WPDFD Issue #79 - October 01, 2004
Continuing the series on changing from print design to Web design, this month we'll look at some of the 'interactive' aspects of using the Web. Print is basically passive. Unless it's a kid's book with pictures to colour-in or puzzles to do, or it has some kind of levers to make things wiggle, you just read – and that's it. For a surfer, the Web requires a little more effort than just turning pages and the Web designer has to be ever aware that it's non-linear.
When I first started designing Web pages way back in 1993, there were no HTML editors and only one browser – NCSA Mosaic . I was a hand-coder from the start and at that time I used Microsoft Word as my HTML editor because it had a lot more going for it than SimpleText. It only took a couple of days to learn HTML in those days, there wasn't much of it and it was considerably easier than scripting Director or HyperCard.
Mozilla Firefox browser is now reaching its final 1.0 release and is available as a 'preview' version to squeeze out the last few bugs. Firefox is the younger, slimmer sister of Mozilla aimed at the average surfer. It's light, easy to use, fast and everything that a modern browser should be. There are versions for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux – a truly cross-platform browser. In common with its big sister, page rendering is handled by 'Gecko' which is arguably the best rendering engine you can get.