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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2007
     
    For the non webpage coding geeks, CSS is essentially a way to separate the content from the design. The way it's supposed to work is that you take all your content and mark it up with descriptive tagging. Then you apply styles to the tags with CSS. Basically, it makes things modular and a whole lot easier to change. You can also set up different versions of the stylesheet for various mediums like mobile phones or printing (my goal: allow Kaedrin readers to print out a weblog article to read on the can).

    But boy is it a pain in the arse. Whoever came up with the CSS apparently didn't think there would ever be a need to do columnar layouts, because doing columns in CSS is retarded. They also apparently didn't think it would ever be necessary to vertically align stuff either. And a whole bunch of other infuriating oversights. And this is before you even get into browser support (or lack of support, as it were). So we've got a crappy style language made crappier by the lack of consistency in browsers. Wonderful. None of this is really new to me, but it's just so annoying that it took so long to convert my relatively simple layout. It is kinda nice to see this though.

    Nevertheless, I've managed to convert Kaedrin to a pure XHTML and CSS layout. It appears to work fine in Opera 9, FF2, and IE7. I'm almost certain that it won't work that great in IE6, but I don't have IE6 on my computer and right now I don't feel like going through the trouble of installing the virtual pc thingy that lets you run IE6 and IE7 on the same computer. I'll get to it eventually. In any case, if you'd like to take a look, I uploaded a version here:

    http://kaedrin.com/test/weblog.html

    The only immediately noticeable change for everyone should be the tabs. Firs, there's tabs (duh). I originally just wanted to duplicate the current masthead (i.e. just use text links at the top of the page like I have now), but I wasn't able to make it play nice. I also removed Tandem Stories from the masthead. Space was getting a little tight up there, and I realized that we've gotten about 5 entries over the past 3 years or so (and they were all from one-time random posters), so I think it's time.

    More changes will be happening, most noticeably to the way posts in the weblog are formatted (I don't like the way the date is displayed now, and I want to make post titles larger, for instance). Comments and trackbacks need some work too (comments are especially annoying and hard to follow right now). I might try to round the corners of the main content area of the page too, though given the hoops I had to jump through to get the stupid tabs working, that's pretty low on the list (I can see the issue right now - I've got a border around the whole area, so using background images to round the corners probably won't work).

    I'm also planning on taking my time with this. I'd like to change over all the pages on the site at the same time. This, of course, would necessitate getting my XSLT processor going again, which'll be mildy annoying. So yeah, don't expect this to be complete any time soon:P

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 10th 2007
     
    I've played around a little bit with CSS...I took a class last Spring that taught a little CSS. I ended up droppingthe class, because it was supposed to be about networking, but instead was about web programming, which doesn't interest me at all...but the upside is, I got a little exposure to CSS.

    I like the tabs...gives it a neat look. And it's sad to see the Tandem stories go, but yeah, it's probably time...

    Thinking about the old tandem stories makes me think of the old Kaedrin design...I should have a look through the Wayback Machine, see if I can find it...that would be fun = )
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2007
     
    I want to do a retrospective at some point. I should still have all the appropriate files, so I should be able to put together working copies. Perhaps when I launch the new design, I'll go over the old ones. The wayback machine is great, but I don't know if it will have the old design, as it wasn't at kaedrin.com... I'll have to see if I can remember my old URLs...

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2007
     
    I realized the same thing...I found back to a much earlier version of kaedrin.com (March 2001), but I have no idea what the URL for the really old page is...IIRC, it used to be hosted where you went to college? That was the old red text on a black background, wasn't it?

    Goddam, that was a while ago...you're quickly approaching 10 years of Kaedrin. That's pretty amazing.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 11th 2007
     
    It is. The Wayback Machine hasn't really done a good job with the pre-Kaedrin.com days. All it has are the redirects that I set up. The URL, by the way, was:

    http://www.csc.villanova.edu/~mciocco/

    And then it moved to:

    http://redrival.com/kaedrin/index.html

    And then here. As such, there aren't really any of the old pages on the Wayback Machine. I have all the pages saved on a backup DVD somewhere. Somewhere. Crap, I hope I didn't lose that stuff.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorDyre
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2007
     
    Congrats on the successful conversion. The tabs look nice. I recently wrote an entirely XHTML/CSS-based layout for my friends' band's website (there's still a few pages to convert so I haven't made the new code live yet) so I know what a pain in the ass some of that stuff can be. Vertical alignment in CSS is ridiculous. Apparently IE7 renders some div positioning I did differently than IE6. That doesn't exactly make me happy either and I'd say screw it and just make it work for IE7 but IE6 still has the lion's share of users. Both of which are irritating because all the other browsers seem to work fine, it's only IE I have to do all sorts of dumb tricks with.

