Now you're telling me that astronauts really did land on the moon? I'm so confused...
The Layout Reservoir needs you. Rather than attempting to anticipate the needs of web designers and developers, BlueRobot would love to hear from you. What would you like to see in the Reservoir? Would you like help with a specific layout? Send me your requests. Coincidentally, that email address works equally well for feedback, complaints, and hate mail.
It's been more than a week since my last post here. Was I abducted? Stricken with disease? Summoned for jury duty? Huh? Huh?
Though I cannot absolutely deny anything, my absence has been primarily caused by something far more ordinary: work. Frankly, it's been kicking my ass. When my daily toil returns to non-toxic levels, expect BlueRobot to peak its shiny metal head out of this sea of mediocrity. Until then, I'm swimming in it.
Rude Parrot has something to say about Columnar Layouts in CSS1. Mr. Parrot scolds those of us promoting the use of CSS2 in web layouts. Listen to the Parrot - I agree with almost everything the Parrot says. Almost.
I cringe every time I slowly type one of those evil IE5/Win hacks into an otherwise swell stylesheet. I'm not going to defend the practice of using workarounds that coddle broken browsers. I can't. I'm currently optimistic that the next incarnation of Internet Explorer will get the CSS box model right, though that's based on speculation. Soon, I'll find the courage to stop caring about layout issues in IE5/Win. And I won't look back.
That said, there's a reason that I've resisted the urge to place a "float them all left" (FTAL) multi-column layout in The Layout Reservoir. In a FTAL layout, the order of elements in the markup is largely determined by the desired left to right position of the elements on the screen. That's no big deal, unless it adversely affects the logical structure of your document. For the CSS-challenged, should your left-side menu appear before the real content of your page? Should your right-side menu appear after that content? If yes, then use a "float them all left" layout. If no, then you haven't really separated style from structure. You've just traded one presentation-dependent structure for another: TABLE's for DIV's.
Two CSS horizontal centering techniques explained here and here. I hope to gather many more CSS techniques together to form a new section on this site. In the meantime, if my meager offerings don't satisfy you, visit Eric Costello's CSS Layout Techniques. Just tell Eric that BlueRobot sent ya'.
You complain - BlueRobot listens. I've added a "View CSS" link to the layouts in The Layout Reservoir. Through a miracle of Active Server Pages, the CSS should be viewable to everyone (fingers crossed). Ah, the scrutiny! Metafilter has caught wind of The Layout Reservoir.
Today, a new section of BlueRobot.com is born: The Layout Reservoir. Does the web need another resource to aid developers in creating CSS-based layouts? Maybe not. Does that bother me? Not really. Currently, the Reservoir is small and rough - be patient. Many thanks to Dave Elfving for his help with the section's name.