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IE Sucks and Webcomic News

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a wonderful thing in theory, but it is amazing how hard it can be to use in practice.  Case in point - IE, instead of overlapping the cover image a bit over the righthand column, pushes it all the way down the page leaving a ton of white space.  Bad IE!  Anyhow I've put in an ugly fix this morning that will work on IE if you have 1024x768 settings on your monitor or above (smaller setting still get the white space).  Firefox seems to behave though.   Hopefully I can resolve this over the weekend...

Also I put up here the first two articles from the March issue: an interview with Jeph Jacques and a new Welton Colbert webcomic.

Now onto the webcomic news!

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a wonderful thing in theory, but it is amazing how hard it can be to use in practice.  Case in point - IE, instead of overlapping the cover image a bit over the righthand column, pushes it all the way down the page leaving a ton of white space.  Bad IE!  Anyhow I've put in an ugly fix this morning that will work on IE if you have 1024x768 settings on your monitor or above (smaller setting still get the white space).  Firefox seems to behave though.   Hopefully I can resolve this over the weekend...

Also I put up here the first two articles from the March issue: an interview with Jeph Jacques and a new Welton Colbert webcomic.

Now onto the webcomic news!

The Friends of Lulu have opened up nominations for their annual awards. Check out the categories and be sure to nominate worthy candidates from webcomics.

Dave Kellett will be talkin' this upcomin' Monday at the big-deal SXSW conference.  If you're in Austin go check it out.

Peter Hayward is listing his "cool dudes of webcomics".  It's a short list though.  Either Hayward is a stingy bastard or comics are not as cool as Comixpedia thought...

 

Letterhead Fonts has some great free fonts available. It also has amazing fonts for purchase - definitely worth browsing through. 

CSS coolness

Keith Quinn's picture

Ghastly said: "This is why I just use tables. Simple, fast, and almost uniformly supported across all browsers."

My response: It's true that tables are easy to use and you can get pretty much the same effect on iE and Firefox, but what happens when someone tries to print out a table-based page? What happens when they want to see it on their PDA or cell phone? If they turn off images, does the site break? There are even more considerations that can be easily accounted for up-front if you use CSS to lay out your site.

LineItemVito said: "CSS is cool for some things, but not necessarily better in every aspect."

My response: Very true. Tables are better for charts, spreadsheets, and such. CSS is better when you're trying to disconnect the content from the layout.

LineItemVito said: "And, please, spare me the "CSS is sooo much more flexible" argument: how often do people really redo their website design by just changing the CSS?"

Actually, CSS *is* sooo much more flexible. You can have one style sheet for the screen and a second one for printing, for example. (No need for "click here for print version" links any more.)

Also, CSS can allow the reader to manage a site's colors and font sizes. For example, you can go to my CSS-based site at www.localheroes.us and change the CSS style *on the fly*. Don't like the colors? Switch to the "Squire" scheme. I got the original JavaScript to make that happen from the Little Gamer's site, which has its own style-changing options, but variations of this feature are used in a multitude of sites. Sites that use this sort of feature often have click the "larger font" styles, saved for you personally by dropping a cookie on your machine.

Certainly, something will eventually come around to replace CSS. It's inevitable. XML never really replaced HTML like was predicted, but XHTML certainly has (and XML is still finding its place besides web pages in such ways as RSS feeds.) But it's unlikely that web designers will go "backwards" to table-based layout. If anything, successors to CSS will better mimic some of the features of tables without giving up the power that current CSS also allows.

If there is any question about how flexible, adaptable, ingenius, beautiful, and cool CSS can be, go check out CSS Zen Garden (http://www.csszengarden.com/) and click through their styles. Every style you click on has the *exact same* HTML content as the others--it's only the style sheet that changes. This is something you can *not* do with purely table-based layout.

Local Heroes (http://www.localheroes.us): Super-powered all-ages fun | Playtime Projects (http://www.playtimeprojects.com): A dysfunctional children's show (strong language)

CSS is great just too hard to use

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

Most of this is Microsofts fault for crippling it in IE but really CSS probably got hyped a generation too early.  If they could revise it again and get proper browser implementation it'd be wonderful.

