Tag Archives: internet

Great Geek Job

I had seen a recent article about 8 things intelligent people, geeks and nerds need to work and I began to realize that my job has nearly all of them.  They’re pretty flexible as long as you get your work done, they have good benefits, most of us share our iTunes (legally on the local network) so we can jam while we work – though some of my co-worker’s collections are questionable, they let us work from home when we need to – the big winter storms we had for example, and they dress code is pretty lax.  Plus it’s a small company, so you pretty much know everyone else and I can’t name one person that I don’t like.

So if you’re a developer looking for a great company, feel free to come on over.  We could use the help and we’re definitely going places.  You won’t be sorry you did.

Random Tidbit:  I found an interesting article about how Microsoft is dead after fighting with a Vista box that wouldn’t behave (or maybe it was and the behavior it’s supposed to have is illogical, who know’s right now.)  This article takes a different slant than others in that they still make a lot of money, but they’re no longer the big scary monster they used to be – Google is – and the only way to get back up there is to acquire a lot of the top quality startups.  Pretty 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.

More Random Tidbits

I have been very busy with my new job and an update for my website – so I have not thought of anything interesting to say.  I have however, found some interesting links that I felt like sharing:

I have more that I’ll share in future blogs, but I had a backlog of them available.  Enjoy.

A Tale of two Posts

I was perusing through my RSS feeds the other day and came upon two posts that caused polar opposite feelings for the future of web design in relation to web standards, CSS and what I hope to do with my life.

The first was Smashing Magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful CSS-Based Web Designs in 2006.   Seeing some of the beautiful, cutting edge and still standards compliant sites that people can design is uplifting.  I can learn a great deal and draw lots of inspiration from more then a few on the list.  I thought it might be a sign that the days of the past – nested table designs, tag soup and such – might finally be starting to move into the past.

Unfortunately I came upon a separate post that leans 180 degrees the other way – Are Web Standards Bad for Business.  I had hoped this was a post written by someone new to the field or ignorant of the benefits.  This was not to be.  The writer is well versed on what standards compliance means and, in fact, someone who practices designing compliant sites.

Coming from a site that had a lot of “legacy” code that I spent a lot of time upgrading – as well as my as yet limited skills could – to more compliant CSS/XHTML form, a lot of the points he made hit home.  Sometimes you have no control.  Sometimes what the customer buys before you’re even involved handcuffs you with regard to design and no matter how hard you fight you can’t always win.

It’s hard enough setting yourself apart from the pack when (quote from same blog) “print based designers with no desire or experience in web standards design can churn out “pretty” cookie cutter web sites via using various automated software product.”  To have to teach about why standards compliance are worth it as well just makes it that much more difficult.

If Molly and Meyer can’t come up with a better solution, I don’t think I can.  I just hope that I see more of the former in the future, rather then the latter.

Random Tidbit: Since this post is already talking about explaining programming/design to the non-programmer/designer I wanted to list an interesting post along the same line.  Check out The Iceberg Secret, Revealed on Joel on Software.

Sites a Web Designer Should Know (or ‘I wish I had thought of this first’) Part 2

They say patience is a virtue and absence makes the heart grow fonder, but you just want your links, right? So here goes:


  • Intensivstation – XHTML and CSS 2 templates that start you off in pretty much any basic design you would want to use.
  • Mollio – another set of basic templates that you can download and play around with. A good learning tool if you’re new to CSS and XHTML.
  • Layout Gala – the best of the three, especially if you have a grasp of CSS. Takes the same markup and applies different CSS similar to the CSS Zen Garden. Excellent for setting up how you want content and links to appear for SEO purposes.


  • CSS Beauty – excellent design of the site itself, lists of CSS sites, CSS jobs and news as well.
  • Stylegala – similar to CSS beauty.
  • CSS Vault
  • CSS Tux – labeled as the “best dressed” sites on the web, some nice designs – including the site itself
  • W3C Sites – sites that conform to the W3C standards – beauty and standards compliance hand in hand.


  • Ten CSS Tricks You May Not Know – some cool stuff that I hadn’t heard of at the time for simply didn’t use enough.
  • CSS Navigation Techniques – besides allowing users to navigate your site and improving your SEO, navigation can be a strong aesthetic part of your site.
  • Max Design – list of resources, including Listamatic.
  • Learn CSS Positioning in Ten Steps – everything you need to know about positioning
  • Position is Everything – for when everything you know about positioning doesn’t work. Hopefully, IE7 will make this site obsolete.
  • CSS Tools – another list of CSS tools, much longer then mine. Some redundancy but some really cool stuff I didn’t list.
  • css/edge – Eric Meyer doing CSS. Do I need to say more?
  • Stu Nicholls | CSS Play – I have mentioned I have a love/hate relationship with this site. It has dozens of cool ideas that I borrow (steal) and that cause me to expand my understanding and abilities with CSS. I hate it though because everytime I think I’ve come up with a new idea in CSS… I find he’s already thought of it and 3 offshoots. Highly recommended

I hope you found something you didn’t know before and something that inspires you to make the web a more beautiful, CSS enabled, standards compliant and semantically correct place. Comments, constructive criticisms and flames welcome. Spam can be directed here.

Random Tidbit: WordPress does not like Opera at all. Something in the Ajax or Javascript just hates it. I’ve tried identifying and masking as Firefox and even Explorer, still no go. Someone should work on that since it’s rather annoying. I like Firefox and it’s not that hard to switch over I guess, but I would think that it wouldn’t be that hard to get it to work in Opera compared to say Explorer. But it could be I’m just not that smart.