Making navigation menus using CSS

A recent Sitepoint article by Rachel Andrews, Director of, outlined some pretty Nifty Navigation Tricks Using CSS. Anyone that wants to learn to make some pretty cool tabbed, button or vertical bar navigation lists should give this article a read through. It is a pretty well written article and has a great deal of code that can be easily copied and pasted for your development pleasure.

For four pages it reads very fast. It is easy to follow and the examples are practical. I wish there were some working samples of the code, but still, it is a good teaching tool for those that have yet to dive into CSS based navigation lists (and you should get into it, as CSS is designed for such things).

For those that want a huge assortment of samples, code and really cool lessons, check out Stu Nicholls’ CSS Play. This site is an amazing reference for learning the art of cross-browser compatible CSS. There are menus, layouts and much more available to learn from and even use, in many cases without even a link back to him, though it is always a good idea to give credit where credit is due.

So if you are in need of a little CSS learning fix, hit these references up. You will enjoy them and, in the case of Stu Nicholls, may even make them part of your normal daily web development toolset.

Green with frustration

There is something about St. Patrick’s Day that makes me green with excitement. Or green with clothing. Whatever it is, I am green at the moment.

I just got done fixing me theme so that long content does not brrreak me boxes. (In case you were wondering that was my Irish accent).

And I am absolutely appaled at how height and min-height have been translated. Well, let me rephrase that. I am appalled that browsers would not yield to my will and automatically adjust from height to min-height at the very thought that I might have actually meant min-height as opposed to height.

Anyway, after much tribulation, my boxes are better. I think.

To celebrate I am going home this evening and drinking a Guiness Draught.

Ay, may the sone shine warm upone yier fase and may ye have a great St. Paddy’s day.

And if nothing else, have a beer for me.

Making progress

Man, am I stoked. I am finally through getting the first run of the markup and CSS for my company’s new public web site.

This has been one heck of a learning curve for me. Seriously, it took me almost a week to get back into coding markup and CSS, making it valid, making it efficient, making it clean and making it understandable. To that end, I think any web developer that is building anything for the web right now should include the following message in their CSS documents that are specific to Internet Explorer:

 * Everybody knows that with the exception of Internet Explorer 5 Internet 
 * Explorer 6 is quite possibly the worst piece of software ever created.
 * We get this. But not everyone utilizes this knowledge and in effect, 
 * these people are left out of a great browsing experience because their
 * browser, unbeknownst to them, is a piece of garbage. 
 * For those that care about a user experience, we attempt to fix the garbage
 * effects of that trash that is the Internet Explorer browser. This stylesheet
 * as that attempt.
 * While more and more developers are finding ways to correct IE's terrible 
 * handling of compliant markup and seemingly carefree violations of standards,
 * it is the belief of most developers that a user has the right to choose their
 * software. In that vein, may we recommend a few browsers that do the right
 * when handling your user experience?
 * Mozilla Firefox -
 * Opera -
 * Safari -
 * All of these are free, all of them compliant, all of them better than IE.
 * Enjoy your user experience.
 * - Your web developer

Back in the <saddle />

So today I am back in the position of web designer/architect/crafter/etc. I have, out of necessity, taken on the task of developing the new public web site for the company I work for.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Except for the fact that I have been out of UI development for about four months. I have been nose deep in framework code and PHP application building that I haven’t done a thing in markup. And that has hurt me. But for the last week or so I have been spending time in HTML, CSS and the like trying to get five different concepts turned into markup by the 15th of the month. I will hit that target, but only because I am dedicated enough to do it.

The next big thing is getting the new server into the DMZ and getting the application code written to hook into my framework so that these pretty UIs can actually be seen on January 1. When the new public site is scheduled to launch. Which means I have a lot more work to do.

And I have to still relearn a bunch of stuff before I do it. Wish me luck.

Drawing a blank on colors

I am so having designers block right now. I have this great little idea for an online journal (no, not a blog, though it could seem like one) but I cannot find the right color scheme for it.

Every now and again I go through this. I start off with what I think it the base color scheme, then when I go through various hues and such, my inspiration just leaves me. And so I am left with the frustration of seeing gray no matter what colors I am looking at.

I thought that I might like Greens at first. But I cannot make green work. So I looked at Reds. Then looked away because I have never been able to do anything with red.

That brought me to my old favorite Blue. But I have done so much blue that the thought of using blue for something else makes me sick. So I considered orange, but the only colors that works really well with orange are gray and blue, so that kind of threw that out.

So now I am stuck looking at Webby 2.0 type colors. Pinks, light blues, neons, etc. And that has even less appeal to me.

That being said, I think I am going to take a few design days off and see if I cannot find inspiration elsewhere. Like at Starbucks. Mmmm, Starbucks.

A new theme…

So I am wanting to work on a new theme for a site that I have yet to unveil. And it is becoming increasingly harder to get what I want without knowing what I need to achieve what I want to achieve.

But, since Google knows everything there is to know about everything, I decided I’d ask him. And he gave me a bunch of answers. But few of the answers he gave me were worth anything. So I asked a different questions a couple of different times, and he gave me more answers. Then he gave me this answer:

CSS Play – Menus

So I thanked Google and moved on to CSS Play. And thank God I did, because I have learned a ton in the last few hours. I cannot wait to get this into practice.