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  #1  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:23 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Drummers in Web Design

I've talked to many drummers on this site, Bermuda among them, who, like me, are involved in some way with the art and/or business of web design. I figured it was time to start a thread where we could talk shop, post sites, whatever. I, uh, don't have anything to offer at the moment, but I will come back when I do to keep this post active. Cool?
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I've took Web Design class last semester, can't see myself making a career out of it, but it was interesting and enlightening.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2009, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I'm the webmaster for my band's web site. The design is not mine, but I've designed quite a few sites during the last 15 years. My day job is as a programmer, and I work with both web and Windows applications.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Been webmastering since the Mosaic browser(!). My personal rules are to keep the coding efficient (hand coding core of pages), the three click rule, and do not go for style over substance. Sure some of my sites might look 'dated' compared to those that employ flash and other technologies, yet desired data is extremely easy to find and they reach the targeted audience while delivering information in a fast and timely manner.

As an example, the below site is around 5000 web pages and employs the 'divide and conquer' technique plus a search engine:

www.EnjoyTheMusic.com

She aint 'pretty', yet she works, loads fast and you can quickly find information on the site (if it is there to be found of course as no site has everything). Color me Mr. Old School...
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  #5  
Old 10-06-2009, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I dislike webpages with un-necessary flash images. That is why I use the flashblock addon for Firefox. I admire that you stay away from them.
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2009, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I dabbled in web design for a few years and at first it was this new toy. Oh wow! You can incorporate prose, music, design and artwork together! Wow - look at all these cool Javascripts and Jave applets - wheeeeeee! Then the penny dropped. I guess it's a rite of passage.

However, once all the backend SQL databasing and CSS took over I was left behind. I made a few barter simple sites for friends who were sole traders and non-profit organisations. Then I shifted to digital art and cartooning.

I've been neglecting my cartooning since being bitten by the music bug (again) but, like Arnie, I'll be back :)

http://www.sangrea.net/free-cartoons
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2009, 02:44 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
I've been neglecting my cartooning since being bitten by the music bug (again) but, like Arnie, I'll be back :)
http://www.sangrea.net/free-cartoons
Nice 'toons! Thanks for sharing.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:14 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Well, since we are peddling our web wares: I showcase my sick sense of humor and general loathing of cute Japanese cartoon/merchandising characters in my webcomic, which is called "Goodbye Kitty":

http://www.gbk-sayonara.thecomicseries.com

Fittingly enough, this week is "Dead Rock Stars" week, and Bonzo and Keith will be highlighted.

It's also available on Facebook and RSS. Enjoy!
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:36 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I've also avoided gratuitous graphics and Flash, and still design as if everyone's on dial-up. Consequently, my sites run very fast for those with high-speed access.

I've been writing code since 1995, and still do all of my sites in Notepad.

Hey, I'd rather be a coder than a codger.

Bermuda
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I do all my code manually too, but Notepad? I prefer to at least use an editor that was designed to code in, with a bit of syntax highlighting and auto-indenting.
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2009, 09:45 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by thtst View Post
Nice 'toons! Thanks for sharing.
Thanks thtst. You can tell when I started getting more serious with music because my cartoon output went waaay down in both quantity and quality. Most of the toons since May have been pretty ordinary. I had a friend (died of cancer in Jan this year) who was a coder and he used to make sites like that - basic to look at but super-useful.

Ah Naige, the spooky look. One of my old bands made a spooky poster with everyone pulling scary heads at the camera. I expect there were a few laughs while doing the shoot and looking at the output.

Al, Goodbye Kitty is pretty cool. Always good to meet people who are more deranged than me :)

Bermuda, I visited your site earlier and like that clean design approach. I enjoyed your audio samples.

I think the nicest site I made, design-wise, was for a photographer friend. Since he and his partner (also a friend) started their breeding program he's been too involved with being Mr Mum and home construction work to do much snapping so the site hasn't been updated for ages: http://www.sharpphotos.com.au/

Notepad? OMG no. I prefer to use a WYSIWYG editor and clean up the code.
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2009, 12:21 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
I've also avoided gratuitous graphics and Flash, and still design as if everyone's on dial-up. Consequently, my sites run very fast for those with high-speed access.
I've been writing code since 1995, and still do all of my sites in Notepad.
Hey, I'd rather be a coder than a codger.
Bermuda
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Wow, it's cool to see this thread take off so quickly. But man, ain't no-one got love for flash? Y'all talkin' like it's the double-bass drum pedal of web-design!

