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21. Zebra Tables

A List Apart, Tutorials, 14 KB, 1304 words

Ever since CSS hit the big time, the table has become increasingly rare. Semantic markup and CSS have replaced tables as layout tools. Tables are now relegated to their original role: displaying data stored in records (rows) and fields (columns).

However, their new status doesn't mean that they still can't be the targets of a designer's styles and a developer's hacks. A table typically presents more information than the rest of the page in a much smaller area, and much effort has been spent in attempting to make tables and other data visualizations as easy to interpret as possible.

The web designer's and developer's toolbox of the DOM, CSS...

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22. CSS Talking Points: Selling Clients on Web Standards

A List Apart, Tutorials, 13 KB, 1386 words

It's been a slow year. With the Internet economy taking a bit of a tumble (perhaps you've read about it), new clients just haven't been calling like they were. So what's a hapless web designer with a family and a modest mortgage to do? Use the downtime to re-tool, re-learn, and switch over to Standards Compliant Design of course (wild cheers, whistles, deafening applause).

Done! Ummm, just one small problem. How do I convince my clients to go along with it? They may not be tech savvy, but they are well-versed in the mantra of designing for the least common denominator. Full access for everybody is the battle cry of the small business, and what's worse,...

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23. Adding a Sidebar - MT3.1 and Earlier

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 35 KB, 2553 words

The default Movable Type MT3 templates come with a sidebar on the right side of the Main Index page, but not on any of the individual entry, monthly, or category archive pages.

There are two basic ways to add a sidebar to archive pages. The easiest for beginners is just to copy and paste the existing sidebar code into the correct place in the archive templates. The slightly more involved, but much preferable method is to create a separate file with the sidebar code and use a PHP include or an MT include to include the file into the various templates. You can also very easily move a sidebar from the right to the left side of your weblog pages.

Where is the Sidebar Code? MT3.1 and...

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24. Retooling Slashdot with Web Standards

A List Apart, Tutorials, 14 KB, 1568 words

{Part I of a two-part series.}

Ask an IT person if they know what Slashdot's tagline is and they'll reply, "News for Nerds. Stuff that Matters." Slashdot is a very prominent site, but underneath the hood you will find an old jalopy that could benefit from a web standards mechanic.

In this article we will show how an engine overhaul could take place by converting a single Slashdot page from their current HTML 3.2 code, nested tables, and invalid, nonsemantic markup, to a finely tuned web standards racing engine. The goal is not to change Slashdot, but to rebuild it with web standards and show the benefits of the transition.

Before you panic because...

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25. To Hell With Bad Browsers

A List Apart, Tutorials, 21 KB, 2563 words

If the design of this site looks relatively coherent, congratulations! Your browser does a good-to-excellent job of supporting web standards like CSS-1, HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0, and scripting languages. If this site is readable and usable but looks as plain as an Amish coat, your browser does not support web standards. Fortunately, you can easily upgrade to one that does. Before you start shrieking, perhaps you'll hear us out.

What have you done?

We've upgraded the design of A List Apart to comply with web standards, some of which (like CSS1) date back to 1996. This, of course, is the year 2001.

Why doesn't it work in old browsers?

They were not built to comply...

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26. A List Apart 4.0

A List Apart, Tutorials, 16 KB, 1611 words

From the crown of its cranium to the tips of its Ruby-slippered toes, A List Apart 4.0 is both old and new. Old in its mission to help people who make websites see farther and jump higher. New in its design, structure, publishing system, and brand extensions.

The magazine has long advocated accessibility and web standards, providing deep and sometimes controversial insights into these areas and not infrequently presenting ideas and methods that change the way you think and work. We will never abandon this subject area, but we are once more widening our gaze to encompass disciplines and themes beyond those that have obsessed us for the past five years.

I say "once more"...

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27. ProNet: May 2005 Archives

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 33 KB, 2617 words


Movable Type Cheat Sheet

One of the great things about Movable Type being localized into a number of languages and having such a broad international presence is that we get great contributions from our community around the world. The latest contribution is Jörg Petermann's Movable Type Cheat Sheet, which he's published in both German and English.

