" **** "

Sunday, June 27th, 2004

I'm sitting here with a large scotch and a foul temper.

For over a week now I've been reworking the business side of my website in order to put something up to show to prospective clients that doesn't look like it was designed in 1999 (which it in fact was). The new version isn't completely in CSS, but a very great deal of it is – including the navigation, which is an unordered list turned horizontal through the use of styles.

For those with no interest in or knowledge of web design, here is a very quick lesson: using CSS (style sheets) means that you take all the information about fonts and colours and borders and positions of items and all the other presentational stuff out of the pages, and into one separate file. All your pages check this file to find out whether they're a brooding dark grey with solid post-industrial lettering, or fluffy and pink and covered in curlicues. The advantage is that the same page can be either style without any real work on your part – you just refer to a different style sheet. And if you've decided you don't want your links to be simple blue any more, but instead three inches high, flashing, and coloured fuscia, you only have to make one change to the style sheet to affect the whole site instead of slogging through every single link on every single page. (Although if you do do that, I'll never visit your site again, so please resist the temptation.)

Right, still here and not asleep? Good.

Now then, what's the one thing you should do if all your crucial information is held in one single file? One single, vulnerable, file? Especially if you're still learning some of the techniques used in it, and aren't sure you could recreate it if you lost it?

That's right, you should back it up.

What did I do instead?

Overwrote it and wiped the lot.

So I've spent today trying to recreate it. Most of it's now done, but the nav is still dodgy, my bulleted lists are firing blanks, and there are some bits and pieces that used to be lists of links but are now merely yellow blodges.

Ah, sod it. I'm going to have another scotch and deal with it tomorrow.

Oh – and you can follow the link below and ask me a question if you like – any question.
Twenty Questions

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I'm Andy Darley. Sometimes I want to say things. This is where I do it.