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My new web site up for public scrutiny - and criticism!

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Simon

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« Reply #20 on: June 10, 2008, 09:04 AM »
Thank-you Lucy, your word is my command! :dancing:

Seriously, It's a nightmare isn't it, proof reading - you must be really good to have spotted that blooper so quickly!  And it's my fault for nor spell checking thouroughly enough! :banghead:

Cheers and thanks for your effort!

Simon

PS I hope to get more downloads and photo enlagements done today, and more useful stull in the Index probabaly next week  :booklook:

PS I think the issue with Exploerer, et al may be to do with folks browesers being set not to accept cookies, so it's a problem with dodt.tk not my page (actually I don't really know what a cookie' is!)

« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 09:07 AM by Simon »

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2008, 10:14 AM »
Greetings All,
Just so we don't duplicate (?) our scrutiny criticism teamwork on Simon's web page, the Eating & Drinking and the And Finally! pages are my territory :technodevil:
Regs.,
Technopat
PS.
Are we all thinking 'bout same bloke?  :dancing:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Clive

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« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2008, 10:51 AM »
Still not fixed the typo on the front page Simon.... :).. Actually not a typo its seems to be a missing word...

I have mailed you about hosting your site

Clive
Explore the nature of Iberia at www.wildsideholidays.com

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Simon

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« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2008, 10:59 AM »
Oh Lordy! I've just found four typos on the front page in four minutes - Thanks to you Clive!

PS after an hour's interlude, being iterruptd by a small litle matter of earning the odd crust, I'm back to more  comment and advice - which I greatly appreicate. So big apologies to all and sundry for such sterling work!

Regs. in due humility

Simon  :noidea:

« Last Edit: June 10, 2008, 12:24 PM by Simon »

Simon

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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2008, 14:38 PM »
hello all,

I'm back in the saddle - and getting mental saddle sores  :banghead: so here's a merrie interlude - it's the link and download to the Foodie Fair that I refer to in the Eatables chapter.

http://www.usuaris.tinet.org/topix/downloads/jornades.htm


I hope this works!  :dancing:

Simon

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2008, 14:59 PM »
Greetings Simon,
A very mouth-watering experience read!

Only came across 5 erratas, which I’ll PM to you ... :technodevil:

Very-hungry-and-envious regs.,
Technopat
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2008, 15:48 PM »
Only five!!! Must be a record - or sould that be wrecord  >:D

Simes

Simon

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« Reply #27 on: June 15, 2008, 12:58 PM »
Hi Caesar,

Many thanks for your comments and feedback.

Your exactly right about the pros and cons of Wordpess, and you guessed correctly my reason for choosing it: the site has a very specific and restricted purpose and its emphasis is on the content rather than any wizardry in the presentation.

I'm absolutely not a web designer, although working in code in some of the Widgets brought back some funny or horrific memories of doing a lot of code programming (in POP 11) about thirty years ago. I did an undergraduate project in Artificial Intelligence (just another of the useless subjects I studied!) - in those days, or rather in that facility, you didn't have a screen let alone a GUI, so you had to enter a mountain of code from handwritten notes during your 'slot' at the keyboard, then you could get a printout of your stuff to check, hand-in, etc. before you pressed the Big Red Button marked 'Enter'. You guessed it, crashing a mainframe that occupied two floor of a building is really quite fun - it even dimmed the house lights briefly before the end :technodevil: They didn't let me touch the IBM after that, and palmed me off with what must have been among the  first microcomputers; it had 1 k of memory, I'll just repeat that ONE KILOBYTE, so you literally had to count your code as you went! You can now see why I'm a lifelong Mac person  :dancing:

Back to Wordpress: the advantage of the Themes is that sometimes it's better to have constraints, otherwise too much time is lost exploring exiting ideas that, in the event, come to nothing and in fact just make the site appear gimmicky (in fact I'm taking out the 'Search' as it's actually irrelevant) Obviously you're then stuck with what you get and that means compromise; so your comments about the font, the column width, etc. are well placed. In fact I settled on this Theme as it appears like a real 'book' but in virtual form, which is what I wanted, rather than a virtual book like IbNat, which has a completely different way of structuring and presenting its content.

The Theme I chose is really limited widget wise, hence the problem with the 'Home' and Welcome' in this theme the 'Pages' widget has no editing, so I can't exclude any pages, and if I make the 'Welcome' 'private' the word 'private' appears on the Home page! (I've found that you can't get rid of the default 'Home' in any theme).

I don't have a problem with the serif in the headings, rather the reverse; serif's are best used to help the eye follow the line when reading continuous text (back to my Perception and Cognition studies again!) so it's far better employed in the body text than in headings, and the sans serif then adds a little contrast, even though they are indeed a bit dull. However one should always avoid 'fontitus', i.e. just because you have hundred f fonts to choose from tat does meant to say you should use them!

