Fleegix.org

Layin' it out old skool

2005-10-22 00:59:00

Yesterday I spent most of the day working from a Photoshop file from Mimi, hammering together the new "Chandler Landing Page" for the upcoming 0.6 release of the Chandler PIM client. It's in SVN, so if you're so inclined you can see the current iteration of the page.

Mimi likes using her Mac-specific fonts for the layout, so I tried to avoid putting any text into graphics, since it can look kind of weird seeing multiple sans-serif fonts competing on the same screen (i.e., Lucida Grande in the graphics and Verdana for all the actual content text). So all the text you see is actual text, which allows each platform to pick one font and run with it.

I also used this as an excuse to put Lucida Grande on my Ubuntu dev machine, so I can see things the way all the Mac-using devs at OSAF do. It was surprisingly painless, once I was able to remember which utils to use to generate the fonts.scale and fonts.dir files (mkfontscale and mkfontdir respectively) after adding the TTF fonts.

As for the layout, it was interesting working on something with that level of detail, that combined graphics and text, especially since I originally approached it with the idealistic notion of trying use pure CSS layout -- none of those tricksey, false tables to get stuff to sit where it needs to on the page.

This rapidly descended into pure comedy, because, as I mentioned, it's a somewhat complex layout that involved stuff like, oh, say ... aligning things. Yes, CSS is still pretty much borked for stuff like vertical alignment, and doing floats with elements of variable widths.

I only mention that because those are things that worked nicely with table-based layout circa ... I guess, maybe Netscape Navigator 3?

So, until they get that stuff right (and be "right," I mean "actually displaying as advertised in the major browsers"), you can pry my XHTML 1.0 Transitional DTD and my tables from my cold, dead fingers.

About

This is the blog for Matthew Eernisse. I currently work at Yammer as a developer, working mostly with JavaScript. All opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's.

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