Archive for September, 2005

Some Useful CSS Tricks

Friday, September 30th, 2005

Trenton Moss offers up his Top Ten CSS tricks to help you with your daily CSS work. I’ve been applying most of those myself for a while now, but it’s interesting to see others using similar techniques.

Pay close attention to rule no. 4, “IE and Width and Height Issues”, this is vital for every rock-solid CSS layout. Always make sure your site containers are scalable to a certain extent because

  1. you will always have users that will need to zoom up the text
  2. you will often have content that is larger than the container is intended for
  3. if you are using a CMS and your client has access, you don’t know what he’s going to paste into those containers.

IE will expand a container according to its content’s size if needed, whereas all other modern browsers will just let the content run out of the box. Using the hack described will ensure both IE and the other browsers will scale the containers identically.

Dynamic Websites From CD-ROM

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Ever wanted to put your dynamic website on a CD? I always thought it was impossible due to the missing server, but MicroWeb makes it possible. All the user has to do is start an .exe and he’ll see your dynamic website in his browser, right off the CD. MicroWeb launches a temporary webserver, with full support for CGI and a built-in MySQL database. While it has a hefty price tag of $299, it has a flexible license (no royalties and no other limits) and there is a fully functioning shareware version (with a nag screen, of course). I’ve seen this baby working and it does what it promises. Now if someone could come up with a GPLed version, that would be great.

Show Your ☐

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

I {?} Unicode t-ShirtShow your ☐ for unicode with this wonderful t-shirt! Also available in a Mac version. :)

Font Management Tools

Thursday, September 29th, 2005

Looking for a good font manager? I’ve got one for the Mac and one for Windows.

Linotype, one of the major players in the history of typesetting, has just brought out FontExplorer X, a professional font manager for Mac OS X that will look perplexingly familiar to anyone who is used to iTunes. Among its unique features, it offers auto-activation of missing fonts, provided they are somewhere on your computer. Browse your fonts with freely customizable previews. Integrate with Spotlight. Discover new fonts online. View comprehensive information on your fonts. It’s all there.

You don’t have a Mac? Typograf for Windows offers an excellent overview for all your fonts. I use this one personally and I love it. Browse directories recursively, previewing all your fonts side by side with a text of your choice. This often helps me find the right typeface for a certain job. View and edit all kinds of information on a specific font. Compare fonts. View font metrics and complete kerning tables. Catalog and group your fonts. Typograf also offers a reference on font classification and history, and offers advice on font selection. Typograf works along with ATM.

A List Apart: Fun with Columns

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

A new issue of A List Apart is out. In issue no. 204, we are presented with two articles on the subject of columns: Multi-Column Lists (I’ve been looking for something like this!) and the CSS3 Multi-Column Module.

About A List Apart:

“A List Apart Magazine explores the design, development, and meaning of web content, with a special focus on techniques and benefits of designing with web standards.” (about page)

Dark alpha PNGs in Safari 2

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

Apparently Safari 2 (available on MacOS X Tiger) has a render bug when it comes to tiled PNGs with alpha transparency. Images show up much darker than they are supposed to. Jon Hicks has found a simple workaround to this problem: don’t use 1×1 pixel tiles. Use 2×2 instead!

Web Developer’s Handbook

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005

This has to be one of the most comprehensive collections of relevant links on the subject of web development that I have seen until now: The Web Developer’s Handbook.

It covers most of the essential links on creativity, CSS, CMS, color tools, SEO, semantics, typography, usability, and much more. Definately worth a bookmark.

CSS Table Gallery

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

CSS Table Gallery

Following the steps of the CSS Zen Garden, the recently launched CSS Table Gallery aims to display how the power of CSS can be used to make boring data tables look just as good as the rest of a site. It’s still a small collection, but it does sport a few highlights already. You’re invited to submit your own.

On a side note, it also shows that using semantic, accessible markup (such as <caption>, <th>, <tbody>, etc.) can give you more hooks to design things like headers seperately. It’s a win-win situation for both accessibility as well as design.

Google Suggest for Firefox

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

A lot of us have probably tried out Google Suggest by now. If not, you should give it a quick try. The Google Toolbar for Firefox offers Google Suggest as a main feature.

For those of you who think the Google Toolbar is too bloaty, there is a solution. Google Suggest can now be installed as a seperate extension and enhances the standard Firefox search field with the nifty auto-suggest feature.

Developer Toolbar for IE

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Many of us web developers use Chris Pedrick’s fantastic Web Developer Extension for Firefox. Wouldn’t it be great if there were such a tool for IE? Well, now there is, and it comes from none other than Microsoft themselves. Not quite as feature rich as Web Developer, but a step in the right direction, the Internet Explorer Developer Toolbar offers some features long missed by developers who have to fight with IE’s poor CSS support on a daily basis. Let’s just hope they update it regularly.

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