The page width comes with the Theme too. It is a bit odd, but then again does make it look like a page on a desktop (take a look at the on-line Guardian Weekly for this new 'trend' using PageSuite: http://digital.guardianweekly.co.uk/launch.aspx?pbid=9CC33FB9-DE8C-4E90-B6BA-545475FEB862 (don't try this if you have slow connectivity) and if you're really into ace graphic try the Catalan Cartographic institute maps, as you scroll them around your desktop they appear to 'float' and then settle down, just like a real map falling across your dining room table: http://www.icc.es/portal/index_c.jsp?lang=en_UK&profile=ciu (definitely avoid this one if you have conection problems!)

And finally (phew!) the ?contat form couldn't be easier; just type " [contact-form] " in to your page and there you have it. I think I found this little gem in the FAQ's - helpless Mac users sometimes have all the luck!

Thanks once again for all this food for thought.

Simon

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #28 on: June 15, 2008, 13:28 PM »
Greetings Simon and Caesar,
Sorry to butt in, C - just want to check something out re. serifs, etc.
Simon, re. your Perception and Cognition studies, I too remember studying all that abt serif for main body of text and sans for headings, etc. However, that was/is based on studies done over the "printed" page (probably for the advertising in glossy mags., hoardings (that's billboards for y'all on t'other side of the Atlantic, etc.  :technodevil: ), but maybe the eyes/brain perceive things differently* on a computer screen, be it ever-so low-res. Do you/anyone know if there have been recent PC-based studies al respecto (Sp. anyone?)?

* thinking CRT flicker, here - remember how in the old days of TV it was forbidden to wear striped shirts and certain colours?

Great AI/mainframe story! I knew you had an anarchic streak in there somewhere  :dancing:

Over-to-you-Caesar regs.,
Technopat
PS.
Mac rules the waves!  :clapping:

P*PS.
Re. yer
Quote
helpless Mac users sometimes have all the luck!
, reminds me what a good friend of mine says: ¡Dios nunca abandona a un buen marxista!
« Last Edit: June 15, 2008, 18:08 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #29 on: June 15, 2008, 18:05 PM »
Greetings All,
All this talk of serif/sans serif brought back fond memories (Sp. anyone?):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Serriffe#San_Serriffe

which in turn (Sp. anyone?) reminded me of the even more famous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_tree

Please do not take this as an endorsement of such capers (Sp. anyone?) here at iberianatureforum.

As-yer-man-said-I-can-resist-everyting-except-temptation regs.,
Technopat

Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #30 on: June 16, 2008, 07:50 AM »
Ha Ha TP!

I didn't even have to check out Wiki to remember San Serriffe, that noble republic!

Trouble is, after livng here for so long I now wouldn't get it if written in print!

Great lins from Wiki though: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,1744583,00.html

Cheers

Simon

PS bacl to the topic, not sure about the diferecen 'tween papar and screen but I'll have a think, sonething along the lines of the frequency of the image - not even sure of the terminology!

Simon

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« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2008, 03:39 AM »
Hi Caesar, TP et al (if any et al's are still watching this one!)

I haven't the wherewithal these days to follow up the perception issues behind the serif issue, it's all probably written up in impossible scientific language in some obscure tome called, 'Journal of applied neuronal response' or some such.

I suspect you're absolutely correct about the importace of low res. on monitors, Caesar, but I feel that the same principle applies, namely that an awful lot of perception is going on under the surface. Basically what we 'perceive' is the end result of a great deal of processing, which is enhanced by the use of 'schema's', that is to say, for example, short cuts are applied to on-line processing to make it quicker, so that as the eye follows a line of written text the mind (a small word for a big idea!) is actually racing ahead based on the closeness of fit of certain 'rules' eg. if theres a 'cross' in a letter it must be a 't', or, if there's a 'apex' it must be a capital 'A'. These perception schema's (aka guesswork!)  interact with other factors such as cognitive schema's, in this case, if there's a capital then that's a new sentence, so let's bundle the information from sentence '1', send it to the next department to analyses what it actually is 'saying' and get on with processing the next job, i.e. sentence '2'.

This very mechanistic interpretation has the great advantage that it's relatively easy to demonstrate in the lab and thus claim it to have some validity! It also goes to explain what most people have known all along via their common sense, a noble virtue  that many psychologists could do with more of (parse that sentence TP!), and also means that research psychologists get to mess around with fabulously expensive computers which saves them from having to face up to the wicked world of real work! :technodevil:

A good example of this is evident in this post: text correctors, like Lucy, have to 'train' their perception not to process the writing normally but to interrupt the process (quite a difficult thing to do) - hence I didn't 'see' all my typo's as I 'perceived' the whole meaning - an effect heightened by the fact that as I wrote the stuff I knew what was going to be said anyway (authors will always need text correctors for this very reason!)

Back to the serifs  :), we can see clearly that the serifs form a broken line which keeps the eye on the right track; at the perception, i.e. subconscious, level, but if the resolution is high enough the same perceptive process can infer a line with much less input, i.e. if the tops of the letters are 'square' enough the perception mechanism will 'infer' a unbroken line without the need for serifs.

