Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I'm facing a dilemma this evening: Do I spend my own money to benefit my employer or not? The situation is that my boss, John Emdall, recently asked me to redesign the company's website. The current Yoyodyne site is a fancy-schmancy APX thing that's getting out of date. John Emdall wants a new site, not too complicated, but still nice looking. And cheap. He wants cheap. Hence his asking me, despite the fact that I have openly professed my limited skills. Anyhoo, he had used a demo of the program Artisteer on his PC to make a nice looking page. I brought the html and attendant documents over to my Mac and started messing with it. I was able to figure out enough of Adobe Dreamweaver to add some graphics, alter the menus, and plug our online ordering site into a window. Pleased with myself, I submitted the template page for his review.

A few hours later, John Emdall informed me that Internet Explorer had taken it upon itself not to display the graphics. Actually, what he said was more along the lines of, "It's not working." It was left to me to discover what exactly was screwed up. Putting the blame on Explorer was pretty easy. Figuring out how to fix it has been a challenge. I spent a good chunk of yesterday figuring out how Artisteer created its page with CSS. I never did quite reach the point where I figured what items Explorer was ignoring and how to work around it. One thing I blame is my reference book, HTML 4 for the World Wide Web by Elizabeth Castro. It's a great book, but it's 2000 vintage, and I wonder if it's not a trifle too old for what I need.

So, to come to my main point, I'm debating whether to go out and buy the most recent edition of Ms. Castro's book. I did a search and found that I could pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble for around thirty bucks. Much more than I like to spend on a book, but it might prove useful not only to my personal playing on the web, but also in my unofficial role as "web designer". On the other hand, since this would be primarily to benefit Yoyodyne, why should I be spending my own money? Might it not be wiser to present the boss with the decision to invest in the book, or better yet, hire someone whose competent?
Update: Of course, the deciding factor was, which choice would allow me to browse in the bookstore? I managed to snag a copy of the book at Half Price Books for ten bucks.

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