I think any new technology takes time to be implemented tastefully, wisely, unobtrusively, etc. I'm designing my new site as a full-flash site for one reason: the mp3 player. I don't like the available options for using mp3's on html sites. Many have just an audio page, but you have to STAY on that page to listen to the music. (I have a singer friend who has her mp3 player on every page-every time you open a new page, it reloads and starts over from the first song! not good.) Most people have short attention spans, they want to navigate around your site while listening. You could use javascript for a pop-out window, but I find that unattractive. I think you could also use frames, but I don't have much experience with that, I'm not sure how well that works. I know the drawbacks of flash sites- large file sizes, tricky to SEO, but I think with a little effort, I can work around these. I'll post my site when I finish, of course. Thoughts?
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I do all my code manually too, but Notepad? I prefer to at least use an editor that was designed to code in, with a bit of syntax highlighting and auto-indenting.
Seriously, I write every < and br and href and table from scratch. Notepad is perfect, I don't want highlights, I can immediately see the structure in a page source (I've been coding since 1995, so it's second nature to me.)

Bermuda
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Eric View Post
Wow, it's cool to see this thread take off so quickly. But man, ain't no-one got love for flash? Y'all talkin' like it's the double-bass drum pedal of web-design!

I think any new technology takes time to be implemented tastefully, wisely, unobtrusively, etc. I'm designing my new site as a full-flash site for one reason: the mp3 player. I don't like the available options for using mp3's on html sites. Many have just an audio page, but you have to STAY on that page to listen to the music. (I have a singer friend who has her mp3 player on every page-every time you open a new page, it reloads and starts over from the first song! not good.) Most people have short attention spans, they want to navigate around your site while listening. You could use javascript for a pop-out window, but I find that unattractive. I think you could also use frames, but I don't have much experience with that, I'm not sure how well that works. I know the drawbacks of flash sites- large file sizes, tricky to SEO, but I think with a little effort, I can work around these. I'll post my site when I finish, of course. Thoughts?
Yeah, our singer is a web designer and more and more of his clients are wanting Flash content. Like it or not, but in some circles where making an impression or creating a cool image is important Flash sites are considered more professional. Personally, I get bored waiting for page loads just to watch some "cool" effects before I can start finding content. It's also annoying if you like something and can't cut and paste.

I've done snippets of Flash on sites but they're always small and fast-loading.

Reverbnation and Wolfgang's Vault both have mini popup MP3 players, which IMO is a fairly elegant solution, but it can create a tangle with browser settings that block popups.

In the old days the word was that frames are evil :) Not sure if ppl still think like that(?). Frames can be simulated with CSS and the <div> tag too. Another option would be having a page with MP3 links set in an inline frame and called by each page.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Eric View Post
Wow, it's cool to see this thread take off so quickly. But man, ain't no-one got love for flash? Y'all talkin' like it's the double-bass drum pedal of web-design!

I think any new technology takes time to be implemented tastefully, wisely, unobtrusively, etc. I'm designing my new site as a full-flash site for one reason: the mp3 player. I don't like the available options for using mp3's on html sites. Many have just an audio page, but you have to STAY on that page to listen to the music. (I have a singer friend who has her mp3 player on every page-every time you open a new page, it reloads and starts over from the first song! not good.) Most people have short attention spans, they want to navigate around your site while listening. You could use javascript for a pop-out window, but I find that unattractive. I think you could also use frames, but I don't have much experience with that, I'm not sure how well that works. I know the drawbacks of flash sites- large file sizes, tricky to SEO, but I think with a little effort, I can work around these. I'll post my site when I finish, of course. Thoughts?
If it isn't broke........don't fix it !

But yeah...flash is a pain. Not only am I still on a dial-up connection, i'm also still using ME version of windows. Flash locks up all the time. Even jpg's over 100kb load way too slow. Bigger isn't always better, and technology can hinder creativity.
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Old 10-12-2009, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Moktie View Post
If it isn't broke........don't fix it !

But yeah...flash is a pain. Not only am I still on a dial-up connection, i'm also still using ME version of windows. Flash locks up all the time. Even jpg's over 100kb load way too slow. Bigger isn't always better, and technology can hinder creativity.
I think cutting edge stuff is fun, but in the real world, it tends to isolate access and is very elitist on the part of the designer. Someday, what's cutting edge now will be the norm... and then perhaps obsolete. But at any given time, it's always a good idea to stay behind the curve for the most universal access. Nobody likes to be forced to load special plug-ins and apps to in order see someone's latest file.

