Saturday, November 1, 2008

Cross-browser compatability - ugh!

You'll notice a streamlined Info-Header frame above G02.ME pages starting today. It was pointed out to me that no one was really reading the helpful text placed below each comment box:

Comment format: nickname: text of your comment [tag1, tag2, ...]:

There's a lot more functionality in that little text box than most people would expect. Just by typing in the correct format you can:

  1. Create and "log in" to your user account.
  2. Save the shortened link on your personal user page (
  3. Leave a comment
  4. Annotate your comment with tags, adding it to the list of popular pages for each tag (

Today's update makes it much more obvious that you can create a user account (nickname), by providing it's own text box for you to fill out. It's still optional, but my hope is that many more people will notice it, and start to see the benefit of seeing the saved list of shortened links they've created. For example:

Anyway, what seemed like a trivial change, brought me into the dark realm of liquid layout, floating DIV's, and cross-browser TABLE incompatibilities. After literally several hours of hacking and starting over twice, I think I've found a good compromise layout that looks decent in the 3 browsers I've tested (Firefox, IE, and Chrome). Getting this to work is nothing short of a black art. Some measures need to be changed from 100% to 97% and margins have to be tweaked up and down by 1 or 2 pixels. It's not very fun, and I'm sure when I return to this code, I will have no idea where the landmines are - since this was largely developed by trial and error.

Some day, we'll have ONE standard we can understand and behaves rationally. That will be a happy time!

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