CSS for layout

… and why you should use it. Separating content from structure and style is a common theory, widely accepted to those of us either using or investigating single source solutions for our documentation. The same theory has been applied to web development and offers similar benefits. CSS-based web design developed in parallel with the growing movement towards (and promotion of) the use of standards on the web. The web standards movement was a direct response to the increasing problems faced by web designers as they struggled to keep pace with the bespoke features introduced by the browser software of the day. Advocating support for the W3 maintained standards around, initially, HTML it soon found a band of supporters who were …

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On New

I’d forgotten how odd it was to be the ‘new guy’, how much information we all take for granted, and how much we presume others know. As such, I’m trying to keep a note of things that I wanted/needed to know, and also to try and embellish what exists in the hope that other new starts will benefit. One idea I’ve had, and this is certainly pertinent in a software development office, is to create a floor plan. Nothing radical I know, but by adding an extra layer of information I think it could be very handy. We have an intranet which has a page of photos, one for each person. That’s fine if you want to email them, but …

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How to make a cup of tea

Further to my Too Simple post, and in response to the comment from Annie about the state of software manuals, I thought I’d try and give a bit of insight into the basic workings of my profession. Yes, that’s right I DO have a day job. I am a technical author and I write software documentation (actually I don’t like the “technical author” job title but that’s a different story). Before I begin I’ll state that I’m not the most experienced technical author (there are people who have been doing this for 40 years), I’ve only ever worked in a software environment, and as in most professions there are a number of different methodologies and working practises which I can …

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Firefox Extensions Revisited

Been a while since I waffled on about Firefox, but with 2.0 in Alpha (no I’ve not tried it yet, and I’d suggest you leave it well alone too) I thought it might be a good time to look at the current extensions I’m using. I’ve tried many different extensions but have pared things down to what I actually USE, rather than things that might “just be useful” now and again. Whilst it’s popularity is probably assured, Firefox is getting a little more heat from the competition these days, namely with the stream of news pouring from Redmond (Microsoft) about the version 7 of Internet Explorer. It looks like we’ll be back to some good old fashioned browser wars soon. …

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Careful

Just got my first “phishing” email which alleges to have come from PayPal. It doesn’t. The subject line reads: Your account will be suspended! It reads: Dear Paypal User, In accordance with our major database relocation, we are currently having major adjustments and updates of user accounts to verify that the informations you have provided with us during the sign-up process are true and correct. However, we have noticed some discrepancies regarding your account at Paypal. Possible causes are inaccurate contact information and invalid logout process. We require you to complete an account verification procedure as part of our security measure. It then asks you to click a link which, I can assure you, has nothing to do with Paypal. …

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Constantly Diverse

Prompted by this discussion about typography on the web and having been working through the archives here (still to finish) I’ve come to a ground breaking, earth shattering conclusion. No, seriously… If you are interested in my take on web design issues, read on. If not… er… come back later (but DO come back!).

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PoshPaws

Right, I’m pretty sure one of you clever types will be able to point me in the direction of a solution, preferably PHP or Javascript based. What I’m trying to do is treat an image, and an associated block of HTML (text) as one block. I’d like to be able to swap blocks depending on a mouse click on a navigation link. Clear as mud? Maybe a visual aid is needed: The orange and yellow bits are the “block”, and the “block” should change when I click one of the links. Sounds simple enough, right? Well I’ve been at this since 10pm to no avail. I’ve had enough. I’m off to bed. When I check back tomorrow night there had …

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Sassafrassin Rassafrasser!

This is driving me nuts. It may be an issue with my WordPress installation, or my CSS, an example of the problem can, currently, be seen two posts down. If I add a blockquote in WordPress, it adds [blockquote] around the area of text. All well and good. But if the quote has more than one paragraph, it adds a [p] tag within the blockquote, but only for the SECOND paragraph causing the blockquote to get all huffy (technical term). Currently the CSS for the blockquote looks like this: #content-float blockquote { color: #663399; padding: 8px; background: #F6FBF7 border: 1px dotted #CC99FF; font-style: italic; font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; } The [p] tag within the blockquote won’t inherit from it as …

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Transference

A while back (a long while back) when I first discovered tabbed browsing, I moaned that it was affecting the way I used my PC. I have my tabs setup to close when I click on the scroll wheel of my mouse, unfortunately you can’t do the same for applications displayed in Windows taskbar. Anyway I’ve just noticed another ‘mode of operation’ that I’ve adopted from Firefox into my general PC usage. When I’m using Firefox I usually have at least three or four tabs open at any one time. If I spot something interesting that I don’t have time to look at I’ll open a new tab for it and leave it there until I’m done with it. This …

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Gladly? Why!

I mentioned a while back that I’d been invited to become a moderator on the Haloscan forum. I’m pretty comfortable with HTML, CSS, Javascript and the way the commenting system works, so I thought it would be a good chance to ‘give back’. But I forgot that people are morons. No not everyone, and I guess, really, they aren’t morons … let me start over. I’m not a patient kind of guy. In my line of work the only person I really need to explain things to is me or my team. Now as I hired everyone in my team (yeah yeah it’s a team of one at the moment, but it did get all the way up to 5 …

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