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Today I spent the afternoon learning about the wonders of CSS, and then starting to apply them. Only the 'general' section of the website has been revamped so far, but before I go any futher I thought I'd ask for comments and suggestions. Does it look good? Bad? Ugly?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Looks good - I dunno what you're aiming for asthetically but it seems to be good and solid.

Could of comments on the CSS - you can do (and since I don't know the HTML code for the HTML to not appear to LJ as HTML itself, I'll use [ ]) [p class="specifiedtext"]Paragraph goes here[/p] with CSS to easily set up different fonts and sizes within a page.

My technical analysis ends with that, but this is one I did a while back - some of it might be dodgyish code but it pretty much covers the normal set of CSS commands you might want.

Other than that, it's pretty good. Although you seem to be missing a vast number of _Angel_ reviews...
you seem to be missing a vast number of _Angel_ reviews...

I'm two episodes behind. Two!
Behind _what_ exactly?

Past standards would have put you 6 weeks ahead of _Sky_ at the moment.

SIX AHEAD

You're now TWO BEHIND.

The maths is not of a brassy standard, but you can still easily grasp it I'm sure :)
Niall Harrison OUSFG Mutant Enemy Buffy Angel Firefly Short Reviews Angel The Short Reviews Coalescent Livejournal Journal Niall's Page Niall's Webpage umta


Perhaps you should also learn about the wonders of meta tags, too, in particular <meta name="keywords">. Or, if you don't believe that google reads keywords, at least put them somewhere out of sight. Or even, audaciously, rely on your site's content actually being relevant to these topics?

And a counter? Please! If you're really that insecure, what's wrong with the webserver logs? They're much more accurate, anyway.

Oh, and are you going to get rid of those offensively narrow columns you had on some of your pages?

In general, though, excellent work in moving to CSS. It's got that delicious separation of form and content (or, in your case, lack of genuine content - sorry, i'm contractually obliged to say that) which makes pedants happy, and moreover, makes it much easier to override your ghastly graphic design choices. It will still work without CSS, right [1]?

-- Tom
(like that wasn't obvious!)

[1] You should at least look into the possibility of making the CSS-free version say "Fuck Off Tom" in illuminated letters forty feet high.
meta tags

I knew there had to be a more elegant solution. I'll look into it.

Or even, audaciously, rely on your site's content actually being relevant to these topics?

It is, fool! Those words list (a) me and (b) the only thing by me that people might conceivably want to find. You'll notice I'm not trying to pimp myself as a biochemistry or SF resource.

Plus, they only list words that were on the old version.

Oh, and are you going to get rid of those offensively narrow columns you had on some of your pages?

It's a possibility.

It will still work without CSS, right?

Looks like it to me. Of course, if you find any problems, I'm sure you'll shout.

And yeah, the CSS itself needs neatening up some. I'm aware of that.
Those words list (a) me and (b) the only thing by me that people might conceivably want to find.


If you've got the content, you don't need the keywords. The magic of google ensures that having relevant content gets you into the i ndex.

Although its idea of who the sarcastic Tom Anderson (http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=sarcastic+%22Tom+Anderson%22) is
pretty wrong (http://www.bectv.org/YRU-Up/cast.html#mot). Although, of course, i do enjoy burning your house down.
µ
Carrying on the theme of trying new approaches to style, let's see what that would have looked like in a style other than 'sarcastic arsehole'.

Having those keywords in plain sight is a bit messy;p erhaps you should put them in a <meta keywords> element in the header, instead? Alternatively, keep them in the body, but make them invisible somehow? Do you even need them? Won't the masses of fine content you have clue the search engines in to your site anyway?

Also, i note you h ave a counter; you'll get more accurate and less intrusive stats by looking at Urchin's webserver logs. Also, counters are often considered rather gauche.

Since you're going to be reviewing your layout decisions anyway, i'll take this opportunity to point out that the use of very narrow single columns of text is rather questionable.

In general, though, excellent work in moving to CSS!

-- Tom
.
Nah. Way too anodyne.

-- t
"Also, i note you h ave a counter; you'll get more accurate and less intrusive stats by looking at Urchin's webserver logs."

And if you ask nicely I might even get around to setting up analog for user pages :)

Dom (http://dom.magd.ox.ac.uk/diary.shtml).
Not a bad start, but once you've got the hang of it, go for tableless! CSS magic for everything! Oh, yeah, and your meta tags both have missing close quotes on.
go for tableless!

Um, how? I was under the impression that CSS is a way of specifying styles for various structural elements, not a way of superseding those elements.

meta tags both have missing close quotes on.

Whoops. Now fixed.
That's only the basic level. The fundamental idea is that your HTML tags should define the the content of your document - so on my main page for example I might have

<html>
<head>
 <title>Jo</title>
 <style type="text/css">
  @include "/includes/style.css";
 </style>
</head>
<body>
 <div class="maintext">
  <p>main text of page</p>
 </div>
 <div class="sidebar">
  <p>menu</p>
 </div>
 <div class="sidebar">
  <p>other side stuff</p>
 </div>
</body>
</html>

Then all the layout and structure is controlled by using CSS positioning and style elements (like borders or floats). The main advantage of this is that if I want to change my layout so that my sidebars are on the left instead of on the right, I can do that really easily by changing one page (my stylesheet) rather than all the pages on my site. It also degrades nicely in text-only browsers (note that the actualy content comes first). It's also much easier to maintain than many complex table layouts which achieve borders and so on via nesting (have a look at the code for the LJ punquin with sidebar - it's almost incomprehensible!). When you look at the code for my page, it's easy to see what sort of content goes where. Basically, tables should be used for presenting tabular data, not for layout purposes. A list apart has a classic article about pursuing designs which separate structure (CSS) and content (HTML) and why it's a good thing.

Oops! It's sad, isn't it - I'm passionate about web design!.
CSS positioning and style elements (like borders or floats)

I have much to learn, it seems, since I know not of these 'floats' of which you speak. :)

if I want to change my layout so that my sidebars are on the left instead of on the right, I can do that really easily by changing one page (my stylesheet) rather than all the pages on my site

See, now that would be a good thing. I've been not entirely satisfied with my site for a while now, but not gotten around to doing anything because (despite what Tom would have you believe) I've actually got a dauntingly large number of pages of content to change.

Plus, all the HTML is really clunky. It took me as long as it did to change as little as I did because I was neatening up big chunks as I went.

I'll have a read of the article later, when I'm not meant to be working...
My site's full of them. Examine the HTML code to get the idea of how to create CSS layering effects for absolute positioning. Once you get the hang of it, it's so much better than tables.