A Curmudgeon's Guide to Web Design

Noun : Curmudgeon
A crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas

You have stumbled onto the webmaster's personal opinion about designing web pages.  This page is written for the tiny fraction of those who design web pages that may have the same basic goals for their web pages.  If I were you, I would click on your browser's Back button to return to wherever you camer from so you don't pollute your mind here.

Opening comment --  Our humane society web pages are viewed on computers, young and old, with software browsers, on TV with Web TV, and in printed form on local bulletin boards and the Harbor Theatre box office window.  Since the webmaster doesn't have time to create multiple versions of the web pages, this defines certain design parameters for the pages.

Now onto the questions...

Best viewed with any browser Q. Your icon says Best Viewed with Any Browser, did you really mean "Any" ?
A. Maybe not, perhaps almost any .  I try to test with different versions of Opera, Mozilla, Netscape, Internet Explorer, and occasionaly a Web TV simulator.  Let's just say that you don't have to switch to the latest version of some particular Internet Browser.

Q. Why are your web pages so technically old fashioned?
A. In short, low annoyance factor , speed, and compatibility

Q. What do you mean by " low annoyance factor "?
A. The web pages will annoy the minimum number of users.

Q. Can you elaborate?
A. Think of web site features that annoy you, other than the pop up ads that some sites require to stay solvent.  I'm annoyed when I'm told I must upgrade my software or switch to another browser just to view a web page.  I'm annoyed when I get an error message because some web site uses a fancy feature or script command my browser doesn't understand.  I'm annoyed when a web page wants to take forever to download, or freezes my computer while it is doing that.  I'm very annoyed when a web page crashes my browser! Want more?

Q. That's quite enough, thank you.  I'll try to be more specific in questions.  Why don't you use frames, which have been around for years.
A. Look at frames some time on a 640x480 screen or web tv, as many of our viewers do, and you'll see very quickly the main reasons why.  You can easily switch your Windows computer to 640x480 to simulate that problem and you'll notice how little room there is to really see the web page.  Microsoft has a free WebTV simulator you can download if you want to try it and you'll see worse problems.  In addition, I hate the way it screws up the use of the browser's Back and Forward buttons and removes my control over how much of my screen can be used to view the important stuff.

Q. You don't use any Javascript or Java, why not?
A. Aside from the fact that the oldest browsers can't handle it and it often gives errors if the computer software is not up to date, is the annoyance factor.  Javascript and Java run programs on your (or my) computer without asking, sometimes freezing the computer while they are doing so.

Q. Doesn't all this limit what you can show on a web page?
A. It limits how you can show it, but you can still show text and pictures which can convey your message.  Given you choice, do you return more often to web sites that load slowly or rapidly.

Q. Sure seems like it's more bother than it's worth.
A. Your opinion is certainly the majority opinion, surprised you read this far.

Q. What software do you use to create the web pages?
A. That question is beyond the scope of this page, and is not a simple answer.  If you really want to know, send a message to the webmaster and ask.  Your message will at least result in a response (except during my June vacation), and may result in another web page.

Q. One last question here, you've avoided saying what the browser you normally use is. Can you tell it now.
A. For normal browsing it is Opera 3.62, ultra fast and efficient.  When sites crash it, next in line I use Mozilla 0.9.6, Netscape 4.7, IE 4.0, and I'm still learning quirks of Opera 6.0 beta.  When working with the FAHS web page design and printing, things are not as simple -- please see my answer to the previous question.

Q. Only 4.0 of IE?  Why not 5 or 6?
A. Why?

Q. That's enough of this nonsense.  How do I get back to the page I came from, I don't see any links here?
A. Your browser has a Back button.