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The RGB World of the Web

Designing for the Web

To bleed both six colors and printer's ink, who would have thought I'd enjoy designing for the Web?After all, in doing so, I have to switch gears and quit thinking in terms of CMYK (i.e., cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and all its reflective art orientations. With the Web, I'm staring at backlit color guns of red, green and blue.
      ...And, save for some browser issues, loving every minute of it.

Browser Issues.  Speak of necessary evils, there is no equivalent to this in the print world. Once it's on paper, it looks the same (except for changing ambient lighting conditions — maybe that's the equivalent: daylight viewing is akin to a page in Netscape Navigator™ and fluorescent-cast viewing of the printed page is like Microsoft Internet Explorer. No... neither deserves such a glowing endorsement.)

Perhaps having to live in a dual-browser, multiple-OS world forces you to learn tight HTML and flexible JavaScript.® I tend to find Netscape's product more forgiving than Microsoft's; maybe that's good, but maybe it also promotes carelessness. Nevertheless, the refusal of major browser makers to support the full scope of W3C standards and, instead, issue proprietary tags only makes more work for us at the creative end and distresses or confuses the reader at the receiving end. (And just because JavaScript began life as Netscape's LiveScript, why can't Microsoft fully support it in their browser? Their derivative version, JScript™ always trails JavaScript in capabilities — just test the rollover buttons at the left of this page to see which browser responds as the script intends.)

The Stage Show Has Overweight Stars; Is There A Lightweight Opera in the Future? An alternative, albeit limited, that I am anxiously awaiting is the development of a totally W3C-compliant browser from an outfit known as Opera Software. Granted, these folks can't afford to give away their browser to all takers (the Opera browser costs $39), but the version (the most mature version is that for Windows, but a Mac team has both classic Mac and OS X betas available for download, as well as versions for BeOS®, Linux and a few other platforms as well) I tried is both easy on RAM and storage requirements and much faster at page-loading that either of the major contenders.

Evolutionary and Incomplete: By Design.

Another aspect of Web design that is totally unlike that of print (other than it is not constrained by page size or multiples of four-up page signatures for press): it is never a finished product. Nor should it be. That is also true of every page in this site, and this one is no exception, either.

To be continued...