CSS Pseudo Classes

CSS3 has been floating around out there for a while but it still hasn't gotten a foothold - which is unfortunate. One feature that will change the way you think about your CSS is support for massively more-powerful pseudo-classes. Currently we stylers are limited to :hover and in most cases :first-child & :last-childIf you regularly use jQuery or at least look through the docs you know that there are some other pretty powerful options that would make some of CSS sweater.

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Decenders and Internet Explorer

I didn't need another reason to hate Internet Explorer but I found one. It turns out that if you use certain fonts at certain sizes in IE then the decenders get cut off. Ok, lets break that down.


A decender is the part of a letter (typically a lowercase letter) that drops down below the baseline. Here are the usual suspects: g,j,p,q,y. On occasion you may come across a font that include some other decenders but they are rare, and they are certainly not web safe fonts.

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CSS Sprites

CSS sprites have been around just about as long as CSS has been around - they just haven't been called that. And recently they have matured into a more viable technique that can help speed up your site. So let's begin at the beginning... To explain CSS sprites I'm going to ask you to imagine a typical horizontal navbar...

Now imagine that when a user rolls over a nav item the background changes color. Simple, right? Just create one class for the normal state with one background image and one class for the hover state with another...

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Drupal Modules: Backup & Migrate

When I first installed the backup & migrate module I was just looking for a quick and easy way to backup the database of one of my Drupal-based sites and it served that purpose well (even letting me schedule backups), but I didnt realize how useful it would be to my development process. Here's what I mean… My usual development process usually goes something like this:

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Rounded rectangles with a non-repeating background

One problem I have come across on several occasions is creating a fixed-width rounded rectangle that, in addition to its rounded-ness, has a non-repeating backgrund image. Here is an example of what I'm talking about:


So lets start with the rounded rectangle part.  This is the typical html that I might use:

<div class="rect_wrap">

  <div class="rect_top"></div>

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Drupal Modules: Administration Menu

You know that rule about the simplest solutions being the best solutions? Well here you have a module that takes all of your admin tools and places them in a simple dropmenu at the top of every page on your site (for admins only, of course). This module is as simple as they come - no configuration necessary (there are a couple of options if you can't live without fiddling) - but it can save you tons of time when your trying to do some serious site maintainence.

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3rd Party HTML

So here is an interesting question I came across while working on one of my sites… The site in question has an XHTML1.0 Strict doctype and I have been very careful to make sure all of the markup validates. Today I received an email with some HTML provided by a third-party content provider that was definitly not valid XHTML (in fact it wasnt really valid anything, but that's not the point) for me to insert into one of the pages. Now what am I supposed to do?

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Drupal modules I cannot live without

(This is one of those lists that I plan to keep updating so check back)

Drupal has a little over 3 gazillion modules available these days and while most them are only appropriate for a limited number of sites there are a select few that I must have. If you've ever used Drupal then the fact that many (most? all?) of these modules made my list should not be a big suprise. But just in case I'm going go spend some time getting under the hood of each module (listed in no particular order) that I install without thinking every time I start a new Drupal-based site:

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Web safe fonts

During a recent project the bulk of the design work was outsourced and the designs that came back were laden with Arial Black headers. After the initial alarm bells subsuded I began to ask myself if the time had finally come when websites could let loose and go crazy—had the day arrived when the number of fonts choices crept passed seven? So I started looking…

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