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  1. #1
    Senior Member visualAd's Avatar
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    I've just finished a prototype for a PHP application I am creating. At present the protoype is only the front end user interface, which is XHTML and CSS. Web design is not one of my strongest points so I thought I might post a thread here in hope of some critical comments and some hints on how to make it better.

    The protoype is here:

    http://www.sccode.com/projects/filemanager/protoype/

    Some of the things I am indecisive about:
    • Should I keep the UI as strict XHTML and use just style sheets for formatting or should I use transitional XHTML and use formatting tags too?
    • I would like to give the user the option of switching between an normal view and frames view. Should I use iframes or normal frames?
    • The upload application will allow users to upload as many files as they with and create directories too upload them into. This means dynamically creating form elements. I am not sure whether to use PHP or Javascript for this?


    Feel free to make horrible comments. I know it looks like its been designed by a kid and I would be happy to take any suggestions.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Senior Member jlgosse's Avatar
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    There is no design and I hate frames. Horrible comment number one.


  4. #3
    Member my_name_is_kurt's Avatar
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    Ummm...this looks more like the raw output from PHP code. I thought you said this was the interface?!?! I think you need a new interface...yeah, frames are bad, get some color, graphics, and a different typeface, then come back for us to review it.
    Kurt Sprinzl
    Eternal Studios Web Development

    www.eternalstudios.net

  5. #4
    Senior Member visualAd's Avatar
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    Thanks for taking a look. A couple of people say frames are bad news, I'm not really after comment on the page that shows the prototype. The bit I need suggestions on is the bottom frame whcich shows the directory listings etc.

    The user inteface is for a filemanager written in PHP which will allow managment of a remote drectory over the internet. I havvn't written any PHP yet, I expect that to be the easy part. The bit I find difficult is designing it to make it look pleasing on the eye, which is why I have desiged a mock interface.

    The reason I'm using frames in that page is so you can browse the prototype at the same time as viewing it. Why is it web developers hate frames?

  6. #5
    Member my_name_is_kurt's Avatar
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    I didn't realize this was for a backend management interface. Frames might be the way to go for this. Still, you could use some color, don't you think? I think the reason most web developers hate frames is that they were the first cool thing we learned in HTML, but we've moved on. There are so many more advanced, less complicated, and more user-friendly methods that can replace frames that a web site that used them just looks elementary.
    Kurt Sprinzl
    Eternal Studios Web Development

    www.eternalstudios.net

  7. #6
    Member my_name_is_kurt's Avatar
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    I might add that iframes are totally different in that their proper implementation can prove incredibly useful and effective.
    Kurt Sprinzl
    Eternal Studios Web Development

    www.eternalstudios.net

  8. #7
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    Guys, I think he's looking for structure comments, not color schemes.

    As for frames, they definitely have their uses, however you can do the same thing with CSS. Frames however, are easier to design for cross platform compatibility I think.

    To read more about frames vs. CSS vs. iframes, search the forums. There has been tons of discussions about it.

    I like the idea a lot. If the file editing part was in place, i'd download it right now Word of advice: if you do something where it displays the php code of a file, set it up so that it's color coded correctly. Code to do this is on this site as well as all around the web.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member visualAd's Avatar
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    You're right - my main concern is the content not the colour, with regards to making it cross platform, I wanted the interface to still be usable and understandable in a text browser. Which it is.

    I do agree however that the UI does look a bit ugly - I would like to go for a colour scheme which falls into the back ground. Unfortunatley my talents in designing web pages that look good are seriously lacking.If anyone has a link to a site where I can find ideas on colour themes or any suggestions of their own, I would be most grateful.

    I am hoping to start coding the PHP on Monday. The reason I'm making the application is so I can access my work from college as they have disabled FTP. I already have the code for the file editing part, all be it very simple - the file content is loaded into a text area and it has a save and cancel button on the bottom.

    If anyone is interested in using it - I would be happy to post the source code when I'm done.

  10. #9
    WDF Staff Wired's Avatar
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    How's it going?
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  11. #10
    Senior Member visualAd's Avatar
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    Not too bad actually - I have done the error handling which I posted the script for in the PHP & MySql Forum and I am just finishing and doucmenting the session managment which I'll be sure to post too.

    Once I'm done with that I will be ready to start the user authentication part by putting the error handling and session managment together.


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