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How to explain CSS

Posted on by Clive Walker in CSS

I was contacted recently by a business owner who wanted to learn Dreamweaver by editing some simple layouts. Nothing wrong with that. I was asked to provide a simple ‘dummy’ layout as a practice aid but then we encountered a few problems.

The user knew something about webpage editing and had used an older version of Macromedia Contribute with a tables-based layout. However, the main issue was how to explain CSS and what kind of web page layout to provide. Tables and styles were understood but the concept of using CSS for layout proved difficult to explain over the telephone and the ‘dummy layout’ decision was more difficult as a result.

We could provide a completely CSS layout with documented stylesheet but even that might prove a deterrent to learning. It’s our experience that ‘too much too soon’ can be a real turn-off. At the same time, we wanted to provide a layout that would demonstrate the power of CSS and encourage learning.

In the end, we settled on a compromise minimal tables-based framework/layout with a greatly simplified stylesheet that illustrates some CSS concepts. This will provide a reasonable introduction to Dreamweaver and CSS but without the learning curve for CSS layout (yet!)

Small steps at first, I guess.

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