Unplanned Hiatus

I realized after my last post that I had sort of taken a long, unplanned hiatus from my blog.  I apologize for that.  Between work and my personal life, I was just not feeling creative enough to provide content that I thought was of value for the topics I usually contribute to.  Work has been going good, I have finally become a full fledged member of the Helium team, and we have a lot of exciting things coming up.  I can’t talk too much about them, but I’m proud to be part of the team.  I’m learning a great deal and though I definitely feel like a junior member of the team I hope to increase my contributions as time goes on.

One thing I have been reading more into is mash-ups and pipes.  I hope to have more interesting thoughts and ideas on that in the coming week to ten days.  I’m still trying to find if there are any legal problems with this type of site – I’m assuming if I have no ads and no income generated from it, likely not, which is how I plan mine to be – but I want to research it a little more.  If you have any knowledge on this, please feel free to let me know.

I have also, as I mentioned, stumbled into the wall of providing unique and interesting content on a regular basis.  Unlike most blogs, I don’t see this as a sort of diary.  It’s purpose is more as a guide to web design from a beginner to intermediate level with tips, ideas and thoughts on css, accessibility, web standards and search engine optimization.  I have been thinking of changing or merging it with interested writers in like subjects to form a more well rounded and more frequently updated information source.  The same sort of people you would find on a development team – database gurus, development (php, ruby on rails, cold fusion, etc), and possibly even a graphic designer viewpoint.  I’m not sure if there is the interest out there or even if my audience constituents those types of people, but I’m curious to see if that might be a better solution and provide a better product.  Otherwise I may have to consider scrapping my blog and simply using my articles as content on my site – which I look to be updating and expanding again soon.

Random Tidbit: I found a blog containing an interesting look at different brand name logos redesigned with a web 2.0 feel.  Very interesting.

Is IE7 the Solution or More of the Same?

I had high hopes as I began to read the early beta versions reviews of IE7 and the numerous fixes they had over IE6.  I had seen some of my work in IE7 and was pleasantly surprised that it worked.  Then I began to dig deeper.

The problems began when you have used hacks or filters to feed specific CSS to IE6.   Now those who use these knew they would potentially cause future problems and that Microsoft approved conditional statements would be the better choice.   However in some cases – particularly in the instances where you inherit code or time is of the essence and you simply do not have the time to separate them all out – a designer would opt for the quicker and dirtier solution of a hack.

The problem is that, essentially, not all of the problems from 6 have been fixed in 7.  So you now have the new star hack – a version of the underscore hack where you can use *property: values to feed a separate CSS to only IE.  Unfortunately, 6 picks up on these as well and typically does not break in the same way – normally on heights and the box model – so you must follow with either an underscore hack or the * html property filter – called the tan and/or holly hack I believe – to fix 6.  So now you have an extra filter in addition to one you shouldn’t have/need in the first place.

Again, the short and simple solution is to use the conditional statements.  While semantically they are very inelegant, they will make your life as a designer much easier.  Hopefully IE8, or future updates of 7, will fix these issues.  It is a vast improvement so I am hopeful.  The fact that they copied many of the good elements from the other browsers out there – including add-ons, a variation of the extensions from firefox – is a good sign.  I don’t typically say this, but my hat is off to the Internet Explorer team.

Random Tidbit: Blog writer Robert Accettura had some interesting Secrets in Websites.  Very interesting and conspiratorial.