Happy Cog Philadelphia is Hiring

Fresh on the Job Board:

Happy Cog Philadelphia is looking for an experienced freelance front-end (presentation layer) developer with strong design sensibilities. You must live and breathe semantic XHTML and CSS and understand how design and layout decisions manifest themselves in the world of markup. It helps if you’ve worked with Content Management Systems like EllisLab’s ExpressionEngine and can integrate templates within this environment. You must be in the Philadelphia area and be able to work with us on site. Details are available on the Job Board posting.

[tags]happycog, hiring, webdesign, markup, css, expressionengine[/tags]

ALA 233: Semantic Flash, Valid Arguments

In Issue 233 of A List Apart, for people who make websites:

Semantic Flash: Slippery When Wet
The love that dare not speak its name gets its due as Happy Cog’s Dan Mall explores some of the ways Flash can enhance semantic, standards-based site designs. Part One of a series. Includes do-it-yourself, “shiny floor” project built with web standards and, yes, Flash (there, we said it).
Where Our Standards Went Wrong
No, they didn’t go wrong by using Flash. A List Apart’s Ethan Marcotte weighs the pros and cons of rigorous validation. Re-examine your assumptions. Discover the silent weight of invalid markup. Consider how to better educate clients on the benefits of web standards.

This issue goes out to our friends at SXSW Interactive.

Edited by Erin Kissane. Produced by Erin Lynch. Tech-edited by Aaron Gustafson and Ethan Marcotte (is that fair?). Illustrated by Kevin Cornell. Art directed by Jason Santa Maria. Published by Happy Cog. It’s shake and bake and I helped.

[tags]webstandards, flash, design, webdesign, alistapart, validation, ethanmarcotte, danmall, danielmall[/tags]

Register for An Event Apart Boston

Registration is now open for An Event Apart Boston 2007. Enjoy two amazing days of design and code plus meals, a party, and a bag of swag for a mere $795 (reg. $895) while early bird savings last. Attend for as little as $745 with a discount code exclusively for zeldman.com readers.

Learn by day, party by night

On An Event Apart’s website, you’ll now find a detailed schedule describing the presentations with which our superstar speakers hope to entertain and enlighten you. From “Web Standards Stole My Truck!” to “Redesigning Your Way out of a Paper Bag,” it’s two stimulating days of best practices and fresh ideas in design, usability, accessibility, markup and code.

Check out that schedule. I’ll wait.

Lest you be overwhelmed by learning too much too soon, we’ll help you unwind (and do a little networking) at the Opening Night Party sponsored by Media Temple. You might even win a prize, courtesy of Adobe, New Riders, or Media Temple.

Hotel savings

Our Boston Events page also includes notes to help you book your hotel room at a specially negotiated discount price.

Located in beautiful and historic Back Bay, the Boston Marriott Copley Place provides in-room, high-speed internet access; laptop safes and coolers; 27-inch color TV with cable movies; luxurious bedding and linens, and more. Best of all, it’s the site of the conference. You can walk out of your room and into the show!

Save more with discount code

During the early bird period, the price for this two-day event is $795. But you can nab an extra $50 off with this discount code exclusively for zeldman.com readers:


Just enter AEAZELD in An Event Apart’s shopping cart to enjoy those savings immediately. During our early bird period, you’ll pay just $745 for the two days and everything that comes with them.

After February 26, 2007, when the early bird savings ends, the price goes up to $895, and you’ll pay $845 with the discount. Still pretty good for two days with some of the sharpest minds and greatest talents in web design. But why pay more? Book An Event Apart Boston as soon as you can.

Unlimited creativity, limited seating

An Event Apart Boston will be the best conference Eric Meyer and I have yet put together. It will also be this year’s only East Coast Event Apart. Don’t miss it.

Join Eric and me, along with Steve Krug, Andrew Kirkpatrick, Molly Holzschlag, Cameron Moll, Dan Cederholm, Ethan Marcotte, and Jason Santa Maria, for what we modestly believe may be the most exciting and enlightening show in modern web design.

Hurry! Seating is limited and early bird savings end Feb. 26, 2007.

[tags]aneventapart, boston, aneventapartboston07[/tags]

ALA 230: Make the logo smaller

Happy Cog starts its publishing year with a great little issue of A List Apart, for people who make websites:


by Mark Boulton

So you think you know all about whitespace. You may be surprised. Mark Boulton, type expert to the stars, shows how micro and macro whitespace push brands upscale (or down) and enhance legibility in print and online.

How to Grok Web Standards

by Craig Cook

For designers who find web standards as easy to grasp as a buttered eel, Craig Cook shows how to stop the hurting and turn on the understanding. Learn how web standards work, and why they are more than simply an alternative means of producing a visual design.

[tags]design, typography, whitespace, webdesign, webstandards[/tags]

Monday breakfast links

Berners-Lee: reinventing HTML

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the web and founder of the W3C, announces reforms:

It is really important to have real developers on the ground involved with the development of HTML. It is also really important to have browser makers intimately involved and committed. And also all the other stakeholders….

Some things are clearer with hindsight of several years. It is necessary to evolve HTML incrementally. The attempt to get the world to switch to XML, including quotes around attribute values and slashes in empty tags and namespaces all at once didn’t work.

