Now you’re playing with power

Wednesday, 5 May 2004 — 9:59am

When I first put this site together, it was originally intended to be a testbed for some basic CSS layout techniques. I finally got around to playing with the code and implementing the stylesheet switcher explained in this ALA tutorial. To your right, under the “décor” heading, you may currently switch between the current layout and an otherwise identical one that uses a blue colour scheme, effectively remodeling Nick’s Café as a casual seafood restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf – and here I refer specifically to Neptune’s, where I last dined in April 1999 whilst inadvertently separated from my school band tour, but without the barking sea lions.

As time goes by I will likely add a few more colour schemes or even wholly different layouts, while also fixing some of the less standards-compliant exploits I used to force certain things to work, such as the spacer image setting minimum dimensions for the title graphic above and the open <p> tags that get paragraph indentation going – ugly cheats that CSS was meant to eliminate, only certain web browsers refuse to handle the specification properly.

Speaking of standards-compliant browsers, I now primarily use Mozilla Firefox 0.8 on my Windows XP machine, and I would recommend it to anyone still stuck on Internet Explorer, even the lazy ones that hate downloading and installing new software. The switch is well worth the effort, and though it is visibly in the pre-1.0 stage in some respects, it’s a vast improvement. Tabbed browsing is a godsend to anyone such as myself accustomed to having eight to ten pages open at any given time. When I require pages to be open simultaneously – say, for example, submitting Diplomacy orders in one window while having the game map open in another – I can easily switch between the two on the main Windows taskbar without having to wade through everything else. Better still, most of the current shortfalls are easily circumvented by the mountain of extensions available for quick and easy customization.

I still keep MSIE around for testing purposes, and because FTP access is where its integration with Windows really shines, but there’s no substitute for better software.

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