The Cheat Sheet, available in both PDF and PNG formats, covers all the standard Movable Type template tags, as well as common attributes for the tags and the date format used for output. Most of these tags also apply to TypePad's advanced templates as well, so it's worth keeping a copy of the Cheat Sheet...

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28. Movalog: Weblog Design Archives

Movalog, Tutorials, 22 KB, 705 words

Page: 1 1 Page.

The New Themes - Making Sense of it all

Tutorial cross posted on Learning Movable Type and Movalog. With Movable Type 3.2, Six Apart launched a new markup and stylesheet structure that has also unified their three platforms. These new templates and stylesheets (from now on referred to as...

Continue reading "The New Themes - Making Sense of it all"

Posted on 09/04/2005 | Permalink | Comments (1)

Extending the Sidebar

Matthew writes I am trying to make the side bar in Movable type to extend to the bottom of the page. I have gotten it to work in IE but not firefox. You can take a look at my site...

Continue reading "Extending the Sidebar"...

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29. ProNet: August 2005 Archives

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 58 KB, 5621 words


Simple Example Templates for Movable Type 3.2

Chris Vannoy has posted some simple Movable Type templates based on the new default templates in Movable Type, but with much of the XHTML structure stripped out so they're easier to read. As Chris explains in his following post, they're not designed to be used on an actual site, since the styling would be pretty ugly by default, but they're a useful basis for creating your own completely custom design if you just need a place to get started.

We'll be producing additional documentation about all the new abilities that templates and styles have in Movable Type 3.2, but this is a great place to start if you...

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30. Querying a MySQL database with PHP - Random Quotes

Learning Movable Type, Tutorials, 36 KB, 2815 words

Updated. Originally posted April 3, 2005.

If you are using a MySQL database and your blog is PHP enabled (see Converting to PHP), you can use PHP scripts to pull blog data from your database to add customizations to your blog. For example, say you would like to have on your sidebar a quote, randomly pulled from a selection of quotes, with a new quote displayed every time you refresh the page. You can accomplish this by creating a separate weblog for quotes, then using a simple PHP script to pull the data from your MySQL database, and using a PHP include to put the script results into your main weblog page.

PHP scripts are a level of difficulty up from Movable Type, and require...

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31. CSS Design: Taming Lists

A List Apart, Tutorials, 32 KB, 3421 words

As early as July of 1999 I was pontificating on email lists about the virtues of style sheets. Some things never change.

What has changed is how I think about CSS, and the underlying structure of (X)HTML to which it is applied. For example, I find that most pages on the web contain a menu of links in a navigation area. These are often marked up as a string of links, often in separate DIVs or paragraphs. Structurally, however, they are a list of links, and should be marked up as such.

Of course the reason that we don't mark them up in that way is that we don't want a bullet in front of every link in our navigation area. In a previous article I outlined several...

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32. 2.1 (2002.05.02)

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 30 KB, 1587 words

2.1 (2002.05.02)

• Added webMaster, language, lastBuildDate, and pubDate to both RSS templates. • Added encode_html="1" to all RSS fields that didn't have it already. • Added Norwegian dates. • Added test for mt-check.cgi to determine whether we are running under cgiwrap or suexec. • Added a new global tag attribute encode_url (thanks to Scott Andrew LePera and others for the idea). • Changed the behavior of the publish flag in blogger.newPost; previously, if set to false the new entry would be saved as a draft. This was a bad idea, for...

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33. Updates to the Style Generator

Movalog, News, 28 KB, 806 words

At long last I've made some updates to the Style Generator to better fit with Six Apart's standard. This means that you can finally apply the tips discussed in this tutorial to stylesheets created using the style gen. Most of the other changes are mostly on the backend code so that it's easier for me to build on it in the future. The only real change on the frontend is the addition of a splash page that allows you to select the number of columns - as cool as the on-the-fly capability was it was a major pain to support. A big thank you to Six Apart for letting me use their images, I'm a terrible graphics designer!

