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Help Beta Test Slashdot CSS 581

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-my-god-it's-actually-happening dept.
After almost 8 years, Slashdot's HTML is finally getting an overhaul. For now the changes are almost entirely under the hood, as we migrate the current skin to CSS. Slashdot itself will migrate in the next few weeks, but for now, we'd appreciate it if people who understand CSS could take a look at Slashcode. If you use a browser that lets you select a stylesheet, you can take a look at that site with the Slashdot CSS Skin. Keep in mind that Slashcode doesn't look exactly like Slashdot, so there will be some differences between that site, and the final version that will appear on Slashdot. We're mainly looking for feedback on compatibility issues and blatant bugs. You can use our our SF bug tracker to submit bug reports. Thanks for your help. Once we move Slashdot, work will begin on a new look & feel. If you have ideas, you could start playing with the CSS stylesheets now!
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Help Beta Test Slashdot CSS

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  • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:02PM (#13490338) Homepage Journal
    After almost 8 years, Slashdot's HTML is finally getting an overhaul.

    What is a HTML?
  • css!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by jlebrech (810586) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:02PM (#13490343) Homepage
    If you do change to CSS beware as some CSS is IE specific, like list trees.
    • Re:css!! (Score:5, Funny)

      by MyLongNickName (822545) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:06PM (#13490396) Journal
      Doesn't everyone on Slashdot use IE?

      (sorry)
      • Re:css!! (Score:3, Funny)

        by Ubergrendle (531719)
        Nah, we're all still on Mosaic. Slashdot is the only site we can still visit coincidentally, and the lack of flash support means we don't have to read MS adverts ontop of Linux articles.
    • Re:css!! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by qw(name) (718245) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:09PM (#13490427) Journal
      The "design for all browsers" paradigm isn't a good one. It promotes the use of non-compliant browsers. It's much better to design to the standards no matter what.
      • Re:css!! (Score:5, Funny)

        by cybersaga (451046) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:17PM (#13490512) Homepage
        Thank goodness everyone's customers use standards compliant browsers. Whew! Your theory would be totally ridiculous if they didn't.

        [/sarcasm]
        • Re:css!! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by mrchaotica (681592) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:33PM (#13490652)
          If you think about it, his theory would be totally unnecessary if they did.

          Incidentally, I agree with him -- designing web sites for broken browsers is like giving illegal immigrants drivers' licenses: it's stupid and it doesn't fix the underlying problem.
          • Re:css!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by chromaphobic (764362) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:56PM (#13490840)

            Right, so the intelligent thing would be to explain to my clients that it's Microsoft's fault and not mine that the site I just designed for them doesn't display properly for 9 out of 10 of their customers? After all, I followed the standards and it would be stupid not to!

            "Sorry Mr. Client, standards evangelism is far more important to me than your customers. Now, when should I be expecting payment?" Yeah, that'll fly.

            I think I'll keep using my current methodology: Design to the standards first, then add whatever hacks are needed to handle the various browser bugs in secondary stylesheets to ensure the widest possible compatability across as many browsers and platforms as I can.

            Call me crazy, but keeping the client and their customers satisfied (and, as a result, making the site display properly for as many visitors as I possibly can, rather than just those that use a "standards compliant" browser) and subsequently getting paid for my work is more important to me than beating the standards drum.

            • Re:css!! (Score:5, Interesting)

              by CowboyBob500 (580695) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @01:21PM (#13491108) Homepage
              Personally I design to standards and then detail the charges for the time it takes me to fix it on IE in the final invoice. Then the client knows exactly how much the use of IE is costing them as a percentage of the total cost of the project.

              It doesn't cost them anymore than before, but it really opens their eyes.

              Bob
          • Re:css!! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Watts Martin (3616) <layotl&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @02:05PM (#13491489) Homepage
            The way I design web pages -- and I'm pretty sure I'm not alone, doing something very radical here! -- is to design for Gecko-based browsers and Safari first, because they very rarely show major deviances from one another or standards. Then I take the design to Windows IE and tweak the style sheets to account for anything that broke there, which is usually pretty minimal--frustrating, but its quirks are known and well documented. And I make sure the page is readable and usable in Lynx. At the end of the day, I have fine standards-compliant XHTML and CSS that works everywhere from Firefox to the Sidekick.

