Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Go left. Go right. Stay in line.

My company recently did a complete overhaul of one client’s website, to structural markup. One of the things changed was that navigation is now done with ULs, which is a natural markup for it.

Navigation was a simple list of Home, Help, My account etc.

The client now plan to expand their Internet offer and replace the item Home with several business channels and wanted us to visualy separate those channels from items like My account or Help. They sent a mockup of the design they wanted, that imidiatelly put smile on my face.

Navigation mockup

This navigation bar is simple unordered list.

<div id="topNav">


<li><a href="#">Sports</a></li>

<li><a href="#">Casino</a></li>

<li><a href="#">Digital Derby</a></li>

<li><a href="#">Search</a></li>

<li><a href="#">Help</a></li>

<li><a href="#">View BetSlip</a></li>

<li><a href="#">Open account</a></li>


<div class="clearer"> </div>


Using CSS, we turned this into a horizontal list, by simply floating list items to the left. Before the redesign, this was achieved with tables. And that is why I smiled now. Using tables, this new effect client wanted would be horrible to achieve - either using all graphics, or using two table rows - one for upper part of the tabs (slanted one) and lower for the actual text.

With new markup, it was only a matter of style change and one graphic. The only change needed on the HTML markup was to add class="tab" to the list items that would be emphasized:

<li class="tab"><a href="#">Sports</a></li>

<li class="tab"><a href="#">Casino</a></li>

<li class="tab"><a href="#">Digital Derby</a></li>

In the vineyard

Welcome to my vineyard.

After months of work, starting and abandoning various designs, I settled with the theme inspired with my family’s vineyard. Colour theme reflects the winter look of the vineyard and I hope I’ll be able to reflect other seasons as well.

There is not much new in the overall data structure of the site. New addition is the list of latest comments - now I will have no excuse for not answering the questions in time.

how I wanted it to be

It’s not how I wanted it to be though. My wish was to have only one column, and complete right column to be placed in the upper part of the site. When you hover the icon, appropriate section would appear. Along with that, I wanted to preserve the structural layout. As usuall, browser bugs and incomplete support came in the way.

Idea was rather simple…

Living with css-discuss

Several months ago, when I turned serious about CSS-based design and structural markup, I joined the css-discuss list. Most of the known names were there and I could learn a lot just by reading what other people said. Here and there, I responded to other people’s troubles.

It was fine until I got into a very busy period, working dozens of hours a day. Sheer amount of daily e-mails from the list, which can go from 40 to over 100 takes up at least 1-2h a day, if you really want to read and understand what is said. I just don’t have that time.

I tried several things.

  • Keep collecting. Read on weekends.
    Worked right until the moment I realized my girlfriend was about to kill me. I worked my a*s of on working days, and read (and learned) on the weekends. You get the picture.

  • Scan through, move the ones that seem useful to Good ones sub folder. Read when time permits.
    Problematic when you copy just one or two e-mails in a longer thread and can’t grasp the problem at hand after 2-3 weeks. Also, I now have a folder with over 150 e-mails, just barely scratched.

  • Re-edit good ones, changes subject to smth meaningful. Copy to Cleaned library folder. Delete all else.
    This worked OK for a while. It still takes 20-50 mins/day, but that is bearable. Just until I had so much work that I missed 3 days of doing this and I had to work on 200 e-mails. Also, there is no way I could contribute to the list by doing this.

I can only admire people that actually have time to copy the problematic code, find a solution and post an answer. People like Mike Landis, Zoe Gillenwater, Big John & Holly Bergevin and many more I just can’t remember at the moment.

I don’t how they manage to do it, but they deserve eternal gratitude.

How do you do it?