Monday, July 04, 2005

"Refactoring" Web Sites

OK, so I've spent a couple hours refactoring my LLC's website. Can one refactor HTML and CSS? It's not really code (I once saw a shirt which said so, hence it must be true), but I do think one can indeed refactor the stuff. More tricks learned from Meyer's wonderful Cascading Style Sheets: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition, more fun playing around with site design. (And it's obvious that I'm no graphics wiz like this incredible lady.) Meanderings aside, this was a good chance to fix a couple things which had been bugging the heck out of me. Text size changes don't bust everything now, the content's centered in a floating box thanks to margin-left:auto and margin-right:auto plus a new <div> surrounding my content, which means my menu bar, title, and other elements stay nicely tied together when resizing. The only small hitch is a slight bounce if content runs off the bottom of the screen and a scrollbar appears. Can't fix everything right now, what would I have to do later? I also got rid of the transluscent tan color box for the left sidebar list and just made that a separate background-color property. Having some transluscency let the background image show through which I thought was cool; however, the resizing text issues just made it a mess, so now it's a solid background color. In the earlier version I'd cheated and made the tan box transluscent by overlaying it on the background image while working in PaintShop Pro. That looks cool until somebody resizes text or gets funky with aspect ratios and the sidebar text ends up somewhere in Puerto Rico sipping rum on a beach. Unfortunately, there's no good way to do transluscency in images -- at least according to The Zen of CSS Design: Visual Enlightenment for the Web. Leave me comments if you know otherwise. So there you have it. More refactoring to make my site look more better more better. I'm still a long way off from being a sharp web designer, but that's not where I'm going. I'm pretty satisfied with what I've got now! (By the way, my rose graphic logo was done by my friend Jenn Farington. She's a great artist who makes wonderful handbags, scarves, etc. from beautiful materials. Check out her great works at Piece Lily.)

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