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Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Unnessicary hoops (rant warning)
I think I'm going to be lucky if I haven't chewed though my lower lip come 4th of July.
This class is really long in tooth already.
First its mind numbing (to me) basic HTML hand coding I was doing years ago. Second excessive exploration of HTML (among the class) is somewhat discouraged (I ignored this) and it seems like the teacher is pressing conformity over creativity.
Doesn't help that it seems like she uses the English Language as a blunt object as opposed to a precision tool (which I can be guilty of - but not like this)
One thing, that for me is a major blow to coding, is that I needed to submit a sketch of the site before I started. You have to understand that I don't work that way. When I code I may have a very vague, very hazy idea of where I want to go, but I do most of my coding and planning on the fly once I have source materials. Its fun and generally looks better as I know how elements react with one another rather than trying to fit squares into holes for circles. I mean I can sort of do it with photoshop if I have all the files avalible, but in terms of sketching, in advance, with no files (insert nervous murmur). Sorry
I'm the same way with app and script programming. I plan it in the comments, and I usually develop the output formatting as I go. Its how I programmed all of my scripts in last semester's programming class, as well as how I did the binary clock script a while back.
Now (and this one is going to cause lots of lip gnawing) is she doesn't want me to use my computer (my iBook)? I wasn't really given a legitimate reason:
I want everyone using the same program?
Stay at the same level?
Keep the files on the network[which I'm doing]?
We're all outputting .txt files with fancy extensions in the name and pretty angle brackets inside! What does it matter if I'm using my app or some half baked windows bloat-ware? Its not like I can fight it outright, unfortunately, she's the one issuing the grades. But my tools are much faster, more elegant, and far easier to use than the ones she's prescribing. While I'll conceed that her app of choice is better than notepad and wordpad - whatever the windows simple text editors are called - (however thats not giving it much), its simply nowhere near the quality of my (free) tools. I suppose they do need to justify the technology fee and ordering large numbers of crap-tacular software
There's a whole slew of valid complaints I could throw out and none of them would gain me any ground. Its not like this is an all out Mac vs Windows thing (I'm not trying to make it one) in this case its all about usability. I find my tools far and away superior to those "they" are making me use. I mean I hate designing with dreamweaver - but for site maintenance I don't mind using it. I like using the right tool for the job - its why I love my Swiss Army Knife and why I love my iBook - 9 times out of 10 they can do the jobs I need them to. The other time - I go hunting.
Usability aside- I'm somewhat paranoid about using school computers. Aside from the fact that they're windows boxen and can (probably are) infected with assorted viruses and other malware - they also have remote viewing software (which drives me nuts - I can't stand it when people shoulder surf me when I know they're there. I dislike the big brother vis-screen deal even more).
At least in past classes I've been lucky enough to have teachers that 1) understood that I knew what the hell I was doing, in some cases more so than they did 2) understood I probably didn't need to be there and 3) used this knowledge to improve the class. Or at least leave me alone to do it my way. I'd settle for her leaving me to using my tools.
(rant over - for now)
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