A Silent Musician

A Free Form Column that rarely has a point or a purpose other than to amuse

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Location: Portland, OR, United States

Monday, November 26, 2007


Last week I embarked on a quest to learn something new- HTML via Dreamweaver. A while back Karen, office manager of Big Lake at the Conference, came to Gary and asked if there was a way to make an online form, you know name: email: address: etc..., spit out its contents looking the same way the form does. You see, when you hit submit the Wonderful Wide Web takes your information out of the form and zips it off in a line item to the server. Then the person who created the form has to decipher the: namegeorgesimon emaililovepie@gmail.com address1234emmersonparkwaydrive#4, or something to that effect. Karen wondered why it couldn't come out in the nice form she spend hours making beautiful. Since Gary really hasn't had time to tinker with such things he added it to my list. (It's over 12 jobs long, yay!)

So along comes dear old me, not knowing what the heck I am getting myself into. Since I knew Karen worked for Big Lake, I figured it would be a good place to start for a form so I downloaded a reference form that hapless Academy students have to fill out to work there. Gary had also mentioned that Karen made some comment about Acrobat Professional doing the trick or possibly doing the trick. Presto chango Acrobat Professional care of CS3 Design Premium.

Last Wednesday I worked all day on making the PDF into a form that can be completed and saved. I used the handy dandy form tool bar and created a lovely form that is even capable of giving a 5-0 scoring on attributes. Yay for me!! Or not so yay for me. *Que dramatic music* *Evil villian enter stage left* THE SUBMIT BUTTON!!!! Okay so it isn't exactly evil, more of a pain in the butt. Buttons can be great and wonderful thing. They can reset forms for you, my PDF has one, they can take you to links, they can even play sounds or video clips. Most importantly though, they submit things. The only problem is when you can't test a submit button because you don't have access to the server that would be the final destination of the information from the submit button. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

So now my PDF sits there with a Reset button and a Submit button that really doesn't do anything cause I can't test it. Blah. Fast forward to today and in come the Hero- Dreamweaver!! Dreamweaver is a wonderful program and at the same time it let me down. Here all I wanted was to take my lovely PDF form and drag it into Dreamweaver and TA DA!!!! A web page that look exactly like the PDF with corresponding places to enter data!!! NOPE doesn't work that way. *sigh* *another sigh* Oh what to do? Oh I know, I'll teach myself Dreamweaver and Html with out a book or tutorial. I'm a smart one! Yay for me. No yay for me.

So to make a long story shorter, I spent the entire afternoon making the template all over again except this time in Dreamweaver and HTML. Once again the only problem is the lovely submit button that even has Big Lake's logo on it. It does nothing because I don't know how to program the button to do what I want it to and I have no access to the server. Oh well I tried and learned alot. I now have a deep respect for people that make web pages and forms and manage servers. Also I am really wishing I was near my nerdly CIS student/near graduate brother of mine. Hey Ben, now our wifes have one more things to roll their eyes at when we get together, besides guitar, investing, Mac vs. PC vs. Linux vs. The World. Yay for family. Yay for end of work day. Yay for supper. Which I am going to go eat.


Blogger Angela said...

Yeah...I do not even know what you're talking about, but I totally know Ben would. Good luck with all that! Hope supper was less complicated.

11/27/2007 10:08 PM  
Blogger Cerise said...

Oh! Big Lake! I love Big Lake. I was a camper there for four years, and then I was a counselor for two. Man, I love that place (despite having to fill out a CRAZY long application by hand, on paper!).

11/28/2007 6:25 PM  
Anonymous barberboy said...

Hey brother. It's frightening how similar our days are. I have been working on quite a bit of web forms lately. Except all html, all coded by hand, and complete access to a develpment server running on my desktop.

12/01/2007 11:32 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Firstly... http://www.w3schools.com/. Good place to go for HTML and CSS help. Among other things. Secondly... the word is spelled "queue". The word "que" is used in Spanish and French. Loosely translated in either language, it means "what". It was bugging me a bit. Couldn't figure out what you meant at first. I know, I know... my prejudices are showing. Sorry :P.

12/02/2007 11:11 PM  

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