Saturday, March 24, 2007

what was, is and could be

today's movie is a little bit of history and some science fiction...

Set in 2014 it charts the history of the Internet, the evolving mediascape and the way news and newspapers were affected by the growth in online news. It coins the word "Googlezon" from a future merger of Google and Amazon, and speaks of the upcoming news wars with the Times, who take Googlezon to court for copyright infringement."

There's some good food for thought in this short flick. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

code cutting

Now is the time, the walrus said, to speak of many things...

It's time to get serious about writing code. To start we'll explore some programming concepts (sequence, selection and iteration), along with some ways that people go about planning their programs (using IPO, or input, processing and output charts; pseudocode; flow charts) - and one that no-one should ever have to use: Nassi Schneider diagrams.

For this subject (Automate processes, also known as ICAB4225A), I've started to put together a regular on-line course. You can find it on

Create a log-in on the site, then click on the link marked Automate Processes. Once you're there, read through the scenario and then the reading for topic 1 before trying out the topic 1 exercises. Finally, have a crack at Assignment 1 and upload it via the moodle interface (at the bottom of the assignment 1 web page).

If you're having trouble, blog, email, meet in the Bathurst IT meeting room (Wednesday 1pm - 2pm) or wait on my next phone call - but whatever you do - DON'T PANIC

Original image: 'Flock code'
by: Will Pate


Time to put our CSS skills to use...

Try CSS Challenge #3 (you might want to try 1 and 2 as well). Once you've got it right, upload to your web space and write a short blog post pointing to it.

If you haven't tried your second ftp client yet, now would be a good time to pick one from the list, install it, and take it for a spin - then post an entry on your blog comparing it to your first client. Which one (if either) will you be using from now on and why? I need this second ftp entry before we can finish off the Transfer Content subject.

Original image: 'Practice + Pain = Pose and Poise'
by: Pandiyan V

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

your in-flight entertainment today...

Got a CC license in mind for your own work?

Building with blocks

This week we're looking at how to use CSS to lay out a page. To kick off, work through this tutorial on subcide called 'Creating a CSS layout from scratch' (up to, but not including page 10, the navigation).

There are some interestnig techniques used here to ensure the divisions stay in the right places. And some not-so-interesting uses of graphics instead of text (did you spot them? What would you do differently?)

One thing I noticed was a lot of code in this tutorial that set the padding and margins for various elements to zero. If you're wondering why, there's a good article on the subject called 'No Margin For Error'

Taking the idea of stacking DIV boxes to make a page layout one step further, here's two more web pages to look at:

  • layout-o-matic - which lets you plug in some variables and automagically generate some CSS
  • Little boxes - which has a set of templates ready to download

Once you've explored these a little, revisit your '10 things' page and apply some CSS layout...
  1. Link a CSS file to the '10 things' page
  2. Create a DIV with a unique ID around your heading
  3. Set the background colour, border and padding for this div to have it stand out on the page
  4. create divisions for the list and your image(s) so that they display side by side on the page in a 2 column layout
  5. put in a 'footer' div with copyright, navigation and validation links in it
  6. Upload and post a blog entry to let me know when it's ready to view

Monday, March 05, 2007


After installing the HTML Validator and using to fix up your '10 things' page, I'd like you to use some Embedded CSS to smarten it up...

  1. set the body background to a different colour (a light grey would be nice)
  2. add margins to either side of the page (20%)
  3. add margins around your ULs (15px)
  4. set the font for the page to arial 12pt and make it a contrasting colour to the background
  5. add a border and background colour to your OLs
  6. set the colour of the hyperlinks:
  • :link {color: #0000dd }
  • :visited {color: #dd00dd }
  • a:active {color: #ff0000 }
  • a:hover {color: #0099ff }
Upload, link and blog

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us

I showed a little film in class a couple of weeks ago, and it's had me thinking about what the web's becoming and our part in it as developers.

As someone who's going to build the tools that make web-based user-generated artificial(?) intelligence possible, you'll need to start thinking about some of the issues flagged:

  • copyright
  • authorship
  • identity
  • ethics
  • aesthetics
  • rhetorics
  • governance
  • privacy
  • commerce
  • love
I was going to start building a list of links based on these, but quickly realised that each one is a website worth by itself. And a subjective, highly personalised one at that. So I'll leave it to you to build you own meaning, and restrict myself to pointing out a few interesting directions as we muddle through the year. I expect you to return the favour... drop the odd link into your own blog so we can all share the goodness.

Here's one to start off with. Another movie; this time exploring the creative commons. So, invite around your favorite friend, make the popcorn, and settle down for 'Get Creative'