March 16, 2007

Other websites I've been working on

Capitol Skating Fund

One of my pride-and-joy websites, I designed this one from scratch, working off the general design that Dad came up with for the client. I'm really pleased with the text scrolling out from behind the ice (which is best seen on the FAQs page). A unique problem for this site, though; because Internet Explorer is such a God-awful browser, it doesn't understand the CSS code for the ice, and so it would always screw up (ie: it is supposed to stay in place while everything scrolls, but in IE, it would move along with everything else). Eventually, I came to a compromise: IE wouldn't get the ice at all, just the skater (which scrolled with everything else), while all the good browsers got both the skater and the ice, which would stay in one place. Unfortunately, I had to shrink the skaters a little bit (and move a few names so they weren't on top of the text in IE), but ultimately, it was a fair compromise. Plus, now that IE doesn't see the ice, I can make it a transparent PNG (I couldn't do that before, because IE doesn't support PNGs; for those that are thinking IE is a piece of shit, yes, you're right) so that you'll be able to partially see the text through the ice before it fully breaks through (we've got a website award competition coming up in a few weeks; I'll most certainly make that change by then). Ironically, the site works just fine in IE/Mac. Go figure. :)


The ACT 1 website has been an old standby for me for quite a while now, but I've been making fantastic strides at getting the entire production history documented as thoroughly as possible. My only beef with the site is that it was done at the beginning of my trip down Proper Web Development Lane; specifically, it is a table-based layout, with JavaScript rollovers. I'm currently working to convert various elements to make it *strictly* CSS-based, as well as adding new features (such as a print-style that, while maintaining the overall function of the site, has very different layout images and colors that are more appropriate for a white background). I've it a snag with the center vertical rule; you can see my progress at, which features a green background on the main body for the simple sake of helping me see where the main body area is.

VUMC Office of Research

Actually, for this site, all I do is maintain it; I had nothing to do with the current design (my code is much more streamlined, plus, it features some really confusing header levels; h2 before h1? what the hell?). What I am proud of on it, though, is the Newsletter, which combines the pre-existing layout and styles, but introduces some semantically valid code. I'm especially proud of the New Grant Funding table, which looks utterly fantastic (in my opinion). I was able to use it as a jumping-off point for another table on the site, the Private Restricted Awards (to get an idea of how much of an improvement this is, check out the old version). Bask in the glory of a properly styled table (plus the oh-so-lovely image-less drop shadow on it; thanks, Dan!).

I've got a couple other web projects going on right now, but neither is far enough along that I can show off what I've done (especially since one hasn't even been designed yet, and all I've done for the other is do up a template; I'm still waiting on copy for it). When those get done, I'll be more than happy to share them as well.

Posted by Eric at March 16, 2007 03:40 PM

Heh, this entry makes it abudently clear that I never wrote any styles for definition lists... probably should do that sometime. :)

Posted by: EVula at March 17, 2007 09:10 AM

Those are cool. I did like the figure-skating one (beautifully displayed without a hitch in the CSS-loving Safari browser). ACT1 green background is kind of ugly (I know you're just using it for testing, but in case it starts growing on you... well, not a good idea). I have to say you are quite talented. I once tried to learn CSS, but my patience gave out after a week or so and I flipped back to Java and dropped websites altogether. :(

Posted by: Cha0s at March 18, 2007 12:27 AM

Yeah, the green is just a development thing; I'm trying to get the center line to go all the way down, but for whatever reason, it stops short (going only as far down as the left area, consistently). It's the right that is actually floated, and as far as I can tell, that's the problem; I just don't know how to get around it (though I haven't been working on it much lately).

CSS is easy to learn, but difficult to master. I've very gradually eased into it. Hell, even the CSS overhaul that I did of is pretty ancient at this point (and I'm seriously considering overhauling it again, if it wasn't for the fact that there's so much sheer content). One of the things I want to do this year is set up user-picked themes, one of them being the current look, but I'd like to bring back the original layout, which is still in use for the Joke Archives. I've actually figured out how to do most of it in valid CSS, but time is always something I'm lacking on...

Also, I started designing a new website (that I'll be getting paid for, but doing on the side) yesterday morning. So far, I'm just kicking around color schemes, though I did sketch a layout in the afternoon. Should be cool.

Posted by: EVula at March 18, 2007 12:48 AM