Playing with CSS again

It’s always driven me nuts that the month links didn’t line up properly underneath my site calendar. I figured it had something to do with the way I had defined the div around the calendar, but I didn’t have time to look at it until this afternoon.

The problem was that the div was defined to start at 70% of the page width and take the rest of the space on the page, but the content was centered in the div. For some reason, the table had a different center than the line following it, which caused the month links to show up askew.

Easy fix, right? Just recode the width of the calendar div. Except that it turns out not to be simple with CSS. Basically, what I want the calendar to do is this:

  • Hug the right hand side of the page, most of the time
  • If the window is too narrow to put the calendar to the right of the logo and still be visible, either:
    • wrap the calendar to the next line, or
    • scroll the calendar off the page to the right.

I don’t know a way to manage all of those things at once. I currently have changed it so that the calendar hugs the right hand side (for what it’s worth, I changed the width to 190px, the same as the min-width; eliminated the left attribute; and set the right attribute to 0). But if you shrink the browser window too far, the calendar overprints the site logo.

Actually, this isn’t the biggest problem, since the content starts to run into the nav bar before this happens… This is all because there’s no concept of “min-left,” the minimum left distance from the left hand bounding box that an element needs to respect.


Pilgrim: XHTML no replacement for RSS

Mark Pilgrim surveys a crop of new postings that contrast RSS for syndication vs. semantic coding in the first place and sez they’re all wet. In doing so, he draws a useful line between XHTML theory and blogging practice:

…this latest XHTML-as-syndication movement seems to be based on the principle that “syndication is so incredibly important that you must immediately stop whatever you’re doing with your web pages, upgrade to XHTML, validate your markup, restructure your home page to include all and only the content you’re willing to syndicate, and by the way, would you please unlearn that ugly nasty presentational page layout language you’ve been using for years and learn this wonderful happy structured semantic markup language instead?”

It should be obvious to any rational observer that this will go nowhere fast. A syndication format that requires valid semantic XHTML markup? Spare me. 9 out of 10 bloggers can’t even spell XHTML.

Between user resistance, bandwidth issues, sites that don’t want to syndicate their entire content, Pilgrim goes on to coin an important principle: “Syndication is not publication….It’s something else, a different medium.” Right on. The iCal to RSS experiments alone should tip off most intelligent observers that there’s value in a standalone syndication format, and real power in separating syndication from publication.

A year ago today…

Today’s posts from a year ago:

  • “‘I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life – so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.’” (Matt Cartmill)
  • “I do have some nifty music that the E-52s will be performing shortly. We’re going to larn us some hol’day stuff if it kills us, hyuh!” We never learned that arrangement, sadly. It was an arrangement of “Let it Snow” that Jim Heaney wrote for his a cappella group in Washington that the Cheeselords subsequently performed.
  • … and of course, “Alison’s PantsCam: The best WebCam since the first one.” Which, frighteningly enough, still seems to be live.


Somebody must have lied

… because the weather here is fine. Cold, maybe, but clear. For the third day in a row. Is this really Seattle in the wintertime?

I feel good this morning. I feel like I could really get some things done today. Unfortunately that makes me want to work on things around the house rather than at work. But I’ll persevere. To quote myself quoting Beck:

I’m a driver, I’m a winner. Things are gonna change, I can feel it.