getting the hang of CSS and XHTML

I really should know CSS and XHTML by now… i’ve studied it in college, edited several of my own sites, even hand coded some small bits and pieces. Hell i’ve even got 100% in an xhtml exam, and ~90% in a CSS exam. But honestly, that’s nothing. It’s things like floating boxes left and right, editing text etc.. all of that can be read in a book or taken from w3schools.

We were told we’d ‘covered’ CSS in college after about 3 or 4 weeks of using it 🙄 Gimme a break, this is the sort of stuff that takes months to master. I ran in to several major issues when trying to code one of my themes.

Problem no.1 was centering everything… photoshop and fireworks (CS3) have a cool new feature which exports you .psd as valid XHTML and CSS. The problem with that is everything is positioned absolutely, so by default, the page design isn’t center aligned… bummer.

This was a simple enough fix… just use a wrapper DIV which sort of overwrites all the other DIVS. I’d have a few issues with stupid Internet Explorer but it was nothing like the footer problem i had later… Which takes me on to problem no.2 – the footer.

You can’t absolutely position a footer as it can change height according to content (Duh!) So this fix took me about 2 hours to figure out. I had to move the footer outside the main wrapper, positioning it relatively. I then had to give the wrapper a min height, set the bottom margin to minus footer height which was -125px, that sorted it eventually.

Now that’s the sort of crap we don’t cover in college and that’s the sort of stuff which seperates the men from the boys in terms of CSS. It takes time and plenty of googling plus experimenting.

I also have to add if i was doing this on my laptop i would DEFINITELY have thrown in the towel early on as the amount of windows i had open at one stage was crazy 😉 At one stage i had 7 windows open across my two monitors going back and forth to tweak design, CSS, html, then test in IE and Firefox with a calculator open to do some quick math. The 7th window was my gmail account as i also had to do a bit of work on BeerChief… by ‘work’ i mean telling people what to do :mrgreen:

I also had several folders open in the taskbar… Dual monitors rock and for this sort of stuff i could quite easily add a third monitor 🙂 Anyway, i’ve finally got one of my themes sorted in terms of valid CSS and XHTML, i’ll begin ‘wordpressing’ it tomorrow which should be fun.

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