CSS Articles

Web design ‘pre-flight’ checklist

By John Faulds

Over the years of being a freelance web designer, I've been developing my own processes for the business of designing websites. One of those processes has been compiling a list of tasks that need to be completed before launching a website, whether it be a new site or a redesign. This list is kept in a spreadsheet which I work through, ticking off each item after the client has given final sign off for the site to go live. I view it as my final quality control procedure and I usually find that the process will highlight a few of the 'little things' that I might have overlooked in general development. Usually nothing too major; more a case of 'dotting all the Is and crossing all the Ts'.

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The @font-face snowball

By John Faulds

Håkon Wium Lie's article, CSS @ Ten: The Next Big Thing on A List Apart in August 2007 may have got the (snow)ball rolling, but it seems that it was the announcement of Typekit on May 27 this year which has prompted an avalanche of interest in web fonts. Or maybe I've just woken up to the issue since then and been taking more notice. But I seem to be adding a lot of font and type-related bookmarks lately and thought it would be worth sharing some of them.

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Animated navigation items using jQuery

By John Faulds

Dave Shea recently published an article on A List Apart (ALA), CSS Sprites2 – It's JavaScript Time', about how to use jQuery to create the effect of animated rollovers on navigation items.

The technique he outlines makes use of the same image replacement method as outlined in ALA's original Sprites article. The problem with this method however is that it uses a large negative text-indent to remove the default text from screen, and with images turned off in the browser, you don't see anything. This has accessibility implications not only from the perspective of those with disabilities, but also for those who deliberately turn images off, i.e. people on slower connections or those using handheld devices who are trying to limit the amount of information downloaded to their phone.

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What it’s like to run a web design gallery

By John Faulds

Having compiled the list, done the numbers and dealt with the facts, I thought for the follow-up article to the The Ultimate Web Design Gallery Resource that I'd get some opinions from not only some of the people who run the web design galleries in the list about what it's like to run one of these sites, but also some search engine optimisation (SEO) professionals about the perceived value of having your site included on one (or many).

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Rescinding the reset

By John Faulds

For a while now I've been using some sort of 'reset' for my stylesheets. At first it was the global reset which involves zeroing out padding and margins on all elements by with the universal selector, e.g., * { margin: 0; padding: 0 }. Later I read about the problems this can cause for form elements and so have been using Eric Meyer's Reset CSS.

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Legends of Style Revised

By John Faulds

When I wrote the original article on how to achieve cross-browser consistency when styling form legends, I noted that there was a bug in the way Firefox handled legends which required an additional div to be wrapped around the fieldset with positioning and other styling applied to the div rather than the fieldset. The bug appears to still have not been resolved, but as Thierry Koblenz pointed out in the comments on the original article, there is a way to achieve the same effect across browsers that doesn't require the additional div.

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HTML/CSS newbie FAQs

By John Faulds

After spending a while on web development forums, you start to see the same questions being asked regularly. So here I'm going to answer some of these common beginner questions and hopefully save me typing answers out repeatedly in the future because I can just refer the poster to here or copy it myself. ;)

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Wasting the inheritance

By John Faulds

No I'm not going to talk about Paris Hilton (although she may not have so much to waste anymore now her grandfather has decided to give $US2.3 billion to charity ;)), what I want to talk about today is something that I've seen cropping up quite a lot on my travels through sites and code (usually via requests for help on forums) and that is a lack of understanding about CSS inheritance.

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HTML image no preload rollovers

By John Faulds

Recognise this? Chances are you do. Even if you don’t own a copy of Dreamweaver, it’s likely you would have come across the code it outputs for creating image rollovers in your travels looking at the code of other sites.

<script type="text/javascript">
<!--
function MM_swapImgRestore() { //v3.0
  var i,x,a=document.MM_sr; for(i=0;a&&i<a.length&&(x=a[ i])&&x.oSrc;i++) x.src=x.oSrc;
}
function MM_preloadImages() { //v3.0
  var d=document; if(d.images){ if(!d.MM_p) d.MM_p=new Array();
    var i,j=d.MM_p.length,a=MM_preloadImages.arguments; for(i=0; i<a.length; i++)
    if (a[ i].indexOf("#")!=0){ d.MM_p[j]=new Image; d.MM_p[j++].src=a[ i];}}
}

function MM_findObj(n, d) { //v4.01
  var p,i,x;  if(!d) d=document; if((p=n.indexOf("?"))>0&&parent.frames.length) {
    d=parent.frames[n.substring(p+1)].document; n=n.substring(0,p);}
  if(!(x=d[n])&&d.all) x=d.all[n]; for (i=0;!x&&i<d.forms.length;i++) x=d.forms[ i][n];
  for(i=0;!x&&d.layers&&i<d.layers.length;i++) x=MM_findObj(n,d.layers[ i].document);
  if(!x && d.getElementById) x=d.getElementById(n); return x;
}

function MM_swapImage() { //v3.0
  var i,j=0,x,a=MM_swapImage.arguments; document.MM_sr=new Array; for(i=0;i<(a.length-2);i+=3)
   if ((x=MM_findObj(a[ i]))!=null){document.MM_sr[j++]=x; if(!x.oSrc) x.oSrc=x.src; x.src=a[i+2];}
}
//-->
</script>
<a href="#" onMouseOut="MM_swapImgRestore()" onMouseOver="MM_swapImage('example','','/images/example_company_on.png',1)">
<img src="/images/example_company_off.png" alt="Example company" name="example" width="326" height="167"></a>

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New article on Search-This

By John Faulds

I've just written an article on a technique which can be used with column layouts which has been published on Search-This: Two Column Layout With A Twist.

I've been a subscriber to the site for a while (a lot of its contributors and readers also frequent Sitepoint) and a regular commenter, but this is my first published article. Search-This also publishes a range of articles dealing with the spectrum of web development topics, so it's worth checking out.