When Web Rookies Attack

I'm working my way through the Windows 2000 Server Administrator's Companion. It's 1520 pages long. At this rate, I should be done in time for Windows 2005. There's both something good and bad to be said for the proliferation of WYSIWYG HTML Editors. It lets lazy people like me make good looking pages quickly, but at the same time, anyone who can use a word processor figures they can make a great web page without researching or understanding any of the underlying technology.

I'm trying to get some staff people to correct their new web page, where I noticed none of the images were working when I loaded it in Internet Explorer. Delving into the code, I found out why:

img src="staff/John%20Smith"

I stripped out the <>, but, if you don't put an extension on your image files, you're going to confuse the heck out of browsers. Darned Mac users. :)

When I contacted them about it, they said "Oh, we just looked at it in Netscape, never Internet Explorer."

While you can find a lot of tips over at http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/ here are my personal pet peeves:

  • Not testing web pages with more than one browser
  • Not testing how web pages look for people running at 640x480 or 1280x1024
  • Using tiny images of something that needs to be shown in more detail, make them thumbnails that link to a bigger image!
  • Multicolored backgrounds that look bad no matter what color text is layered over them

    I'm SOOOO thankful that Mac OS X is going to finally bring three letter file extensions to the Mac, I'm tired of getting disks full of files that people want to use on the PC, with no extensions to guide me in converting them. A typical example:

    Student: I need to open these files on a PC, and I made them on my boyfriend's Mac.
    Me: Okay, what kind of files are they?
    Student: Ummm...typing files?
    Me: Typing? You mean Word Processing?
    Student: Yeah.
    Me: Okay, what word processor did you use to make them?
    Student: Umm...I don't know, whatever he has on his Mac.
    Me: Was it Microsoft Word? WordPerfect? ClarisWorks? AppleWorks?
    Student: Umm, I don't know, could you just try them all?
    Me (after 15 minutes of trying every file converter I can find): I can't get it to open, you're gonna have to find out what program you used at least, and knowing what version it was would be helpful too.
    Student: Well, I'll just go print it on his computer...

    So why couldn't I convert it? It was an Adobe Pagemaker file.