September 27, 2007

Excellent CSS Resource - css-discuss

I recently attended a talk by a web developer who is involved with the CSS Discuss list. They have a wiki at css-discuss. The wiki is notable for two reasons. First, it is a very full set of discussions on topics of interest in CSS. Second, from what I have been able to learn, this list has an outstanding membership, and the big guns in CSS are involved here. So the site should be a great resource for everything to do with CSS.

The home page for css-discuss. org is, not surprisingly,

September 16, 2007

September 15 Meeting Report:
Headings and Tables

At our September meeting, we followed up on two topics that we had covered in previous meetings.

The main portion of our meeting was spent on techniques for using a graphic to replace a heading. The issue is that you obviously can't have both the heading and the graphic visible, and I had always just given the heading the property display:none to remove it from visibility in a styled page.

What I learned from reading The Art & Science of CSS is that this technique has accessibility issues. As Cameron Adams, the author of the chapter on this subject, told me by email, the reason is that many current text-to-speech readers will ignore elements that have the display:none property. Cameron referred me to this article on screen reader visibility.

We discussed three techniques from his chapter for substituting a graphic for a heading, each with its own pluses and minuses:
  • Negative indent the heading with some high number: text-indent: -9999px; .

  • Put an empty span within the heading and make the image the background of that span.

  • Use a Flash replacement technique, such as described in this article on sIFR.

We finished with a demo by one of our members of a calendar that he prepared for his church group's website. He adapted the CSS techniques for styling a table that we discussed in June. Those techniques were taken, again, from The Art & Science of CSS.

September 12, 2007

September 15 Meeting Announcement

A new season of PACS begins this Saturday, September 15, and the CSS Workshop will be back at its usual time and place, 9 - 10 am in room 713.

Like some popular TV series, we left off last season with a cliff hanger. We were in the middle of talking about styling tables when time ran out. So for this first session, we will briefly review what we covered in June and then move on to finish the topic. Depending on time, we will cover one or two other topics--items of interest that came up over the summer.

We are fortunate that we will again have workshops on Javascript and Flash this year, and the Web Design SIG will start off with a Web 2.0 session. Reed will demo some of the newest ways to present information over the Internet. Don't miss his bagel video!

See you Saturday.