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Writings: Web Dev
I was over at Sean Corfeild's site, An Architects View, and noticed that Safari 3 beta is now available for download on windows machines! I hope this means I can test sites on it and won't have to worry about getting a mac to test it on (though I do plan on switching to a mac in the future)

Here is a list of browsers I test on:
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Percentage bars, as I call them, can be quite useful when giving your visitors many different types of data. I have struggled with these objects for many uses, and for the longest time the code was unreadable and just plain ugly.

Here is the newest version of my progress bar:
39% (39Mb of 100MB Used)
Its not overly obtrusive. Its simple, clean, to the point, and best of all, extremely customizable!

For some reason in IE, this example does not show the text overlay. Using the same exact code on other sites produces the proper results, so I think it may have to do with my site and perhaps a conflict somewhere in my existing CSS. I am tracking it down as we speak trying to figure out why that text disappears even though when searching for it IE does find it, even if it doesn't highlight it.
(click 'More...' to read how I make them)
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HI all,

I'm back for a small article on a new object I threw together called genericDao. I created this object for a quick project I was working on for my brother's DnD group, with the hopes of being able to access multiple tables with the same object with minimal setup. I got the basic idea from talking with a friend (Alan Szlosek). He told me how he was working with a new class type that allowed him to access database rows as an object. This object would retrieve, cache (when necessary), insert and update 1 row of a database table with little or no set up needed. Now since he used PhP to do it, and php classes have some functionality that I am lacking with CF, my implementation is not as clean as his probably is. Please note, that I understand my friend did not invent this type of database access, its around for quite a while if I"m not mistaken. he is just the one who told me about it. Ok, now that I've gotten the disclaimer out of the way, I can move on...
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Like the look of a graphical button with mouseovers? Want to cut down on bandwidth? I know, perhaps in todays world of high speed internet, low bandwidth solutions aren't priority anymore, but I like to still consider those poor dial up users out there. Trust me, they are still out there too. The benefit of this method just doesn't stop at low bandwidth, it also allows you to be flexible with the button colors. Now, this won't let you do a fancy flash mouseover with an animation, but sometimes all you really want to do it change the color of the button to notify the user that they are on hovering over the button.
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Ok, so I have this friend. A great coder in all aspects. He's actually what you would call my Teacher, though he is younger than me and even he will admit I have surpassed him in ColdFusion knowledge (he's strictly php for web dev now). For today, I'll call him switchprog. Switchprog has this great page called GreaterScope. Anywho, so one day he mentions this new way of doing content to me. He calls it 'QuickContent'.

So, I decide I need to know more about this 'quickContent' thing of his, so next time he's in Town we head down to the local R.J. Gators for som grub and to take part in our 4-5 hour ritual of talking code with each other. So he tells me in more detail about quickContent and even has brought me printouts of his code (YEAH!!!). It realy looks interesting to me, so I decide that I need to look further into the posiblity of using it for my own ventures.

The way QuickContent works seems really revolutionary to me, but please understand, I am relatively new to programming in an OO enviroment. I wrote MeiliBox OOP to help understand it, but at the time I was introducted to quickContent I still had trouble understanding the finer points of OOP. Ok, so here we go, I will discuss in detail my implementation of quickContent..

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One may ask, "How far can you take a div based layout?" I can answer that by saying that I took this whole site, and with the exception of a few tables, recreated the same exact look out of divs. "Why not all the tables," you may ask. Well to be honest, tables are not to be taken out of the HTML specification, and they are still quite useful. I just found when I looked over my code, that I was nesting plenty of tables, using TD's to create stylized lines (ie: the line to the left). I think this is unexceptable (for me that is). So I think I have come to a good solution for div/css layouts, and though I don't completely like how limited I am, I can see why somethings are the way they are.
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For a while now I have been contemplating the Div/CSS based layouts over the more traditional table based layouts. I have tried in the past to do a div/CSS based layout, but was always dissappointed with the limitations to such a layout. I was always under the impression that you were limited to a specific width and that your page could not scale with the window.

Well, I have to say that I've been proven wrong, since the page you are looking at is brought to you by the graces of XML/XSL Transformations. I decided to go with the HTML 4.01 Strict DTD as opposed to the Traditional DTD. To my amazement there was a lot that has changed since earlier versions. Workarounds that don't work anymore, and tricks that sadly I'll have to find workarounds to do again until all the browsers are 100% compliant. Then again, maybe these tricks should be considered bad practice and not done. Either way, that is not in the scope of this writing.

One thing I did run into was that, as opposed to the Transitional way, is that 100% now seems to mean 100% of the parent node. I was quite accustomed to using tables that had heights of 100% then setting one of the TD's to 100% to get the layout to span the whole page. That still works as long as you are content that you can only have one row, not multiple rows. When you add another row to the equation, the browser simply pushes the table down by the amount of pixels that the new rows uses (100% of the table's initial height + xPX for the new row). This was of course unacceptable for me, and I had to go on a crusade for a fix.

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