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Right Under My Nose All This Time
on September 18, 2011
I have two companies for which I created rudamentary websites in the days of Frontpage. Over time, I did enough reading to learn the general idea behind CSS and how desirable it was to use standards compliant website coding to enhance search engine placement. That was why I bought the first version of Expression Web. But to be honest, Expression Web appeared to me to me to be an ad hoc set of ways to make modifications to a website, and I never got an Expression Web gestalt. Until I watched the Expression Web 4 LiveLessons, the panels and the icons in Expresson Web seemed too irrelevant to my coding tasks. I hand code a lot of my pages and my CSS, never understanding how helpful Expression Web could be in those regards.
Then I trained on Microsoft Expression Web 4 LiveLessons Video Training. My view of Expression Web has changed as a result. Morten Rand-Hendricksen has created a superb set of instructional videos that take you logically through your website building tasks and show you how to accomplish those tasks in Expression Web. In order to accomplish this, Morten had to find a way to explain CSS to the viewer. That is a vast topic on its own. Morten's training videos taught me things about CSS, and particularly about the box model, that I could not figure out on my own. The CSS portions are sufficiently thorough so that they would be useful to a person who had no interest in Microsoft Expression Web and who just wanted to learn CSS.
These lessons held my attention, and when I finished them all, I wanted more. They did leave me with some unanswered questions:
1. Microsoft Expression Web makes "layers" available to users. They are divs that are absolutely placed. The video lessons do not treat layers, and I am left to wonder whether they have any legitimate place in web standards compliant website coding, or whether they are a crutch.
2. I would have found it useful to hear more about when to use designs that float and when to use designs that are anchored.
3. I would have loved to learn some techniques specifically applicable to putting together product pages.
The fact that I am able to articulate these unanswered questions is all to Morten's credit, as he did a superb job of teaching me the concepts that inspire those questions. I loved his instructional video.