I learned that lesson when I started using frames. They were a fairly new attribute, but only the absolute latest browsers could read them. Of course, I had the latest browser - Netscape 2.0 I believe - so I could see them just fine and used them on Al's site. But at a post-production house one day, I had them visit Al's site to see a particular image, and lo and behold, the site wouldn't display! Who would think that a cutting-edge video facility wouldn't have the latest browser on the computers? Well, they didn't, I was embarrassed, and re-coded the site that evening.

As for image and content size, those have expanded to fit high-speed access, so the resulting pages are essentially as slow as lesser content is with dial-up. Little was accomplished. But with high-speed, and conservative files and content, those sites are viewed as extremely fast , and that's good.

But still using ME? Oh my... I knew that was a permanent problem when I struggled with it for a month or two. I went 'back' to 98se and stayed happy for many more years. My experiences with Vista have kept me from moving to it (I run XP with great success) and I'll give "7" a nod when it comes out in a few weeks.

Bermuda
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  #18  
Old 10-13-2009, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I really agree with the philosophy to make things accessible to everyone. And it definitely does have an elitist aire about the next new gadget that comes out every few months.

Like the mp3 players...everyone told me I should get on of those little players, and I could put all my music on it. Well I have 65gig of mp3s on my external drive, and I still haven't transferred my vinyl or video to digital format.

But anyway...yeah I was able to learn enough to manage my own web-page and apply the proper embedded codes on other sites that offer that type of manipulation. Even though my functions and appearance on my site is somewhat remedial, I was really pleased at how fast it loaded on dial-up. I think the only images that get near 100k are the backgrounds.

I use ME on my e-mail computer. And if I could find the USB drivers for my e-machine, I wouldn't have to run XP on my recording computer. The software processes are only 5-10% slower than XP, but transferring between external drives is 10min per gig instead of 1min. But ME has been very reliable for me, on my Art computer I don't have to worry about XP always changing my page-file and virtual memory when I don't use the scanner that frequently. And when I had XP on the e-mail computer, I would have to re-format the hard-drive about once a month to get all the worms off. And I may be mistaken, but ME doesn't seem to be as prone to get some bug hidden on the motherboard somewhere.

I had a friend that was a software designer; he once told me that everytime he fixed all the glitches in the operating system, Windows would release a new version...and he would have to start all over again.

So yeah...If I could I would just run an old analog board and with 8mm multi-track reel-to-reel for all my recording.
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Old 10-13-2009, 01:30 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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..my vinyl... 8mm multi-track reel-to-reel for all my recording.
Cool!

Apologies for OT, what table/arm/cart you spinning? R2R is making a nice comeback in some circles and i know these guys who do stunning refurb work, but just can't seem to find the desire to get back into the whole tape/splicing/looping thing.
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
I do all my code manually too, but Notepad? I prefer to at least use an editor that was designed to code in, with a bit of syntax highlighting and auto-indenting.
Glad to hear you're using this: I plan to keep it much more aggressively up-to-date than has been the case in the past, but don't hesitate to let me know if you find errors or need clarifications.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2009, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I don't have a problem with Flash if it's embedded in the HTML. However, I really dislike big splash pages that take time to load and also sites that are nearly all Flash.

Band and designer sites tend to use Flash more than most because it conveys a hip, up-to-date image. However, full-on Flash sites are a bit of an own goal since search spiders can't readily index them. It can work in certain situations where you have a brochureware site that's accessed only by personal referral.
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2009, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Just to add to this discussion on Flash.

I'm a very impatient web-user. If it isn't there NOW then it isn't there. I have a fast connection at Uni and so this helps ease my impatience.

With that said, if I'm looking for a band website out of vague interest (it can be almost any band, bear in mind - local or otherwise) and a flash 'loading' bar emerges from the depths, I immediately click off. I just can't be bothering with most flash sites. There are a couple of exceptions - but usually Flash is done in a hideous, ghastly and vulgar way. If there's a Flash option I don't mind. Some sites have the 'HTML' choice alongside Flash and that is fine. But if they're shoehorning flash, off I log.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Just to add to this discussion on Flash.

I'm a very impatient web-user. If it isn't there NOW then it isn't there. I have a fast connection at Uni and so this helps ease my impatience.