            In almost all cases you can make IE happy without having to seriously compromise. There are broken browsers I'm perfectly happy to ignore: pre-Mozilla Netscape, pre-5.0 IE, NetPositive for BeOS, HotJava. These are ones that you simply can't tweak for; generating web pages that renders perfectly on all of those platforms can be done, as OS News proves -- and can only be done by creating hideously bloated web pages where 70-80% of what's being sent to the browsers is markup, as, uh, OS News proves. (The term "pathologically compliant" comes to mind.)
      • Re:css!! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by bmongar (230600) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:18PM (#13490520)
        "Design for standards" paradigm isn't a good one. It promotes looking for consultants that won't drive away business.
      • by hellfire (86129) <deviladvNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:33PM (#13490645) Homepage
        Allow me to list people who would be denied the goodness of slashdot if you didn't create something that allowed IE to be compatible:

        1) People who for some stupid reason or another can only use IE at work and don't have enough control of their PC to install something better.
        2) Geeks and nerds who do not fall into the category of computer nerd. There are science geeks, english geeks, political geeks, math geeks, but just because one is a geek about one thing doesn't mean they are geek about computers.

        I'm all for scolding IE for not complying to standards, but since MS's philosophy of embrace, extend and extinguish is still in use in IE, don't allow yourself to be extinguished by designing a page that doesn't work around I.E. bugs and cut off major portions of your audience.
    • Re:css!! (Score:3, Informative)

      by VJ42 (860241)
      That shouldn't be a problem if the developers remember to use the w3c CSS validatior:
      http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/ [w3.org]

      But seeing as they don't bother using even the html validator I'm not counting on it.
  • by geomon (78680) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:03PM (#13490354) Homepage Journal
    Just about every site remodel has problems. I have just gone over the list of things I have issues with on our local public school's new website. Most of my comments have to do with broken capabilites. I'm sure that the folks at /. have tested this system in a non-production environment, but things are bound to go wrong at first. The unfortunate thing about my local school district's website has been access. How much of the /. staff resources are going to be committed to the rollout and how soon are problems going to be addressed?

    Considering the fact that it took nearly two minutes for the form to arrive makes me think we are in for a bumpy ride!
  • CmdrTaco? I have exactly two words for you.

    This. Rocks.

    Kudos on finally bringing Slashcode into the 21st century! The Slashdot style over on Slashcode looks absolutely wonderful, with none of the chunky layout problems that plague Slashdot itself! What I'd love to know is, how much bandwidth are you saving by using CSS? Many of the experiments done to date suggest that you could cut your bandwith usage by 30-50%! Will this update usher in a new era of faster page loading? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)
  • by TeXMaster (593524) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:03PM (#13490356)
    for things like collapsing articles to header only and expanding them to full article? (And user options for the initial view)
  • No logon (Score:3, Informative)

    by liam193 (571414) * on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:03PM (#13490360)
    Is there a separate user database for slashcode? Logon doesn't seem to work and even a "send my password" doesn't recognize the login id. Perhaps this is just a Beta/Test issue, but it would be nice to test with real-world configurations and customizations.
  • from the oh-my-god-it's-actually-happening dept.

    You can say that again.
  • OMFG (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Slashdot going to CSS? Has hell frozen over!? Windows gone GPL!? What's next?
  • XHTML (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:05PM (#13490377)
    Just curious -- not attacking or anything -- but why HTML 4 as opposed to XHTML 1 Strict? Is it because of the content type issues with a certain browser, strict XML compliance was too difficult, or simply that only purists ever seem to care? ;-)
    • Re:XHTML (Score:3, Informative)

      by schon (31600)
      but why HTML 4 as opposed to XHTML 1 Strict?

      Here is a good list of reasons [utvinternet.ie] why HTML4 is preferable to XHTML.
      • Re:XHTML (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spongman (182339) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:25PM (#13490573)
        that has to be the lamest excuse for a list of reasons why not to use something.
      • Re:XHTML (Score:5, Funny)

        by mstyne (133363) <mike@al p h a m o n k e y . org> on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:46PM (#13490751) Homepage Journal
        Hey that guy has a website on the Internet he must be right
      • Re:XHTML (Score:5, Interesting)

        by slcdb (317433) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:53PM (#13490803) Homepage
        That is one of the most ridiculous articles on web authoring that I've ever read. The author's logic seems to mainly stem from the fact that IE has extremely poor standards compliance. Of course it has poor support for XHTML: when IE was last released (6.0) XHTML was still brand-new.

        This guy is seriously arguing that people should not adopt a now mature standard, because one aging piece of software hasn't been updated in four years? He just needs to get over his love affair with IE and realize that the rest of the world is still progressing.

