Web Development Questions

Images, download time, PHP, plagiarism, sql

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8 Replies - 1098 Views - Last Post: 16 March 2010 - 07:18 AM

#1 333OnlyHalfEvil  Icon User is offline

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Web Development Questions

Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:37 PM

Hey everyone. I'm currently in the planning phase of my website (i.e. think of a domain name and keep my eyes open for ideas about how I'm going to design the page) and I've come up with some questions.


Question 1: If you use the same image multiple times throughout a website, the client's browser only downloads that image once and repeats it as many times as it needs to right?


Question 2: I'm assuming that the answer to the above question is yes. So, is it possible (or smart/economical) to make a fancy website which simply repeats the same image many times throughout it? For example, say I'm separating each section of my website (i.e. top navigation bar, side navigation bar, body, etc) with layers and each layer has a fancy border around it. Instead of making each border it's own image all the way around, make one image a few pixels thick and just repeat that image all the way around the layer.


Question 3: When I write PHP code, that code doesn't get returned to the client ever right? What's sent to the client's browser is only the HTML output of the PHP right?


Question 4: I'm on the lookout for aesthetically pleasing websites. Where is the line drawn between plagiarism. If I like the layout of one website and make my website's layout similar, is that plagiarism? If I copy an image from a website, put it into photoshop and mess with it and put it on my site, is that plagiarism? How much photoshopping do I have to do before I can consider an image mine?


Question 5: Are there any web development/programming languages that I have to pay for to be able to use? Do I have to pay Sun Microsystems to have a Java Applet on my site? Do I have to pay Adobe to have Flash on my site? etc.


Question 6: I'm making a website as a hobby. Should I have one big website and keep expanding it into different things or make a lot of small websites?. Let's say I start off making a chess website then want to make a checkers one, then a math one, then a programming one (no I'm just kidding DIC). Should I have one big website incorporating everything together or start up a new smaller one each time I feel like expanding.


Question 7: If I determine that multiple smaller ones is a better decision, is it possible to have multiple websites use the same SQL database? The purpose of this would be to have someone's account work on any of my websites and so that I could have a mega profile with statistics incorporated from all of the different websites.

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Replies To: Web Development Questions

#2 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 12 March 2010 - 01:06 PM

Question 1:
True, think tiling background images/textures, the same can be said of CSS SPRITES, by using one image load time is dramatically decreased on some cases of image-heavy sites.

Question 2:
Think gradient menu-bars, the VISTA STYLE navigation bar is an example of how such a technique could be used, or the classic TILED BACKGROUND IMAGE

Question 3:
Correct. PHP is a server side language that generates code, being html, css, javascript, or whatever else you may tell it to output. The source is never visible to a client without access to either the FTP client or administration panel if it has such authority to modify the files.

Question 4:
It's a fine line, though this is more of a design question. Inspiration is good but blatant rip offs and copying images is a bad idea period. If you have a stock or resource site that'd be the way to go, check BLUE VERTIGO for all the links you need to stocks and resources.

You can be inspired, yes, but NEVER copy an image unless it's stock or CC, it saves massive headaches, trust me.

Question 5:
You don't have to pay for anything but for the application to create said files. In some cases like Adobe Cold Fusion you have to but I'm not too familiar with it.

Question 6:
Make one small singular focus website and learn from it, only expand when you feel you have to to incorporate more ideas and people in your site. Don't try and be a one-stop shop, it never works well. Unless you love what you're doing and the subject of the site it will never work well.

Question 7:
It would be possible but the security would be a nightmare. If you miss one line in any of the sites the entire system is compromised making this a less-than-desirable endeavor. As said above start small, one page, and work from there.

Hope that helps.
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#3 333OnlyHalfEvil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 13 March 2010 - 01:38 PM

Yes, your reply was very helpful. Thanks +1

View PostLemur, on 12 March 2010 - 12:06 PM, said:

Question 4:
It's a fine line, though this is more of a design question. Inspiration is good but blatant rip offs and copying images is a bad idea period. If you have a stock or resource site that'd be the way to go, check BLUE VERTIGO for all the links you need to stocks and resources.

You can be inspired, yes, but NEVER copy an image unless it's stock or CC, it saves massive headaches, trust me.

I wasn't planning on straight-up copying an image. I was thinking more along the lines of taking an image, opening it up in photoshop, changing the colors/combining it with a second image. What is your opinion on an approach like that?

View PostLemur, on 12 March 2010 - 12:06 PM, said:

Question 5:
You don't have to pay for anything but for the application to create said files. In some cases like Adobe Cold Fusion you have to but I'm not too familiar with it.

I have to apply to have a java applet on my webpage?

View PostLemur, on 12 March 2010 - 12:06 PM, said:

Question 6:
Make one small singular focus website and learn from it, only expand when you feel you have to to incorporate more ideas and people in your site. Don't try and be a one-stop shop, it never works well. Unless you love what you're doing and the subject of the site it will never work well.

Well, the reason I chose the example I did (chess --> checkers --> math) was because chess and checkers could somewhat be considered the same thing (board games) whereas math is completely different. Would making a board games site be considered a "one-stop shop"?
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#4 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 13 March 2010 - 08:04 PM

Q4 Update:

When in doubt: DONT. Saves headaches, legal claims, C+D's and more.

