Stylin'

CSS is fun. Really…. It’s as simple as that….

I first started playing around with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) when I was doing the second major revision of 2657 Productions, but the application for that site was pretty basic. I pretty much used it just for defining the colors and fonts of the headers and the paragraph sections of the text. Other than that, I really didn’t do anything fancy. It wasn’t until I started working on the Peoples’ Self-Help Housing website that I really started exploring the abilities of CSS even more.

Because of the complexities of the PSHH website, I still made a lot of use of tables for the general page layout. Looking back at the design, I suppose it shouldn’t be too hard to have done the layout with CSS, but I wasn’t quite ready for that.

So, instead, I decided to redesign the So, sue me alreday sub-site. Taking what I had learned with the PSHH site, I decided to take a “table-free” approach. I had been reading a lot of stuff from A List Apart (a truly awesome website), and had a pretty good idea of how I should take things.

I created an initial screen style sheet (the one you see when you first go to the site), and I’m pretty happy with it. Positioning is a bit off with different browsers, but I guess that’s an issue that I’d face in almost any case. Borrowing from the PSHH site, I also created an alternate print stylesheet that gets rid of all the “fluff” and lets you print just the important stuff. I feel it works very well….

This is where the real fun comes in though. I had remembered seeing something at Dynamic Drive about creating a style sheet switcher, and I decided to look it up. It’s totally awesome, and really easy to implement. Basically, you use the downloadable JavaScript, add a few lines of code, and add some links on your page to your alternate stylesheets. The script stores your preference sitewide, so if you’ve selected a CSS file to use, it’ll use that file for the rest of your browsing experience. It’s pretty cool, and I’m sure I’m going to be playing around with it a lot more in the near future….

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