With that said, if I'm looking for a band website out of vague interest (it can be almost any band, bear in mind - local or otherwise) and a flash 'loading' bar emerges from the depths, I immediately click off. I just can't be bothering with most flash sites. There are a couple of exceptions - but usually Flash is done in a hideous, ghastly and vulgar way. If there's a Flash option I don't mind. Some sites have the 'HTML' choice alongside Flash and that is fine. But if they're shoehorning flash, off I log.
Same here. There is a perception in some circles that Flash is "more professional". Yet most web users visit sites to be interested, not entertained - and if they want to be entertained, they will want to choose when, how and with what they are entertained.

One pet hate of mine (while we're on the HTML Hell theme) is when music loads automatically with a page and no controls. One minute I'm happily surfing while playing an MP3, next minute it's a cacophany. Sites with Flash ads that start making noise at you generally earn a backspace too.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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what table/arm/cart you spinning?
Currently out of commission. I was thinking of getting the ION USB turntable, but I worry that it will hinder the warmth of the true recording.
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  #25  
Old 10-14-2009, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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One pet hate of mine (while we're on the HTML Hell theme) is when music loads automatically with a page and no controls. One minute I'm happily surfing while playing an MP3, next minute it's a cacophany.
+1

Have learned the fast MUTE button 'finger dance'.
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  #26  
Old 10-15-2009, 07:05 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I think Flash was asking for trouble by naming themselves "Flash"- they should have chosen something like "substance" instead. Anyway, it sounds to me that a lot of complaints are about sites that are noticeably done in Flash-some of my favorites are ones I had to look in the source code before I even realized they were in flash. I must say these anti-flash opinions are not reflected in the choices many of my peers' websites. I should mention that we're mostly jazz musicians in a big city (Chicago), so there is less concern with reaching people with dial-up modems as they represent an insignificant piece of our demographic. Elitist? Well, yeah, that's what jazz often is, frankly.

Another debate is mp3 players- autostart or not? (I'm talking specifically about musician sites-one should NEVER autostart music on non-music sites IMHO) I know a lot of visitors complain when music starts automatically, but look at it from the musicians side. A lot of time and money is sunk in these sites with the hope of selling some music, and why risk someone not finding, or choosing to click the player? Is there an implied agreement when a visitor visits a musician site that he/she agree to deal with an automatically starting mp3 player? I just found a site that automatically starts the mp3 player but offers the opportunity to turn it off. Unfortunately it reloaded and turned back on on every page! That's definitely annoying.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:13 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I'm nearly 18, I have spent 5+ years teaching myself the art of Photoshop, Indesign, and Illustrator. I got html down fairly quickly, and just recently I have started to learn some php. I recently starting programming as well; I'm about half way through a VB2008 tutorial book.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

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Another debate is mp3 players- autostart or not? ... I know a lot of visitors complain when music starts automatically, but look at it from the musicians side. A lot of time and money is sunk in these sites with the hope of selling some music, and why risk someone not finding, or choosing to click the player? Is there an implied agreement when a visitor visits a musician site that he/she agree to deal with an automatically starting mp3 player?
I see your point but if someone's visiting a music site, they are most likely hoping to hear some music. If you have an MP3 player in a visible spot like the MySpace players then visitors can choose to play the music at their own convenience rather than being kind of force-fed. It's hard to imagine someone going to a music site and then leaving because they had to clck the mouse to hear the music. Easier to imagine them leaving because the page is taking ages to load an MP3 and then suddenly springs a song on you.

A programmer Linux-freak friend of mine with Jakob Neilsen-style web values (sadly died of cancer earlier this year) used to always tell me to let the users have control. I agree.
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  #29  
Old 10-16-2009, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

What we've got to get down is some moderation. Flash can look great in small doses in the right places - but using it for a whole site is asking for trouble. I've seen some very good flash-based sites that work smoothly, don't take long to load and look great - but I've also seen a LOT of flash-based sites that take ages to work and then you have to wait for each screen to load - which takes another wait. That IS frustrating.
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  #30  
Old 10-16-2009, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Ohhhh good thread! I've been a professional developer for over six years, and studied computer science too. I'm a total geek really.

Anywho, there's nothing wrong with using lots of flash, javascript and all that jazz, but you gotta check your site in a screen reader and make sure everything regresses nicely to pure text. Otherwise your site is gonna be rubbish for SEO and accessibility. That's the golden rule, check your site in every popular browser and in a text browser, like lynx.

