No one is self-taught. No one learns everything by themselves. benturner.com is no different. All the people and experiences that I've come across have contributed to this effort -- I can't leave them out, so I recognize them here.
I don't really remember how I learned HTML, but it is probably the glue which keeps everything together here at benturner.com. I never really found a good source for HTML markup when I first started my page -- everything was so new on the Web that no one had really sat down to write a useful HTML guide. There are plenty available now, however, and so new HTML writers no longer have to pull information from many sources and view the sources of scattered pages. My best recommendation is to pick up HTML from The WWW Consortium, which has no actual guides, I believe, but offers the standardized HTML, the HTML it's safe to use. Also, HTML Help and the HTML Compendium are nice sites.
HTML editor? HomeSite is by far the best editor. There is nothing that comes close. I'm using HomeSite 4.0 right now (it's so good I registered it!) and I love it. Colored tags, file directory on the side of the screen, (shows links and can be sorted), QuickTab, multiple file opening, projects, and more. I pretty much rewrote most of my site using HomeSite and its search and replace functions. The multiple-window tab helped a lot too.
I have grabbed some freeware CGI scripts off the 'Net for use on my pages. Thanks to those who wrote and donated them for public use on the Web.
You really should validate your pages before you put them up on the Web. I know I do. It helps you write better HTML and make your pages viewable on the greatest number of browsers possible. Try Doctor HTML for a loose, yet comprehensive HTML checker. Doctor HTML checks spelling, links, HTML validity, table structure, and more. Clean and easy-to-read results. WebLint is also useful for more technical results. I never used the heavy duty validators, simply because I know some of my markup is questionable and will be near impossible to correct. Luckily, these flaws are noticeable only to the most incompetent browsers.
Adobe Photoshop is, hands down, the best graphics package to use for creating and editing images. I use it, primarily, although it's probably not the best tool for every job. It's quite well-rounded, though, and it serves my needs. I think I need to go to an art academy, though, to unlock the power of art for my web site... ULead SmartSaver is a nice, cheap compression utility to make images Web-ready.
I spend too much of my time web browsing. Yes, I have not yet soured myself to the Web and I'm not one of those people who say, "I'm too good to surf the Web -- it's all the same now." I'm not sure what these people live for -- they're far too discriminating. It's sites like Lance Arthur's GlassDog which keep me browsing the Web. The webmasters of such sites know what they're doing, and I constantly steal ideas from their sites, sadly enough. I get a lot of ideas from other pages, you know, and I'm just hoping they never find out (heh). Given the dumbing down of the Web by people who are constant in their belief that simple personal sites are good enough, one has to thank people like Lance Arthur and Derek Powazek for trying to add a little something to the Web.
This should be an obvious one. I mean, after the Soapbox entitled "Indulgence", the whole essence of benturner.com changed dramatically. I owe it to one presence, one force, one friend, one confidant, one female, one lover. Thank you, Anna, for giving me what I so dearly desired for so long and for finding me and for exceeding what I wanted my dream woman to be. You truly are a special creature and you are mine as I am yours. I love you, and with you, I have found new wells of inspiration and newfound optimism in many things, particularly romance.
Thanks, me! Without the perfectionistic standards I set for myself and my interest in webpage design, I wouldn't have wasted countless hours correcting HTML for those few people who come here! Seriously, after all this time my site has existed, I've plunked in literally thousands of hours into the site. I don't do it to see you roll your eyes at me and snobbishly dismiss me as a naive kid. I do it because I believe in the Web. And you have to admit that I contribute back to this medium.
Lately, Alta Vista has been my search engine of choice because it's just so thorough... Some music links were found using the Ultimate Band List. The UBL has all the links you need to find info on your favorite band.
Regretfully, there are some images (which have been modified so much that you can't tell where they're from, anyway) which I don't know the source for. If I knew what the source was, I would give credit, but alas, I cannot. Thank you for providing your images for the Web, though.
I grabbed a Victorian-style "R" from Harlan Wallach's site (copyright ©, 1994). Credits for Mr. Wallach's page are also on my Robin Hood page, as he requested.
Finally, any writing done can be credited to the many authors like Milton, Shakespeare, and Crichton who have contributed to my education. I want to thank all the people who really screwed up times in my life and the few people who made my life truly happy for brief periods. These people have added honesty and emotion to my writing. I also want all the people who cast me out to know that they only helped me, not hurt me. As much as it seems like I was hurt by what they did to me, it only made me stronger and I live for the day when they're sitting on their asses doing nothing and I'm rubbing their noses in their sloth.
I must admit, almost all things I've ever experienced deserve credit, but perhaps I've become too philosophical now...