Monday, 3 November 2003

Geeking out

Non-technical readers please look away now.



OK, those still with me, prepare for some self-indulgent geekery and a small drum roll - compared to Friday, this website is now totally different. I'll admit it's not different in any visible way unless you're someone who uses a text browser or takes great pleasure in viewing the page source, but nevertheless I spent most of my weekend on a redesign and I'm rather pleased with the result.



I've had a nagging feeling I should be doing something with CSS after reading people's bletherings on various blogs, but I never really understood what they were talking about and dismissed it as handwaving by standards-obsessed arty designer types. Then I found this excellent presentation and, with a bit of work-avoidance surfing, realised that CSS was probably fairly straightforward.



Like a work related version of the Fire Triangle I remember from GCSE Chemistry, the perfect alignment of motivation, time and the spark of inspiration came together this weekend to migrate everything to CSS and rid my site of the horrendous crossword puzzle of nested tables and <div> tags it had become.



Now everything you can see is CSS driven (go on, view the source, it's a thing of <p> and <h1> tag beauty) and I only use tables for image alignment in my walking pages. There are still a couple of minor issues, but I've tested in IE, Opera and Firebird and everything looks alright - IE's ridiculous inability to centre tables properly notwithstanding. I also took the opportunity to simultaneously migrate most pages to PHP so that I can unleash more functionality which in turn has let me reduce my dependency on Blogger for page generation so that I can migrate to Movable Type or similar if or when the fancy takes me.



I know it's all a bit pointless really, I don't have a wide enough audience to worry about text-browsers or full standards compliance, but I feel...virtuous. Yes, virtuous.



If I'm being far too smug too soon and this page doesn't render properly in your browser, please let me know.



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