About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm helping create a new sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for June, 2003

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Of Bug Fixes and Structural Markup

Thursday, June 12th, 2003

In today’s Daily Report, Zeldman had this to say about my bug fix:

“Dan’s solution is simple and it works. But it also wastes bandwidth on nonsemantic tags to force a display issue in an uncooperative browser. This is the very problem designing with standards is supposed to solve. It’s not our goal to find fault, but to point out how pervasive old school methods are, even among forward-thinking developers. While we greatly appreciate Dan’s help, the Hypocrisy Police would toss us in the hoosegow if we used this method on a site for a book that recommends using clean, structural markup.”

Well, since I’m also “Never one to sit on his hands when there is a problem to be solved,” I must take this as a challenge, and create not only a standards-compliant fix, worthy of inclusion in the inner workings of Zeldman’s DWWS site, but to prove that I am not simply a problem solving machine, operating sans-thought and reason. No, my goal in life is to create structural markup, with all design controlled by CSS, and damnit, I’m not going to let the record show anything to the contrary!

Watch this space for my final solution.

UPDATE: Well, as luck would have it, someone else found the solution before I did. By replacing display:inline with display:block and float:left on the li elements, Alexander Hill solved Zeldman’s problem without using any non-semantic markup, and it works in all major browsers. C’est la vie.

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Zeldman’s DWWS Mini-site Bug

Tuesday, June 10th, 2003

If you check out Zeldman’s Mini-site for Designing With Web Standards with IE 5/Mac, you will notice a few differences when compared to the same site viewed in just about any other current browser: the secondary navigation (an unordered list displayed inline) aligns the text to the left, and each button’s clickable area is restricted to the link text, not the entire visible area of the button.

I figured I could fix this, without requiring a new version of IE 5/Mac, and so I tinkered a little: Zeldman: DWWS BookSubNav Bug Fix.

The fix above reduces the navigation to just the UL and its parent DIV, and in my testing it works in all browsers except Opera 6 (which breaks when viewing Zeldman’s original layout anyway).

What did I do to fix the issues? I simply added a <span> to the button text, like so: <span>Home</span>

That’s it! Now the buttons display properly on all browsers, since this addition does not alter the way the other browsers render the CSS.

I’ve sent the changes off to Zeldman, so hopefully this post will soon be rendered obsolete.

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Microsoft & AOL; IE Updates; State of the Web Browser

Monday, June 2nd, 2003

Lots of web-related news has appeared in the last week, noteably Microsoft’s deal with AOL and Microsoft’s decision to cease development of a standalone version of IE.

The combination of these two news bites in the same week has caused some panic in web development circles, specifically among those developers who actually care about the user experience, and who would prefer to see standards-compliant web browsers lead in the percentages.

Some smart folks are talking over at Web-Graphics, and some interesting ideas are being born…

Also: do not miss Dave Shea’s commentary.

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