What Does This Mean to Me, Laura?


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What Does This Mean to Me, Laura?

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Who is living in your house?

1st May 2009

I count among my good Internet friends a certain Eric Jordan, who can not only outpun anyone I know, but has a talent for taking a humorous approach to making his thoughts known.  Although Eric is not a web developer by trade, he shows in his vignette, below, that he well understands the pitfalls of designing without having a clue who the audience truly is.  Thanks to Eric for allowing me to reprint this here.  Share and enjoy.

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They call themselves Web “Master”, but they have not Mastered.

The Programmer went to the Web Master, and said, “Master, I wish to create a Web Site.”

The Web Master nodded. “Let us see what you can do! I will prepare a site, and you will prepare yours. When we are both through, we shall exchange, and see how they compare.”

So, both took up their Editors, and they began to work. Finally, the Programmer turned to the Web Master. “Master, I am finished.”

“I have only the beginning of my own, but let us see what you have done!”

“Master, I have decided to use Flash for an introduction, and PHP for the main pages. I included an SQL database with an interface for the client, and made liberal use of JavaScript to enhance the look and feel of the site. When you mouseover the important links, it makes a sound that evokes a sense of what lies beyond. The graphics are colorful and animated, the links are orderly and logical, the templates are divine.”

The Master hmmed. “An interesting choice of a starting point. Here is what I have done so far.” He turned his screen so the Programmer could see.

The Programmer read three times, disbelief on his face. Finally, “But…but there is no Code! This is only plain Text! Mere data, no more! How can you call this the beginning of a web site?”

The Web Master smiled. “You are like the poor carpenter who shined and sharpened his tools, but never gave thought to the wood. Remember that the World Wide Web is about information! These other things are fine in their place, but they are only tools. You cannot build a house until you know who will be living in it!”

And the Programmer was Enlightened.

Comments

  • Mark Mandel
    Posted at 9:51 am May 2, 2009
    Mark Mandel
    Author

    I’m a friend of Eric’s, both RL & LJ, & followed his justly proud link to this page. I’m VERY glad to see this column (and thinking maybe it’s time I learned to upgrade my own website from the handwritten HTML I’ve been using since the nineties… eighties, maybe).

    I proffer one spelling fix: “vignette” has only one “n”, after the “g”.

    Dr. Whom, Consulting Linguist, Grammarian, Orthoëpist, and Philological Busybody

  • Laura
    Posted at 7:49 am May 4, 2009
    Laura
    Author

    Thanks, Mark, typo fixed! I just posted the “upgrade” Eric did as well.

Comments are closed.