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Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] [Website] Refining some style issues (CSS?)

This is a long (and apparently endless argument) - I am not 
going to rehash all of it here - suffice to say that the future
usability of the web is in the hands of the people who build it;
the first generation created sites that may have looked good
but were incredibly poor from a content and reusability point
of view.  Its up to the next to change that.
Others have expressed the argument for CSS "layout" far more
eloquently than I ever could (most written a few years back!).
and even:
Key point here - the web is *not* about perfectly laid out
web pages anymore and its time to stop perpetuating that
model/myth, wake up and start using it for the new medium 
that it is.  I am not whining - I am advocating that change 
must start somewhere and here is as good a place as any.
My choices - a well-laid out site that "looks good" to some
outdated browsers (that are *not* standards compliant) but
uses inappropriate or very outdated layout techniques vs.
one that looks good in all modern browsers [ones that are,
to the most part, freely available], is standards-based and 
reasonably 'future proof'. Hmm, I know what my choice is
(and I am glad to see that you are moving the same way).
--> also see:
for their business case...

>>> "Carlos Araya" <carlos@cvc.edu> 28/11/2003 11:57:35 >>>
WaSP and other standards groups are nice and a good ideal to follow.
Unfortunately, as much as we whine that people should get newer
browsers, that ain't gonna happen anywhere near as fast as it would be
neccessary for us to be able to dump layout tables and move yto full CSS
1 and CSS 2 layouts. 
Do you care what browsers can view your page as designed? I do and at
work had to acommodate 4 or 5 different browsers (not to talk about
platforms). Do you care about graceful degradation for those people who
don't have the latest and greatest? Does it matter to you that it
probably takes people longer to learn CSS and strict html 4.01 to work
on the site?
Using CSS is not just a matter of being sold. If you see the
compatibility matrix at the Web Standards Project website or any other
website. You wil find out that few browsers support the entire CSS 1,
not to talk about CSS 2 or 3. Then you have the same problems as before:
even the same browser on different platforms act differently so having
the same browser on Mac and PC doesn't guarantee the site will look the
As much as I would like to (having redone most of my pages using CSS
and CSS positioning) we can't dictate to people whe and how often to
upgrade their browsers. 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Derek Hohls 
To: baaden@smplinux.de ; docbook-apps@lists.oasis-open.org 
Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2003 00:06
Subject: Re: [docbook-apps] [Website] Refining some style issues

I would seriously consider stopping hacking around
with tables to do page layout and move over to
CSS for all your layout and page formatting.  No
more icky spacer.gif's and other such... I have just
(re)done my first site recently and its quite a pleasure
to take all the clutter out!
If you have not yet "bought into" use of CSS, I would
suggest reading:
I am happy to supply more links to stories, case studies
etc if you need them.

>>> Marc Baaden 28/10/2003 09:27:37 >>> 


I am currently trying to achieve the following with website: 
Have the whole left side of the page (navigation toc + part below) 
in a different color (black in my case) than the body text. 
My current "achievements" can be seen at eg 


Several points remain that I don't quite understand / cannot 

- why do both pages (cv.html and links.html) differ in width ? 
cv.html is larger than links.html .. and ideally how to fix 
this ? From the xml source the difference is not apparent. 

- how can the black background of the toc be continued below, 
eg where the date field is (I have already tried a customization 
of the footer, but the problem is that it is never the same 
width as above, and furthermore trying different browsers - 
safari, IE, opera, mozilla - yields different results :(( 

- what about the very slim but visible (and on some pages larger) 
white line just above the banner. Any chance to get the completely 
black ? 

The sources can be found at the same site as 

Thanks in advance for any hints on how to fine-tune the appearance 
of the site, probably either with xsl customization or css tweaking, 

Marc Baaden 

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