aye, now that's more like it. after a balmy january almost devoid of snow, we're getting dumped on big time. it started snowing last night when i went in to start my shift(12:30 am), and it still hasn't let up(9:30 am). thick wet heavy make you wish you didn't have to shovel snow. i love it.

perfect weather for finishing off my work project. most of it has been done while at work, now i just need to trim and polish, some minor editing, finish the alternate purple version(easy as pie with css), link check, validate and upload the finals. but i've been up all night so — brew up a monster sized expresso, tune up the radio, crank the speakers, and letz rock.



rob aka blue robot, has joined the ranks of the unemployed. hard to imagine a guy with that kind of talent will remain jobless for long. good luck mr robot.



thanks to stephane gourichon, i have some more reports on the background-attachment tests. stephane tried it out with Galeon, Konqueror and Opera5 on his Mandrake/Linux machine. Galeon (which is based on the Mozilla engine) passed, as did Konqueror. Opera failed the test. screenshots available on the first test page. merci stephane !

hmm... haven't posted anything in five days. what's up with that?

well for one, there are far more interesting things outside of this box. such as breakfast at billy's. touring up to seaforth. cats. crazy warm weather january walkabouts. and expressos and cheesecake with my lover. and when i did turn on the machine, all i've done is read the deluge that has poured out of css-discuss, a new listserv for style sheet babellation. man, on thursday friday last week that list was on fire. css on crack. and speak of the devil, vol 1 #18 of the digest just plopped itself into my mailbox as i type this. another 61k of threaded style jamming.



in high-tech's temp troops: overworked, underpaid, essential raj jayadev, editor of silicon valley debug, describes life on the line of an HP sweatshop. via the internet scout weblog.



Opera has a presentation mode? oh, i didn't know that. when i toggled to full screen i thought i was going to get a full screen browser. but this is different. when switched to presentation mode, Opera uses style sheets for the projection media type. Style sheets marked as media type all will also be used. other style sheets will be ignored. more information on this matter can be found at codestyle.org, which has some terrific css resources; in particular see the section entitled projecting your style.



the cat is out of the bag. css box masters eric and owen are teaming up to write a book. eric has asked for some input from the community. who/what convinced you to try to stop using tables and start using CSS? go stuff his mailbox full.

if you can spare a few minutes, take a browser or two with you and walk through my 6 pages of background-attachment tests. and then let me know what you see.



the trouble with tracking down a bug is that you will always end up finding more bugs. apparently this is an immutable law affecting the affairs of man. and browsers especially.

is it just me, or does Opera 6 fail to read document level and linked style sheets when in full screen mode? this is with the windows version. @import sheets seem to work. critters!



looks like bug 98252 may have been squashed. the windows fix has been checked in.



alright, alright, enough already. let's forget about all this mundane/arcane buggy browsers and CSS crap. let's go see what else is happening.

how about some visual delights. contact 02 is now open for registrations. contact 02 is toronto's annual festival of photography, and is arguably north america's largest such event. last year's festival attracted almost two hundred different exhibitors, who presented their work in a range of different settings from professional galleries to neighbourhood cafes and restaurants. as yet there's not much to see on this year's site but you can still visit contact 01 and get a taste of what this event has to offer.

100 drawings x 100 days is already ten days and ten drawings strong. comes complete with funky navigation interface. go check it out at destroy rockcity. via caffemocha.

caffemocha also pointed me to this wonderful bit of digital fireworks. and from there i was able to find my way into a garden. both are award winners in the canon digital creators contest.

what next? hmmm... a leaf blower, half a sheet of plywood, a staplegun, some ductape and a coffee can lid... maybe it's time to put together that personal hovercraft. via blanketfort.



the odd behaviour displayed by Opera in regards to the snazzy navigation banner on the W3C's Style section pages is no longer visible. the style sheet has been updated to include the hack discussed here over the past couple of days. the declaration for the background property now includes a value of 'fixed'. this works around a quirk in Opera5/6 and should have no effect on other browsers.

of course this means my first test page no longer shows the behaviour either as it references the same style sheet.

so this means it is time to put up the new background-attachment test page which will display this behaviour so long as i keep paying for my little spot on the web. it will also demonstrate how well your browser of choice handles 'fixed' positioning of boxes. it is still a bit rough at the edges and will be getting tweaked and polished later tonight.

the four test pages mentioned below will soon be coming down as i need to make some room in order to expand my humble little workshop. this new test page will soon be joined by few other css related offerings i have in store.



the background-attachment bug hunt continues. the previously reported fix for opera(see below) might best be considered a hack for now. more test cases and updates will arrive in the next few days. stay tuned.



update: several test pages mentioned here have been removed. because of changes at W3C Style, they don't work the way they first did, and i can't afford the disk space.

so just what did we learn yesterday?

the first test page{removed} isolated two problems, one in mozilla browsers the other in opera.

the second test page{removed} confirmed the hunch that these rather different bugs were related to the use of a background-attachment image.

