And this is just about exactly how I feel after six hours of nonstop Dreamweaver homework. Wheee!!!
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That line is — of course! — a reference to Gary Wright’s super-groovy 1975 song of the same name. However, it also represents the fact that I am currently trying to make up a week and a half of homework in one night on using Adobe’s Dreamweaver for my Web Design class. You’d think that a professor would be better able to stay on top of things. Ay yi yi… But it IS amazing stuff and I’m very glad to be working with it. I just wish I could spread out all that educational goodness over more than one night.
Well, we had to try making an actual, working web site for my Web Design (FA3000) class. The assigned topic was a favorite artist. Because I do statistics and data visualization, and because he actually is an artist, I chose statistician/author/artist Edward Tufte. Here's a still shot of the home page:
Not much, but not too bad for a first try. (And I've definitely seen worse!) For the time being, this site is on the school's server and you can see it by clicking here. (By the way, as a partial excuse for the elementary nature of the site, it was all hand-coded in TextMate; we don't get to use Dreamweaver until later in the semester.)
We're getting started with Photoshop (and the Adobe Creative Suite in general) in FA2000: Computers and the Arts. Very exciting! It's an overwhelming program; so many choices, so many buttons. Ay yi yi . . . But I'm thrilled to have put the lettuce and beans on their own layers in the salad photo! Very cool to move things around so easily. To quote the theme from The Love Boat: "So exciting and new!" (Well, new to me, anyhow.)
Also, in FA3000: Design for the Net I, we're doing some manual HTML coding to create very, VERY simple websites (at least, local pages that open in browsers). Kind of tedious to do it manually, but I think it makes things much clearer. And I'm finally learned about putting the pages in a folder with relative references . . . if only this simple fact had been made clearer to me a few years ago. But I'm looking forward to working on our next assignment, which is to create a web page for a favorite artist. I may cheat and do mine on Edward Tufte, who IS an artist but is known much, much better for his work on data visualization. Here's the man himself:
For reference, here are his major publications, all of which are gorgeous and should be required reading for all designers and data people:
- The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
- Envisioning Information
- Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
- Beautiful Evidence
Anyhow, it should be fun.
It's the first day of school for my 26th full year of formal education. Whee! My first class is FA3000: Design for the Net 1, taught by Martin Novak. (I'm going to see a lot of Martin this year.) One of the things that we're going to spend a lot of time on this semester is in creating a couple of web pages, which will be set up on the Fine Arts server for the semester. One will be a personal web page; that is, a page about us. The other will be on something else. Rather conveniently, I recently bought two domains: BartonPoulson.com and DataLiteracy.Info. I haven't done anything with either one yet, so this class will give me an ideal opportunity to work on them. Very nice.
I was also scheduled to take FA3400: Digital Visual Effects later today with Rosi Hayes, but it looks like I'll need to skip that course so I can work on some other things that came up (specifically, the opportunity to create a new course for lynda.com and the possibility of working with CIDAT).
Update: I have a draft version of BartonPoulson.com that is temporarily housed on the Fine Arts server here at the U of U. Also, while I still own the domain DataLiteracy.Info, I also purchased Data-Literacy.com for another WordPress blog; I'm actually making posts on that site.