:Archive Of October 2001:

Monday, October 29, 2001 - 12:55 PM -

Thinking ahead. Nicolas Negroponte on the BBC. The topic is supposedly 3G, but it's really the web. "If you are not making content for Barbie dolls today, you should start real soon. " -- if that's not a discussion starter, I don't know what is.

- 7:45 AM -

Tim Breners-Lee on Microsoft's latest closing of the web. Probably this will be linked everywhere. Considering the stakes, it's too risky to assume that so here's my link to it. Just about every paragraph is quotable.

Sunday, October 28, 2001 - 9:22 PM -

Two paragraphs by Brian Eno. He's talking about film. I'm thinking about the web.

Wednesday, October 24, 2001 - 7:40 AM -

Trouble in the hen house. This page of my box lesson fails in IE 5.5. It didn't fail before probably because I was using SP1 or 2. It can be fixed. The old box lesson uses a similar structure successfully. I'll have time to correct it on the weekend I hope.

What's disturbing is wondering what else is different among the 5.5's that's distinct from 5 and 6. Do we need five pc's to test our pages?

Friday, October 19, 2001 - 8:35 PM -

I miss k10k. They were the design caffeine in my surfing rounds, the banana peel in my thinking, the hand-painted tie with mustard on it. Some things end up being a balancepoint in your otherwise otherwise day. The k was one of those.

Thursday, October 17, 2001 - 4:54 PM -

Um. Just in case anyone was paying attention.. Last Sunday where I was talking about P margin and box margin in Opera? Actually it was box padding, and it's not quite like I described, but it's similar. I finally got around to checking it in approved lab conditions, and i'll assemble that and a few other joys in a sort of an expansion pack for box lesson.

Wednesday, October 17, 2001 - 1:48 PM -

Criminy. The US Government has bought all rights to all the pictures of Afghanistan and surrounding areas taken by the privately operated Ikonos high-resolution imaging satellite. Yes, I understand the necessity of secrecy in military operations, but I also understand the necessity of a democracy knowing what its military does. Here's what's wrong: the US Military already has the right to censor sat images during conflict. This is called shutter control. "Had it just used its legal powers of shutter control instead, the Pentagon might have been confronted by media companies - seeking potentially damaging scoops in the pictures - filing lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act." Buying it means they can keep the information out of the hands of the press now, and for the future. Watch out America, democracy requires information. It's being kept from you. Some of your battles are within. Please be vigilant.

I'd like to be wrong about this, but I just don't believe this is about lawsuits, I believe it's about access.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001 - 4:13 PM -

My head hurts. I had a more detailed look at the whole fixed bg image issue. Result is here.

Monday, October 15, 2001 - 11:22 PM -

cat and girl

- 2:17 PM -

Break time: Ken Yokogawa Architect. There's some really nice bits in there. Well worth a walk through. This is fun too.

- 11:59 AM -

Victor serves up the goods. Value-Complexity Matrix. "Throughout the project, especially if things are going off course, I can refer back to this and make sure the reality of how we're devoting our resources fits the plan."

Sunday, October 14, 2001 - 2:33 PM -

Much staring at screen and fruitless poking at code later,

Oh. Yeah. In Opera, if your P margin (top, bottom) exceeds your box margin (top, bottom), the box contents even the bg img and colour get squished by the difference, though the set box height displays correctly. This is particularly hard to figure out because Opera handles overflow (text, images) by letting it spill out of the box so you don't see the squish effect there.

You just see your bg img and bg colour not extending to the box limits, and falling short by a weird amount. Sheesh.

I think I'm going to have to cover the wall with whiteboard so I can keep track of all these idiot exceptions to the already complex CSS specs. It's getting to be too much to remember.

Saturday, October 13, 2001 - 3:21 PM -

Wow. Mike Hall at Brainjar has possibly the best explanation of CSS Positioning on the net. Wish I'd seen this months ago. Anyone know what benevolent foundation we can approach to pay him to explain the rest of the W3C specs? The value to the web could be incalculable.

Friday, October 12, 2001 - 11:06 PM -

Design Break: a large gallery of transistor radios, ads, and box art. Even their battery graphics.

Thursday, October 11, 2001 - 12:10 PM -

Nope. IE and N are entirely correct. Opera is ignoring background-attatchment. The exception mentioned has nothing to do with it. Poop, Opera, your browser is not compliant to CSS1. Again. I'll rewrite my note in Box Lesson to be more clear, but the general tact is correct.

From 5.3.5, "If a background image is specified, the value of 'background-attachment' determines if it is fixed with regard to the canvas or if it scrolls along with the content."

Opera's comment that "Positioning of background images is relative to the element box, not the window. This means that in Opera, an image placed with body{background-position: center center} will be roughly in the middle of a page, not in the middle of the window." is correct if you don't use background-attachement. But background-attatchment ties it to the window (canvas).

- 11:08 AM -

Er, wait. No.. I forgot about 5.3.5 in the spec, which is background-attatch, which is related to canvas.

Dang. Have to re-read and play with the code a bit before I correct myself fully on that one. Busy with something else at the moment. Will post the resultant egg on my face. It appears IE and N are entirely correct after all, and perhaps Opera just doesn't support -attatch, or is using the conformance exception note somehow. I'll look into it in a bit.

