Simon Willison’s Weblog


Wednesday, 6th November 2002

Girlfriend as a case study

I’ve been helping my girlfriend recreate her site using CSS and structural markup. She’s new to web design and has been taking to CSS like a duck to water—as a veteran of Microsoft Word globally defined styles come to her naturally and she took very little time to cotton on to the importance of seperating presentation from content. I’ve shown her tables as well but she isn’t really interested as she sees CSS as a much better solution for general presentation. I’m hoping to help run an HTML/XHTML/CSS training course at the University early next year with a heavy emphasis on structural markup, standards compliance and accessibility so it’s great to have a guinea pig to play with :)

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Asilomar Institute

The Asilomar Institute for Information Architecture—very promising organisation, great site but I have to admit I’m not too keen on the name (though I’m sure it will grow on me). The highlight of the site for me has to be the 25 Theses, which provide an excellent condensed description of what IA is and why it is necessary. The site lead me to make my first impulse buy in quite a while, so with a bit of luck from Amazon Christina Wodtke’s Information Architecture: Blueprints for the Web should be with me in the morning.

Funky new use for CSS backgrounds

Jeffrey Zeldman points to the newly redesigned v-2 Organisation site, which features a clever technique whereby a large background image is displayed “widescreen” style with different amounts of the photo visible depending on the resolution / width of your browser. Try doing that with standard tables ;) The (unaltered) colours in the photograph cleverly match the colours of the site itself.

Hide Mozilla Flash ads

Michel: How to hide Flash banner ads in Mozilla using a few lines of CSS added to the userContent.css file. A great example of CSS2 selectors at work.

CMS roundup

It seems CMS news is like buses—nothing for weeks, then three items come along at once. Jeremy Zawodny has been very impressed by Bricolage, an Open Source CMS built on mod_perl, the HTML::Mason template system and PostgreSQL. Meanwhile, Scott Andrew has been praising liveSTORYBOARD on the WaSP site. liveSTORYBOARD is a hosted solution which promises ease of use through a web based interface and fully standards compliant output (hence the plug on WaSP). Finally, Think Secret have broken the news that Macromedia are soon to announce Contribute, a new CMS built on top of their popular Dreamweaver WYSIWYG editor (via webgraphics).

IA has arrived

Christina Wodtke: Information Architecture has arrived:

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2002 » November