Anywho, have of you lot heard of Django? Hands down the best web framework out there, though Symfony isn't too shabby either, but it's written in php unfortunately, which pales in comparison to python.
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  #31  
Old 10-18-2009, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Im doing webdesign and internet for some time now. Did everything for www.wecantdance.nl (which is my own project) and I work as an Interaction Designer/Usability Guru at a big agency in the Netherlands. We do a lot of Flash things there.
I agree that Flash might not be the tool for every website. In fact I don't encourage using Flash for everything on the web. I know that everything can be done but that doesn't mean everything SHOULD be done in Flash.

However, if you want to give your visitors a special experience that can't be done with plain xhtml and javascript then Flash is the only option left.
Im not sure how internet is priced in the USA and what typical connections are there but in the Netherlands, broadband is fast and very cheap. Flash websites with lots of interaction, flash video, animations etc. are normal here and usually load fast if optimized.

Google has the ability to index text in Flash movies, just like a human would read them. I don't see any issues with SEO nowadays. If you make up a good embedding page, a good no-flash page and give Google what it needs, then you will be found.
However, I agree that there are still issues which are usually caused by developers not using frameworks like GAIA that make flash behave like separate webpages with direct linking options.
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  #32  
Old 10-21-2009, 04:18 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Welcome Santi and Therma! It's good to have some true geeks on the thread to round out some of the "old school" designers. Another issue with Flash, as a friend reminded me, is that there is no support on iphones, and may not be for quite some time. Not that animation looks so great on a tiny screen anyway, and I assume you need a separate style sheet for mobiles anyway, but that would cut out a full-flash site, unless you also created an entire html site, too. (right? I haven't looked into all this much, to be honest.) For now, I'm going to build my site mostly html, maybe with a little flash content, with alternative images if flash isn't installed, which is pretty rare on most computers.

I do have friends who are interested in all-flash sites, for whatever reason, so I'm still going to learn how to do it. I briefly looked at gaia, that looks really cool! I'm curious how much flexibility that offers. I'd have to mess with that a while, but in the long term it looks like a time-saver.

I also know very little about python. Everyone stresses the importance of knowing php, it seems. How do those compare? Is it worth learning for simple tasks like compile email lists, simple cms', etc.?
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Old 12-10-2009, 04:26 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

My new website is up! It took a while, and it's not totally done, but it's finally up. Let me know if anyone has suggestions for it, but be nice-I'm still a sensitive artist! (I still have to create rollovers for the sidebar and fix the mp3 player a bit.)
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:12 PM
k7mto k7mto is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

I'm certainly no web designer, but I built our band website. It works and gets a decent amount of hits. I do all my coding by hand using vi.
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Old 12-10-2009, 05:51 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Quote:
Originally Posted by k7mto View Post
I'm certainly no web designer, but I built our band website. It works and gets a decent amount of hits. I do all my coding by hand using vi.
You're in a band named the "Jubal Early band"? Are you a firefly fan, or is that the guy's actual name?
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  #36  
Old 01-02-2010, 12:04 PM
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SantiBanks SantiBanks is offline
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Default Re: Drummers in Web Design

Hi Eric,
Sorry for the late reply here. I don't check the other boards here often. But thanks for the welcome :)
Gaia is very cool. We use it a lot at our agency and developed a lot of major websites with that framework (Pepsi and Toyota spring to mind). I saw a keynote about it. It's pretty sophisticated. I like the idea, however never worked with it personally (as I don't do much flash). But they love it at my agency.

I really stress the importance of knowing PHP. The reason is pretty simple; with a very basic understanding, you can create almost anything you want. My own knowledge of php is very little, yet as long as there are databases involved I can make whatever I want. Mailinglists, simple cms'es etc. are really good things for PHP.

Besides that, if you are looking for a simple CMS to start with and to get your hands around PHP I highly recommend Wordpress. Its basically a blogging tool but with the introduction of templates, which can be assigned to different pages, and extensive category options, it's a very good CMS. I prefer it much more over drupal (which is a bit more advanced) or joomla (who is a real b*tch I really like to forget about…).

I'm currently porting the we can't dance website to Wordpress. Most of it already works within a few hours of work (I could actually use my old CSS files etc.) Wonderful system and highly recommended!

Flash btw, will be supported on the iPhone I believe. Adobe announced something that makes flash work on the iPhone with CS5. So it might be a special version or something else. I dunno.

On the HTML side, you always need separate stylesheets for mobile versions. Even better are mobile subdomains which are sparser in content. Depending a bit on the platform you want to support and what information you have to offer.

Cheers!
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