Wednesday, October 10, 2001 - 5:47 PM -

Does anyone know what's up with Opera Software? Mostly their browser is fantastic, and then you hit basic bugs and a stonewall from the company for getting them fixed. It's rather schizoid.

From their website, "Positioning of background images is relative to the element box, not the window. This means that in Opera, an image placed with body{background-position: center center} will be roughly in the middle of a page, not in the middle of the window."

They got that right, the spec does say element, not canvas. Explorer and Netscape have it wrong. But Opera's browser doesn't get it right either. A bottom bg img on a page longer than the canvas does get placed in the bottom of the page, but then scrolls as you do, relative to the top of your canvas, so you reach the bottom and never see the image.

And forget using 'center center' as they mention in their example. Opera 5.12 still displays this wrong as 'top center'. You have to use '50% 50%' or a single 'center'.

On the page where they detail what their browser does and doesn't support, they state "Opera 5 supports all of CSS1." and move on to CSS2. Which is a crock. Their implementation has many holes, and I gave them the bug reports from the Box Lesson back in March. I doubt I've been the only one to report CSS1 bugs, and some are so basic that I don't believe they didn't show up in internal testing. Why not admit it and work on the fix? Bugs happen. That's what bug reports are for.

I expect mixed signals comming from AOL and MS, but all Opera does is produce a browser, an exceptional browser, and overall has a really nice web presence. I can't figure out why this nonsense is happening with them.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001 - 9:25 PM -

Mmm. Toast.

Monday, October 8, 2001 - 12:58 PM -

Interesting. I finally got around to updating the Box Lesson. I had expected it would be a timesink dealing with IE6, but in fact all of the examples work fine with both it and N6.1. I was able to get away with just refining some code and rewriting a few items to be more clear.

Which leaves me wondering about unknown IE6 bugs. What else does it do other than the dancing link nonsense it inflicted on my blog? Has anyone put up a good site of IE6 exceptions yet?

Friday, October 5, 2001 - 11:34 PM -

My Goodness. The things they don't tell you in guidebooks... I'd been unaware of this perilous aspect of Rory's new-choosen country. I hope he doesn't take the danger sitting down.

- 1:19 PM -

You're all sentient beings. Make your own decisions. But if you've been putting off your personal letter to the W3C over their patent insanity, today would be the day to do it. Here's linkage to a bunch of reading. Posting on your webspace and in forums is important, but it's individual direct emails that count.

After the 11th, I think it's important to have the persons in the W3C who brought this forward identified, and then removed for the future security of what we use to talk to each other. That's my opinion. I can have one online because there are no patents on the media.

Thursday, October 4, 2001 - 8:30 PM -

Hm. This morning I woke to a large helicopter flying low enough to shake things. That was followed after a few minutes by a very loud, very low, fast jet. Little while later I heard a normal commercial floatplane take off from the harbour and decided things must not be too bad.

Nothing in the news. Cars in the street. People in the park. Normal day. Usual chitchat downtown. Everyone cheerful.

Tonight, right now, a very large helicopter has been circling the harbour slowly. For about an hour. Back and forth.

It's a quiet town. I've only woken to gunfire once.

Wednesday, October 3, 2001 - 7:47 PM -

!! Nooface, a computer interface news site. I've been hooked on interface design since I took my Coleco Tank game apart as a kid. Thank you, XBlog.

- 1:23 PM -

Do you use a Browser Upgrade Notice? There's a couple of things you might want to think about.

The stock method of linking to the WaSP's upgrade page has a slight glitch. N4 users are sniffed and sent to a special page. The only trouble with that is it takes really frantic back-clicking in N4 to return to your page. That's going to cause some distrust in the same folks we're trying to convince. Makes the whole thing feel like a banner ad deceit.

I've mentioned this to the WaSP and expect they'll do something about it, just not right now while they're busy fighting the more important W3C insanity.

Meanwhile, you might think about having your own explanatory upgrade page, especially for a commercial site. It'll preserve the sense of continuity for your viewer. You can save yourself the trouble of remembering to update it with each new browser release by linking your explanation to the WaSP page, and have that open in a new window to deal with the sniffer problem.

The other item is the use of text for your notice. The typical search engine, like Google, shows it as the sample in the search results. "You are using an out of date browser. This site will look better if you upgrade to a current ..." isn't very descriptive of your site. You can avoid this by using an image. I suggest keeping it plain so people don't ignore it as a banner ad. And don't supply an alt text. Use an alt to validate, but leave it empty. Lynx and audio browser users can't upgrade to CSS so don't care.

Rory, who thought of the img solution, has nice examples of both. Switch off CSS and have a look.

Tuesday, October 2, 2001 - 10:35 PM -

"css/edge is intended, first and foremost, to be as relentlessly creative with CSS as we have been practical all these years." In my demented view of the world, this is what I'd call a guitar solo. Go Eric!

Monday, October 1, 2001 - 11:47 AM -

"You may have to pay royalties to use web standards like CSS and XML if a proposed W3C Patent Policy goes into effect."

I am failing to find the words for my outrage.

>>full archive>>