 

As it is my problem I think is that I really need a fixed width site not a flexible-width site.  It all gets me depressed almost b/c I don't have any interest in site design and work on it is like time i'll never get back :(

 

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Re: CSS is great just too hard to use

Keith Quinn's picture

[quote=xerexes]As it is my problem I think is that I really need a fixed width site not a flexible-width site.  It all gets me depressed almost b/c I don't have any interest in site design and work on it is like time i'll never get back :([/quote]
It's too bad you're having troubles getting a site design you're comfortable with. I personally love web design--it was a hobby that turned into a profession--but I certainly understand that most people aren't so enthusiastic about designing new sites (with or without CSS) as I am. Still, I want to wish you good luck with your new design(s)!

Local Heroes (http://www.localheroes.us): Super-powered all-ages fun | Playtime Projects (http://www.playtimeprojects.com): A dysfunctional children's show (strong language)

Just to be clear

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

I thought I said this on the Move-To-Drupal annoucement but this is basically an off-the-shelf Drupal design.  It's based on the Spread Firefox design. 

I'd like to have a Comixpedia-specific design - either something new or using one of the two that were developed last year (one hasn't been used because I never got through trying to adapt it to the Postnuke theme system).  But I'd like to just have the current thing work before regrouping and thinking about another design again.

 

 

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

Wouldn't the simplest fix be

Wouldn't the simplest fix be shrinking the cover image a tiny bit, so it will fit in the middle colume for people on 1024x768?

Re: Wouldn't the simplest fix be

Keith Quinn's picture

[quote=keiiii]Wouldn't the simplest fix be shrinking the cover image a tiny bit, so it will fit in the middle colume for people on 1024x768?[/quote]

It could put a band-aide on the symptom, but there's a bigger issue here.

Every page of Comixpedia has a flexible width and there is no tracking in place to detect the audience's most popular browser sizes (that I know of). While Xerexes could make assumptions based upon screen resolutions, that's not always the same as browser window sizes and incorrect assumptions could be made.

There's actually another option Xerexes could look into: Make the cover image a flexible-width Flash image. I'm no Flash guru, so maybe someone else can chime in with the good and bad of such a thing (besides requiring every reader have a certain version or better of Flash installed in their browser).

Local Heroes (http://www.localheroes.us): Super-powered all-ages fun | Playtime Projects (http://www.playtimeprojects.com): A dysfunctional children's show (strong language)

Um..

Xaviar Xerexes's picture

 I'm looking to simply my life not learn or hire more tech-stuff.

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Xaviar Xerexes 

I am a Modern Major Generality.

I run this place! Tip the piano player on the way out.

This is why I just use

Uncle Ghastly's picture

This is why I just use tables. Simple, fast, and almost uniformly supported across all browsers.

CSS overdone?

LineItemVito's picture

I've been a programmer in one form or another since 1977, so it's fair to say I've seen a lot of technologies come and go. New technologies are often touted as being "soooo much better" than the older technology, and the old tech is denegrated as a dinosaur. The truth is always somewhere in between. CSS is cool for some things, but not necessarily better in every aspect. This anti-table sentiment will eventually fade when the next cool tech toy comes around, and when increases in networking bandwidth overwhelm the "CSS produces fewer bytes" argument. And, please, spare me the "CSS is sooo much more flexible" argument: how often do people really redo their website design by just changing the CSS?

By the way, as to those dinosaurs of technology: IBM's mainframe business, running Cobol and Fortran programs, is doing just fine thank you. What? You thought the big banks were running their quadrillions of transactions on a Windows PC with Intel inside?
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Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

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Vote Vito: Line Item Vito

CSS image trick

Keith Quinn's picture

Regarding your image display problem: I have a CSS trick I use that might be helpful.

Don't put the image on the page in an IMG tag. Instead, make the image the background of a DIV tag (or the "block" tag of your choice). You can set the height, but leave the width alone so it collapses or contracts on the fly and as needed.

Here's an example:

[div style="background: url(http://comixpedia.com/images/comixpediacover.gif) top left no-repeat; height:400px" title="Cover art for Comixpedia Issue #123 by Name Here"] [/div]

You might need to tweak it slightly to get what you need, but typically the only decision I have to make in such situations is if I need the DIV to float or not.

Local Heroes (http://www.localheroes.us): Super-powered all-ages fun | Playtime Projects (http://www.playtimeprojects.com): A dysfunctional children's show (strong language)