Understanding The CSS Difference

My good friend Esther commented today that it is helpful for our students to see something really different and unusual that they can do with CSS and other web technologies. Molly Holzschlag has provided a piece of that picture with her article “Thinking Outside the Grid” published recently at Jeffrey Zeldman’s A List Apart.

She describes one of the most significant capabilities of CSS based design and its ability to go beyond the basic tables-based grid design. She uses interesting examples of aerial views of two cities, Tucson and London, as an example of a rigid rectangle based grid system of design (Tucson) and a contrasting grid in London’s spirals, tangents, and circles. CSS allows us to design beyond the rigid structures and create all types of layouts to suit our needs. Holzschlag also provides a link to Mark Boulton’s “grid-system articles” as another place to get some ideas about altering the basic grid. The illustrations in Holzschlag’s article are great for providing the perspective she is referring to. I highly recommend this article for designers wanting to figure out what CSS adds to the design process.


FireFox 1.5 Update Required for Web Classes

If you have not upgraded to FireFox 1.5, please do so for all AID web scripting classes. This is a significant upgrade and a number of new CSS features have been added including: css3 multi-column layout, only-child pseudo-class, overflow-x and overflow-y, the cursor property, JavaScript 1.6 new features and ECMAScript EX4, xml-events, and svi (scalable vector graphics). These are not browser specific enhancements but simply Firefox adding to the Web Standards that already exist and beginning to move toward the full compliment of CSS 3 specification. To try out these new features we have only read about, you will need to be using FireFox 1.5.

A word of caution. I had problems installing the new version of Web Developers Tools which is a must for any web designer/developer. It is necessary to uninstall the current version after you update to 1.5, and then install the new version of developers tools. Hopefully, this has been modified and works better now, but it was a problem when the 1.5 version first appeared a few weeks ago.