Because it’s…

I’m watching WordPress install under the tessellated layers of windows open. I can see command lines march upwards, not quite enough visible to make sense, but familiar. In the meantime, some words.

I’ve been working on two quite big projects so far this year, both of which I’ve had rather vertiginous experiences of learning, occasional strings of days of coding and between moments of joy and sternum-pressing uhhh’s of small failures or slight blind terror at not knowing the outcome of my next irreversible click, between this all a slow plodding towards an arrangement of things.

Dasniya asked me to help with… mmm maybe to say an idea for a website, like sliding around a page, like for example in Google Maps. A while ago now, she asked me. We talked about ideas for how it might look and I said something like, “To me, your notebooks are far more interesting than any layout, so…”

I could have done it in Flash, but my long affinity with CSS and other delights, and also a practical simplicity born largely of the amount of research I do in the internet where text and accessibility are for me a prime concern, and along with this a discovery of how far JavaScript has come since I laughed it out of my sight when first learning web design in favour of Flash, where beautiful simple things were possible with elegant and simple code…

I discovered jQuery. Well, I discovered Ariel Flesler’s plugins, jQuery.ScrollTo and jQuery.Preload. And jQuery, and the possibilities of which I dimly comprehend. I considered the CSS grid system, opted for a shakey… honestly I do have a sense of how it works, but am surprised every time I add another row or column, surprised it stays together on different browsers, surprised it wasn’t more trouble, surprised it seems to happily take amendments and alterations without collapsing, sometimes to smile when I can consistently cause it to implode and in making mistakes understand how it survives.

The idea was simple, to have everything on one sheet, like an architectural drawing with multiple views, and for the sheet to slide between each page or view, and in doing so pass over other pages, the background being gridpaper from a notebook. I think now there are six rows and nine columns, but maybe more. (On a Mac with two-finger scrolling it’s more fun, though jQuery is possible to give this in a click-drag fashion, something for me to work on yet).

jQuery also led to Flowplayer. There is an abundance of horrible Flash video players around, and when version 3.1 arrived with bandwidth detection and other amazing stuff, I was rather happy at my time already playing with it. I would love to have say, two weeks to learn it better, or even a week…

(something else to work on…)

So my current love for CSS, HTML, jQuery comes from these weeks of learning and playing.

Yes, I could have done it in Flash, likely more elegantly also, but for me I like the feeling of this precarious assembly of things, that I can feel, when I think over it, the threads and seams, where one piece is sewn to the next.

I’ve said little about the content, which has been equally entrancing… caused many smiles and happinesses… perhaps better to read and see and play than for me to include other words.

So, while still becoming itself, I think I shall go and enjoy it once more.