Simon Willison’s Weblog


Monday, 18th August 2003

Firebird sidebars coming soon

Mozillazine are carrying a preview of the next release of the excellent Firebird browser, with the most exciting new feature being the new support for Mozilla style sidebars (previously known as web panels). I’m looking forward to being able to browse with my powered blogroll in a side panel again.

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3 column CSS layouts: Easier than you might think

In a recent issue of the Sitepoint Tech Times newsletter, Kevin Yank explains (in detail, with pictures) the recurring problem in CSS of trying to create a three column layout with columns of equal height and a footer spanning all three. If you don’t yet understand the problem, you will once you’ve read his article. Kevin suggests a javascript fix for the problem, but fails to mention that by using floats instead of absolutely positioned divs for the side columns a three column layout with a full width footer can be achieved without resorting to javascript. Pixy’s 3 columns, no hacks demonstrates this technique in action. In addition, the CSS-Discuss Wiki has a comprehensive list of 3 column layouts that demonstrate a number of other techniques for solving the same problem.

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Atom API

Mark Pilgrim has posted an extensively documented demonstration of the current draft of the Atom API, a REST style web service interface for posting to and editing weblogs. It looks like it will be a fun standard to implement; the basic idea (as with all REST services) is to obtain as much leverage as possible out of the HTTP standard, using lesser known methods such as PUT and DELETE in addition to the more common GET and POST. The authentication mechanism is particularly interesting: since Apache’s support for digest authentication requires an additional module that many hosts may not provide, the Atom guys have created their own based around new Atom-Authenticate HTTP headers.

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2003 » August