Learning HTML and CSS

Being a true geek generally requires knowing at least one type of computer language. I know a few, which sad as it may sound, is fairly useful. Knowing them well though is another story entirely. So, I have made it my mission this summer to greatly improve my HTML and CSS coding skills.

My main project focuses on a website for a public service learning initiative at work. The goal is to show our students what is necessary to achieve post-secondary educational success, whether college or trade school or the military.

I first started with HTML in my teens, back in the 90s (which pains me to say...) and it is amazing how much has changed. No more frames?! :( It has been a challenge getting a grasp of the new basics. Few things are more rewarding than having your code finally %$#@!~ work though. My first official W3C Validation was almost on-par with having sex (almost).

For those of you interested in sharpening your skills I recommned:
  1. Eric Meyer on CSS: Mastering the Language of Web Design
  2. Smashing CSS: Professional Techniques for Modern Layout
  3. Designing with Web Standards (3rd Edition)
  4. PHP and MySQL Web Development (4th Edition)
  5. Learning Web Design: A Beginner's Guide to (X)HTML, StyleSheets, and Web Graphics

I have used #1 and #3 directly, and the others have been well reviewed. Having the coding knowledge is useless without the proper tools however. I do most of my HTML development on Windows, that is what the school runs. I have some working knowledge of Linux and also plan on teaching myself more this summer.

For my Windows work though, I have fallen in love with Notepad++. It has line numbering, syntax matching, and supports a host of languages in addition to HTML and CSS. For additional Windows options visit PortableApps.com and take a look.

Any basic editing I do through Linux is done using JOE, never Emacs OR vi. Please post your hate-filled, traffic-driving trolls in the comments section. ;)

Hosting is another issue to tackle. I use FatCow and have been especially impressed so far. You can read an independent (from me at the least) review here regarding their green hosting efforts. Additional hosting options are listed below:

Eventually I would like to migrate this blog to my own hosting option and feature mostly, if not all, original HTML and CSS. When? I have no idea. I know that I can learn it quickly when I grind my nose into the books, so we shall see.

If you have comments or helpful criticism please offer it.

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