    A Kaedrin-through-the-years post would be cool. You still have all that stuff from the old forums saved?
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2007
     
    Well, it's not quite successful yet. For some reason, the tabs don't look right in Linux (vertical spacing). Even though it's the same freaking browser. I don't know what the hell is going on with that. It looks fine in IE7, but the vertical spacing of the tabs is totally screwed up (I'm noticing a trend). But at least IE has dumb tricks that let you target sloppy CSS so that it only works in their broswer. Annoying, sure, but it looks like it'll work.

    I have most of the old forum saved (i.e. the really old one, the one hosted by discserver), but some of the messages were lost because the host, well, lost them before I could back them up:



    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2007
     
    Son of a... I know why the tabs aren't working in linux, and why they probably won't work on a mac either. Fonts. Stupid fonts. Because linux doesn't have the same fonts as Windows, the size is off, which makes the tab slightly larger than it should be. Fudge. I am thus forced to use the generic sans-serif. I still looks pretty good though.

    So, all that remains is IE6 (which emphatically doesn't work, but which has CSS hacks that will allow me to target that specific browser) and Safari (not having a Mac, this might be mildly difficult. However, I should be able to test the page in Konqueror, which is based on the same rendering engine. But that won't test the fonts... Anyone have a Mac?)

    I suppose I could test old Netscape browsers, but... no. No, I'm not doing that. That would be scary.

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 17th 2007
     
    The different fonts between Windows and Linux...that I can understand. It must be maddening, but at least it makes sense.

    The fact that something works absolutely fine in IE7, but not at all in IE6, makes no sense to me at all...especially since I remember hearing of similar problems between IE5 and IE6.

    I've thought in the past, on dark, cold nights when I couldn't sleep and the world seemed like a strange, confusing place, that maybe it would be cool to have a Mac...but I'm not nearly elitist enough.
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    I have a mac! You know I just came up with this but....Apple should come out with a computer named the Mac Daddy. Maybe I could email them to pitch the idea. Everyone would want the Mac Daddy. I could make millions!!!! I love my mac. What would you like me to do...all of this computer talk is mumbo jumbo to me. I need it in laymans terms.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2007
     
    Heh, yeah, I didn't think most of you guys would relate, but I had to vent, you know:P Thanks for offering to help test! Can you load the following page on the default Mac broser (Safari):

    http://kaedrin.com/test/weblog.html

    The major thing I'm concerned about is the tabs in the top navigation. The page should look something like this:



    The important thing to note is that the "Weblog" tab sorta bleeds into the "You are here" grey bar at the top, while the other tabs sit on top of the grey bar (this is screwed up if the other tabs butt into the grey bar a little or if there's some whitespace between the tabs and the grey bar).

    The other thing I want to check is if the right side-navigation extends all the way to the bottom of the page. It should, but you never know:P

    A screenshot of the page would be ideal, but otherwise just saying "It looks great" or "It sucks, and here's why" would be fine:P

    Thanks again!

    ~tallman
  2.  
    Yes there is a very small amount of white space running under the tabs at the top right. Other than that it looks good...I can scroll all the way down to the bottom and there is no bleeding of the weblod tab into "Here you are." I would do a screen shot but I don't know how. If you give me directions I can try. I have to take off quick but I will check again in a couple of hours.
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      CommentAuthortallman
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th 2007
     
    Thanks marley! That's more or less as I expected. Don't worry about it, I think I know the issue:P

    ~tallman
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      CommentAuthorfoucault
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st 2007 edited
     
    I went ahead and bashed Mac users, thinking, no one who regularly posts here is a Mac user...and one appears as though from nowhere...not someone new, but someone stealthy nonetheless...in all previous posts, I don't believe marley has mentioned being on of them...

    Perhaps "marley" is simply tallman, posting as someone else, in an elaborate ruse to make me look stupid. It could happen...I've seen no proof that it's otherwise.

    In other news, I continue to overuse italics...I can't help it, they really add some emphasis to a post that might otherwise be tossed out as the paranoid ramblings of a wannabe Mac user.