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Building a Web Site (Read 5546 times)
Lew Friedland
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Building a Web Site
Jan 01st, 2008, 12:45pm
 
Can anyone point me to the simplest example of how to build a web site using TBX step by step? I have read the Tinderbox Way, which is helpful for higher level concepts.  But am still looking for one single example.
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Mark Bernstein
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Re: Building a Web Site
Reply #1 - Jan 1st, 2008, 7:51pm
 
Much depends, I suppose, on just what kind of site you want to build, and also on what you mean by "simplest".

I'm going to let someone else have first crack at this one.  What's the SIMPLEST Tinderbox site you can put together?
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Building a Web Site
Reply #2 - Jan 2nd, 2008, 6:14am
 
[Using v3.6.0+]  Open a new TBX file, create a note, and ad some text.  Now click Cmd+Opt+H.  On the dialog that opens, click the button to the right of the "Template: " label (top right) and from the pop-up list select "HTML page".  You will now see your note's content in the dialog's main section as an HTML v4.01 Transitional HTML page. Use the buttons top right to either preview the page in your web browser or export the web page ready for use. You can also Opt+drag to select the HTML source code on the dialog and use Cmd+C to copy it to the Mac clipboard. Using versions before v3.6.0 you'll need to manually set the template file location before being able to see your notes rendered as HTML.

That's the 'simplest' - single page - website I can think of.  If that's not the intended request, please redife 'simplest'. In case it helps with clarification, there are several possible strands of non-simplicity:
  • Not knowing how to set up export templates in TB.
  • Not knowing how to use the HTML View
  • Not understanding HTML & HTML page design
  • Not understanding inheritance either for linking or using recursing templates
  • Not understanding use of modular designs for sidebars, etc.
Learning HTML is a broad topic and best looked up anywhere online, but once you've mastered the basics, if you want a good design model, I'd recommend looking at TB's Flint module. Besides easily running out a complex design without requiring detailed knowledge of the above. you can both customise the output and use its structure as a learning tool for applying the techniques in a website you might make from scratch.

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Mark Anderson
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Lew Friedland
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Re: Building a Web Site
Reply #3 - Jan 2nd, 2008, 10:19am
 
Mark and Mark,
Thanks for your replies.  Mark A: that actually is what I meant by simplest. It spells out a logic that (believe it or not) may be missing from all the documentation because it is too simple. I know that Mark B in Tinderbox Way, yourself, and others have certainly documented these simple steps as a "how to" but not necessarily as a "what to do."  When I am through a few projects, I may try to start a Wiki thread (if you'll allow) about using TBX from the very bottom up, not assuming any knowledge of HTML, CSS etc. It took me a while to realize that each note needs a specific export template to do more than assume a plain text default export. I suspect I'm not alone. Even realizing that templates give html format to notes, it took me a while to understand that CSS was necessary to do much with them (and I still don't know CSS).  I have used Flint, which is great, but am trying to reconstruct the logic of what happens so that I understand it and can construct a site myself.

That said, on your list, I understand points 1-3 (templates, html view, and (a bit) of html page design). I understand inheritance in general, but not sure for linking or recursion.  And while I understand in principle <i>that<i/> modular designs can be used for sidebars, I don't know how to to do this.

I understand that for most experienced TBX users, this is pretty old stuff. But, believe it or not, I am an experienced TBX user (since version 1).  However, unlike many, I did not come to TBX with any computing or HTML knowledge.  So not only have I had to piece this together (and that's fine-TBX can't be expected to teach everyone to do everything), but, and this is the missing piece, I have had to slowly learn that my lack of certain basic programming skills and html knowledge kept me from doing certain basic things and then have had to identify those skills, one by one.  This is what a real newbie intro would so.  Would be happy to participate in putting one together.

Also, have to give much credit to Bobby Hackett, a TBX user and colleague, and Doug Miller (earlier on) who have both taught me much that I do know.  And to Mark B. for his patience.
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Mark Anderson
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Re: Building a Web Site
Reply #4 - Jan 2nd, 2008, 1:27pm
 
Lew, glad that helped.  Fear not - you are not alone.  Much of this isn't intuitive from a standing start.  However, as the earlier reply's question show, once you know a bit the basic/simple state is less clear as there's more than noe answer to most tasks.

Re HTML & CSS. Most of what CSS can do can be done in HTML. It's just the HTML world has moved on (from the sort of thing seen in older online HTML primers) and the intent of CSS is to divorce visual styling from the structural mark-up.  For one page there's little difference between HTML & HTML+CSS, but once the page count rises the difference is big.  My aTbRef uses >1000 HTML pages. All have a coloured upper banner. with CSS by changing 1 CSS files I can change that colour for all HTML files in one go. I'f I'd set the colour in the template HTML, I'd have had to updated the templates (actually about 8 templates), run out the whole site and upload the 000s of files. Big difference.

Luckily, there are plenty of HTML/CSS tutorials online and I thoroughly recommending adding FireBug and Chris Pederick's Wed Developer plug-ins to your Firefox plugins (Safari doesn't have this sort of 3rd party toolset yet). Using such tols will help you spot your newbie mistakes much more easily.  Whilst you can write really bad HTML and browsers will still render it, I recommend learning to do things write. Tip: avoid tutorials where HTML tags are shown uppercase and attributes aren't quoted, i.e. <DIV ALIGN=Center> vs. <div align="center">. The former indicates old coding practice and thus likely to set you off on the wrong path.

Re templates. By setting a default template (automatically the build-in one in v3.6.0+) this ensure all notes have a template into which to render except where the user choose to set a different template. Thus, aTbRef uses 9 different templates (e.g. for pages using/not using images, etc.) plus another 4 for creating the feeds (2 for RSS, 2 for Atom).

Do by all means start something on the wiki - it's a great resource for all TB users.
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Mark Anderson
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