Use CSS display:table for Layout

For a few years now, web developers doing CSS-based layouts have used floats or absolute positioning for layout web sites to avoid using non-semantic HTML <table>s.

While doable, extra hoops often have to be jumped through (mostly for IE) and some seemingly simple things can be harder than necessary (like equal height columns).

However, for a simpler solution, CSS-based display:table, display:table-row, display:table-cell etc are all usable today across Firefox 2+, Safari 3+, Opera 9+ and IE8. Continue reading

ASP.NET Is a Leaky Abstraction

A manipulation of the classic Mona Lisa shows her holding a mask revealing a smiling, ugly face. ASP.NET is a leaky abstraction because it tries to hide away some of the details of HTML markup generation for you when sometimes you need to know about the underlying markup.

In doing so, it is too easy to create ASP.NET sites that violate web accessibility guidelines and contain unnecessary markup bloat. In some cases, ASP.NET makes it really difficult to create the exact output you need. But there are a some options to address this problem. Continue reading

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Slows Down Web Development

This has been said so many times on the web by web developers frustrated at IE’s rendering bugs, lack of progress in support for web technologies, and so on, that at first I didn’t want to bother writing this post. However, a number of other posts on this site make reference to this point and I end up repeating myself, side tracking from the point at hand. For that reason, and for the benefit of some readers not familiar with this issue, this post serves as a summary of those concerns. Continue reading

The Email Standards Project

The Email Standards Project HTML-based email seems to be a mess, with different email clients supporting a different set (and sub-set) of web technologies such as HTML and CSS.

Microsoft’s Outlook has a commanding share of desktop email clients. However, Microsoft announced that Outlook 2007 would use Word’s HTML rendering engine, rather than Internet Explorer’s which seems like a big step backward.

While some may prefer text-only email, others prefer to — or must — create HTML-based email.

The Email Standards Project is attempting to follow the example of the Web Standards Project, but for email clients, web- and desktop-based to try and make HTML-email creation less hit and miss. Continue reading