        Addmitedly, I don't know when the article was written, but that's only because the author didn't date it. To argue that XHTML is bad because old UAs poorly support it is truly a case of the tail wagging the dog. I can hardly believe that the author doesn't understand that.
      • Re:XHTML (Score:3, Informative)

        by ZeroExistenZ (721849)
        # Lot's of other sites use it, so it must be good.

        Lot's of Lemmings are jumping off cliffs, do you want to be a Lemming?


        Lemming suicide is fiction [snopes.com]
  • The Big Move (Score:3, Informative)

    by qw(name) (718245) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:05PM (#13490379) Journal
    It's good to see that you're moving on to something more modern. HTML 3.2 is very antiquated and isn't CSS friendly. It would more work to move to XHTML 1.0 Transitional but I would think that it would pay off big dividends in the future.
    • Re:The Big Move (Score:3, Informative)

      by Sentry21 (8183)
      I'm curious as to what you mean when you say 'HTML 3.2 ... isn't CSS friendly'. the CSS1 recommendation is actually older than the HTML 3.2 recommendation by about a month. Sure, it's not as CSS-friendly as, say, HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.x, but I don't think 3.2 is explicitly unfriendly.
  • by FortKnox (169099) * on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:06PM (#13490392) Homepage Journal
    After almost 8 years, Slashdot's HTML is finally getting an overhaul.

    I'm more surprised that after 8 years, slashdot is testing something on a machine that isn't the main server.

    Seriously, while you guys are changing things, how about changing it so ALL code changes go through regression testing along with some major user testing before you drop ut into the production servers. We all dislike 503s, and we have see a TON of bugs pop up (like last weeks 'unable to see comments' for several hours).
  • but...

    Is slashcode slashdotted??
    • No, the new site design is just a blank gray window with a never-ending browser status animation culminating in a message box that says "Host unavailable". I bet that only took three lines of CSS code.
      • My bet is that they rewrote slash in Ruby on Rails, and as a result it actually takes negative storage space. slashcode isnt realy slashdotted, the extra hard drives that are popping out of that server have knocked out the ethernet line....
  • by conner_bw (120497) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:07PM (#13490402) Homepage Journal
    Looks like the Slashcode servers aren't as robust and numerous as the Slashdot servers...

    Technically, this count as Slashdot Slashotting itself.

    The prophecy has been fulfilled.

  • by daniil (775990)
    ...does it validate?
  • I tested the CSS version with wget and it looks good ... ;-)
  • Come with a spell checker for submitters?
  • by eno2001 (527078) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:09PM (#13490435) Homepage Journal
    Is this in response to that big story last year where someone actually redid Slashdot's main page in CSS to show just how easy it would be to do? Kind of funny in a way because people who usually want to prove how easy something is to accomplish have no idea of just how much glue sits behind the scenes. That's usually what makes these kinds of changes so difficult and fraught with rendering errors, coding slips and the like. Even moreso when you only have a handful of decent people working on the system and a ton of mediocre people making up the majority of the development team. When it comes to systems this big and complicated, it's a wonder they work at all. So who will be making these CSS changes?
  • You know I can't seem to get to the site. Ah the slashdot effect on...well...slashdot. It's almost poetic
  • by CubicleView (910143) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:13PM (#13490468) Journal
    Hi, could everyone stop clicking on the link for a minute so I can open it, thanks.
  • Dupe (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Maxwell'sSilverLART (596756) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:13PM (#13490472) Homepage
    This has already been done, about two years ago. See http://www.alistapart.com/articles/slashdot2/ [alistapart.com] and particularly http://www.uwplatt.edu/web/webstandards/slashdot.h tml [uwplatt.edu]
    • Re:Dupe (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Phroggy (441) *
      Sorry, but you have no idea what the hell you're talking about.

      Taking a static tag-soup HTML page and rewriting it to use compliant code and CSS is a major chore, and that's what was done in those two examples. But to convert a completely dynamic site like Slashdot is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. CmdrTaco has been saying for YEARS that they'd like Slashdot to be redone with valid HTML and CSS, but it's just been too massive a task, and nobody else has stepped up to the plate for the same reason.

      So no,
  • I get no response from server....
  • You insensitive clod!
  • by paulius_g (808556) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:16PM (#13490495) Homepage
    Damn,

    It's getting cold down here.

          - Satan
  • I decided to make my dreams come true and have my own slashsite. Wanting to migrate my successful GIS / RS mailing list to slash. http://www.matox.com/agisrs [matox.com]

    SlashCSS is not "ready yet". I though it would be easy to setup the site, but even with a lot of help from the slash mailing lists and http://www.lottadot.com/ [lottadot.com] . A few weeks will be required for our launch announcement.

