Reading and Writing

Readin’ and a writing, railin’ to the break of dawn, apologies to chuck berry. Ah! A’ha’’!. The rails request cycle from url to HTML presents a mind numbing barrage of tasks to detail and complete. Developing a working knowledge of the disciplined tasks, tools and techniques required to take a fledgeling url to a customized HTML will take some time and a fair amount of patience and practice. A small portion of that time may be well served by an introduction to some of the terms that a student may confront when venturing into the world of web development for the first time. To begin — the url or, uniform resource locator, which most will identify with as being the web address, is a pointer to a location on a computer network, somewhere. This address may appear as simple text or in its actual form of slashes, dashes, numbers, letters or whatever. The address technique seemingly stems from a once popular system of slashes representing a directory and file retrieval system, which was further complicated from the inability to standardize on terms involving folder or directory. For example, consider the following /’s, numbers and letters used to provide direction to a particular area of interest, /gifs/23463-cats-jumping, where each division of the whole takes one step towards the final destination, on which ever drive or memory map it may reside upon. At the most rudimentary level, viewed web content, starts with just that, content. That content is molded into a presentable fashion using a markup , think redlines, instruction language, called HTML to describe the native content and another instruction language used to apply font and formatting to that content. In addition to some other useful tools to provide splash to the final images. These instructions all come together to provide a working arrangement of content, formatting and instruction which your favorite web-browser uses to provide the user viewable and comprehensible, informative content. Of course, cats and kittens may be an accepted deviation from this directive. Since of course nothing happens in a vacuum any longer and simple text pages with table formatting and cows drawn with hashes, dashes and slashes have each given way to advanced web design techniques, the tools used to capture those techniques have grown exponentially as well to include consideration to how the conceptualized “layout” digitally yields a “template”, with format, style and HTML instruction being tossed around between the tabs of advanced software tools, before generating that final viewable set of instructions. The common theme of all this though is, that it took a dedicated step forward with attention to the details and a long list of references, some of which are provided as conclusion. <insert smiley thingy here>