Presenting website content with stylesheet positioning rather than using a million TABLE, TR and TD tags (not to mention the infamous 1 by 1 transparent 'spacer' gif) is now fashionable, but it's not just a trend, it's actually a more efficient way of doing things. Load times for pages improve, and updating a site's look and feel becomes a much easier task. Whatever, there's a strong likelihood that this is nothing you don't know already.

One of the things I do still use tables for is positioning content in the dead centre of the screen. Getting styles to position horizontally is easy, but I've never really got a handle on how to do the same vertically. So I was pleased to find a simple method of 'dead centre' postioning with styles; use your browser's view source option to see the styles, they're all embeded. I might take a look at retrospectively fitting this into the places where I've used tables before, but I'll certainly give it a go next time the requirement comes up. Hence the bookmark here - so I can find it!

BTW - for what's it's worth here's how to centrally postion text with tables. It's easy, but not fashionable!

  <table width="100%" height="100%" border=0>
      <td align="center" valign="middle">
        I'm in the Middle!
Use at your own risk, you might find the fashion police on your case. I'll say this for it though - it does work, including with older browsers where you'll find the styles don't.

Entry 686, Saturday, January 24th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Hey Ya, Charlie Brown
Go Peanuts for Outkast [at venisproductions].

Entry 685, Saturday, January 24th 2004, Filed In Stuff

I enjoyed mucking around with some different CSS and JavaScript for my 56K modem emulator a while back, but the most eye-opening thing about the whole experience has been the hits it's received. Quite a heads-up on how word spreads around the internet - the kind of thing you think think you understand until you see it in action.

As a born and bred Englishman and thinking the internet is predominantly English speaking (I think this is correct?) I always thought of internet distribution in those terms. But the emulator first made it big in Japan, so much so it almost broke my bandwidth limits, and it found some popularity in Holland and Germany too. Things had gone quiet recently but now it seems to have been picked up again in Denmark and Eastern Europe (Hungary, and the ex Czech republic mainly). Curiously, other than a few quite minor sites (in terms of hits to lazylaces anyway), and with the exception of a few Broadband specific bulletin boards, the English speaking community doesn't seem to have latched on to it. Odd. I would have never have seen it panning out like that.

Anyway as a result of tracking the stats I've seen some quite interesting referring sites, most of which I haven't understood even with the help of my trusty babelfish, but two have really stood out and joined my list of 'frequent destinations'.

Hanazuc's 'not wild style' is in Japanese (I think) and has a similar (once again I think) linklog style to lazylaces, with useful picture links for every post for plebs like me who don't understand the language. It would be awsome to understand some Japanese. I've already stolen a few links from this site, which I really should have credited, and I highly recommend a visit. Quite a nice design too.

Second up is which has a far more minimalist, almost retro, style, but has top quality, and very up to date content (try refreshing, it changes almost every couple of minutes). Also it wins my all time favourite domain name award. The site is collaborative and the content can cover almost anything, although techie links seemed to predominate whenever I browsed by. I haven't explicitly linked any of their content as yet, but here are a few interesting things I found:

The 2003 web design fashion trends in review. Some very interesting points here that you will have seen around. BIG background images and restrained colour schemes rang a lot of bells for me. Most interesting though was one of the things to watch for this year - using CSS for more than just recreating tabular layouts - something we're all (including, very much so, myself) guilty of. This really kicked me off on thinking of some redesigns for this site - TOTALLY forgetting tables, and the table-esque, opens up some interesting design possibilities.

The iCapture tool lets all us PC users see how all the Mac Safari users see our websites. The most eye opening thing for me was how much better my site font (Trebuchet MS by preference) looks on the Mac. I hope to become a dual Mac/PC household this year so I can enjoy this kind of effect, as my Mum & Dad are ditching their 15" iMac in favour of a self built PC. It suits their software needs and it more than suits my desire to have a varied web test/development bed at home.

Finally hiveware provides a very nice way of obscuring e-mail addresses on web pages. I have my own little script for doing this but it involves too much by-hand configuration so I don't always bother. Unfortunately that means when I'm in a rush I just post my addresses in clear test and I now have a whole heap of spam (in Russsian of all things) to testify what a bad idea that is. This is a very efficient obsucuring method and only takes a little typing to configure for any link with it's nice interface.

I'll post more on interesting referrers and their content as and when they arise.

Entry 682, Thursday, January 22nd 2004, Filed In Stuff

Applaud even your smallest achievements and get a laugh at your weakest of jokes with the instant audience soundboard.

Entry 680, Thursday, January 22nd 2004, Filed In Stuff
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David Brent brought in to train Micro$oft staff? Be prepared for some serious dance moves from your local Micro$oft consultant. I can't wait to see Windows XP Brent Edition (Win XPBE) [via barnski].

Entry 679, Wednesday, January 21st 2004, Filed In Stuff

Do you fit the Mini Driver profile? That's Mini, not Minnie, Driver. Apparently I seek out winding hilly roads in my Mini, which would be true if I didn't have to go to work everyday which mainly involves taking the train with a very short, straight & flat drive to the station. Oh to be on a winding road, up a hill, in my Mini with Minnie in the passenger seat. Well I can dream anyway... [presented by op-pop].

Entry 678, Tuesday, January 20th 2004, Filed In Stuff
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Beautiful, original, but not for those prone to motion sickness, site navigation at sofake.

Entry 677, Tuesday, January 20th 2004, Filed In Stuff
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Looking for an unusual Valentine's present? Why not confuse your partner with the Nokia chocolate box selection? Chipped teeth guaranteed if you go for the biggest choccy first.

Entry 676, Tuesday, January 20th 2004, Filed In Stuff

Soothing watery sounds from createch. I need to pee now...

Entry 675, Monday, January 19th 2004, Filed In Stuff

If you need a favicon for your site and you haven't got an icon editor, or you are artistically inept (er me), then this little on-line tool will come in useful. Use it to convert any pic into a favicon with no artistic talent required at all, well perhaps you have to be careful in your choice of original pic, but that's about it. Hey presto! All your MSIE users who bookmark you will have some nice eyecandy, and more importantly all your users with tabbed browsers will get nice little icons all over the place. Lovely [via op-pop].

Entry 674, Monday, January 19th 2004, Filed In Stuff

If you've got some time to waste try the latest Internet toy the mix master, mix the content from the site of your choice with the layout from another. Tinkering away this morning I've hijacked Daisy's layout to make Chasing Laces, the best gadget weblog's content to make the very informative Lazymodo, but my favourite, despite it's Beta status, is that new Google service, Lazy News.

Entry 673, Sunday, January 18th 2004, Filed In Stuff

The Personal Firewall Day website doesn't actually mention when the day in question is, perhaps that's because every day is personal firewall day. If you're not protected already go and have a read and use the links available to do something about it. For a start Zone Alarm is free, and excellent, and you'll help stop my mental ISP randomly disconnecting people to stop virus' spreading.

Entry 672, Sunday, January 18th 2004, Filed In Stuff

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