 28th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)

Oooh, "graceful degradation" is nice, I don't care if many consider it "dull." Stuff that works is good, and after all the abuses of javascript I leave it off only switch it on very occasionally for the few sites that actually need it that I can't readily substitute with a better (one that works without telling me I have to change settings) site.

That said, truly learning a(nother) programming language is generally a Good Thing. Just remember that "Kewl sites suck."

Aug. 28th, 2007 01:56 am (UTC)
Well yeah, I'm a big proponent of graceful degradation. But the sites we build generally are just a step up from being cludgey table layout anyway, so it's not like they have far to degrade.

I'm working on changing that, so we can have clean code and sites that look good. But it goes against the government's grain to do things right if they have a choice in the matter.

-The Gneech
Aug. 28th, 2007 04:50 am (UTC)
I've found that you can do a surprising amount of cool things with just CSS and some of the less-common HTML tags. Well, as long as MSIE supports them. Even something as simple as an unordered list can become a nice tabbed interface with some CSS tweaks.

Ideally, I should be getting formal training in this stuff, but have had to make due with teaching myself so far. (♥s O'Reilly Publishing's web-related books)
Aug. 28th, 2007 11:00 am (UTC)
Great news. Getting training from your employer is always a plus. I'm so glad to hear that the company is finally going to let you put some "toys" on the sites. Maybe this will help to keep the lion from getting bored.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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