Christian Heilmann

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Archive for November, 2005

The things I install on my Thinkpad

Thursday, November 17th, 2005

Installing the .NET 2 framework to run CSS Vista corrupted my registry and the laptop went straight into BSOD when booting. Therefore I had to parallel install Windows (as the repair explanations on MSDN didn’t work) and got the chance to clean up the mess that accumulated over the last 3 years. It was a great feeling simply deleting folders to get rid of Software, much like a Mac…

Anyways, here is the Software I consider really necessary for me to work efficiently, maybe you can find some things you hadn’t used or known yet, and I am happy to get more tips in the comments. (more…)

A free christmas / advent calendar in PHP

Wednesday, November 16th, 2005

A friend of mine wanted a christmas / advent calendar with 50ies pin-ups, and I couldn’t find one, so I scanned some and made an online calendar for her. As those are copyrighted, I will not reveal the pinups here, but instead offer you the script oft the calendar to use with your own pictures.

What does it do?

The script shows all the links of the different days pointing to a “not yet” image on days that are in the future, and points to the real image on days that are in the past or the current one. Clicking the image gets you back to the calendar.

How to alter the display?

Simply replace the images 1.jpg to 24.jpg in the “ups” folder with your images. 25.jpg is the “not yet available” image.
The page whole look+feel is defined in styles.css. The calendar is an unordered list with the ID “calendar”, the image is a DIV with the ID “pic” containing a link around an image.
The different day links are positioned via the ID l1 to l24 settings in the CSS.
You can change all these settings in the variables section of the xmascalendar.php file:


Why in PHP and not in JavaScript?

This functionality could of course also be done in JavaScript, but that would make it easy to cheat by changing the computer’s date. You can of course cheat now by looking in the folder for the images themselves, but there are ways to prevent that server-side.

Yes, you could do that in AJAX with the PHP just doing the date checking, but frankly, I am too lazy right now :-)


Zoom Layout for North Yorkshire County Council

Monday, November 14th, 2005

Congratulations to my colleague Tim Heighes for explaining to the client and implementing a zoom layout for the The North Yorkshire County Council web site.

Who is up for a CSS challenge?

Friday, November 11th, 2005

I hinted for some time now, that I was working on a ZenGarden-type site that simulates a CMS environment.

CSS Zen Garden did and does a tremendous job in educating web designers in the ways of CSS and showed that you can completely redesign one HTML document with different style sheets.

Now it is time we did the same for the enterprise level market, where high level CMS vendors still consider CSS too hard or not flexible enough to maintain the style of pages based on ifferent templates and with varying content.

Therefore I started the CSS Toolshed, and will go live with the site soon.
The CSS tool shed is a CMS simulation that has:

– A set of 4 templates for main page layout – Different content in the main content slot on each reload – the content will be different short articles on CSS and web development.

So far my entry is the only one (Click through the different menus to see the different templates – top menu, left hand menu, bottom menu)

I am very ready to go live with this, but I need some demo styles beforehand.
With a variety of styles the impact can be a lot bigger than just with my sorry example.

So, who is up for providing more initial styles?

You can download the 4 sample templates and the blank css files
together with a template guide and submission guidelines.

Put the final CSS files on your server and send them to me directly or via the submission form

Thanks, and hopefully this will become a good resource for developers who cannot control the markup they have to style to the extend the ZenGarden allowed us to.

Another one of mother’s little helpers

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

After deleting a lot of spam about a bunch of drugs I found this absolute comedy gem:

I have yet to knowingly take a painkiller in my life and seriously wonder what the heck all the stuff in my spam filter is:
genaho, cialis, levitra, trama, propecia, fior, ultracet, xenical, tramadol, soma, phentermine ?