    SlashCSS is really a great step in the right direction, however, my advice, if you're planning building a slash site, wait a little whil
  • Bug Report (Score:5, Funny)

    by johnkoer (163434) <johnkoer@nOspAM.yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:18PM (#13490514) Homepage Journal
    I tried this and it seems to be kicking out quite a few duplicate stories. Is that normal?
  • by rayde (738949)
    Duke Nuken Forever is being released! On the Phantom Gaming Console. Which will be running Longhorn!

    seriously though, this is a good thing, hopefully this will allow for user-chosen themes, etc. and way to get http://it.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]to not look like baby poo.

  • by N3wsByt3 (758224)
    Merely 8 years, and the code already gets an update!

    With the high level of IT nerds around here, one can only guess what's next! Maybe something wild... like maybe slashdot will become readable when you use Firefox, for instance!

    The skype is the limit!
  • huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bad_outlook (868902) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:22PM (#13490547) Homepage
    finally, being as /. is such a tech site, it's about time to bring things into this century. Hell, I rework my site constantly, I still can't believe /. went so long with old/outdated/non-validated code. perhaps it could be a quarterly thing to update things in the future.
  • OMG! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Comatose51 (687974) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @12:45PM (#13490736) Homepage
    What have the editors done!? They posted a link back to Slashdot so now they're going to Slashdot Slashdot and create a Internet blackhole where the same articles get posted over and over again!

    I kid, I kid.

  • by Tester (591) <olivier.crete@ o c r e t e . ca> on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @02:12PM (#13491563) Homepage
    Using the layout as slashcode, it seems that the font is specified to be Serif everywhere... I much prefer to read on-screen stuff with a sans font, which is my default. Please dont specify the font and just use my browser's default... Please remove "font-family: serif;" from the body{}

    Thank you,

    Tester
    • Please dont specify the font and just use my browser's default... Please remove "font-family: serif;" from the body{}

      I guess that is a valid request, but you are in the minority, and slashdot actually does fonts "correctly".

      For most people, a proportionally spaced serif font is easier to read for the body of a document, and a proportionally spaced sans-serif font is better for thing like headlines or section titles. However, after just typing that I went to a number of popular news sites, and they use sans
      • by Psiren (6145)
        For most people, a proportionally spaced serif font is easier to read for the body of a document, and a proportionally spaced sans-serif font is better for thing like headlines or section titles.

        That's generally true for print, I'm not so sure about on screen reproduction (anyone care to offer any case studies?). The theory is that the serifs are supposed to help guide your eye, so it's easier to see what the letter is. However, given the relatively low resolution of screens, it doesn't seem to work as well
  • Full text (Score:3, Funny)

    by IainHere (536270) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @02:37PM (#13491837)
    Since the site is slashdotted, here's the article text (it's funny, laugh!)

    <!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN"
                            "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/strict.dtd">
    <html>
    <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
    <meta name="description" content="Slash + CSS -- article related to Slash.">
    <title>Slashcode | Slash + CSS</title>

    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="//www.slashcode.com/base.css" >
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="//www.slashcode.com/comments.css" >
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="//www.slashcode.com/ostgnavbar.css" >
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="//www.slashcode.com/slashcode.css" title="Slashcode" >
    <link rel="Alternate stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen, projection" href="//www.slashcode.com/slashdot.css" title="Slashdot" >
    <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="print" href="//www.slashcode.com/print.css" >

    <!-- start template: ID 169, ssihead;misc;default -->

    Sorry - I'm not allowed to show you any more because it violats the posting filter. Stay tuned for the next exciting installment.
  • by portscan (140282) on Tuesday September 06, 2005 @03:26PM (#13492344)
    let's see:
    HTML 3.2 [w3.org] - 1997
    HTML 4.01 [w3.org] - 1999 (!)
    XHTML 1.0 [w3.org] - 2000, revised in 2002
    XHTML 1.1 [w3.org] - 2001

    Welcome to the year 1999. The future is now. While I appreciate the efforts of the Slashcode developers, I would like to point out that it is still possible to write spectacularly awful code in HTML 4.01. Yes, it is possible to do so in XHTML, but it is more difficult. My one request to the developers (and believe me, you will thank me when maintaining this code base) is to use <div> tags, lists, and CSS positioning for layout instead of tables. It makes your code so much cleaner and easier to edit. In fact, to me it is the main benefit of CSS.

    (If you remember this article [alistapart.com], posted to /. a while back, it goes through some of the steps of converting a static image of a /. page to XHTML and CSS)

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