Comments on The ALA Primer: A Guide for New Readers

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  1. I’ve just recently moved from the University sandbox to a “real job” and discovered I know nothing (or close to it) particularly as I had never focused on web development. I was lucky in that my boss has a selection of brilliant books I’m starting to make my way through and in researching authors and their sites I found ALA (multiple times). Since adding the RSS feed to my collection (another shock - having loads of information thrown at me when it’s ready, for me to read when I’m ready) I’ve read the recent articles and learned something from every one. I’ve wanted to dive into the archives but didn’t know where to start so this article has come just in time for me. I’ll be sure to read all the suggested articles. While I’m mostly a “programmer” my boyfriend is a designer and I like to understand what he’s talking about, and in general to build my knowledge across all areas. I hope that if I know what everyone elses roles and aims are that I can do my work to best help them. So far the articles here have helped with that exactly. Thank you so much.

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  2. Although not that interesting to familiar readers, it’s a nice write-up, which I think really helps newbies.

    Perhaps it’s a good idea to keep a link to this article on your homepage in the future?

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  3. If these articles, together with more of ALAs finest, was published in book form, I’d buy it in a second. Thanks for a great list, it’ll make a great bookmark.

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  4. Don’t forget this excellent article on proper typesetting for the web: “The Trouble With EM ‘n EN (and Other Shady Characters)”:http://alistapart.com/stories/emen/ . Many people use foot marks ’ and inches symbols ” to specify speech marks, hyphens instead of en dashes and three full stops ... instead of ellipses. Here’s a quick ref table, (minus the spaces between the characters “& #”):

    — em dash & #8212;
    – en dash & #8211;
    … Ellipsis & #8230;
    ‘ for an opening single quote & #8216;
    ’ for a closing single quote & #8217;
    “ for an opening double quote & #8220;
    ” for a closing double quote & #8221;

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  5. On the preview, it came out so well. Let’s try again:

    — — em dash

    — – en dash

    “¦ … Ellipsis

    “˜ ‘ for an opening single quote

    ’ ’ for a closing single quote

    ” “ for an opening double quote

    “? ” for a closing double quote

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  6. This article is the equivalent of a sitcom clipshow.

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  7. I was pleased to see that “slash forward”:http://alistapart.com/articles/slashforward/ was one of the articles recommended by this primer guide. This has long been one of my favourite articles, being more of a server-side coder myself. However, I question whether the trailing slash is really as important today as it was when the article was written.

    _A List Apart_ itself hasn’t used trailing slashes (in many places) since the launch of “ALA 4.0”:http://www.alistapart.com/articles/ala40/ - something that I assume is due to its dependence on the “Ruby on Rails”:http://rubyonrails.org/ platform, which isn’t a big fan of the trailing slash. For RoR (and several other CMSes and web frameworks), using trailing slashes means _more_ work, rather than _less_. This removes the claimed ‘technical advantages’ of using the trailing slash.

    Anyway, as with all the articles listed in this guide, it’s a good read nonetheless. Overall, a very nice selection!

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  8. Read it for the first time a few days ago. Learnt so much from it. In my excitement missed it in your article! It’s such a brilliant read.

    Something I wonder about too Jeremy. With dynamic sites, most of the time you’re not accessing directories, your requests are funneled through a processor. Seems more useful for non-dymanic sites.

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  9. Excellent article. I’ve been reading ALA for about 6 months now and I have only seen about half of the articles mentioned in this one. I look forward to a afternoon of “work research” while i read through some of these.

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  10. Where is the focus? The here and now reality of what we should aim to achieve”¦ wipe the slate clean and in simple terms map out the techniques, the version numbers and best practice policies for intermediate enthusiasts to follow. And let us not pander to the pretensions of the orbiting geeks; a straight line guide, plumb for best result not purity nor political correctness.

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  11. To all at ALA, thank you for providing such good information regarding all aspects of the web. I enjoy your articles because they are fun, they are well written and I always learn something.
    It’s amazing how we’ve all progressed in the last few years :-)

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  12. Working on the design of my new website, this bunch of articles gave me great ideas to start making the site theme.

    Like others said, please make a book.

    Thanks

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  13. As always ALA again puts out great free information worth reading I am so glad that you have this blog up and running and do not charge for reading the posts.Can not wait to put this article to work!

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  14. Great compilation of the ALA greats. Many bloggers are doing this also. Well, either that or they create a book (Seth Godin, 37Signals, Joel Spolsky)

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  15. In the page layout and design section the last line reads “For those of us who err on the side of obsessive compulsive, is was a good thing.”

    I think you meant to say “..this was a good thing.”

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  16. I am a graphic designer that has been trying to break into web. When I do something I like to do it the “right” way so consequently before I wanted to delve too deeply into designing websites I wanted to do some serious reading to make sure I am in the right place. I have read various articles on ALA and been to a few conferences picking up bits and pieces here and there. But this article is exactly what I was looking for. I considered started with the ALA archives and reading from oldest to newest but I wasn’t sure what information would be outdated by now.

    As far as everyone’s request to make it into a book, I agree. But I am not very patient so I printed it myself. I printed the initial article along with all of the recommended reading - its comes to 148 pages if anyone is curious. So looks like I have got a lot of reading to do.

    Thank you.

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  17. A very good and sophisticated compilation. I absolutely with agree you, the design working of my new website. Thank you!

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  18. Sorry, commenting is closed on this article.