Five go Mad on the Web…

Reading through Staurt Langridge’s new book: DHTML Utopia: Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM from I was struck by this line in the opening paragraph of the first chapter:

DHTML is actually a combination of proper HTML for your content, Cascading Style Sheets for your design, and JavaScript for interactivity.

Which is correct, of course. Websites – and in particular DHTML websites – rely heavily on those three technologies.

However there are two more areas that Stuart didn’t mention that are just as crucial when talking about web applications. Those are server-side scripting and the web server itself. As you may have picked up, if you’re a regular reader, I spend most of my time doing server-side scripting, leveraging the power of a web server to manipulate, create, interact with and administer data, then output it using HTML, CSS and JavaScript to the client (a web browser).

Talking of the three “visible” technologies – the bits of code we can see in our browsers – but not aknowledging the power of the two “invisible” technologies means we are missing out on many opportunities the web is offering us. However let’s go a stage further, and realise that it’s only through the collaboration of these five areas, the symbiosis of their complementary capabilities, that we can truly take advantage of this new development platform.

So, over the next few days, I’m going to be looking at all five areas – (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, server-side scripting and the web server – and sharing my thoughts about how all these can fit together, with a few examples to help illustrate the point. I’ll also touch on databases, XML, and the browser itself – the canvas for our art.

More experimentation…

I’ve been at it again, slaving over a hot monitor, and I can now provide you with a simple method to check your web server, to see if it supports the wondrous Apache module mod_rewrite. If this makes sense to you then great, please take a look, if not then go back to your business and try to forget I said anything.

New words…

New words are a joy, none more so than words that describe perfectly something that’s been hard to describe previously. So, thanks to M@ and Sarah (non-existent online at present) I now present the following:

Gazebay (v)
The act of someone jumping in at the last moment of an Ebay auction with a slightly higher price, in order to secure your winning of the item being bidded on. So if a devious rotter gets that CD you had your eye on, and were destined to buy, by offering an extra 10p for it with less than a minute to go, you can say “I’ve been gazebayed!”. It’s like being gazumped on a house purchase.

Up and down…

Up: I think we’ve found the perfect house. It’s a 150 year old mill that was converted about 10 years ago in a really nice 4-bedroomed house. It’s on three levels, and has real character – the exposed beams and high ceilings in the master bedroom really add an air of old-Yorkshire decadence. Funnily enough the bloke that currently owns it is a Sun UNIX engineer. He’s done most things, technologically-speaking, that I want (TV points everywhere, loads of sockets, broadband, lots of whole points) but stopped short of CAT5 cabling the place. Never mind, I can do that :0)

Down: Yet again I’ve missed a web geeks conference, and seeing the photos of so many people I really respect from all over the world only a couple of hours drive from here is depressing. Never mind, I’ll make it some day.