Friday, June 11, 1999

THE CYBER SCENE IN SAN DIEGO ~ by George Edw. Seymour (with valuable enhancements from Joe Crawford)

THE CYBER SCENE IN SAN DIEGO ~ by George Edw. Seymour (with valuable enhancements from Joe Crawford)

The Official WebSanDiego Happy Hour #2 List group meeting was held on a misty and somewhat dark third of June at David's Coffeehouse in Hillcrest. The group was small but engaging, and consisted of the stately Jim Langston of et. al.), the young and creative "webturk" Tim Wayne of , our seasoned fearless leader Joe Crawford , and the "Word 6" guy (me)>.

Apparently, half of us do web creation pretty much full time and professionally, whereas the other half just enjoys creating web pages.

Our backgrounds differ, but apparently we share the "move a lot during school years" experiences.

We sat outdoors under a friendly sprinkle of "almost rain," and without the benefit of "The Mummers' Dance", [music], and the topics ranged widely from futurist David Brin to options for other meeting locations. But, as expected, the topic of choice was web building. Of course, we each mentioned our favorite web tools (and one not-so-favorite):
1. HomeSite 4.0
2. Word 6.0 (okay, okay, I only use it as text editor which
has great cut and paste, spell check, thesaurus, etc.)
3. BBEdit 5.1
4. TextPad
5. Vi [N.B., only discussed as an historical example of great
(pain and versatility) that no longer applies].

However, Flash , received special attention. In particular, if anyone wants quality movies or great navigation support, then Flash has strong appeal in this group.

Another topic: Should web pages be generic or designed for specific browsers? Obviously there are two points of view. But a consensus was to build generically for the lowest common denominator (480 pixels high by 640 pixels wide), but allow designs to flow to fit other sized browser widths and heights.

Some of us like to center tables so that the view is "automatically" scalable regardless of the monitor size and display settings for any visitor.

Then a lively discussion emerged about the inability of html to center an image within a text paragraph. The web is indeed not print . But IT is driving us that way. PowerPoint can put images anywhere, include sound, and can be converted to html in15 minutes flat. Scary, huh?

Before long, the second meeting came to an end, and almost certainly all of us will be back for Meeting #3.

Here is a summary of tools that this list has reported within the past two weeks:
* "I love Dreamweaver,"
* "I started out writing bare code in a product called NoteTabPro" I also use Fireworks for almost all of my graphic creation and editing. I also use Fireworks for almost all of my graphic creation and editing."
* "I switched to Web Edit when it came available"
* "In preparation for DHTML, I have recently obtained Dreamweaver and Homesite."
* "Graphics: I use Photoshop & have started to use Fireworks also."
* "Audio: I have recently added a music clip to one of my sites, using Emblaze Audio."
* "The plugin I have used most in my professional life is for Windows - ULEAD's SmartSaver ... the version they're selling now is a newer version."
* "On my Mac I use the SmartGIF and SmartJPEG products (which are also available on the Windows side)"
* "I use Fireworks for many more things than I used to, but ProGIF out of PhotoShop is still very essential to me. And incidentally, there's a pretty complete of plugins for PhotoShop available at:
* "(PhotoShop plugins, btw, are something of a standard: many other products can use them, such as Paint Shop Pro, GraphicConverter, DeBabelizer, Premiere, and others.)"
* "I've been writing HTML code for so long it's at an abstract level. I've tried Dreamweaver and Cyberstudio...and in my ancient past I've had the opportunity to work in Claris Home Page and PageMill...Now I do my primary work in BareBones BBEdit and with a Mac product called Myrmidion to convert documents to HTML. My usual workflow is to layout in PhotoShop or illustrator, export individual graphics, and go to town. When I work on a PC (less and less these days) I *swear* by a product called TextPad - it's an absolutely fabulous text editor. Excellent Regular Expressions handling. When I'm called on to edit files remotely (more and more these days) on *nix servers I use emacs or pico. emacs is more powerful- but pico is idiot-proof."
* "I tend to use Netscape Composer, for my first pass at relatively simple pages. After that, I tend to go direct into HTML using a text editor (SuperNoteTab, PFE, or WinVile). Composer has now gotten tolerant enough that I will sometimes
make small modifications using it."
* "I make html pages with Microsoft Visual Studio. It is like an enhanced text editor with advanced formatting shortcuts. It's great!"

Let's raise our glasses high to applaud Tim and the WWW!!