New Server

This weblog server has been moved to a new physical location. This required me to do a bit of backup/copy work. I haven’t checked things out yet so there may be bits here and there that don’t seem to work. I’ll get to them.

I’ve been busy the past couple of weeks watching my Sox win the world series. Very very nice, but these late-night games killed me. I think I’ve got a total of 8 hours sleep in the last 4 days.

So give me a couple of days to rest up and I’ll get back to responding to emails and doing new things. And maybe I’ll get around to responding to a couple comments here on the blog and continuing my little series.

Fluid Column Design

The gargoyles layout has a unique characteristic in that the middle and right columns have a fluid width that is based on the width of the window. This is not a new concept, but in a source-ordered 3-column layout, it’s not an entirely easy thing to do.

I was recently asked about creating a layout that had all three columns fluid. I’ve started looking into this, unfortunately it appears this will not be easy to do.

My original goal for the skidoo layouts was to create a multi-columned layout with columns whose background color ran the full height of the document and without using any images (such as faux column borders via a background image that is repeated vertically). The trick with skidoo is to create a container for all three columns that has borders on the left and right side. Then, through the use of negative margins, push the side columns to fit over those side borders of the parent column. Those side borders become the background colors for each column.

Works pretty well.

Unfortunately you cannot specify border width in percentage values, only in pixels, ems, and so on.

So now what? Percentage values is how you get fluid columns. Javascript is certainly an option. I’ve been veering back into using Javascript for some purposes, but I’d like to use it as sparingly as possible.

I could use images, but….

Maybe it’s time to create a new breed of layout where I’m not after an image-less layout.

Any thoughts?

Breaking Standards

I do plan on continuing my “series” of… well.. whatever it is I’m posting about. But there’s stuff going on that’s keeping me busy. Part of it is real-world job stuff. Part of it is being a Red Sox and Patriots fan and part of it is that I’m looking at moving this site to a new server.

I’m also re-thinking my whole approach to using XHTML. In the past I had ignored the simple requirement of XHTML, which is that XHTML documents should not be sent under the text/html mime-type. I felt it was worth ignoring that bit because I wanted to focus on the future of HTML document structure while keeping backwards compatible with older web browsers. XHTML 1.0 transitional allows this, but I’ve been mucking around with XHTML 1.0 strict and XHTML 1.1 for a while now, and both do not want the text/html mime-type.

Now ignoring the mime-type issue hasn’t been a problem before, why bother caring about it now?

Simple answer being how can I push one standard (CSS) while breaking another?

Of course I break CSS intentionally for the sake of compatibility with IE via various comment hacks and proprietary CSS attributes. So if I’m willing to break CSS standards, then it should be okay to break XHTML as well?

It’s a screwy, grey area.

I break CSS because I need to for the sake of users. However I don’t have to break the XHTML standard for the sake of user experience. And perhaps that small but important distinction is why I’m thinking I need to put more focus on my choice of (x)html flavor.

Anyone care to share their own thoughts on this?