Tag Archives: CSS

ICON

ICON is a local science-fiction convention that is run by some people I know. In previous years, their website has been a monstrosity built using M$’s Frontpage (similar to their parent org’s1 current website). However for the next ICON2, the comittee (con-com) running the con includes people I personally know and who I was able to con persuade into doing something a bit different. You see, I had this vision of a website that the con-com could log into and update themselves. This would free up their web person to simply cook up a pleasant3 design and allow the site to be updated whenever the con-com needed it vs. whenever the web person could get around to it. Since I know the main man of the con-com for ICON 30; I proposed the idea to him and he seemed interested in the idea. So I cooked up a site that I ran on my little home server to give him something to look at. Later he stopped by for an evening and said that the site looked good to him. Shortly thereafter, I got the site posted and now ICON30 is running WP to keep people informed about the con. There are a few customizations and plugins that have been added onto the site to make it work the way we wanted, but overall I’m very pleased with it.

What my next step? Why to redo the parent org’s website of course! Though, I’m thinking that they might want/need something a bit more involved than what I cooked up for ICON.

1The parent org is Mindbridge
2ICON 30, Slaying the Dragon of Tradition! October 28 – 30, 2005 in Cedar Rapids, IA
3Naturally said design would need to be based on valid XHTML & CSS.

Michael vs. Root

If you’ve been involved in the WP community at all for the past couple of months; you couldn’t have missed that Root and Michael Heilemann have been… bickering back and forth about Kubrick and designs and usability and whatnot. From what I saw in the various threads on the WP Support forums, on both’s blogs and elsewhere they both need a good smack to the head. I’m too tired of the whole deal to really care who started it or who’s currently at fault.

Why bring it up then? Michael’s got a thread up that’s continuing the spat. Normally that wouldn’t be enough for me to bother putting a note up here but one of the people commenting on Michael’s thread said:

Quoting Root:

IMHO that is going to make WP less accessible to the self design end user than it is now. Some of us are quite interested in these things.

That means they’ll have to pay a designer to do it for them, hopefully. To that I say, “Bravo!” (There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.)

Another person commenting replied:

There are way too many people running around loose on the Internet with a bootleg copy of Front Page calling themselves web designers, IMHO.

Hear hear

And that just pisses me off. I’m not a designer and make no claims to be one. I do have a very rudimentary grasp of CSS and a slightly better one of HTML. I’ve borrowed a book from a friend of mine and am learning a bit about PHP/MySQL. I do all my coding either in Bluefish1 or Notepad2. I looked at the template WP shipped with in v1.02 and realized it was beyond my skills to really modify at the time. So I grabbed a couple of styles from the Alex King style competition but I saw that under some circumstances they’d break. I wasn’t happy about that and I didn’t like that my blog’s style wasn’t something I’d crafted. I kept looking around for something better to use and then Root came out with his Trident template. I was able to drop that in and make a few modifications so that I had a style that’s my own. It’s ugly as all get out but I could alter it as I need it without having to shell out more money to indulge in my blogging hobby. And the idea that just because I’m not a designer that I must be using a pirated copy of Frontpage3 in order to work on my site is insulting! I also think that if WP v1.3 does make it substantially more difficult to create new themes for my site then I will have to an alternative platform.

1 When working on my desktop and booted into Linux.
2 When working on my laptop, whose CD-ROM drive sucks so bad I can’t get windows off the machine.
3 Frontpage is a piece of crap! I’ve had to use it at work a few times and it writes the most horrific code! If you’re going to claim that people are pirating web design software; why not credit them with pirating something that’s actually useful.

Another reason why Firefox rules

I was off reading Adam Gessaman‘s site and noticed that Firefox had tossed an icon that I’d never noticed before into my status bar. I clicked on it and was presented with a list of alternative style sheets to use in viewing the site!

Ok, maybe this is only cool to geeks like me who enjoy web design but wouldn’t it be nice if every site offered you the ability to change your style sheet at will? And didn’t require some crappy Javascript to pull it off?
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Learning CSS

Just ran across this link, Learning CSS. It’s a pretty good writeup and a nice collection of links to help me you out. Definitely saving this link for later when I start designing my own theme for CoffeeBear.

Favorite Web Development Tools?

As you might imagine, I’m bored at work1 and I’m trying to come up with something to keep my brain alive. So here’s another QotD2 for you; what are your favorite web development tools?

My response is slightly complicated because I use both Linux & Windows and use different tools under each. Note that these lists are presented in no particular order.

Linux Web Development Tools

  • Quanta for editing HTML, CSS & PHP.
  • Bluefish is another good tool for editing HTML, CSS & PHP but its interface just feels a lot more clutured.
  • GIMP for editing images, though to be perfectly honest I hate using it because the interface is just wretched. Unfortunately, I’m not aware of another image editor that I can use under Linux which has the functionality that I need.

Windows Web Development Tools

  • UltraEdit is the best text editor for Windows. Period. It’s not free but there is a time-limited demo. You can edit pretty much anything with UltraEdit and there are additional wordlists & dictionaries for it to make it even easier to use. Though as I recall CSS is not included with the default word list –this means UltraEdit won’t do syntax highlighting for CSS by default– but an additional wordlist can be downloaded to take care of that.
  • Fireworks MX is the best image editing program, particularly for web work. It’s interface feels very well laid out, hiding options you don’t immediately need and grouping similar options together. Plus, it uses Adobe Photoshop’s plugin architecture allowing you to easily expand the functionality of the software. Again, this isn’t free software but there is a time-limited demo. Unfortunately, the Crossweavers version of Wine lists this program as Known Not to Run; so I won’t be running this under Linux any time soon. *sigh*

1 For the record, I am working right now. I’m trying to get the program I test to generate some errors so I can test some new functionality that the programmers added to the error handling. Naturally now that I want the program to break; it’s not. *sigh*
2 QotD (acronym): There are 2 generally accecpted meanings for this acronym,

  1. Quote of the Day
  2. Question of the Day

Unless otherwise noted, this site uses the 2nd definition.

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