Flux, Part 2: The First Couple of Days After

After pulling the switch on the design, the general reaction to the design has been positive. Which is really good since I was worried that it might be too purple. At least, I’m out of my “green period”, Porter, right?

Just to document the changes and in case anyone’s interested, here are are a few things I’ve fixed and/or learned about as I’ve been working on the Flux design for the last couple of days:

  • For all that is right in the world, be sure to reset the display of your pages before you start working on production. In talking with Richard Rutter before his Web Typography Sucks panel, we talked briefly about how Web designers have to work within a browser’s pre-defined style sheet and how you don’t get that with print design. (InDesign never opens up and says, “right, let me have a go at your design.”) So, after researching Tantek’s and Yahoo!‘s reseting of CSS, I went with Yahoo!‘s after most of the production work on the template was done. Big mistake, amigo. I’ve been playing bug catcher ever since in hopes I catch most of them and don’t have to do the whole production over.
  • You can really get carried away with floats. Personally, I love shackling elements and probably will be sticking with that method for most of my production work from now on.
  • Positioning elements led me realize that Internet Explorer 6 for Windows does not like nesting two absolutely positioned elements inside a relative positioned element. I got a little arrogant in thinking I could pull this off and not get burned by IE6. Apparently, IE6 blows through the nested absolutely positioned element and sticks with the parent’s elements positioned values. This caused me to do the following…
  • Rework how I display the header for the site. Now when you resize the fonts in your browser, the text in the header moves upward while the text in the rest of the page pushes downward. This is a cool trick Doug Bowman did on Adaptive Path’s site many moons ago and I’ve been itching to incorporate the tecnique into a site ever since.
  • Firebug is outstanding. I had a rogue CSS rule causing 18 pixels of pure madness at the bottom of every paragraph. Took me a while to find it through my traditional means, so I broke out the big guns and nuked the problem in under 120 seconds. Yeah, my workflow just improved.
  • Most of the other changes were backend: Putting what little content I have into PHP includes, wrapping content chunks with DIVs and some minor icon reworking. Mostly, I’m trying to make sense of WordPress’s structure.

The next items on my to do list involve mainly more spring cleaning on the templates. I need to get those cleared before I input the additional content. However, I do have one question I can’t seem to solve to my satisfaction:

Does any one know how to include Gravatar’s into your comments? 

Gravatar lists documentation for a WordPress 1.2 plugin, but I’m running a more advanced version. Any chance the old plugin works for the current version of WordPress? 

I’d like to know if it does so I know how much time I should invest in incorporating the icons into the site design.

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