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  1. #1
    Member dsmflash's Avatar
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    I'm new to CSS, layers, etc. CSS does some pretty weird stuff I must say. Maybe someone can enlighten me on a few issues.
    When I change my positioning from absolute to "relative" with auto left and margin 0, my layer description for my main layer, or "wrapper", disappears from the layer window in the CSS pallette.
    1. I'm trying to make a navbar with images and html from fireworks, and the dropshadows are surrounded by white (already tried the transparency settings in FW - crap! don't work!). So basically, no drop shadows with CSS:cry: ; you can't add spacers to a vertical nav bar. All your buttons a pushed together; when you insert the FW html file, you're entire layout falls apart and looks like some crap from Frontpage or something that crawled out from under a trainwreck. I tried applying drop shadow to the layer with CSS and I guess Dreamweaver didn't like it and the CSS gods denied me. The shadow was no show.
    I'm using nested layers, of course, because i want my contents to be absolute to the wrapper layer, which is the one that will be centered. I keep the wrapper absolute until I have designed the entire page, and then convert it to relative and set the auto margins, etc., or set them to a % to make fluid. The nested layer approach is the best method to use, I know that much for sure.
    I'm going to go ahead and say it because I don't ever see it anywhere, but web design is really f****d up! All of the bugs, incompatibilities, etc. have taken the design right out of web design. It should be fun and its not. Ask yourself, how much time do you spend, or waste, getting around this bug or that incompatibility. Also, I don't want to read one more tutorial with "CSS" and "easy" in the same sentence. CSS is a nightmare and you could spend the rest of your life trying to create a nice little packaged system to use it in. CSS is just another hole in the head. I LOVE web design, but I hate the nasty prison that confines it. Lastly, how many freakin' browsers does the world need anyway?

    Any help or comments to this post are greatly appreciated.:nervous:

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    First off, you'll need to give us a link to your site (because we can't see it).


  4. #3
    Member dsmflash's Avatar
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    The site is not up yet. I am finishing up a site that an agency passed on to me to finish up. Don't even have access to server. All I'm doing is placing everything in a nested layer cented in one big nice wrapper. Still trying to figure out why when I attach a style sheet Dreamweaver ignores it.

  5. #4
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    Hmmm... quite damning comments there... I think what is being missed is that website design is more than simply colours and images... a large part of website design is understanding how browsers work and creating sites that take that into account... what does one define as a "browser"? Ultimately it's anything that can be used to access a website... be that a phone, a computer, a terminal, a screen reader for the blind or whatever... even if the folks at Microsoft, Apple and Opera said "okay, we give up - use Firefox. We'll make that the standard browser." there'd still be a multitude of different browsers out there... I still know one or two folks from the Unix community who use Lynx, for example... no idea why, but they do!

    A web page and a printed page may look, in their desired form, very similar but conceptually they are completely different and once you recognise that things start to become much easier.

    Regarding CSS, the big problem that I perceive people have is that they erroneously start learning HTML without it, so become used to presentational tags. Replacing them with CSS then becomes harder because they're still thinking in the old way. I have discovered that those who never "learn" the old way of doing things don't have this issue.

    Question: Which is most intuitive of these two for an English-speaker?

    Code:
       <p align="center" bgcolor="blue"><font size="3" color="red" face="arial">Hello Mum</font></p>
     <p align="center" bgcolor="blue"><font size="5" color="green" face="arial">Goodbye Dad</font></p>
     <p align="center" bgcolor="blue"><font size="3" color="red" face="arial">Anybody seen my post?</font></p>
    Code:
       <style>
             p {
                   text-align: center;
                   background-color: blue;
                   font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
             }
             .red-content {
                   color: red;
                   font-size: 12px;
             }
             .green-content {
                   color: green;
                   font-size: 15px;
             }
       </style>
       <p class="red-content">Hello Mum</p>
       <p class="green-content">Goodbye Dad</p>
       <p class="blue-content">Anybody seen my post?</p>
    Forgetting the fact that we can ultimately take much more control with CSS, the language is sensible. When did you last go down the pub and say "hmmm... that page has a nice bgcolor" ? Far more likely to have said "nice background color", and once you know CSS tags have dashes to split words things become very logical. What is a font size of "3"?? How do I learn what a font size of 3 means? And what if I want bigger fonts than the <font> tag wants to give me? I can't have it, can I... that's a pity... persuading oneself that "CSS isn't actually hard at all" is half the problem... seems a lot of people are of the view HTML is easier to learn than CSS... not in my experience at all!

    Where CSS can become rather more complex is with layout, but often the effort is worth it simply for the control you gain over the look and feel of your site... for instance, you don't have to lay out your markup in the order you want it displayed... just because somebody with a graphical browser sees the navigation at the top, under the banner, is that the logical place for somebody with a text browser? Perhaps not - so we put the links at the bottom of the markup and position it at the top using CSS... those who see the page as text-only will see them at the end of each page they read. Similarly, you can have different stylesheets for printing and viewing in a browser. What's the point of navigation at all if you are printing a page? So leave it out... but you don't *have* to use CSS for layout... tables are not banned, despite what some of the more evangelical folks on this forum might like to have you believe. It may be that using a table to produce columns on your site is the way you want to go, and if so fine! If your site is of a tabular design that is a perfectly good use of tables. You may, however, find that tables cause more problems than they're worth and (of course) they don't actually degrade particularly well.

