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View Full Version : Not a question, a comment. This is bloody clever!



Doctor_Varney
08-30-2010, 03:47 AM
It's no news, I'm sure nearly everyone's seen it. Probably understood it, well before I even came across it. Thanks to effpeetee for directing me to it.

Equal-height-columns-cross-browser-css-no-hacks (http://matthewjamestaylor.com/blog/equal-height-columns-cross-browser-css-no-hacks)

It astounds me. It is so elegant that it reminds me of the sort of extrapolations Einstein made in working out the interconnectedness between space and time.

I do have a question, however... Just one...

How on earth does a person work this out in the first place? I build things, all the time. Small and large structures. I can see them in my head, before I build them. Adding a roof to four walls does not cause bricks to fly up into the air... and there is only one reality... the laws of physics. Unlike the multiple perspectives of the different browsers. It is outside of my mind's capability to create structures in inner space, which only have meaning in computer displays - and although I now roughly understand it, I cannot imagine myself ever thinking up anything like this.

What kind of brain can think this stuff up - and did whoever invented CSS ever imagine this kind of thing would be possible or even necessary - or are these the sort of techniques anticipated by the inventors, when CSS was first conceived?

I mean - let's face it. Picture yourself at the dawn of CSS and someone says: "Hey, you can position page divisions anywhere you like on a page instead of making tables out of spaghetti..." You wouldn't immediately think you'd need to turn your head inside out, just to make something that looks a bit like a newspaper!

A light has come on. It's still dim but it's growing brighter, with each paragraph I read.

It makes me feel stupid, but I accept it. Maybe now I'll be able to design stuff that doesn't look stupid anymore.

Thank you, Frank. Thank you, Mathew James Taylor. Thank you, for reading.

Dr. V

bazz
08-30-2010, 04:11 AM
How on earth does a person work this out in the first place?


dunno but, if we were to spend time dwelling on *how*, we wouldn't been thinking about the 'next big thing' coz we would be side-tracked :D

Very useful post. thank you. I have been relying on JS and it gives me a headache.

bazz

Doctor_Varney
08-30-2010, 04:23 AM
dunno but, if we were to spend time dwelling on *how*, we wouldn't been thinking about the 'next big thing' coz we would be side-tracked :D

bazz

You're absolutely right, Baz. There comes a point where one has to stop thinking and just accept it - and just go out there and DO it. Bit like politics, I suppose. :D

And thanks for the comment. :thumbsup:

Dr. V

Nyk
08-30-2010, 09:35 AM
Removed.

Doctor_Varney
08-30-2010, 02:39 PM
Why removed?

Dr. V

Nyk
08-30-2010, 02:59 PM
I thought you were referring to a different layout on the same website (before checking the link) and thus my comment wasn't really valid. Sorry about that.

Great thread, though. MJT is quite talented.

Doctor_Varney
09-01-2010, 09:07 PM
Yes. However... none of this appeals to my brand of logic. Unless I parrot his code, I don't stand a chance of being able to create my own custom layouts based on this principle.

In practice, I'm finding it's actually too clever to be of any real use here.

Does anyone know of a more straightforward method? Surely, CSS is not so weird and broken that we have to resort to making chinese puzzles, to make a simple columnular layout with equal columns???

After all, newspapers have been doing this for hundreds of years. Computers make our lives easier? Heh... I don't think so...

Dr. V

Apostropartheid
09-01-2010, 09:44 PM
Yes. However... none of this appeals to my brand of logic. Unless I parrot his code, I don't stand a chance of being able to create my own custom layouts based on this principle.

In practice, I'm finding it's actually too clever to be of any real use here.

Does anyone know of a more straightforward method? Surely, CSS is not so weird and broken that we have to resort to making chinese puzzles, to make a simple columnular layout with equal columns???

After all, newspapers have been doing this for hundreds of years. Computers make our lives easier? Heh... I don't think so...

Dr. V

Some people just love puzzles.

The method which has currency at the moment is faux columns.

effpeetee
09-01-2010, 09:46 PM
A few more to look at.
(http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/layouts/category/C10/)
Frank

Doctor_Varney
09-01-2010, 09:59 PM
Some people just love puzzles.

