Network: Web Design - Bringing the Design Community Together We've Only Just Started to See the Potential of the Web for New Talent

By Teague, Jason Cranford | The Independent (London, England), August 31, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Network: Web Design - Bringing the Design Community Together We've Only Just Started to See the Potential of the Web for New Talent


Teague, Jason Cranford, The Independent (London, England)


RICHARD HALL is a Brit who has transplanted from London to California, where he is now the producer of Netscape's developer websites DevEdge Online (http://developer. netscape.com) and Open Studio (http://developer.netscape.com/ openstudio), the two most prominent guides to creating websites on the Internet.

Richard was first exposed to the Web while studying IT Management at London Business School, when some friends introduced him to Mosaic. Since that time he has set up websites for clients of the ad agency Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper as well as the http://the www.zorg.com site for the Sci-Fi Channel. Richard started working for Netscape in 1996, producing the Netscape developer site which "fulfilled a dream of wanting to work in the {San Francisco} Bay Area".

Jason Cranford Teague: I've enjoyed Open Studio and DevEdge Online's articles and found them to be useful, regardless of the browser I'm programming for. How does Open Studio deal with the cross-browser issue?

Richard Hall: We understand that deploying sites which work cross- browser is important. Writing two versions of a Web page is not an ideal solution. Some time ago, as a result of this feedback, we geared up to make all our new Dynamic HTML examples on Open Studio cross-browser. When I hear about a new piece of sample code being produced for the site, the first question I ask the coder is whether it's cross-browser and, if not, whether they can take the extra time to ensure that it does work cross-browser. We host nearly as many cross-browser code examples as Navigator-specific examples on Netscape Open Studio.

JCT: "Online Communities" is one of the big buzz-words going around these days. How does Open Studio try to foster a sense of community? Is it working?

RH: Online Communities are still very much in their youth, and they're becoming increasingly valuable resources to obtain expert opinion and help. Open Studio includes newsgroups for members to connect up with their peers and get solutions to their issues.

With Open Studio, we've sought out experts in many aspects of website- building to contribute to the site - it's not just articles from Netscape contributors, but a forum where, for example, you can read Richard Hoy, who moderates the online-advertising mailing list, and explains the critical issues faced by banner advertisers today. We understand that there's a wider audience out there that has more expertise, and Open Studio is there to bring the website design community together.

The potential mass audience of the Web provides an amazing draw for creativity. For those who are truly capable, the Internet provides a mechanism for notoriety to be achieved so much more quickly - take a look at South Park.

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