    Turning back to the start of your post, unless you post some code or something I'm not really sure what anybody can do to help. Problem with reporting issues in concepts rather than in something people can look at is that it's very hard for anybody to really get a clear idea of what is going wrong. Can you not upload this site somewhere, even if it's just on your own website somewhere?

    That said, it does sound to me that your issues are with Dreamweaver and Fireworks rather than anything to do with HTML or CSS. I find the best way to screw up a perfectly good site is to let a WYSIWYG Editor get anywhere near it...

    Sean

  6. #5
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    There's a problem you're causing due to fireworks. FW doesn't create code oriented to your site, it's just oriented to itself (which is really bad). Second, there are no such things as "layers" on CSS, because all HTML is on the same level. Because of that, you can't use the term... Use "divs" to describe <div> blocks, or "floats" to describe elements you've floated, etc.

    Drop shadows are possible to do and have been done, but remember that you're talking aesthetics and you have to make a trade-off between inner workings and aesthetics. Simple a second, slightly offset div with gray makes for a good and very cheap (it's just a <div> and some CSS).

    Fluid layouts are something different and can take time to learn. But anyway, I see a trend for more fixed-width sites...

    So please, your problem doesn't have to do with CSS, its trying to make CSS work with stuff not made for CSS... And don't use the word layers. If you want to use CSS, then stop designing visually and hand-type your code.

    Good luck!

    PS: As a final tip, I'd suggest you to drop converting existing designs to CSS, because the curve will be very hard. Instead, go back to bare basics, back to solid HTML, and learn how to hook CSS to it. Assume like you've never learned HTML before. Problem is, judging from what you're saying, its more like you don't know HTML and you're just using Dreamweaver's CSS "feature". Drop it.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.

  7. #6
    Member dsmflash's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I have read several tutorials on CSS and it still seems a bit confusing. And, by the way seanmiller, if there was more of a collective effort towards more compliant standards with web browsers and the web design industry as a whole, web design would be more enjoyable. Browser and software design has become more of a pissing match rather than innovation. Variety is the spice of life, but there are certain times when there has to be a firm set of underlying and consistent standards. Everyone thinks they are being clever and innovative, but they're actually just screwing things up more.
    Thanks to all for you time and your replies. I will keep plugging away at it.:nervous:

  8. #7
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsmflash
    And, by the way seanmiller, if there was more of a collective effort towards more compliant standards with web browsers and the web design industry as a whole, web design would be more enjoyable.
    Yeah but then there'd probably be loads of people out of a job :cheeky: - part of the designer's developer's job is to get round the browser inconsistencies.....

  9. #8
    Senior Member Ferro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seanmiller
    Regarding CSS, the big problem that I perceive people have is that they erroneously start learning HTML without it, so become used to presentational tags. Replacing them with CSS then becomes harder because they're still thinking in the old way. I have discovered that those who never "learn" the old way of doing things don't have this issue.
    I'd agree with that. I never really learnt the old way (started about a year ago) and the old way of tags and tables seems REALLY wierd to me.

  10. #9
    Senior Member seanmiller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsmflash
    Thanks for all the replies. I have read several tutorials on CSS and it still seems a bit confusing. And, by the way seanmiller, if there was more of a collective effort towards more compliant standards with web browsers and the web design industry as a whole, web design would be more enjoyable. Browser and software design has become more of a pissing match rather than innovation. Variety is the spice of life, but there are certain times when there has to be a firm set of underlying and consistent standards. Everyone thinks they are being clever and innovative, but they're actually just screwing things up more.
    Thanks to all for you time and your replies. I will keep plugging away at it.:nervous:
    Well this is what the W3C have tried to do, but ultimately it's never going to happen so we have to live with it. Thankfully CSS has some hacks which will allow you to tweak styling for Internet Explorer, which is normally the culprit when it comes to deviating from standards, which can be useful if you're using padding because whilst Firefox complies with the W3C standards which say that a 100px wide box with 10px padding will be, effectively, 120px wide the wonderful folks at Microsoft decided instead to reduce the content to accommodate the padding, so you effectively get 80px to put your content in instead of 100px and the box itself remains 100px.

    This isn't always an issue, but can have a tendency to screw up design.

    The solution is to use the "* html" hack to override the settings for IE.

    Code:
    #content {
        width: 100px;
        height: 50px;
        padding: 0px 10px 0px 10px;
        background-color: red;
        color: yellow;
        
    }
    * html #content {
        width: 120px;
    }
    Sean

  11. #10
    Senior Member Steax's Avatar
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    The main culprit so far is... well, everyone. Many people still don't care about the web's system itself, just about its functionality. The biggest problem of all for designer is in IE... And it's everywhere because people don't change their browsers from IE, and thus the chaos. As now people start learning about web applications and start to adopt alternate browsers, alongside with the helpful habit now of staying up-to-date, it's become considerably easier.

    Add to that the general quick pace of people enhancing their systems, and it's become much easier. Fixed-width sites that are 1000px wouldn't be well-accepted a long time ago, but it's now somewhat better. Also Flash and JS support is better.

    And people care about websites on a more personal basis. The web used to be simply like a store window we look at, but now it's a personal experience with all the new community stuff. So people's attitudes have also changed.

    I also agree about re-learning from scratch for CSS... I really support that.
    Note on code: If I give code, please note that it is simply sample code to demonstrate an effect. It is not meant to be used as-is; that is the programmer's job. I am not responsible to give you support or be held liable for anything that happens when using my code.


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