Archive for January, 2003

Different CSS border priorities

I’ve found an annoying difference between IE/Win and just about any other browser on Mac and PC when specifying different colored CSS borders to each side of an object. For instance, I have a navigation item where I’m specifying a 2px left border, and a 1px bottom and right border to create a 3D effect. This works fine on IE Mac, Chimera, Netscape Mac and PC. Example is shown below:

css on IE Mac

On IE/Win, the browser, very annoyingly, prioritizes the order of the borders by making the bottom border span across the entire width of the item, rather than making the left border the priority and having it span the entire length of the left side of the item. Example of IE/Win below:

css on IE Win

I haven’t been able to find a workaround for this so if you happen to know any tricks, let me know.

Using definition lists for site navigation?

Doug Bowman has a nice post about using unordered lists for site navigation, then using CSS to style them any way you’d like (horizontally for instance). I think it’s a good idea and makes sense, structurally, in the code. Going a step further, why not use a definition list to do the job with a <dt> of “Navigation”? This will label the list for non-styled viewers (and readers), yet it can be hidden in the styled version using #nav dl { display: none; }. I think it makes sense for navigation lists to be titled — especially when there are additional lists for sub-navigation or other header elements. This site now uses one <dl> for the nav, then hiding the definition title.

Cold Snap

It’s been cold. Really cold. People are referring to the unfortunate weather we’ve been bearing in the Northeast as a “cold snap”. I’ve never heard this term before, yet I’ve lived in New England my entire life. I love it when a certain word or phrase just explodes and you start seeing it everywhere. Eventually it will reach its Tipping Point and we will never refer to it again.

By the way, I know that it’s extremely cold because my jacket is frozen.

RSS Reading in Safari?

Dave Hyatt (lead developer for Apple’s Safari browser) is discussing the idea of adding RSS reading capabilities that are built-in to the browser. A great idea. I love applications such as NetNewsWire, but agree with Dave that it’s annoying to be switching back and forth to the web browser. If web and RSS previews were combined into one single application, we’d all have the best of both worlds. Perhaps we’ll see RSS reading integrated into future Safari releases. Dave also has some interesting ideas on stylizing feed previews. (link via shacker)

Today’s Front Pages From Around the World

Today’s Front Pages:

“‘Today’s Front Pages’ is an online version of one of the Newseum’s most popular exhibits. Every morning, more than 100 newspapers from around the world submit their front pages to the Newseum via the Internet.”

It’s amazing that this is a daily PDF archive, and it’s interesting to see what’s being featured around the world. (link via k10k)

One Click Publishing

Played around a bit with Macromedia’s Contribute today — it looks pretty promising. After 10 minutes I was editing a dummy page on a public web server, adding unordered lists, bolding, italicizing, etc and publishing it right back to where it came from via some simple FTP settings. Browse to the page you’d like to edit (it seems to use IE underneath it for previewing), click a big “Edit” button and you’re off. The beauty is that the code underneath was coming out as valid XHTML. Cool. Administrators can save the FTP settings as a clickable file that can be sent to clients, resulting in extremely simple setups.

The only mystery here is how one can lock down certain sections of a page so that editors can’t damage the sites layout. Macromedia is a bit vague about this, only suggesting that developers buy Dreamweaver as well. I’m not into that, but I’m sure hiding sections of layout is nothing more than a few extra lines of code.

All in all it looks like a great solution when building a site for someone who’d like to update it themselves. At $99, you really can’t beat it.

Other features such as Word document import and drag and drop image insertion are useful as well. I’ll post an update as I find out more about using non-Dreamweaver templates.

Kasparov vs. Deep Junior

Wired:

“Garry Kasparov, the charismatic Russian hailed by many as the best chess player the world has ever seen, will face off against Deep Junior, a brilliant, aggressive chess-playing program that is uncannily human in its style of play.”

Deep Junior is a funny name for a chess computer. Sounds more like an adult film star or something. Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see who wins this.

Dive Into XML

Mark Pilgrim has a new article up at XML.com, Parsing RSS At All Costs, which argues that the quality of RSS feeds is, in general, poor and that perhaps aggregators should accept malformed XML. Hmm. I’d like to believe he’s just making a point — that there is a problem with feed validation. Otherwise RSS could become even more of a mess than it already is. My take: put the responsibility of creating valid, well-formed XML feeds on the creators — the feed generators and content management systems.