Sunday, March 18, 2012

Final CSS Exploratory Outing and Reflection

Explorer Nobles reporting in from week four. Lost bearings on third outing. Ended up mired in the CSS Language Swamp. Have regained footing. Repeat: have regained footing.  No longer feeling smug but know upcoming trip into the Coding Canyon of CSS will not be a disaster ... most likely anyway ...

This was my week to wrap up loose ends with exploring CSS.  I finished the CSS tutorial then watched the CSS introduction video:

This video (which by the way I just adjusted in HTML to fit my blog column width ... look at me coding!) was really helpful because it shows coding in action; this reinforced what I had learned in my reading and small coding practices.  The video was also so clear and easy to follow that I plan to use more of them in my next phase of this project.

Speaking of this next phase, I definitely want to use CSS in my final project.  From my exploring, I have learned CSS is a language that can be adjusted behind websites with great effect (let me take you to the CSS Zen Garden yet again!).  I hope to learn Dreamweaver this summer, so this is a beginning step towards ultimately being able to manipulate the coding within Dreamweaver for my electronic portfolio.  My plan for this semester is to adjust the styles on a wiki page because I use wikis a great deal in my classroom and have wanted to make them more creative than the basic wiki design for years now.  Imagine my surprise when I was showing my freshmen how to change the font on their wikipages last week and discovered the CSS coding option!  I had seen this before but not known what it meant until now.

I decided to play with this a bit to be sure what I could do with CSS and wikis.  Here is my first coding line:

My goal was to make each genre sub-section on my wiki a different font that lends itself visually to the topic of the genre. I certainly would do more to make this an effective design based on the CRAP principles we have been learning, but here are the results of choosing fonts and colors.

What I also did was see if I could actually code and not just name colors and fonts.  On first genre, I put a custom color whose coding I took from the CSS color code chart I had found in my exploring.

The font size for the final genre above was also being picky and would not increase with the normal wiki font size expander.  So, I coded it for a larger size, and viola, I succeeded!

Using the wiki has helped me to jump into my own coding -- the main recommendation of every tutorial I completed.  Because I already have content on the wiki plus I already have design ideas, I knew what kind of CSS coding to start with out of everything available.  What I hope to still learn for the final project is how to effect the design through CSS far beyond the font. I want to do layout by controlling the margins of different parts of the page, adding images where I want them to float, and creating a background to replace the standard wiki white.  I am so glad I discovered I could apply my CSS practice to Wikispaces because it is a place where my practice will create something I actually use while also being a friendly place for such practice.

Explorer Nobles signing out.  
Will report back after her first foray into the actual CSS Coding Canyon ...

Time Spent: 2 1/4 hours

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