Practicing what I Preach: Day Two


Today when Seth got home from school he immediately started working on his web page.  His interest today was trying to figure out how to do frames and a mouseover.  When I taught an introductory web design course a number of years ago, we had a nice little JavaScript book that told exactly how to a number of nice little JavaScript goodies.  With a bit of web surfing we found several examples; most of which were unclear or that seemed overly complicated for what we wanted.  I also took a trip to The Tattered Cover, our local bookstore to see what kinds of HTML books they had.  What I was looking for was a fairly complete reference book that would give simple examples with a comprehensive index.  I was surprised that about half of the books didn’t tell how to do frames.  Frames used to be all the rage, but now I guess they are considered “old school”.  I was unable to find an explanation as to why this would be.  I’m also curious why an HTML feature wouldn’t be discussed in books just because its no longer cool to use it.  While at work today I checked on our internal marketing site and there are now three MS Press books out on Expression Web.  I ordered several of each for personal reference and to show faculty when I do campus visits this winter/spring, so I’ll be interested to see what Seth thinks of them.  I also brought home a copy of Expression Web to install on the family computer.  I debated giving Seth his own MSDNAA account (as a Developer Evangelist for Microsoft I have my own personal MSDNAA subscription as if I were an academic department) but I think its a little too soon, and I don’t see the advantage of giving him a bunch of developer tools that he isn’t ready for yet and probably won’t have any interest in installing without my guidance.  This evening Seth went out to attend a church youth group, and printed out the HTML from his page to show his friends.  At first his friend Chris couldn’t figure out why he had copied a bunch of random stuff from the Internet, until Seth got it through to him that he had written the HTML himself and that he knew what it all meant.  It was obvious that he was pretty proud of himself.  Is this the beginning of hacker arrogance?  When he got home Seth installed Expression Web and continued to work on his page using Expression.  His first comment was “I see now that I should have used Expression to set up the frames first, before I designed the page”. Later in the evening he showed me the mouseovers he had done.  When I asked him how he figured it out, he told me that there was a list of events on the left pane, of which mouseover was one, and then there were a bunch of actions on the right pane to tie to the events.  After that, it was just a matter of getting the images he wanted to swap.  I am pretty proud that he figured this all out on his own.  When I asked Seth if he had made a decision about a domain name yet, he said that he has had some suggestions from friends and family, but he hasn’t made a decision yet.  Interestingly he isn’t asking me for input on that.