I am a new member and have several questions about a website I'm
developing. This project is my first attempt at HTML so be kind!
I have validated HTML 4.01 Transitional and CSS. My pages are
designed using a curved graphic sliced and placed into table cells. My pages expand and contract depending on screen size. My table consists of 5 columns - the second and fourth column top row graphics are defined as classes which name the background image. These are set as %'s. The graphics in the remaining columns are actual images with a height and width defined. I have the classes listed in the TD tags.
I should mention that the left and right sides of my table are set up
similarly to expand and contract vertically. The graphic design on my web pages can now expand as I add content to the middle cells without getting out of alignment.
The pages load well in IE 5.5, Netscape 7 and Netscape 4.08. I do
have a problem in Netscape 4 however.
affects the table cells with the background defined in
the "class." The result is white blank areas in my background.
page. I can live with this if there is no way to force the edges
regular menu. There is only one button that utilizes the sliding
feature so I'm not sure it offers much value.
Basically I need to decide what to do from here before continuing to
develop the rest of my site. Can anyone comment on resources that
can show me how to either get my page background to view correctly in
version 4.0 and still validate? If this is not possible, is there
Thanks for any comments,
And welcome to webmasterworld.
Since my website is new I currently don't have an valid statistics related to visitors yet. My counter records my visits to my site so I'm sure the majority of the Netscape 4.0 visits are me!
About the other issues you raise:
The thin white border is another NN4 "feature". Even using the non-standard body tags [leftmargin=0 topmargin=0 marginheight=0 marginwidth=0] doesn't eliminate the slivver of the browser's default background color.
In fact, I may go off on a minor rant, here. Those danged DHTML hidden/visible navigation divs are all the rage lately and I despise them. They are LAZY navigation structures, IMO, and they confuse people with:
1) too many options at once
2) the inability to compare those options, side by side.
Good information architecture with solid planning for navigation elements can create a much more universal menu structure -- one that serves more browsers well, and in a more comfortable fashion for the average user.
[Sorry if I tread on some toes there. Of course, there can be situations and applications where those dynamic menus make some sense and are well done. But they're not the rule in what I see today. It's a just a fad right now, like the blog look.]
Hello and thanks for the responses!
I'd just check the page in NN4 without the css and see if it's intelligible even though ugly. Let it go at that.
The only downside to this approach other than noted above is that the pages will not always have titles that make sense. Since my business name is part of my background graphic the visitor will be missing this. Repeating it in the body would look silly to the CSS user. I'll try doing a spacer gif with an alt tag of the company name.
Again, thanks for your suggestions. I actually understand what you are talking about so this HTML stuff must be growing on me!
I wanted to followup and let everyone know that I have updated my pages per your suggestions. My Java Menu Applet is history and I have updated my pages so that they are presentable in Netscape 4 without Java enabled. They do look pretty bad without the nice graphics in the background! The important thing is that the content is intact and the menu is viewable and functional.
All of my pages still validate for 4.01 and the CSS validate as well. Currently I have tested the pages on Netscape 4, Netscape 7 and IE 5.5 and 6.0. Are there any other browsers that you would recommend I test?
Does anyone know of any Hit counters that validate?
My next steps will be to find and install a store component and search feature. I hope I can accomplish these things without having everything fall apart!
I'd also test in Mozilla 1.0 and Opera. I don't know how similar Mozilla is to NN7 but there may be some differences.
Opera is a must because it correctly reads CSS. It can show you errors that might otherwise work in IE etc. Opera (ver. 6 atleast) also makes validation checks simple, just press "Ctrl", "Alt" and "v" at the same time.
Assuming you've been using Windows, I encourage you to find a friend with a Mac to view your pages. Most of my sites run around 8% Mac users (compared to 2% Opera, for instance) and the OS can make a lot of difference in how the pages look.