Semantics & Semantic Design Goals

Reading an often linked blogticle (yes I made that word up, it means blog article) on semantics, using the Lynx text browser, and a little bit of thinking about web design in my head made me ponder on a few topics.

First, while I was making this blog a couple months ago, I had already had much knowledge of XHTML, CSS, web standards, and semantics of it all. Well actually I thought I had a lot of knowledge on it all. First of all, I made this site mostly with the look of it in mind first and foremost. I now know this is the wrong way to go; I should have had design goals in mind from the beginning. I will talk more about these goals later on in this post.

The second topic I thought about is really a good question in my opinion. When should we use a class attribute to define something and when do we use an id attribute? There are obviously many answers to when you should use which, and I’m sure not everyone will agree with one answer. What I want to know, however, is if there is a widely agreed upon answer? Surely there’s one thing that you have to consider, id attributes can only appear once, while a class attribute can be repeated. But what about certain elements that you know won’t be repeated but isn’t really that important? Does such an element deserve it’s very own id attribute? I’ll leave you to ponder these questions, as I have not found an answer anywhere nor have I got one myself.

Now the last topic I have thought about started with me wanting to make my design stand out more. Call it a redesign if you want, call it a realignment if you wish, but I do not think my design is anything special. But I digress, the main point I wanted to talk about was this need of mine to redesign, with the reading on semantics and the using of Lynx on websites, made me think about my need to make definite, but flexible, design goals. Flexible because I don’t know the extent of what I can achieve yet. Definite because I’ve been making it up as I coded so far. And without further ado, here are my design goals for this blog:

* It has to be easy to read in Lynx. So content must be near the top of the page.
* It has to look nearly the same in all the modern browsers. So I guess IE5.5/Win is out.
* It has to be more than just “yet another blog theme” look.
* Final goal for now, it will be designed with higher resolutions in mind.

I will surely be adding to these goals in the future, but for now these four cover most of what I think is most important.

Theming again

Once again I have made a new theme for this blog. This one has a more traditional feel to it than the previous one. I used much of what I learned and have from my last theme in order to make this one.

I am naming it the Water Theme for now. I know it makes no sense, but it used to be much more ambitious. I was going to make a waterfall in the background, with semi-transparent glass panels holding everything. The glass panels will have condensation on them, from the cold water behind it. However, I have no clue how to make any of that, so I settled for something easier first. I hope someone that is reading this could help me with that more ambitious theme though.

Oh and one more thing, I introduced the LiveSearch in my last update. In this one, I have a LiveArchive for you. It uses javascript to achive what is similar to the LiveSearch. Hope you like it, but if not, I also have a more traditional Archive page.

Box Theme Version .9

Well if you haven’t noticed yet, I’ve updated the theme yet again. This time I changed the sidebar to the top. I think it looks better that way, plus gives more room to the posts. Plus I’ve finally made the theme consistent throughout the site: the search, the archives, the post views, etc. Also, I’ve added a phpBB board to my blog. I doubt anyone will use it but it’s there if you want to post. I’m gonna leave it open so no registering is needed for now, if spamming starts I will close it for register posters only.

I’m in beta.

Well if you notice, I am using a new theme. It’s only in beta right now, as I will update it. It’s actually version 0.2 right now. My first attempt was more ambitious. I originally had a user width specific theme. Meaning that the width of the website suited to the user’s browser width. I scrapped that idea because I was having some trouble with it. I settled for a more fixed style. Also if you notice I added navigational links.

Note: It doesn’t display quite correctly in IE yet. Also I used a hover element that is not supported in IE other than on links.