in the third test{removed} it is demonstrated that by adding the value of 'fixed' to the background-attachment style rule the background image stays with the fixed <div> when using opera. in my reading of the CSS specs, it appears that opera is following the recommendation correctly. a background-attachment has an initial value of 'scroll', therefore unless the author's style sheet declares it otherwise the image will be glued to the canvas(as opposed to being fixed to the viewport) and scroll with the rest of the document.

mozilla type browsers(i use k-meleon) seem to assume that if the element is fixed then the attached background image should also be fixed. which makes sense, but it's not in the recommendation. IE5.5 doesn't get the whole positioned 'fixed' thing, so i have no idea what it makes of all this.

along the way i came across another opera bug which is made clear in the fourth test page{removed}. this involves the odd behaviour of a:hover effects for links in fixed <div>s in the opera browser and is unrelated to the background attachment problem. this is a known bug in the browser.

the mozilla problem is known as bug 98252; it is marked as a major bug and the mozilla team is working to get it fixed. it is apparently related only to the use of fixed PNG images. when redrawing such an image(after you scroll down) the browser has to redraw it pixel by pixel thus forcing an ungodly number of calls to some subroutines.

therefore, when using background-attachment images for fixed elements make sure you declare the background-attachment as being fixed. avoid using fixed PNG images if you want your pages to be accessible to people using mozilla based browsers.

is the W3C/Style setion a good place to be showcasing bleeding edge CSS techniques? personally, i think a little more emphasis on the content would be greatly appreciated by many people.

and finally Navigator 4.79 is the only browser on my machine which correctly displays the blinking message in this section of W3C/Style. heh.



two birds

i know of two problems(actually i know of more, but let's stick with two for now) with some of the pages in the W3C's Style section. the first was painfully obvious to me whenever i viewed the pages with my default browser, which is k-meleon. when using this, or another Gecko based browser, the pages take forever to scroll. a single line can take several seconds to scroll; i imagine it would take in excess of an hour to get to the bottom of the page. useless, in other words.

the second problem, involving opera 6, i probably would have missed if owen had not mentioned it. when viewing the page with opera, the background colour for the navigation banner doesn't scroll with the banner.

i haven't quite nailed down the problem(s), but i'm getting close. and it's starting to look like both problems may be related. very interesting.

those with nothing better to do and other interested parties may wish to view the subject{removed}, now stripped to the essentials. visitors using internet explorer may be bored to a greater degree than those who use opera or something with a gecko engine.

update1: a fix for the opera bug{removed} is now in.

Thanks to richard grevers of dramatic design for his input via the comp.infosystems.www.authoring.stylesheets newsgroup.

update2: on the mozilla side of things. this would be bug #98252. looks like it has been fixed in the unix/GTK version of moz, but they are still busy trying to find a solution for win/mac.

“this bug is specific to having a page that includes a fixed position png image with transparency. this causes scrolling performance to degrade because the entire image must be composited with the background pixel by pixel every time the user scrolls.” comment 23

update3: yes, i know, we were going to try to focus on two bugs. but... with Opera there is an additional bug with links in a fixed <div>. when you scroll down, the links don't retain any hover effects. you can see this in effect on any of the test pages. you can also see it in effect by using opera to view http://css.nu/exp/nf-illustration.html. pay attention to the links in the left-hand side “navigation bar”. opera seems to be mapping an area where hover effects take place, but this area scrolls up and away from the links. scroll back up to the top and the hover effects return to normal.

this page, brought to my attention by jan roland eriksson, also helps illustrate the problem with mozilla browsers because it uses something other than a transparent png image as a fixed baground for the left-hand side “navigation bar”.

this test page{removed} of mine also demonstrates the effect and shows that this is completely unrelated to issue of the attached background image.



peter paul koch has updated the browser reviews in his javascript section. fresh info on: Mozilla 0.9.7, Explorer 5.1 on Mac, Opera 6 for Windows and Linux, Opera 5b5 on Mac, Konqueror 2.2.2, iCab Preview 2.6, WebTV Viewer 2.6, and the Java based commercial Ice Storm browser!!! somebody's been busy!

back in december, someone's anger and disgust resulted in an interesting discussion of why valid [X]HTML x.x! icons are Evil. from the often abstruse, yet never dull w3c mailing lists.

and now the truth comes out... dean allen is not dating zeldman.


good news bad news

the good news — the hoopla 500 exceeded the blogdex top 100 and the s&p 500 index.

the christian science monitor brings us the pleasure of flash. highlighting two flash projects about famous people. the first is the cbc's tuning the world which commemorates the one hundred year anniversary of the first transatlantic radio broadcast. this was to have been a part of a much larger project which has been unfortunately nixed by the recent technician's strike. the second is kodak's ali through the lens of howard bingham. this site provides an interesting look at the photographer, and personal friend of ali, behind the new film.

another famous american to make a splash on the web recently is mark twain. this is the companion site to ken burns' upcoming pbs documentary film on twain.

seems i missed this: pegasus mail 4.01 has been released.

the bad news — birds are missing and a village has been obliterated. the story of the bombed out village has now been picked up by the washington post, the guardian and common dreams which is running a report filed by reuters. (note: seems i've made a mistake. the second set of stories are referring to another village.)


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