Not much has happened lately.

The economy is in a slump (South Africa seems to be trailing behind the rest of the world in that respect, too) and business has been very slow lately. I'm taking the opportunity to redo my company website which has been getting rather stale and dusty, and this time I'm doing it properly, based on my own framework, and using CSS for layout rather than tables. In the process of which I discovered that while using tables is not really advisable anymore in 2010, using CSS instead (as God intended, according to some) sucks balls has some severe limitations. For example, something as elementary as making a multi-column layout in which each column has its own background image is a major pain - the damn things just won't line up at the bottom no matter what. CSS (CSS2, at least) just cannot do it! The best work-around so far seems to be using a single background image for multiple columns (which is a pain and somewhat inelegant) or using Javascript and the DOM to modify element properties on the fly upon completion of page loading (which is majorly inelegant).

Spring is slowly coming closer, and the tree in my neighbours' garden is in bloom while the birds are getting more active and start thinking about nests and such. It's still pretty chilly but the worst of the cold is over. I'm making plans for my herb garden, and I'll be starting the seeding trays for it this week. But my experiments with leek, cabbages and broccoli during the winter have clearly shown that the soil needs a lot of work; as it is now it is much too poor. A load of manure would be good (the country is full of it, after all) but it's about three feet from my bedroom window, so I might want to think a bit more about that. :_)

South African politics are still the same - an ugly little fight over power and money among politicans and their cronies - a bunch of ego-maniacal opportunists who are only interested in helping themselves to whatever they want. Did I just repeat myself?

Update: The idea behind using CSS for layout was to have a good look at mobile compliance. With more mobile devices than computers on the planet, ignoring mobile users is something that one just can no longer afford. And catering to the screen sizes of mobile devices is nearly impossible with tables - what's needed here is a separate style sheet that hides some elements, uses custom sizes for others, and does not tie one into a layout that has been fixed for all eternity by tables hardcoded in HTML.

Unfortunately, while the mobile market is booming, support for mobile devices is a complete pig's breakfast at this time. Every device manufacturer does things differently. Some ignore major aspects of CSS, others do a fandango on tables, and screen sizes can be just about anything. The web was never intended as a place where absolute positioning could work, or where assumptions about the client device could be trusted, but right now the only solution that really works seems to be a separate design and implementation for each and every make and model of handheld device, which is of course impossible. Not to mention that some wireless providers run content through a proxy that strips out selected portions of whatever HTML and CSS you use, which makes it even more of a crapshoot.

And that's pretty much it at the moment, really...


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