In the context of perception much of this is called Gestalt Psychology (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gestalt_psychology) which will make Mrs Technopat cringe  :technodevil:

This would indicate that the serifs would help reading off computer monitors, but I have a suspicion that the difference here is in the image input from the screen itself, which isn't fixed, although we perceive it that way, but is in fact oscillating (I'm skating on very thin ice here as I don't understand cathode ray tubes let alone flat screen technology). I think the serif issue is superceded in importance by the poor contrast between the letters and the background, so the more simple the typography, the less of a problem the contrast becomes.

Back to my site, this was certainly an issue with the Themes that I would have preferred to use in terms of the functionality that they offered, eg. 'Connections'. All of the font issues, and some of the functionality issues should have been resolved by choosing this theme, but for the fact that when I set Mrs S on the task of reading it she pretty much couldn't make out the words, especially on the tabs in the header. Furthermore, when I changed the theme the clarity of the images nearly knocked me off my chair - so that clinched it!

Main frame computers really are boring (I liked your term 'proper computers'!), they're only really good at crunching really huge amounts of data and for storing stuff. I suspect that with a bit of ingenuity I could do all that I did back then on Excell and even come up with a pretty report using mail merge, and even publish the results globally, just by the touch of a button - now crashing the Internet really would be fun - I guess that why there are so many geeks out there trying to do just that!

I guess the 'Contact Form' is really just another Widget but that Wordpress don't dress it up as such as it appears in another context, i.e. when writing a page rather than in 'Design' I also suspect that Wordpress only put it there reluctantly as it appears with loads of warnings about contact forms breeding spam. that would certainly explain why it only works where it works!

Ceasar, really liked your page and the may that to offer to work, e.g. building from code upwards, that's the way to go forward - good luck!  :dancing:

Simon

PS I also love your ingenuity re. the wifi!

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2008, 15:08 PM »
Greetings All,
Just for those of you out there who might be feeling a bit left out...

MBP = MacBook Pro - the high (top?) end of the range of Macintosh (Apple) laptops for the professional and power user market.  :clapping:
LCD = Liquid crystal display - a thin, flat display device often used in battery-powered electronic devices (calculators, etc.) because it uses very small amounts of electric power.
TFT = thin film transistor - (TFT-LCD) is a variant of liquid crystal display (LCD) - used in televisions, flat panel displays, etc.
LED = Light-emitting diode - produce more light per watt than normal bulbs - useful in battery powered or energy-saving devices.
CRT = Cathode ray tube - a vacuum tube often used for television and computer monitors.
personal preference = the accumulation of beliefs, experience and advertising that one is subject to from very early on in life... nah, I'll leave Simon to explain the psychology... :technodevil:

TTFN,
Technopat
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 15:11 PM by Technopat »
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Offline Technopat

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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2008, 15:17 PM »
PS.
Simon's et als refer to those iberianatureforumers who tend to login to this 'ere great iberianatureforum at unearthly hours (Sp. anyone?) such as 02:39 AM (which means 03:39 local time for Simon) - a record? :clapping:
Technopat's disclaimer: If this posting seems over the top and/or gets your goat (Sp. anyone?), please accept my apologies and don't take it personally - it's just my instinctive tendency to put my foot in it whenever/wherever possible. See also:
http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,266

Simon

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« Reply #34 on: June 25, 2008, 10:50 AM »
'mornin' all.

Back into the land of the living after a very long puente de San Joan!

I'm really glad that I put in the disclaimer about screen technology! Thanks, Cesar, for this, and to Teeps for his handy glossary - I certainly need it!

I suppose it all does boil down (Sp. Teeps?) to personal preference, but I think there are stylistic considerations that depend on the intended message, as long as a sort of baseline readability is attained.

Caesar, I'm curious to know about the web building 'community' that you refer to. I'm going down the line of developing a rather complicated web page using Joomla, which I understand has an active and very helpful user forum, but are there others that deal with the kind of issues we've been talking about here? :booklook:

Thanks for all your comments.

Simon

PS, No Teeps, 03.39 is not a record :banghead:




Simon

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« Reply #35 on: June 28, 2008, 16:38 PM »
Hi all you communications people,

By a sheer coincidence, I've stumbled across an old colleague of mine who has got a lot to say about some of the issues in this post.

In fact we were at university together. Needless to say she's had a glittering career, entirely because she's a glittering person (unusual in my cynical experience!), in sharp contrast to both attributes in my case! ('attributes' is a really cognitive psychological word!!!)

Here's her web site (and I think the lessson in simplicity says it all!)

http://www.alisonblack.co.uk/index.html

Regs

Simon


PS I've just trawelled tis lovely quote from Alison:

"I love this quote from Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of the C++ computer language: 'There's an old story about the person who wished his computer were as easy to use as his telephone. That wish has come true, since I no longer know how to use my telephone.' "
 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 16:40 PM by Simon »