Web publishing provides a creative outlet in my work life that allows me to indulge the artistic gene I inherited from both sides of the family. It also brings out my tendencies toward perfectionism - I'm a fanatic about doing it right.
What I'm learning about right now: PHP. If you aren't using it, or another of the newer web scripting languages, like Ruby or Pear, you should be. Knowing how to integrate HTML/XHTML/XML with SQL databases and other technologies is essential for any web developer.
A few of my favorite web haunts on development and design:
- A List Apart: "for people who make websites" - non-commercial weekly magazine for web designers, developers, and content producers; creative director is Jeffrey Zeldman (one of the biggest names in web design, and a nice guy, too)
- Alertbox: Jakob Nielsen's biweekly column on web usability; his best columns are some of the older ones
- Digital Web Magazine: "the web designer's online magazine of choice" - intended for professional designers, but useful for the rest of us, too
- House of Style: comprehensive resource on cascading style sheets - tutorials, free self-paced courses, book reviews, style sheet specification, CSS cookbook, browser compatibility guide, gallery of examples, and advice from the experts
- Web Design References: a very nice collection of links to web resources on accessibility, information architecture, color, navigation, PHP, usability, and much more, plus a daily web design quotation. Brought to you by the University of Minnesota
And a few other sites you might want to check out and/or bookmark:
- HTML Tidy: a free software utility that will validate and clean up your code
- HTML Validation Service: checks your HTML code to make sure it's, well, valid
- HTML Writers Guild: "open to anyone with an interest in the craft of web design" - resources, news, classes, and more. No need to join to use their resource library
- Web Standards Project: working to persuade browser makers to adopt the W3C web standards and make the web accessible to everyone
- World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): the comprehensive source for information on web standards