Pat Geary, Microsoft MVP - Expression Web
Name: Patricia Ann Geary
WebSite: Genealogy Web Creations
Focus: Expression Web
Expression Web Interview with Pat Geary
Q 1. Do you own and maintain your own FrontPage/Expression Web resource(s)?
A. Yes, I maintain two sites for genealogists who use FP and EW which are resource sites for the mailing lists.
I also maintain
Genealogy Web Creations which is geared for genealogists but the info could help anyone designing a website.
All sites include tips, articles and tutorials.
Q 2. Do you have a special tip for Expression Web you can share with our readers?
A . Yes, when you first start using the program, get used to working in Split View so that you can see what code is being created by your actions. And do not leave style1, style2, style3. Rename them to something meaningful.
Q 3. What feature would you most like to see available within the next version of Expression Web and why?
A. I would like to see the ftp client improved so it remembers the username and password for sites and that it works somewhat near as quickly as a 3rd party ftp client does.
Not sure if this is possible but it would be nice if when you use SSI's (text based) you could view them at design time rather than having to wait until the site is published.
Q 4. What Expression Web Add-on would you most like to see available and why?
A. A good Expression Web Search engine Add-on for websites that creates compliant code so that it validates without a whole lot of tweaking both PHP and ASP based.
Q 5. As a MVP you participate online and answer many questions on (FrontPage) Expression Web. What started you down this road and why?
A. Being an MVP was never part of my mindset. Designing websites for that matter was not something I really thought about. I started out designing a site to share my genealogy and found out I enjoyed the process. Then I volunteered to do a site for our church http://HUUweb.org/ and asked for a critique. As I learned how to do things and why, I started answering questions in the genealogy community. As I gained confidence I started answering participating more in the FrontPage and Expression Web mailing lists and forums. The best way of paying back what others have shared with me is to help others in this learning process.
Q 6. What Expression Web or Web design good practices do you recommend our readers follow?
A. Take the time to actually plan your website out - what you have to present and how you want to present it. Take the time to learn at least the basics of writing html and using css. It's very hard to troubleshoot what is going wrong if you have no idea what the terms mean. Be willing to learn and try something new.
Q 7. What five sites do you recommend should be in our readers web design arsenal?
a/ defunct link (for layout starts)
b/ W3Schools for learning basic html, xhtml and css
c/ Google for searching for terms, error messages, tutorials, etc. and just about anything I need to know
d/ CSS Play (for experimenting with Cascading Style Sheets)
e/ HTML Validator and CSS Validator
Q 8. Do you have any luminaries within Expression Web and the Web Design industry in general and who do you model your practices after?
A. Cheryl Wise and Tina Clarke for their willingness to help me learn and their patience while I stumbled around. Cricket Walker for the fantastic resources she provides if you are willing to invest the time and effort. Susan Emerson for her wonderful lessons on writing HTML code. James Huggins for being himself and many others that help on a daily basis - my unsung heroes.
Q 9. What advice would you give to readers who are used to using the wizards and bots of FrontPage and want to move to Expression Web and a more user friendly site?
A. Be willing to accept there are replacements for the bots in FP and learn how to use them. And don't be afraid of them. There are lots of tutorials and free e-books available for learning how to use includes, dwts, and menus other than the fp navigation system. Learn how to use css and why it is a good thing - separating style from content.
Q 10. Can you tell our readers of any upcoming Expression Web activities or just launched projects you have planned?
A. Working with Tina Clarke we will be launching a CSS Template Site
and offering a free e-book on troubleshooting web design problems in
general and Expression Web specifically. Also a How to launch a blog
with WordPress Ebook (Free). These will be launched later
this year or early next.
Interview by Tina Clarke Microsoft MVP - Expression Web 19th July 2007 Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved