Journal of computing related issues for Web Authoring, and general topics using Mac, Windows and Linux platforms.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Web Development Update

Just completed 1st part of my new learning project of building Math web pages to explain Pythagoras theorem. This is a test bed for further web pages.

I developed it in Google Page Creator which I am using as a prototype, before I repeat in native HTML and then with development tools such as Kompozer and/or Serif Web Plus.

Most of the time was spent in looking for tool for drawing Euclid diagrams. Preferably I wanted one that would work in both Linux and Windows environments. As a test I attempted to create a drawing used in proof of Euclid Parallelograms on Same Base theorem. The first diagram is of two parallelograms that share the same base and the diagonal of one is the side of the other. Very simple but quite tricky to draw with the following programs. All found it difficult to shade.

I looked at various free CAD applications, but these were dismissed as either to complex or they saved drawings in their own special format. I could have taken a 'snapshot' of screen with FastStone Viewer but did not want to go down this route.

I then used Google SketchUp which is great fun. Major lesson here is to switch it into 2d type mode. This is explained in the excellent video on YouTube . With SketchUp you can export image to jpg or png. Only works in Windows.

I also looked at Inkscape and this looks really good but needs learning and probably too sophisticated for my use. This will work in Linux as well.

I tried using Serif PagePlus, and downloaded free Serif DrawPlus 4, and paid extra £7.95 to upgrade to Serif DrawPlus 6. These would probably have been OK but they were no easier to use and are Windows based.

Finally I went back to Open Office Draw and this was as good as any. I could complete drawings but where I had to revert to using straight lines to construct figures I could find no way of shading the various parts. So if I wanted shading I had to save as png or jpg and open in PhotoShop Elements and use Paint Fill. Note Fill in OO Draw appears to work on shapes but not "line drawings."

Prototype in Google PageCreator is done and you can see this at

I like the immediacy of PageCreator which is great for prototype work. I have also discovered that when editing a page you can display HTML for each block you are working on and I hope to be able to cut and paste this into other tools. I want to check out whether I can access any CSS pages it may use.

One minor problem I have found that when looking at pages with Firefox it starts OK but after a time it stops showing the first diagram of every page which if you hit the browser refresh button it then revals. This seems to happen after I have been updating pages. I have not seen same problem with IE7 and I have had this working the same time as I have had Firefox working with the problem prevalent.

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About Me

Husband, dad and grandad. Physics graduate from London University in late 60s. Retired from IBM company in 2000 after 27 years as both Sytems Engineer and Salesman. Interests include photography, nature, science, maths, walking, travel. I like facts as a basis of opinion and not opinion that is assumed to be fact.