Re-Entering Web Development

Since starting at Far Edge, I've almost exclusively been working on web based projects of one kind or another. Prior to this, I'd very nearly sworn an oath to never develop for the web.

Why? Because the web was a jungle of un-standards which required a machete to cut through.

Jungle

That was back in 2004.

In 2004 IE 6 was the dominant browser. And if your site didn't work on IE 6, it didn't work for 99% of the world. IE 6 took a quirky approach to standards (you basically needed one version of a site for IE 6 and one version for all other browsers). On top of that, web pages were very static. Any data entry were strictly post back affairs; AJAX was in its infancy.

Duplicating all my work for two browsesr didn't look attractive. And documentation seemed to consist of Googleing for other people who'd run into the same issues before and hope they'd figured them out.

 

My alternative was Windows Forms. And, with the recent .NET 1.1 release and Visual Studio, that environment was much nicer. You got a rich (well, rich for its day) application interface, standard layouts, incredible debugger support, and MSDN as documentation. MSDN and the debugger was enough to convince me on their own!

Yes, you were locked into the Microsoft stack, but for the projects I was working on that was acceptable.

That was fine for several years. Then I took a back seat to do a ministry apprenticeship and spend a year at college. And had no time to move back to the web.

 

In 2011, I'm finding the web landscape much more palatable. Rather than the jungle of 2004, its a more orderly garden. Not to say there aren't a few creepy-crawlies lurking around, but it feels much more productive than 2004.

Garden

Putting the finishing touches to TendersOnline eased me back into the web. Pretty soon I was happy with MVC, AJAX post backs, JQuery and a combination of LINQ and NHibernate in the back-end. But I relied on the work of others for my layout.

Once Tenders settled down, I worked on some Joomla sites, Magento and ASP MVC3. And each project I dipped my toe just a little further into the CSS and layout pond.

And I was pleasantly surprised!

Indeed, the relaunched Far Edge site renders the same in the current versions of all major browsers without extra CSS or Javascript. No 2nd site for IE, about 10 lines of extra CSS for IE 7 and IE 6 is not welcome.

Once I got my head around CSS, layout is pretty straight forward!

 

My love remains the back end of the web server (databases and data processing), but in 2011, I'm getting to love developing for the web for the first time ever.

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