I love a challenge but this precise type of 'puzzle' is no fun when you suffer with discalculia.

My point is, it shouldn't be a puzzle, just for the average person to create something which has been in print for hundreds of years in all it's mind-stupefying simplicity - but it is and I just have to accept that.

Thank you, Frank. I'll take a good look at those. :thumbsup:

Dr. V

wincode
09-02-2010, 03:02 AM
I always feel like you Dr. V.
But isn't trail and error the most important step in innovation?

bazz
09-02-2010, 03:05 AM
Faux columns are OK, in specific circumstances but they don't seem to fit with fluid layouts, unless I haven't understood their full potential.

I think there ought to be a CSS attribute which provides several options.

div-height: full /* extends to the bottom of the viewport no matter where it starts */
div-height: content /* extends to accommodate the content */
div-height: set /* in px or em, set to the height required for the design.*/

surely can't be too difficult a concept for CSS 3.

bazz

effpeetee
09-02-2010, 08:05 AM
My 'Sources' program (http://www.exitfegs.co.uk/Sources.html) uses javascript to keep the columns equal length.

Frank

effpeetee
09-02-2010, 11:27 AM
Here's another one for you. (http://www.gunlaug.no/tos/moa_11f.html)

Frank

Doctor_Varney
09-02-2010, 05:24 PM
I always feel like you Dr. V.
But isn't trail and error the most important step in innovation?

Yes of course but I think you're missing my point.

Not everyone can be an innovator. Designing a new car wouldn't normally necessitate re-inventing the wheel. The people who first thought of cramming websites into table cells were innovators but they did so in a way that did not benefit everyone. I really would have thought the fact it happened at all highlights a need for a straightforward, intuitive web design language. Now THAT would have been innovative, in itself. The public want to view pages which resemble the printed documentation they are used to reading. CSS development responds to that need by serving us with something we still must hack, poke and generally circumvent, in order to produce the staple and logical layouts, used for the last few hundred years.

Even if you don't agree with what I'm saying, you understand it, without me needing to find 'innovative' ways to express it. That's because the language we are all using here is quite adequate for expressing ourselves.

There shouldn't be any need for 'innovation' if the language itself is adequate, intuitive and accessible to all.

'Innovation' would then be about doing things web designers don't 'normally' do. That would be exciting.

I'm not saying web design should be made easy or that CSS is "no good coz I can't do it well". I'm saying that from my point of view, as someone who is able to do a variety of things, it does not immediately make sense when trying to do the most fundamental things with it.

Dr. V

Apostropartheid
09-02-2010, 08:06 PM
Yes of course but I think you're missing my point.

Not everyone can be an innovator. Designing a new car wouldn't normally necessitate re-inventing the wheel. The people who first thought of cramming websites into table cells were innovators but they did so in a way that did not benefit everyone. I really would have thought the fact it happened at at all highlights a need for a straightforward, intuitive web design language. Now THAT would have been innovative, in itself. The public want to view pages which resemble the printed documentation they are used to reading. CSS development responds to that need by serving us with something we still must hack, poke and generally circumvent, in order to produce the staple and logical layouts, used for the last few hundred years.

Even if you don't agree with what I'm saying, you understand it, without me needing to find 'innovative' ways to express it. That's because the language we are all using here is quite adequate for expressing ourselves.

There shouldn't be any need for 'innovation' if the language itself is adequate, intuitive and accessible to all.

I'm not saying web design should be made easy or that CSS is "no good coz I can't do it well". I'm saying that from my point of view, as someone who is able to do a variety of things, it does not immediately make sense when trying to do the most fundamental of things with it.

Dr. V

But CSS is fundamentally different from other things, and it takes a different type of person to find oneself at ease with code than it would with, say, print.

Doctor_Varney
09-02-2010, 10:02 PM
I would be at ease with the code, if the code did what I logically expected it to.

Exactly my point, Apostropartheid. CSS is very unlike ANYTHING else I've EVER come across.

I could'a welded two cars together, side-by-side by now. Probably just as useless as a vehicle, but definitely more funny when it crashes. :D

Of course, none of this diatribe diminishes my respect for those who can manipulate the code to great effect and produce some of the wonderful designs out there. At times, they make me feel a little inadequate.

Dr. V



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