My Life As A Dev

Today was a busy day at the keys preparing to open Doppler Design.

First, I got an OK from Mark Shiffrin to go live with his site. Some of you might remember when Mark was Consumer Commissioner for Connecticut.

He is pragmatic. He wanted to check and double check and double check again. Detail’s good when you’re a lawyer. I was antsy to pull the switch.

Anyway, pulled it is.

The Doppler Design website is nearing completion. Pieces (and techniques) have begun to come together. I have been helped greatly by friends, honest in their opinions.

For the time being I’m on the kitchen table with two monitors. On my right is the site itself–the front end. That’s what you’ll see, though in the photo above I’m using some diagnostic tools on top of it.

On the left side is the back end. It’s where everything you see is controlled.

There is an exceptionally granular amount of control available when a site is designed. That poses a dilemma, because you can change and change and change and change. Too much choice is a time sink!

My speed of coding is picking up. So is my collection of go-to tools.

I’ve tried to follow the new web standard of using CSS (cascading style sheets) wherever possible, replacing the images that used to be used for shapes and backgrounds. There’s still a lot of Photoshop time.

Until recently web browsers could only show a limited number of fonts. To get around the problem developers often put text online as images. It works for humans, but Google couldn’t always read it.

To solve their problem and mine, Google now offers a free selection of 600+ fonts which diisplay in a browser and are search engine friendly! DopplerDesign takes advantage.

It turns out the web is full of little, esoteric websites that eliminate lots of manual labor. There are sites to help choose compatible colors and compatible fonts. There are sites which allow you to ‘draw’ objects then gives you the necessary code to feed your site. There’s a site that only does striped backgrounds!

On this Friday morning I’m happy with how things are going. Hopefully you’ll get to see it in the next few days.

19 thoughts on “My Life As A Dev”

    1. I’m planning a new PC right now. I’ll be using two 1920×1200 monitors. There’s no other way to get 3840 pixels across. I like two monitors. Actually I’d like three even better.

  1. All of the pages refer to

    New Haven, Connecticut


    Main Office (Convenient Parking)
    1768 Litchfield Turnpike
    Woodbridge, Connecticut 06525

    A first read would imply that he has TWO offices. One in New Haven and another in Woodbridge. The NH office, by implication, may have NO or at least inconvenient parking. Then, the directions page only refers to one location – Woodbridge. Apparently there is NO New Haven office, albeit it is prominently noted on all pages.

    Just an observation ….

    Looking forward to the ongoing Geoff weather forecasts. Good luck in your net designs.


    1. Dave, Mark and I discussed this. There is a new Haven location, which he wants known, but he encourages people to consider Woodbridge where he spend most of his time.

      1. I do not recall any professional, that I have dealt with, whose web page is similarly structured. I find it odd that the FIRST office listed (NH) is not even shown on the Directions sub page. Further, surprising is that he has an office, where he apparently does not want to conduct business. Why List it?

        As a minimum, I would expect him to identify the street address of his NH office. His NH office directions could also include your comment (above).


        BTW: I often use an imbedded link, shown on a site, to get the actual driving directions to their company’s place of business. Many mapping services can be directly linked, ala Google or Yahoo maps – to provide turn by turn directions from “anywhere”.

  2. Overall, this looks pretty good Geoff. I’m sure you have looked at it until it all looks correct due to familiarity and being burned into your brain. That’s why it’s always helpful to have others take a fresh look. Here are some things that pop out to me:
    Hyphenated line breaks in lists need to be eliminated. Better to put a hard return a word or two before where it now breaks. The head needs some serious kerning work, and I would put a little more vertical space above “Attorney”. Links under the head need to be centered, and the HOME needs to go up a point or two. The office locations are confusing and don’t read well. Maybe a heading over both saying LOCATIONS, the address of the New Haven location, and put the “convenient parking” on it’s own line. Maybe enhance it as Convenient Off-Street parking) or something similar to explain why it is convenient. If Woodbridge is the main office, it really should be on top.

    1. Thought of something else as I drove to work… At the top of the “directions” page, many establishments have a photo of their facility. It’s very helpful and reassuring when driving to a place you’ve never been, to have an idea of what you are looking for as you approach.

    2. Please tell me what browser you’re using. There is a CSS command in use specifically to stop the hyphenation.

      As for the other matters of style, I’d be happy to create a site that reflects your taste as I have for Mark. My goal is to always satisfy the personal preferences of the client.

        1. MXManners is right. The changes he is suggesting are not personal preferences, but rather Design 101; the difference between looking amateur and professional. Looks to me like he was just honestly trying to be helpful. Your snarky comment about designing a website for him . . . well, I’ve got a feeling he’s gonna pass on that one.

          1. Thanks, Lola. I was indeed trying to help Geoff get from DIY to professional level. I’m on his side and I’d like him to succeed. I gave up my amateur standing in graphics, publishing, and computer technology decades ago. Some minor changes in what Geoff did would go a long way to help separate him from the many hobbyists with whom he will be competing for business. Rough edges. There are websites where he can submit his design and have it critiqued by people who know graphic design, and have credentials to prove it. Many of them are free, which is my favorite price.

          2. I apologize if what I said was perceived as a slight. It wasn’t intended that way. You’ve been commenting for a while. I suspect you know that.

            The content of the site is at the request of the site owner.

            The Firefox hyphenation problem looks to be a Firefox bug, based on other similar reports.

          3. Lola – It looks like the hyphenation problem is a Firefox bug.

            Other content questions are at the request of the site’s owner and reflect his desires. I apologize if I was inelegant, but the site owner has final say over the content.

  3. How exciting! You get to do two things you really enjoy now — forecasting and web design. What’s that about doors closing, windows opening πŸ™‚
    We’ve turned our website over to a new company to design and it’s an exciting thing – both a new site and being able to wash my hands of it.
    Best of luck!

  4. Wish I was there learning right besides you. I used to design sites, but stopped for a while and now feel lost in all the new technology. Got to get back to it. Need to get back to it.

    BTW, I still trust your forecast the most. Keep them coming!

  5. How exciting, Geoff! I’ve been a follower of yours on 2 networks and you are, by far, the best source of information when it comes to meteorology. Love your forecasts and especially the simple explanations for some of Mother Nature’s complexities. Looking forward to DopplerDesign!

  6. Geoff, I know someone who proofs/tests sites. (me) It’s always good to have another set of eyes on it. The worst person to proof something is the person who wrote it/created it. πŸ™‚

    I’m not a professional, but I’ve done it for my office, and have missed little.

  7. Geoff, One of the websites I use to learn tricks or get a quick refresher on building web sites is I’ve been using that site for years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *