Down-home Parables

A Blog by Richard Wayne Fry

Button, Button, My Kingdom For A Button

Granted, in the grand scheme of things, getting a button to work on the web page is rather insignificant when compared with, say, getting your first driver’s license or surviving a two-week visit by in-laws. But in my little corner of the world it ranks right up there with a bride-to-be waking up on her wedding day to discover a zit the size of an eighteen-wheeler parked in the middle of her forehead. Believe me, it is no small issue.
To begin with, I am a “git’er done” kind of guy. I do not like things sitting around on my plate. When a task comes up, I like to get it completed as quickly as possible. This is not to say I do shoddy work, I just do not procrastinate.

Anyway, as some of you can tell, I have been remodeling the web site. I figured it was time for a fresh web presence. I get all the parameters established, decide what the general feel and flow of the web site is going to be, and what gives me the most trouble...buttons. You would think that the web site itself would give me far more issues. However, with the program I am using to build the site, that is really a piece of cake.

I need the buttons for links to other pages/areas of the site. Not everything is on the home page. In fact, if you look, it is rather sparse. So to get to the actual goodies requires links to other pages. Buttons seemed like a good alternative to just hyper link text on the page so I went for it. KA-BOOOOM! It blows up in my face. Right away I am sending tear-stained e-mail to tech support in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

The tech guy, we will call him “K,” was helpful. He informed me that the third party buttons I was using were....well....if you misspell carp you will get the idea. So he suggests I use his buttons. OK, why not, they are in the program already, might as well give it a shot. Twenty minutes later, I have a complete set of functional buttons for ONE of my pages. Now I just need to upload that page (Home Page) and move on to the next page.

At this point, somewhere off in the distance, a baby cried. It got quiet. The kind of quiet that comes just before an earthquake or tornado. I pushed the “Publish” button, my monitor flashed, showed signs of publishing, and then came the message, “Upload Complete.” I opened my browser to see the glorious results. No change! Nothing was different. OK, if the upload was complete, where is the upload?

Heat started radiating from my face; not a good sign. I go into the FTP (File Transfer Protocol for those who do not know, and, believe me, this is my only bragging point) section and, lo and behold, I had entered the URL incorrectly. I now discovered that this program is not as intuitive as I had originally thought. Apparently it has no way of knowing that when I typed “,” what I rally meant was “” So now I have to break out FileZilla (No, this is not an endorsement, think of it more as a public service announcement) and delete the errant upload.

I arrive at the new, errant file on my web site, server side, and happily delete everything that was just uploaded. I return to the web builder program and publish again. Baby cried, dog barked, all quiet...upload complete. Off to the browser, refreshed the page....NO CHANGES. (•¿•) What to do? I have a slang dictionary for just such occasions. I look up all the words I am not supposed to say at times like these. I spent the next thirty minutes reading the slang dictionary. Ahhh..much better.

As it turns out, when I first discovered my typo in the hyper link for the web site, I neglected to CORRECT it. Again, the program did not understand that when I found it, I expected it to be changed. OK..FIRST I correct the link, THEN I hit FileZilla again and delete the errant upload. Back to the web publisher. Stuck a bottle in the kid’s mouth, muzzled the dog, hit publish. I actually closed my eyes, I did not want any more false hopes dragging me farther down. Over to the browser...hit “Refresh Page”...

As I sat here looking at all those wonderful changes, weeping openly and without shame, I knew in that moment that I really have no business building a web page. But I am doing it anyway. Have a nice day.
Richard-Wayne: Fry

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