9 to 5 = average
To be great in design takes passion and work.
Sending XHTML as text/html Considered Harmful to Feelings
I love this.
Web Directions North
Our Australian friends set up camp in Vancouver, for what looks like a great two-day conference on standards-based design and development (Vancouver Canada, February 6-8 2007). Speakers include Kelly Goto (Gotomobile), Andy Clarke (malarkey), Adrian Holovaty (Chicago Crime, Washington Post), Douglas Bowman (Google Visual Design Lead), Dan Cederholm (SimpleBits), Joe Clark (joeclark.org), Dave Shea (CSS Zen Garden), Cameron Moll (Authentic Boredom), Molly Holzschlag (Molly.com), Veerle Pieters (Veerle’s Blog, Duoh!), Kaitlin Sherwood (Google Maps US Census mashup), Tantek Çelik (Technorati).
Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance
By Andrew Kirkpatrick, Richard Rutter, Christian Heilmann, Jim Thatcher, Cynthia Waddell, et al. Don’t let the unsexy title fool you. Vast and practically all-encompassing, this newly updated classic belongs on every web designer’s shelf. (Better still, open it and read.)
I Cannot Possibly Buy Girl Scout Cookies From Your Daughter at This Time
By Charlie Nadler in McSweeney’s.
Gemini Girl
New women’s blog elegantly designed by Ray McKenzie.
eMusic: 33 Folkways LPs
Thirty-three important Folkways Recordings for download. Louis Bonfa, Mighty Sparrow, Woodie Guthrie, Henry Cowell and more.
On having layout – the concept of hasLayout in IE/Win
Technical but reasonably easy to follow discussion of why Internet Explorer’s rendering of your design may suck differ from your expectations
“Apple’s Backup App is Shit”
God bless SuperDuper.

[tags]W3C, webdirections, accessibility, haslayout, browsers, mcsweeney’s, folkways[/tags]

IE7 CSS tweak show and tell

Partly because the beta was carefully rolled out over many months, the release of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 7 has largely been a non-event, for developers as well as journalists. While not at the level of Mozilla Firefox, IE7 is far more standards-compliant than IE6, which was way more compliant than IE5.5, which beat the pants off IE5. To make IE6 render standards-compliant pages correctly, web designers came up with a Wikipedia’s worth of hacks. In IE7, those hacks aren’t necessary; some actually cause problems.

(Here’s a tip from Dan Cederholm, who created the CSS for Happy Cog‘s redesign of Advertising Age: “inline-block is the new-and-improved method for auto-clearing floats.” Use it to replace display: inline-table;.)

IE7 is also the first Microsoft browser to permit user scaling. It does this the same way the Opera browser does it (which is the same way Microsoft Office does it): if text is too small, the user scales the entire page. By contrast, Safari and Firefox use Text Zoom, originally developed by Tantek Çelik for IE5/Mac. In those browsers, if text is too small, the user scales the text size—and nothing but the text size. Images, column widths, and so on, typically do not scale (unless the web designer is doing something really tricky).

There’s a huge difference between Text Zoom and Page Zoom, and it will affect the way designers spec type sizes for the web. It didn’t matter much when only Opera scaled the page. It was a neat feature of Opera; but Opera’s neat feature didn’t affect the way standards- and accessibility-oriented designers approached text size. But market share matters. Once IE7 gains critical mass, a lot of our current thinking about ems and pixels and such will go out the window. I’ll write about that soon, probably on A List Apart.

Meantime, developers are focused on the persnickety stuff: Ajax and JavaScript compatibility problems, CSS bugs that didn’t quite get fixed, and CSS hacks that no longer work.

Like me, you may have heard from a client whose site you designed before IE7 existed. What problems have you encountered? What hacks have you jettisoned, and with what have you replaced them? (Please include URLs.)

[tags]css, IE7, bugs, hacks, workarounds, design, webdesign, tantek, dancederholm[/tags]

IE7 Bugs and Fixes, Part I

Reader Adam Engelsgjerd writes:

I develop and maintain websites for the University of Arizona Library. We make use of the “Holly Hack” to avoid the IE6 peek-a-boo bug for our intranet site (God bless Holly). In the course of testing our sites against IE7 I noticed that the bug was rearing its head again‚ despite claims that this latest version has fixed it.

Further investigation revealed that while IE7 really does seem to have fixed this peek-a-boo bug the Holly Hack has, with decidedly sardonic irony, reintroduced the very problem it was created to circumvent.

This morning I tested and just implemented a fix that seems to work for us: the removal of the universal selector, “*‚” before the “html” selector. So the traditional Holly Hack is:

/* Hides from IE5-mac \*/
* html #contentWrapper {height: 1%;}
/* End hide from IE5-mac */

Our new code is now:

/* Hides from IE5-mac \*/
html #contentWrapper {height: 1%;}
/* End hide from IE5-mac */

I’ve tested this against the following browsers on Windows XP SP2:

IE6 (SP1 standalone install from evolt.org and SP2 full install)
IE5.5 (standalone install from evolt.org)
Netscape 7.2 and 8.1
Opera 7.11 and 8.54 and 9.00
Firefox 2.0

And on Windows 2000 SP4:


Hopefully this can be of some use should others be running into this same problem.

[tags]css, browsers, IE7, bugs, hacks, workarounds, holly hack[/tags]