Christian Heilmann

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Archive for September, 2005

I sense your curiousity

Sunday, September 25th, 2005

Once again, the beep have come up with a cool Flash Quiz, this time related to our senses. If you think you have all about your senses licked and know the ins and outs of seeing, touching and hearing, why not take the senses challenge? Flash and audio required.

Because it is friday: Free Template Giveaway

Friday, September 23rd, 2005

Free template I just finished a template for an idea a friend of mine had, and as it is Friday and I had some other good news I am sharing it with you.

Check how the page looks online (only the home and ‘brown’ links work).

The zip with the whole pack includes:

  • the index and brown HTML document
  • the CSS file
  • the images
  • the Photoshop PSD with the page

You will need the pixelhugger font if you want to edit the PSD.

The template is not bullet proof and I will do a re-cut in the next few days showing how you can alter the menu to allow for endless (well almost endless) resizing of text without overlapping.

Hope you find a use for it. It is a gift horse. :-)

New Article: Navigation – our visitors’ travel guide

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Evolt just published a pondering article of mine that was not techie enough for devarticles: Navigation – our visitor’s travel guide. In case there are issue with the evolt site (shouldn’t be now that it moved), there is also a local copy on

The article compares real life navigation aids to those we use on the web. I got the inspiration for it waiting for my girlfriend to finish her hairdresser appointment walking around the bluewater shopping centre in London.

Per Pedes – Footnotes rear their head again

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

I don’t know why this comes up now (after being a craze in July), but both Jens Grochdreis and Roger Johannson published posts about footnotes today.

While Roger’s post deals with Daring Fireball’s implementation, Jens points to an implementation at brandspankingnew. Joe Clark had a few well chosen words to say about footnotes and I tend to agree with him. There is no such thing as a footnote on the web, as this is actually what links are for – may they be page internal or to an external source.

I was really miffed by the implementation at brandspankingnew, as it is a perfect example of how not to create a sexy effect. Designers, hailing from a print background are always on the lookout for stuff like that and then they find JavaScript that turns spans into clickable elements (which are not keyboard accessible) and writes out HTML via innerHTML, thus making maintenance a nightmare.

So, from my point of view: Go NUTS on finding and trying out stuff like that, but when you do:

  • Make sure the final result is usable regardless of input device
  • Make sure the maintenance is easy – HTML should be in the HTML and not in a JavaScript variable
  • If you need HTML that only makes sense with JavaScript, then create it via JavaScript and the DOM - thus leaving a clear path of objects that makes it easy to change and remove the elements later on

WYSIWYG CMS – The other user agent

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Differences in rendering of a design in a browser and a WYSIWYG editor

Content management systems with WYSIWYG editors have issues with some templates using CSS for layout – effectively forcing the designer to cater both for the CMS and the final browser. This post proposes the idea of an editor style sheet to overcome these problems.

Good web developers should have realised by now that there are a lot of different user agents out there and the web does not only consist of Internet Explorer 6 users on Windows XP with a resolution of 1024×768 pixels. Therefore we test on different browsers and settings – as defined in the project scope document. Most of the time this does involve MSIE 6 and MSIE 5.5, if we are lucky even Firefox and maybe Safari. Personally I tend to develop on Firefox and then fix MSIE glitches and do some sanity testing on Safari and the newest Opera flavour. Lately however, I realised that we are likely to forget another user agent – for another user group – the content management system. (more…)