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Transitional Layouts, Publicity

March 02, 2004

Lockergnome’s regression, continuing the Zen Garden Notification Service, and hey, how about that, Dan Cederholm has a new book out.

Via Matt Mullenweg:

You might recall the somewhat-simplistic design of our site before we dove head-first into Cascading Style Sheets. Despite its shortcomings and lack of finesse, the sucker worked - and we had few complaints. Pay attention, as we’re about to tuck a tail between our collective legs… and trade in modern conveniences for compatibility. is about to become less confusing as it goes back to more a basic code structure. We’re going to unbury the menus and options and chalk up the past few months to experience. (Source: Lockergnome)

While the wording leaves a lot of unanswered questions, one is led to believe that Mr. Pirillo has either a) decided to throw the new CSS-based Lockergnome design out the window for an older table-based solution for unclear ‘compatibility’ issues, or b) decided to throw the new fancy Lockergnome design out the window for a simpler site architecture.

Speculation is meaningless until we see the results, and there’s nothing wrong with adjusting site architecture to suit your needs. But if the first choice appears to be a valid option to the Lockergnome crew, may I humbly suggest a transitional (hybrid) layout that relies on a table for page layout, and CSS for the rest?

Long-time readers shouldn’t be surprised about this piece of advocacy: it’s still about using what works, today. While there is almost nothing that can be done with tables that can’t be done with CSS, possessing the simple knowledge that it’s possible is not enough. Skills needed to produce these layouts come only after a significant time investment in learning the techniques, and sometimes that time isn’t available.

Standards are a continuum; everyone starts somewhere. How far you go is entirely up to you. §

Continuuing the Zen Garden Notification Service, the following publications have featured screenshots of the following Zen Garden designs recently: §

LinuxFormat (UK) — Feb 2004 edition
  • “This is Cereal” — Shaun Inman
PIXELmag (Aus.) — Jan. 2004 edition
  • “mnemonic” — Dave Shea
  • “zenlightenment” — Lance Leonard
  • “prêt-à-porter” — Minz Meyer
  • “HoriZental” — Clément Hardouin
  • “First Summary” — Cornelia Lange
  • “ZenGrounds” — Andrea Piernock
  • “Postage Paid” — Mike Stenhouse
  • “Entomology” — Jon Hicks
  • “Dusk” — Jon Hicks
CSS Praxis (Germany)
  • “tranquille” — Dave Shea
  • “sub:lime” — Andy Budd
  • “si6” — Shaun Inman
  • “Calm & Smooth” — Cornelia Lange
  • “I Dream in Colour” — Jeff Bilen

In other publishing news, the book I contributed to, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation is at long last available to order. My promo copies showed up last night, and things are looking good.

The bulk of the book was written by Owen Briggs, Steve Champeon, Eric Costello, and Matt Patterson. My part, and the part of a few other names you may recognize (Dan Rubin, Mike Pick, and more) are smaller case studies, near the end of the book. I have yet to read the rest of it, but from all indications it appears to be a pretty comprehensive reference to working with CSS. §

Hey, look what else is available for pre-order. §