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Weblog Entry

Garden Update

October 20, 2003

Such is life — for about 24 hours this weekend the Zen Garden was inaccessible. What was supposed to be a simple server update turned into a nightmare for the generous souls hosting the site thanks to kernel compile errors, blown processors, and all sorts of other things I don’t even want to think about. A few version synch glitches here, a little elbow grease there, and we’re back online. Those guys rock.

To make it up to you, the viewer, my planned weekend uber-update went live this afternoon. Three new official designs, a slew of new designs on the comprehensive list, and a bunch of new translations await you.

Cornelia Lange submits a creative take for design #50 — 50! — a brief summary of some of the incredible work the Garden has received. Daniel Leroux, a fellow Vancouverite submits the subtlely gorgeous Budda. And FastClemmy throws another beautiful horizontal scroller in the ring with HoriZental.

The comprehensive list sports 123 designs, and is running the risk of becoming completely unwieldy. Perhaps a make-work project is in order to categorize better and make it easier to browse.

Translations! Czech, Hungarian, Indonesian, Swedish, and Turkish join the growing list, with Polish coming sooner or later. Currently the non-Romanized Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) are a bit of a mess thanks to PHP’s notorious lack of proper Unicode support, but we’ve hopes they’ll be back to behaving properly later this week.

See if you can spot what I’ve done differently with the French translation — will the others follow suit? Time will tell!

Update: Actually, most of the translations that require non-Western character encoding seem to be broken, and I think it has to do more with the HTTP headers than it does with PHP. That should be resolved in not too long.

Reader Comments

Dris says:
October 20, 02h

The new designs look great!

As far as what you did with the French, I have no idea. Didn’t spot any difference except the language (the understanding of which may be required to spot the difference)… Then again, I didn’t look too hard.

October 20, 03h

The translations do raise an interesting question of how multiple languages can be supported when using FIR, as you have started to do on design #1.

Presumably there is no way this can be done in CSS, so is server-side scripting to pull different graphics out a necessity?

Dave S. says:
October 20, 03h

Martin, check the Digital Web article I wrote in August - - head down to Foreign Language Support. Impractical now due to IE’s inability to handle the :lang selector, but one day it should work.

I’m just serving up a different .css file with appropriate links to the translated images. I’ll only ever translate the default design; asking each submitter to create 20 different versions of each image containing text is entirely out of the question.

huphtur says:
October 20, 05h

Dave: What is the criteria for the different zengarden lists? Like, what is the difference between “Official Designs” and “Conceptual”?

Dave S. says:
October 20, 06h

Huphtur - a judgement call.

huphtur says:
October 20, 10h

ah, the infamous “Executive Decision”. heh

October 21, 06h

It’s such an honor to have my little plot in the CSS Zen Garden especially given the great entries that came out lately ! Thanks so much !

Maybe has it already been suggested, but wouldn’t it be nice if the design of homepage was a random pick at each visit ? People could refresh to switch randomly and appreciate the entries…

Andrew says:
October 22, 06h

I’m guessing the difference is the fact heading images (ie. places where you’ve replace text with graphic) differ depending on the language. Obviously only French at this point, but who knows…

…which does kind of beg the question, why don’t you put in some sort of css-readable tag (<body class=”fr”>) so that we can all do it? I know it’s a bit late now for the hundred and twenty odd entries already in there, but for future designs, and for anyone who feels like updating… just a thought.

Jan! says:
October 22, 06h

I don’t really see any benefit in providing access keys for the garden’s different style sheets, especially when they break the most used of all the browser’s shortcuts: Alt-D no longer places focus on the address bar, but instead triggers some other design. Which is a bit annoying to me, and often left me puzzled.

But, as always: great designs!

Dave S. says:
October 22, 08h

Andrew - that’s actually an excellent point. I hadn’t thought of quite doing it like that; Clement’s ‘HoriZental’ has a French equivalent that I was going to hack into the source somehow. Your way makes way more sense.

Jan - you’re right in that AccessKeys on the Garden itself are useless. I originally implemented them because I knew a lot of people would be studying the code; making it as useful as possible as a learning tool is my goal. Of course now I’m finding that AccessKeys are mostly a pain anyway, due to breaking existing shortcuts (your ALT+D is a perfect example - I hate that)