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Category Archives: Learn

I like Command Line Interface. Maybe I’ve been saying this earlier on my twitter if not on this blog. Since I started with GNU/Linux I was so fascinated with the CLI. The first reason was it’s something not everyone preferred. The next it’s the preferred way of all the hackers I read about in text files.

With time I learned why people called it’s easy and powerful. I was familiar with it to the point that I felt home in a text terminal with green text on black background. Then came the time I was looking for CLI tools for most of my day to day stuff. Ever since I found Amarok not doing well for me I didn’t use a GUI music player. Right now I’m using MoC and never had second thoughts.

And I recently had this moment I found GUI to be very confusing. And when I was thinking about it later it was very confusing for me to understand too. GUI are made to be easy to use right?.

It was the last semester and we were doing Prolog. There was a practical session in labs to get us familiar with the visual Prolog (I’m not certain though) interface. But as always I had a good reason to not go there which I can’t remember now. But there’s a limit even a student can push things off. And so came the day I do Prolog.

As you can imagine it was the last possible moment start with Prolog and I was in a hurry. I checked out the the IDE on a friends machine and I thought it’s the end.

What Visual Prolog presented me (thx @varunarl)

What I saw. cc public.resurce.org

If I found the software for GNU/Linux I would use it, somehow. But luckily I didn’t and found swi-prolog instead. I just wanted to write some code and see how it works. swi-prolog got me going in no time. I wanted to learn how to use consult and it was pretty much all about it. I learned how to do it in visual Prolog in order to help a friend. But it was still way too complicated.

Swi-prolog basic usage

I know that the fact I’m trying to convey is not really rational. But the point is, in the GUI environments all controls are visible and for a beginner that can be too much. But in the CLI I only chose what I want. I learned both swi-prolog and visual Prolog with guides found on internet but I’m sure I took more time to filter out the necessary details in visual Prolog guide.

I didn’t do any serious programming in Prolog so I can’t say how each tool would serve you in such a scenario. But in my situation the CLI tool saved me a lot of frustration and time which helped me achieve required knowledge level for the exam. And on a not so related side note, *surprise surprise* I have passed that module :D.

I wanted to create a website. It was an assignment & doing it was a must. There were HTML,CSS & Javascript to learn, for the design part. I knew HTML & a very little of CSS (just enough to understand others code). So CSS… It was the biggest thing bothered me through last week. However now I live my life as a guy who knows enough CSS to “do something”. I think it took me just two nights or so to do this to myself. I’ll tell you how to do it to yourself.

There were two web sites, five PDF documents & two tools I used which didn’t cost me a buck. Thanks to all the authors of those resources. Here goes my CSS treasure.

First – The CSS layout crashcourse.
This is what I started from. I didn’t know anything more than the CSS syntax when I start. This site taught me how to build the basic site layout. And the site is subcide.com CSS layout tutorial. Simple & helpful. I just followed the simple steps & got to know of ALL the basics in CSS.

Next – The cheatsheet pack.
This came handy when I try go deeper in subject. To quickly find out something I don’t know & learn something new, these were godsend. With these cheatsheets I did “try & learn” to get a lot of knowledge. I’ll list them in order of frequence I used each one.
1. CSS Quick Referance Guide – veign.com
2. CSS Cheatsheet.
3. DeepX CSS quick reference -1
4. DeepX CSS quick reference -2
5. CSS shorthand cheatsheet by example – leigeber.com

Then – The next step CSS.
When I got the basics done, I wanted to add more things. Elated.com taught me how to. The simple guides of elated.com gave me a lot of useful knowledge of CSS designing.

Mean while – The Tools.
I drop the two most basic tools The text editor & Browser — Gedit & Mozilla Firefox (I’m on GNU/Linux). The tools I wanted to mention are two Firefox extensions, Firebug & WebDeveloper. These things made my learning path a lot easier. Other than just using them I learned a lot with them too. Specially firebug helped me a lot to get a good idea of Margins, borders, padding etc. by visualizing them. [I used Gimp - the free graphic designing software for graphic designs.]

And additionally – For the rest of your CSS expedition.
In above I mentioned all the main resources I used to learn CSS. Here are some more I think which would be very hepful when you go frther.
1. W3C CSS Tutorial – a complete reference for CSS.
2. Step by step website design building tutorial from nettuts.com – This is a complete website design building guide, so simple & gives all basic concepts of designing.

Note: The way I learn is really spooky. So some of you may not find this helpful. I found most of these resources on Digg.com – programming area. There are many extensive collections of CSS learning resources. But consider my list as a “Tested study guide”.

The other note: I kept calling myself “sucker in design”. But learning CSS I improved my design senses alot :D

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