Simon Willison’s Weblog


Monday, 17th June 2002

Mark replies

Mark mailed me in response to my query about limiting his accessibility series to weblogs rather than expanding it to cover general sites:

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Amazon with CSS

More CSS layout fun courtesy of Webdesign-L. This time Steve Clay has taken Anil Dash’s standards compliant Amazon and reworked it to use CSS for layout. Unfortunately it is likely to be a while before a major ecommerce site or portal decides to go with a CSS layout simply because of the continuing relevance of Netscape 4 users, but these examples demonstrate how close we are to being able to leave the era of nested table designs behind us.

Open source economics

Food for thought: Joel Spolsky on the economics of Open Source software. Joel starts by explaining the economic concept of complements—products that complement your product so that if their price goes down, demand for your product increases. He then goes on to demonstrate how this concept explains the decision of several large companies (including IBM, Sun and HP) to financially support open source software. As is usual for Joel on Software the article makes fascinating reading.

AllTheWeb claims, via Slashdot: Online search engine AlltheWeb claims bigger index than Google. I was under the impression that the 2,073,418,204 quoted on Google’s home page is no longer accurate (it hasn’t changed in months, and I know Google have been adding things to their index). I had a play with AllTheWeb and it turned up some decent results for my test queries, but it seems to load slightly slower than Google. Further discussion on this can be found over at WebmasterWorld, which is also home to the best Google discussion forum I’ve ever seen.

Day 6: Doctypes

Mark Pilgrim starts his series of weblog accessibility tips today with tutorial on adding a doctype to a blog.

Styling <hr>

Interesting thread today on css-discuss about styling <hr> elements. I had tried this before with no luck, but the thread provided some useful tips. Marek Prokop provided this tutorial, and Kevin W responded with these tips on styling <hr> in Opera. Michael Guitton suggested that setting width: 100%; could help fix problems with Netscape 6.

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Blog fixed

I’ve just finished rebuilding the main data file for this blog, after it became corrupted last night due to a “Disk Quota Exceeded” error. It looks like this was my fault—I inadvertantly filled up my disk space when I was playing around with libxml and PHP choked when it tried to save the latest update to my blog. Luckily no data was permanently lost as the archives are cached as flat files, which allowed me to rebuild the data file from scratch.

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Micah’s alternative Yahoo

Micah S Sittig on css-discuss has created an alternative version of the new Yahoo site design using CSS for layout instead of tables. The aim of the excercise was to demonstrate how much code can be saved by using CSS, and this has been achieved admirably with a 60% reduction in overall page size. The new version was developed for Mozilla 1.1 and looks great in that browser, but fails to render quite as well in IE. Still, as a demonstration of the file size benefits that come with CSS it works fantastically well. A full overview of the project alogn with file size statistics and implementation details is available here.

2002 » June