Q5:

I wouldn't know, I don't work in Java.

Q6:

That'd be a safe bet. Heck, you could throw math in there such as logical bits.
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#5 dsherohman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 14 March 2010 - 03:57 AM

View Post333OnlyHalfEvil, on 13 March 2010 - 08:38 PM, said:

I wasn't planning on straight-up copying an image. I was thinking more along the lines of taking an image, opening it up in photoshop, changing the colors/combining it with a second image. What is your opinion on an approach like that?


Like the Lemur said, when in doubt, don't copy anything. Copyright law covers "derived works" just as much as it covers the original. Unless you know how much you need to change a copied image for it to no longer be considered a "derived work" of the original, you should stay as far away from that legal tar-pit as you can.
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#6 Craig328  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 15 March 2010 - 06:36 AM

Quote

Question 4: I'm on the lookout for aesthetically pleasing websites. Where is the line drawn between plagiarism. If I like the layout of one website and make my website's layout similar, is that plagiarism?


The other responses covered well the pitfalls of image copying and such. However, there are many sites that have standard site layout templates available for free. You use the word "plagiarism" as opposed to anything like "copyright". If this is for a school project and you were to download and use a site template and didn't attribute the work to the original author, the yes, that's plagiarism. Download the template, look at it, draw the items/concepts you're particularly impressed with and then code similar items from scratch yourself, not plagiarism.

Quote

Question 5: Are there any web development/programming languages that I have to pay for to be able to use? Do I have to pay Sun Microsystems to have a Java Applet on my site? Do I have to pay Adobe to have Flash on my site? etc.


Quote

You don't have to pay for anything but for the application to create said files. In some cases like Adobe Cold Fusion you have to but I'm not too familiar with it.


PHP, ASP, Python, Perl and other are "free" languages. However, they are free to develop only. Somewhere you'll need to pay for hosting or if you have the setup to host your own site you'll need to pay for a box and the bandwidth to get it out on the web. Lemur mentioned Adobe CF as a "pay" language and to a certain degree that's true. However, Adobe, Railo and NewAtlanta offers free development versions of their CFML software. For production servers, there is an open source engine called OpenBD that has a very impressive list of features and that is free.

Quote

Question 6: I'm making a website as a hobby. Should I have one big website and keep expanding it into different things or make a lot of small websites?


Try actually coding the one website first before you cast your eyes on bigger things. You'd be surprised how much complexity there can be in getting a site working. Dream big but start small.

Quote

Question 7: If I determine that multiple smaller ones is a better decision, is it possible to have multiple websites use the same SQL database? The purpose of this would be to have someone's account work on any of my websites and so that I could have a mega profile with statistics incorporated from all of the different websites.


This is more of a development architecture question but the base answer is "yes", you can have it so that multiple sites can access and share common data. That said, that is a concept far in advance of what you're likely capable of at this point if you're accurately describing your current level of ability here. What your talking about here will require a level of database expertise you likely don't yet have along with site development protocols you likely also currently lack. That's not to say you can't acquire them but there is a lot more to multiple sites sharing info on a common user than it appears to be on the surface. For instance, what may seem easy for 2 sites sharing common user info can easily turn into an organizational nightmare when you get to 5, 10, 25 sites.

The best advice I can give is this:
  • Pick a language and start writing things for it
  • Start with one site concept and build that out fully
  • Get comfortable with the language and your site before you move to bigger/better things
  • Don't get hung up on only going in one direction. Sometimes, you'll come to realize there is a better way to do something you've already done. Keep an open mind.
  • By all means, keep a list of sites bookmarked where you saw something "neat" or that inspired you.
  • Big dreams are fine but always remember that most people who realize their big dreams start by building smaller dreams and then expanding/adding to them.


Good luck!
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#7 333OnlyHalfEvil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 16 March 2010 - 12:12 AM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

I'll take all of your advice and stay away from image copying. I've never heard of the term "derived works" before, but it makes sense. However, I've also never heard of image stock sites before either so I'll stick with that. I'm sure I'll be able to find what I was originally looking for (cool looking pictures which I can manipulate to make my site look nice) buried somewhere within one of those sites.
One question though. Can I straight-up copy those images and not worry about anything?

**EDIT**
You know, never mind, scratch that. I'm just going to make all of my own images from scratch. That way I can have the copyrights all to myself so I'll be safe from any legal problems in the future :tank:

This post has been edited by 333OnlyHalfEvil: 16 March 2010 - 12:17 AM

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#8 dsherohman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 16 March 2010 - 05:43 AM

View Post333OnlyHalfEvil, on 16 March 2010 - 07:12 AM, said:

However, I've also never heard of image stock sites before either so I'll stick with that. I'm sure I'll be able to find what I was originally looking for (cool looking pictures which I can manipulate to make my site look nice) buried somewhere within one of those sites.
One question though. Can I straight-up copy those images and not worry about anything?


Actually, your mention of stock sites reminded me of http://www.openclipart.org/ All of the images there are in the public domain, so you can freely use them (modified or not) in any way that you want without having to worry about copyright problems.
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#9 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: Web Development Questions

Posted 16 March 2010 - 07:18 AM

http://www.cgtextures.com
http://www.sxc.hu
http://www.bluevertigo.com.ar

Stock sites. Perfectly legal to use, HQ images cost a dollar or two though.
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