Firebug will soon join the web developer toolbar as a can’t-live-without tool in your browser. This Firefox extension lets you track down the JS, CSS, and HTML errors that are driving you crazy. Joe Hewitt just released the latest version of Firebug. Get it now while the going is good.
The latest release includes the module/container library. This group makes it super easy to add window functions to your site. These are not the popup windows of yesterday. This is about manipulating divs to hide or show on top of your existing content.
Yahoo! Tech was one of the first to implement this library, look at the dropdown menu in the top nav, “what are these words” in the tagnav, interactions for sending/saving products, and much more. It even gives you the ability to insert an iframe under the window if you have z-index issues in IE.
I’ve struggled over the past couple years with including size=”xx” in input tags. My right brain says, “it’s presentational, nooooo!” My left brain says “but it makes the forms more predictable.”
Well, lo and behold, there’s a reason behind the madness. Bite Sized Standards has a new post that describes why the size attribute isn’t just a presentational element.
However, unlike the size attribute of the infamous <font> tag, size of <input> specifies a functional property. The length of an input field is a programmatical decision because it provides an important cue as to the type of input expected: a cue that should be preserved even when the page is not styled.
The advantage of using size becomes apparent when working with web applications that make extensive use of forms, often with different layouts. Instead of having a plethora of CSS classes for different input field sizes, we could simply set their widths using size.
Bite Sized Standards
So, let both sides of your brain feel good. Use the size on input elements and have a happy day after all.
I’m working on a project that had some annoying errors that were quickly fixed by simply upgrading to the most recent version of a YUI library object. Set yourself a reminder in Backpack or Thunderbird to check your sites every 4-6 months for updates, it’s an easy way to keep up to date.
Dave Child has created a library of cheat sheets that have been pinned to cube walls around the world. If you haven’t seen these before, takes some time to visit his site and print your own versions. Attached to my wall are: