Arrogance & Ignorance

by cdwise 23. April 2010 04:35

I followed a link tweeted by Smashing Magazine today to be greeted with:

arrogance “You’re using old, unsafe and very slow browser, use Firefox/Chrome/Safari instead.”

Don’t you just love folks who spell out their biases so clearly?

Since IE 8 runs considerably faster than Firefox 3.x on my Windows 7 computer I don’t think the person really knows what he’s talking about. (Note I don’t know if the person behind that site is male or female so my “he” is used to include both.) Besides, I use a tablet PC and Firefox doesn’t properly register the system caret so I my input panel isn’t triggered for me to use things like forms on web pages. That’s also a problem for many assistive device users who would might want to use Firefox. So while it is on my computer and I use it regularly for testing and troubleshooting websites it isn’t my primary browser and cannot be until that issue is fixed. (Back in the early days there was an extensions that enabled pen use but the code has changed too much for the folks who created that extension to keep it functioning in FF 3.x.)

Apple has a history of creating pretty crappy software for Windows computers so Safari is only installed on my Mac. Besides it is the first browser to fall in hacking contests safari falls first and everything falls eventually in browser hacking competition

Not being a fan of Google’s privacy policies my company doesn’t allow Google apps and that includes Chrome on computers they pay for unless they are isolated in a virtual machine w/o access to material stored on the hard drive.

Ironically, the article goes on to say that the CSS 3 effect used won’t work in Firefox until 3.7 is released. So until then you need to use jQuery to get the effect in Firefox which is exactly the same way you get it to work in Internet Explorer.


Web Design

Daft to Say Static Sites are “Dying”

by cdwise 21. April 2010 04:36

I’ve got several Google Alerts set up and one that came in to day pointed to an opinion piece in PC Pro Magazine “Dreamweaver is Dying” from a current thread on a NetObject Fusion forum talking about how “static” sites are dead and “long live Drupal”. (Does anyone besides me find it ironic that this thread is on the web forum from a point and click WSYIWYG web editor support forum?)

I’ve seen similar posts in other places going back as much as 8 years ago with the only difference is the CMS proclaiming that static sites are dead in favor of PHPNuke instead of Drupal or Joomla or DotNetNuke. Yet, here we are with sales of Dreamweaver and Expression Web showing little signs of decline. The number of online site builders offered not only by services such as MySpace, Intuit (for business sites), Office Live,  but as part of hosting with your own domain for as little as $3 a month has expanded exponentially. That doesn’t even begin to count the number of low end entry level do it yourself web editors like  CoffeeCup, EZWebBuilder, Namo and yes, even NetObject Fusion and those are just the a few of the hundreds of Windows web editors. There are plenty for Macs starting with iWeb, Rapidweaver (good choice if you don’t have the budget for Dreamweaver) and at least a hundred others. Even Linux has WYSIWYG web editors like Kompozer, EditLive and Quanta.

When I read some of the posts from people who say that all websites “now” should be “dynamic” and “database” driven I can’t help but laugh because many sites don’t need the added layers of complexity that using a full rich backend adds. Take the AmeriVespa site I last blogged about. It uses Drupal. I know this only because I looked at the code yet I can see no reason other than possibly the registration page that benefits from using Drupal. Yet, the registration page submits the form to PayPal.

The site uses 15 base stylesheets and 1 IE conditional stylesheet (that breaks the site in IE 6+). The only rationale I can find for using Drupal is so that the event organizers can update pages but I can’t say I’ve noticed updates in the almost three months that I’ve been visiting the site.  There are only 5-6 pages that would need updating regarding the event and they could be easily handled by something much simpler to deal with like ContentSeed, InContext Unity or QuickChange without the need for back-end databases or a dozen stylesheets to control the look and feel.

The web is a very diverse place and many sites simply do not need the complexity of a full fledged, feature rich CMS system. For every site that needs the capabilities of a Drupal or Community Server there are probably at least a hundred that are a brochure site with minimal updates. Sites that need robust back-ends are those that have ecommerce with a variety of products, large sites that are frequently updated by multiple people, those who are active bloggers or have active forums/social networking going on. (I’m not including inserting your twitter or facebook feed on your site’s home page in this category either.)

Unless you believe that the brochure and small business sites and single event/activity sites are going to go away to say static sites are “dead” is just plain daft.


Centering a Web Page

by cdwise 6. April 2010 04:47

I think how to center the contents on a web page is the single most common request on the Expression Web forum (but not in my Dreamweaver group).

You need 3 things to center a page:

  1. A valid doctype (EW does this by default)
  2. A container with a defined width (typically a div with an ID of container applied to it.)
  3. In the style definition for the container you need to have margin-left: auto; and margin-right: auto;

What you must not have are:

  1. Any position: absolute on divs or other elements on the page.
  2. Use of the spacebar ( ) to position elements - use margin, padding and/or floats instead.

#container {
width: 780px;
margin: 0 auto;

<div id=”container”>
  content goes here

Using Expression Web?

Another suggestion is that you think about how you want the page to look and create named styles that you can reuse because you know what they were created to do.

Instead of clicking on the format toolbar and creating a bunch of style1, style2, style3, etc.


MVP Summit

by cdwise 14. February 2010 04:49

Tomorrow I leave for the MVP Summit in Bellevue/Redmond, Washington. Where later this week along with other Expression MVPs I’ll get a chance to sit down the the Expression Web team. While there we will have a chance to discuss some of the things:

  1. Are a problem in Expression Web 3 and want to see fixed either in a service pack or at least not appear in the next version.
  2. Features that should be in Expression Web and are not.
  3. Future of Expression Web & other programs in the Expression Studio.
  4. A public beta of Expression Web 4 (after all there was one for v1 & v2 and I think many of the issues with v3 would not have been in the program when it was released last July IF there had been a public beta.)
  5. Whatever else we can think of to bring up.

If you have something to say (besides wild rants) that you would like me or one of the other attending MVPs up with the Expression Web team, let us know. I promise to raise your issues. Whether or not I’ll be able to tell you what response I get that I can’t promise to tell since like the other MVPs that are attending the MVP Summit I have an NDA (non disclosure agreement) which means I may not be able to tell you the MS response.  Even with an NDA there is a lot of things Microsoft doesn’t tell me so an answer I receive might be the exact same one you’d get asking your question on the MS forums but I will try to at least make MS aware of your feedback.

So what would you like me to discuss with Microsoft? I’ll look here for your comment or you can sent it to me on my twitter account: cdwise


Merry Christmas

by cdwise 24. December 2009 17:57


Merry Christmas



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