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A Sordid Affair

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In: Columns > Pro Dot Con

By Peter Fielding

Published on April 10, 2001

"I... am a complete... moron!"

Now that we've got the moral of this story out of the way, we can carry on to the meat of the tale.

I am building a website. To say it truthfully, I am building a website with the enlisted brilliance of a few people that are like family to me. They have graciously agreed to support my insanity by lending their not-inconsiderable talents to the site's completion.

"Brilliant!" you say. Ah, but like a Raymond Chandler night-scene, there is an affirming twist. While enlisting the help of these wondrous people, I make it known that... "I want to code the DHTML for this project."

With that, I need to digress and provide some background.

I have an admission to make: my relationship with JavaScript is best likened to a longstanding romance, now long passed. We started off with mutual respect and a vigourous love for each other, but it slowly spiralled into reverberating nightmares of boiled bunnies and knives in the bathroom (the better to make me into the next Iron Chef concoction).

As with any good (bad?) breakup, there came closure. I stopped calling and writing, and my former coded amour merely glared at me mockingly when I asked for more than a rollover, or some succinct preloading. We continued on this disparate road joyfully. I began seeing more and more of my Adobe-toned sweetheart, and JavaScript had obviously been involved in a torrid affair with my lovely British brother.

We still saw a great deal of one another at work. Each ignored the other, as if by nature. 'Twas splendid harmony. Then, one day, I noticed her hanging around one of my old sites. She seemed slightly dishevelled. Being the valiant and forgiving (forgetful) man that I am, I smoothed her functions a bit, and brushed the excess hair from her brackets. I swear to you now that I had quite a buzz going from caffeine, but it seemed then JavaScript actually winked at me... or worked for me!

Surely this wasn't the cold-hearted harpy that had spurned my affections. Not possible! O! this was a refined and beautiful creature. JavaScript had learned to move, and even let me lead a few steps as we danced. At the crest of my euphoria, jealousy and admiration battled over the time it had spent with the CodeGod, and all the brilliant folks. In the time since our split, JavaScript had even become quite intimate with one of my present "friends," Stylesheets. I was floored, and enthralled. Sure, I'd seen my brother's steamy examples of their "hookup," but this was a sight I needed to see with my own eyes.

Oh, I know what you're thinking. Here I am, in cozy bliss with my graphical and layout chippies, and I decde to step out with this old flame? Well... it was harmless, I say! Besides, JavaScript was moving all over the place, and flashing its dynamic layers at me. It even began following my cursor around. And... um... I have more excuses somewhere.

That brings us back to the point. The episode of my seduction into the delights of code was now out in the open.

Impressively, the CodeGod was all for my sudden warming to JS. Astounding as that was, he even went so far as to send me his collection of the "lines" he used on JS to keep it happy and working.

Oh yes, true believers, GraphicBoy was going to work this newfound mojo into a real, roaring affair. I was going to bring Stylesheets along, while JavaScript and I got to know each other again. JavaScript was going to work in concert with me--I'd expand my horizons, rise to an entirely new level of accomplishment, and prove I could carry on a true code relationship... all without regret for forcing my graphical love to share my devotion with another.

Quivering with anticipation, I opened the generous libraries of lines for my perusal. I danced and jumped, throwing my hat in the air and rejoicing...

Well...

Actually I sat in my overused, buttprinted computer chair, and stared blankly at line after line. At that moment I realized I'd taken the countenance of a caveman who was examining a page of Cyrillic writing and being asked to translate it into ancient Egyptian.

At this point, I hope you'll recall (or re-read) the opening line of this tale.

I've not washed my hands of this relationship yet, however. Right now, I plan to have a heart-to-heart meeting over coffee with this multitalented clique of mine. We may even sit for dinner and a light snack afterwards. Stylesheets will complement my graphical significant other, while JavaScript helps her to move and play. I doubt that it'll be a raging, heated menage--I'll leave such things to the real Casanovas of code. I have every reason to hope that it will be the start to a better friendship, though...

...Oh, get this! As I was thinking about the site's architecture, it occurred to me that it needs a solid database and great interaction with that database.

So...

Did I ever tell you how PHP and mySQL tried to burn my house down after I asked them out?

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Related Topics: Scripting, Web Design

 

Peter Fielding makes the pretty things for Pixelflo.com, while he hunkers down in the frozen tundra of western Canada. Receiving his email by data dog sled, he is most often found lighting miniature garbage can fires for the homeless baby seals that power his cpu, and lobbying for the inclusion of Full Contact Page Design in the next Winter Olympics.

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