The biggest feature I am working on right now is the ability to load...

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34. Smart New Templates

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 21 KB, 985 words

Movable Type's often been praised for both the elegance of its user interface and the way the system's published pages look. But the current generation of default designs have gotten a little long in the tooth, and we wanted to make sure that designers who take the time to make templates and styles get the most value out of their effort. So, we've made some significant improvements to Movable Type 3.2's templates. Here's some highlights: • An attractive new default stylesheet that works easily with 1, 2, and 3-column layouts • Dozens of great new themes available for download for your blog, and the ability to customize these or create your own using professional tools like Adobe GoLive...

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35. SQL Plugin

Brad Choate, Plugins, 170 KB, 8520 words

Now that Movable Type supports a real database with the MySQL support in version 2.2, it's time for some new tags that can let you select entries, comments and categories using any criteria you'd like. Click the 'more' link for full docs and download link.


You can download this plugin here:


To install, place the '' file in your Movable Type 'plugins'...

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36. Omniweb and Standards

A List Apart, Tutorials, 9 KB, 718 words

{Ed. Note: The version of Omniweb reviewed in this old article predates the current Omniweb browser, rebuilt from the ground up using the KHTML/Webcore rendering engine to deliver excellent standards compliance.}

Alongside the slew of existing browsers available for Mac OS X {see Mac Browser Roundup – Ed.} is a relative newcomer, developed from the ground up to take advantage of the new Operating System. Its name? Omniweb.

But how does Omniweb fare when it comes to web standards? Earlier versions, while highly praised for an elegant user interface and strong support of international character sets, fell drastically short in CSS and W3C DOM support.

According to...

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37. Better Living Through XHTML

A List Apart, Tutorials, 31 KB, 3981 words

An unauthorized companion to the Online Style Guide of the Branch Libraries of The New York Public Library

XHTML is the standard markup language for web documents and the successor to HTML 4. A mixture of classic (HTML) and cutting–edge (XML), this hybrid language looks and works much like HTML but is based on XML, the web's "super" markup language, and brings web pages many of XML's benefits, as enumerated by the Online Style Guide of the Branch Libraries of The New York Public Library.

If you want your site to work well in today's browsers and non–traditional devices, and to continue to work well in tomorrow's, it's a good...

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38. StyleCatcher Updated

Six Apart ProNet Weblog, News, 16 KB, 447 words

We're glad to announce an update to the StyleCatcher plugin announced last week. StyleCatcher 1.01 fixes a number of little bugs, offers some helpful documentation in the README file about how to get started, and introduces a cool new feature: The Greasemonkey Style Installer.

StyleCatcher is designed to be able to retrieve styles from any style repository that follows a few simple conventions we've defined, and we'll be publishing documentation for how you can host your own style repository. But to get started, you can test this new functionality with our own Movable Type style library.

Our goal was to make switching styles as automatic as possible. So, if you're using Movable Type...

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39. Fixed vs. Fluid

Movalog, Tutorials, 28 KB, 870 words

The default styles that come with MT are what is known as 'fixed' styles. This means that size of objects and their positions are fixed and are defined in pixels (px) This also means, no matter what a person's screen resolution, everything will be the same width and in approximately the same position. Now this may seem good but - especially with MT's default styles - looks bad depending on the screen resolution. Taking for example MT 3's default styles, on a 1280x1024 screen resolution, the weblog appears as quite a narrow bar that is centered on the screen - not very appealing at all.

The other option to 'fixed' designs is 'fluid' designs. A fluid design uses percentages when defining...

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40. Changelog Archives

Six Apart User Manual, Manuals, 216 KB, 20293 words

• Initial beta release

Back to top | Permalink | Comments (0)

0.02 (2001.09.25)

• Added FTP URLs to installation instructions. (Daniel Talsky) • Fix some warnings. (Caroline van Oosten de Boer)...

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mgs | September 27th 2005