David Herron is a blogger, software engineer, electric vehicle enthusiast, and energy healer.

Creating panoramic photographs

I love panoramic photography. Maybe it has to do with having grown up in Kansas, because the main appealing feature of Kansas are the sweeping vistas that make one feel like you're seeing into forever.

Panoramic photography lets you create pictures that go way beyond the limits of the single frame your camera takes. The technique involves taking a series of pictures where the edges overlap, and then using software to "glue" the pictures together.

Most digital cameras include software for this, but that software is usually nigh on inadequate.

Clipart

Clipart is a time honored tradition among graphic designers. It used to be published in books, but today clipart collections are published digitally.

Adding Google Search to your site

You've written a web site full of information and articles. You've created a good navigation scheme. What about taking it to the next level? How can people search your web site?

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

First, let's talk about why CSS exists. And, why do we want to use CSS? It gets down to improving the quality and usability of our web pages. As I noted in the introduction, in the early days of the web HTML was simple and then was abused by people who wanted stylistically great web pages. Another side was people discovered it was hard to make web pages accessible to those with disabilities, and to reuse the information in web pages in interesting ways.

The old way of making some text look a particular way is with a tag like this:

Understanding website content

The technical name for the stuff on a web page is "content". What makes a web site about Cars different from one about Spiritual Healing is the "content", or, in other words, that the author of the pages happened to write about Spiritual Healing rather than Cars.

Search engines and finding your readership

Once you have your web content, organized into the pages of a web site, and hosted on a web server, well, then what?

Web servers and hosting your web site

A "web server" is a computer and the specialized software that responds to web page requests, sending back the web page and any related data. Web servers, well, they service requests made by users with web browsers. When a request arrives at the web server, the server software looks at the request, decides what to do, and sends back a response. Usually the web server sends back an HTML or image file, but the response can be more complicated like making database queries, constructing a chart of data, etc.

URL's, the address for your or any web site

The Uniform Resource Locator, URL for short, is a rather technical sounding name. The resource being located are, essentially, web pages. The URL is the string shown at the Location Bar in web browsers. You know, the ones that start with "http://" and "www.".

Putting pictures on your web pages

There are two ways images are used on web sites. Or maybe it's three ways. The first way is for "ambiance", such as background images or images used to create drop-shadow effects around borders. The second are logos and other "branding" elements. The last are cases where a picture is a primary element on a web page.

To HTML and the web browser, it doesn't matter what the purpose for a specific image is. It is included in the web page using the same method.

HTML, the underlying format for web pages

HTML and is a standard which is the formatting system used in web pages. Perhaps it is unfortunate, but there are many website tasks requiring that you know how to read and edit HTML files. Fortunately HTML is relatively simple if a bit arcane.

The first thing to do is to use the menu choice "VIEW / VIEW PAGE SOURCE" (the exact wording may be different based on your web browser). There, wasn't that confusing? You're probably not going to need to know much about this, but it is the underlying encoding of a web page.

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