Ruthsarian Menus and Skidoo Redux Updates

Michael sent me an e-mail earlier this week with an interesting bug he’d found with the Skidoo Redux layout. Using IE7, if you drill down to the second level of a menu, click on an item that has a sub menu (we’re three menus deep at this point), but rather than complete the click, drag the cursor out of the menu entirely, then release the button, then go back into the menu, you’ll see the item you clicked and dragged from still in its :active state. Furthermore you’ll find a big white box covering the area where the third level menu should be.

That the item is left :active is simply how IE operates. IE doesn’t seem to remove an element’s active state until something else is clicked on (taking on its :active state).

But the white box is a bug. My guess is that it’s related to hasLayout. I’m guessing the third-level menu isn’t properly told to “undraw” itself and so some elements are left drawn on the screen. By applying min-width: 0 to the immediate child of an active LI element seems to force IE into correctly telling the menu to completely undraw itself when its parent is no longer in its :hover state.

rMenu.css has been updated with this workaround and anyone who is using Ruthsarian Menus should grab this file and replace their old copy with this new one.

While debugging this I also discovered Skidoo Redux was susceptible to the active scaling bug I wrote about a few months back. So I’ve updated the skidoo_redux.css file with the approperiate fixes and I cleaned up the CSS a little bit more as well as moved the overlap hack needed by older gecko-based browsers into its own section under HACKS in the CSS. If you’re using Skidoo Redux I suggest you grab the latest copy of skidoo_redux.css and apply it to your site.


Here’s a link to bookmark.

The web site is called COLORlovers and they offer up a lot of things to do with color including color palettes. So if you’re like me and are horrible at selecting colors, this web site is an amazing tool to help you find great color palettes for your projects.

Comic Cameo

If you’ve purchased (or will soon be purchasing) a copy of Gargoyles: Bad Guys #4 you will find within its pages a panel that contains a close-up crowd shot of people celebrating New Years in Times Square. And within this panel, towards the left side, you’ll see a young man with glasses and a beard on the receiving end of a noogie.

That is me. It is my very first appearance in a comic book. Very cool. I’d put up a scan of the page, but I’m too lazy and, besides, you should go out and buy it yourself, it’s a good book.

Unfortunately not good enough.

The license for the Gargoyles comics was up for renewal and Disney increased the fees on the license to a point that the comic’s publisher, SLG, could no longer afford it. As a result both Gargoyles and Gargoyles: Bad Guys have been canceled.

This means Bad Guys will end with #4 and Gargoyles will probably end with issue #9.

However, Bad Guys #5 & #6 are going to be produced, as are Gargoyles #10 – #12. They will be part of a trade paperback that’s to be released, as part of the old license, later this year.

Very nice, but bitter-sweet.

Series co-creator and writer of the books, Greg Weisman, says that he’s more determined now than ever before to continue the series. There’s talk that SLG president Dan Vado will go back to Disney next year with a plan to do Gargoyles graphic novels.

Who knows what the future holds.


It appears Google’s EULA included with Chrome has a section in which it states that Google gets a royalty-free license on anything you submit using Chrome. You can get all the gritty details here.

So what’s a fan of Chrome to do? Well, Chrome is actually just Google’s branded version of their open source project called Chromium. And Chromium falls under the BSD license.

So, all one need do is go here and download the latest Chromium build and install it. Presto! You now have a BSD licensed version of what is essentially Chrome, but without the really ugly EULA.

And when you uninstall Chrome (if you’ve installed it), it will ask you why you’re removing it. Be sure to tell them it’s because of the EULA.

Embed Image Data?

It’s new to me?

So how long have you been able to embed images using the data: URL scheme in web browsers?

Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, IE8… who else can do this? DAMMIT! How’d I miss this one? I mean, how cool is this:

Granted it’s not the most efficient means to deliver images and other data, but it’s an interesting tool to play with.

Ah, it’s been around, according to this RFC, since 1998. Sheesh. I can’t believe I haven’t used this before.

Google Chrome

Right on the heels of Microsoft’s release of IE8 Beta 2 comes Google’s introduction into the browser market Google Chrome.

I’ve only had an hour or so to play with it and thought I’d share my first impressions.

The first thing I looked at was the engine. Is it new or is it based off something we’re already familiar with? Luckily, it’s based off an existing engine, basically it’s an Apple-tweaked version of KHTML, in other words it’s a lean, mean version of Safari.

So it should be good on standards compliance.

The UI is minimalistic. The address bar also serves as the search bar and has features similar to the “awesome bar” in Firefox in that it’ll show you bookmarks and pages in your history as you type in a name or URL.

One thing I don’t like is that it assumes I want to search Google when I type into the address/search bar. I prefer it assume I’m typing a URL in first.

One feature I found by accident is the ability to resize text boxes on the fly. I’m not sure how I feel about that. As a user I like the ability to change the size to fit my needs, but as a developer I don’t want people going in and playing with my layout.

Tabs across the top of the window instead of below the address bar. A space saver when you go full-screen, although the visual feel of it takes a little getting used to.

Not a lot of granularity in the settings. I like the finer security controls Firefox gives me.

Google Chrome has two windows. By default it opens the regular browser window, but you can also open up the “incognito” window, which is just another browser window which run with very strict privacy rules (doesn’t save history, cookies, etc).

Each tab runs inside its own sandbox. This means if the content of a given web page triggers a crash, only the tab crashes, not the whole browser. This comes at the cost of increased memory and CPU usage, however I really like this feature. I haven’t had many browsers crash on me in the last couple years, but that one time it does you inevitably loose some very significant and NOT SAVED things in the process. It’s a nice security blanket.

The all-new Javascript engine is certainly fast. Google Mail is especially faster than a similar experience in both Firefox and IE8, but of course it better be since it’s a Google web app inside a Google web browser.

I think, ultimately, Chrome will prove to not be for everyone. I think the subtle UI changes will confound the less technical users. I think Chrome plays to the Opera/Firefox crowd more than the IE crowd, but perhaps the brand name will get Chrome into areas Firefox and Opera have so far been unable to penetrate.

The important thing here is the current state of the browser market. We’ve got several GOOD browsers that are all very good (not great, but good) at standards compliance. This can only help us in the long run. It means the user experience you are trying to create WILL be exactly what’s experienced by the vast majority of users. It means we’re not far from being freed of the hassle that is hacking CSS to support IE6.

It’s a better time to be a web developer then it was a couple years ago.