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Carl Camera

Blueprint CSS Template for Expression Design

In preparing for my own design work, I created an Expression Design template for myself based on the Blueprint CSS framework.

There are utilities to customize the Blueprint grid to any number of columns of any width, but I started with the default 24-column grid and created a starting template for my latest project.

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CSS Specificity for Poker Players

Some folks getting on board with CSS tend to get stuck on CSS specificity. The descriptions of which rules override other rules tend to make more sense to programmers than designers, since programmers are used to the concepts of inheritance and overriding properties.

If you're not from the programming world and CSS seems a bit confusing, perhaps this analogy may help clear some concepts up. Think of CSS rules as poker hands. The best hand determines an element's style.

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CSS Photo Shuffler

For a while now, I've been looking for a Flash application that would perform the ubiquitous photo slideshow that I see on so many of the sites featured at Godbit.

Then I came across Richard Rutter's CSS Image Fades page last week. Cool, I thought. If I can fade from an image to a background, why stop there? Once a background image is fully visible, I could move it to the image tag, set its opacity to 100 percent, then slide a different image underneath it.

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Enemies of Valid Strict XHTML: Part 3

In the first two installments of this three-part series, I set the goal of producing valid Strict XHTML, then discussed the problems and pitfalls that lead to non-validating websites. I explained that a content repository containing non-valid XHTML is the cause of most non-validating sites. I called out two pathways that allowed non-validating XHTML to enter the repository as the first two enemies of non-validating Strict XHTML.

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Enemies of Valid Strict XHTML: Part 2

In the first part of this three-part series, I outlined the scope of the series. It begins with the goal of valid Strict XHTML and states that the reason so many sites don't produce valid Strict XHTML is because their content repositories are contaminated with non-validating content, generated primarily by end users and content producers.

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Enemies of Valid Strict XHTML: Part 1

Microsoft of late seems to be catching the XHTML validity bug. The marketing buzz surrounding its latest online publishing title, Expression Web, spouts XHTML validity nearly every other sentence. Visual Studio 2005 as well touts XHTML validity as a goal and feature. That's a great start, but neither product is a silver bullet to creating valid Strict XHTML sites. What pitfalls are there that we need to watch out for? What are the enemies of XHTML valid sites?

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Making Exceptions Exceptional

Okay, I'm guilty of some poor programming practices on occasion. Specifically and recently, I used exception processing as a means of input validation. I used the System.Convert.ToInt32(string) method to validate whether an input was numeric or not.

But there goes Scott again, bringing to light my less than stellar habits. So I'll throw this open to the four or five of you listening. Help me create an improved IsInt32() method.

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Using Meta Refresh for CSS Tuning

I was working on some CSS adjustments at work about a week ago -- in the normal setup: three different browsers open and my text editor squished at the bottom of the screen. One of my coworkers watched as I made CSS adjustments in my text editor, and noticed that my changes were appearing in all three browsers without any intervention on my part.

His first reaction was surprise. Then he realized what I had done. I had temporarily added a meta tag in the xhtml source document, which caused the browsers to refresh themselves automatically. He had never seen this technique used for CSS coding before.

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CSS Flyouts

I've made a minor redesign change to my company site, switching it over from hand-coded ASP to Vine Type. Part of why I didn't do this earlier is that I had flyout navigation in place.

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Now with the release of Vine Type 0.98, I can use the $_nav_map template variable where my navigation goes, then employed nickrigby-style css flyout technique (with some Eric Meyer thrown in ) to create the flyout menu. As I add pages, the flyout expands automatically.

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PngFix Squished My Png

Pngfix.htc seems to be squishing my png images. It's quite obvious when reloading sometimes because the png will show in its correct size, then shrink (I assume) as the behavior code is loaded and invoked.

What's pngfix.htc?

It's a script that is called from a CSS file that allows support for PNG alpha transparency in IE5.5 and IE6. I don't invoke any transparency on this site (currently) but the script is a standard feature of every (will be a standard feature of every) Vine Type website.

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IE Mouseover Problem

I ran across an anomaly with Internet Explorer the other day. I had hooked a mouseover event for a DIV and found that it wasn't being fired in IE as it should.

I narrowed down the HTML and isolated the problem. It occurs in the bottom margin and padding area only -- and only when no width is specified, or if width is defined as auto.

Example Web Pages

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Milan Negovan

Milan's website desires to "promote both ASP.NET and web standards." That's just about sums up my core interests as well. I came across this site less than a week ago, but I can tell that this is one worth watching.

I enjoy this site because Milan's mix of design and development are right in alignment with my own. I enjoy his articles and the tools he shares. The writing style is informative and substantive.

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