deconstructing a site..   ethics..  can I ask?

Posted on 2003-03-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-25
I've seen a website I am curious about.  It obviously contains sophisticated things.. javascript navigation, a flash movie, etc.   I'm curious about how it was all put together, but not sure it's ethical to name a site and say "how'd they do that"..  I have a good idea in some parts and questions about other parts.  Looking for advice so I can advance with my learning.
Question by:linque
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Accepted Solution

webwoman earned 400 total points
ID: 8174113
Of course it's ethical to deconstruct the way it was done -- we all do that, it's how we learn. It would be unethical to just totally COPY the site.

But grabbing the code and seeing how they used it, using it to learn scripting and using some of the same techniques with modifications for your site, etc., is pretty standard.

And if it's really complex and you're not sure how it was done, it's certainly ethical to email the webmaster and ask! If they don't want to tell you they won't. But most people are flattered if somebody asks how they did some effect. ;-)

Author Comment

ID: 8175306
ok.. perhaps i'll email the webmaster (if I can figure out who that is).   On the site in question there are clearly external css links which i'll likely never see, and they involve the navigation, which in turn propels flash movies on the right.  

I'm not a programmer, and I always seem to come to a halt when I look at the coding (much I which i myself have produced on my own using dreamweaver and/or flash or fireworks..etc... that is: the program did it for me )   I'm left wondering "do they know something I don't?  or did they just set about with an idea and viola there's the code and I simply can't follow the reasoning?"  

Of course some *are* programmers and code genius'  but I just want some explanations so I can decide if I can or cannot do something like it!   Thank you for your helpful comments.

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