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Posted December 18 2007 11:32 pm

It always starts with some idle time. I was playing with some CSS, someday maybe I'll actually uderstand what I'm doing. But I came up with this little layout, there's not very much browser hacking here, and I got 2 columns to be the same height. Woohoo! (Lesson learned - for columns to have height, their container must have height, which includes the body element). There's just that damn 1 pixel line at the bottom of the left column when there's overflow in the right coloumn...hmm...damn css.

So, how about some non-image rounded corners? Nifty Corners is pretty cool, easy to impliment. A few complications would arise later, in that Nifty Corners likes to be the last onload item, some juggling would be required later.

Then I got interested in ajax loaded content. My concept was to create a sort of flat file content management 'system' - well, not really a system, you just drop html docs into a directory, links are generated by php based on the files it finds in that directory, the content loads into this div. Should be simple.

A couple of good sources are Dynamic Drive and DHTLGoodies. I tried a few of the ajax content loaders I found there, before settling on the one currently in place here from Dynamic Drive, it called Ajax Tabs Content Script (v 2.0). It comes with it's own CSS 'look', but it's based on the popular method of using unorderd lists for menu structures, so it was easy to adapt to my site. For list menu ideas go to Listutorial. Several trips to the Dynamic Drive forums would be required for me to figure out several aspects of this implementation, but they have excellent resources and very knowledgable admins.

To make my head really hurt, I threw in the Lightbox image viewer. It's everywhere these days, but it's still cool, and a neat way to present images. It adds it own set of complications when you try to implement it in ajax based content though. That's because ajax content 'isn't really there'. Don't believe me? Do a view source on this page. This content isn't there. Where is it? I dunno. But you need to do some improvisation (and vist the Dynamic Drive forums) to get lightbox to initialize in your ajax content. If you don't do it right, your Nifty Corners will disappear. And how do you link externally to ajax content? You can't. Or can you you? Yes! You can! Maybe. I wrote another little article about that.

Hope your head isn't hurting yet