Webdeveloper tools for IE

Firefox has all the plugins you can poke a stick at, but what to do when IE is doing its “thing”? Windows Explorer plugins to the rescue!

Westciv’s XRAY is a javascript bookmarklet that lets you click on items in your webpage and view some of the CSS information regarden the area you’ve selected.

Microsoft has their own IE Developer Toolbar that is similar to the Firefox Firebug plugin. It lets you inspect and alter the DOM, change settings, outline elements, find CSS etc.

That should make the bughunt slightly easier for everyone.

Update: I’m running multiple IE’s, and as a result (I assume) the webtools only work in IE7.

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HTML tidy for Firefox

The HTML Tidy plugin for Firefox is a great little tool when viewing other webpages’ source. It shows any errors, where they are, and what they are. It also has a clean-up function for those pesky unreadable CMS made html codes, making it easier for the human eyes and brain to read.

If you’re on Windows you’ll get HTML Validator off the Firefox add-ons page. For some reason Mac-users must do a slight detour, which I found after some googling. Go to the HTML validator sourceforge index page, and find the file called tidy_macintel_xxxx.xpi on the date of 26-Oct-2006. That’s spesificly for the new Intel-Macs, but you’ll find any other version you’re interested in on the same page.

It’s a great companion to the Web Developer Toolbar and Firebug.

Update: The Mac-file I’m referring too is for Intel Macintosh’s only! The filenames on the sourceforge page gives you a fairly straight forward clue to which OS and make it’s for, so remember to read before installing.

If you try to install the macintel on a G5 or earlier Mac it will cause Firefox to completely give up on you. The fix is then to export your bookmarks, delete Firefox, re-install. And then start adding all the extensions you’ve lost in the process.

Save the world

Today is Blog Action Day. What is that? It’s a reason for me to go off-topic and list up a few things I do to make the future a little bit more pleasant. I believe that doing yours for the environment is more important then weather to use strict or transitional doctype…

It doesn’t need to be any big changes. Here’s a little list of what I do at home today, perhaps there’s some you haven’t thought of, or some I haven’t thought of. That’s your cue to let me know.

  1. Turn off lights and heating in rooms you’re not using.
  2. Recycle paper. Those newspapers sure rack up quick!
  3. Recycle aliminium.
  4. Recycle plastic.
  5. Recycle glass.
  6. Return empty bottles.
  7. Bring a fabric bag or backpack when you go grocery shopping instead of taking home a new plastic bag each time.
  8. Use public transport.
  9. Don’t use your car for local transportation.
  10. If you have to use your car to work, try carpooling.
  11. Ride your bike!!!
  12. Buy local food. That is food that has traveled short. Go to your local farmers marked.
  13. Eat less meat. Really, it’s not that hard!
  14. Go on holidays that doesn’t require airplane rides. The train can also be nice.
  15. Grow your own vegitables.

Some of those might seem pointless, but they aren’t! They help me keeping a conscious mind while doing normal everyday things. Also it makes you feel good about yourself. I don’t mind riding the bike through rain and snow instead of sitting in a nice warm car. The bike still gets me faster to work. And after I sold my last car my bank account is noticeably healthier.

There you go, my 15 ways to save the world. (Now there’s a heading that would fit Digg.)

New Apple keyboard

Looks like the whole web is in awe over the new Apple keyboards. That includes me offcourse, why else would I bother writing. But there’s a little detail I’d like to point out. No more Apple on the Command key! That goes for both the wireless and the unwireless keyboard. Apple Command key

My speculations leed me to thinking it must be a result of all the new Mac users not knowing where or what the Command key is, hence replacing the Apple logo with the written ‘Command’. Any better suggestions? Apple Wired Keyboard

Free online web course

Westciv, the publishers of a number of comprehensive self paced courses for learning CSS, HTML/XHTML and standards based design are giving away a completely free (X)HTML and CSS online course. If you are serious about learning and knowing standards based web design this is a free lunch worth saying yes too. According to some of the blogs in my feedreader this course has been around for some time, but has now been updated to better reflect modern browser’s support. I haven’t done the course myself, but as I understand this course has been the foundation for many of today’s well known designers. Furthermore it’s said to be good for a learner to intermediate level.

If this is old news to you, and you think you know everything there is to know, then why don’t you join Molly in her quest for making the www a better place?

POSH (Plain Old Semantic HTML)

A while ago i came across the new buzzword in the tubes – POSH. So much easier to say then ‘semantic HTML’, pluss some other handy bonuses. It’s easy to verbify. I want this site Poshified, it’s a very POSH site etc. I imagine (hope) that it will be easier to sell. Like selling AJAX and web2.0 is easier then selling ‘javascript used to communicate with a database without reloading the webpage through DOMscripting and some other nifty … uh.’ I’m even advertising it in my sidebar.

So what is POSH? It’s basicly everything you probably allready know.

  • validate your markup
  • no tables for layout, or any other presentational HTML for that sake
  • use class and id names describing the content, not the looks

Check out the Microformats Wiki for more information.
So I decided not just to talk the talk, but also to walk the walk. I got myself HTML Mastery by Paul Haine . I’ve been through a number of books on CSS, but this is my virgin HTML book! Obviously I’ve spent a fair share of time reading online, but I still find books having some benefits. And so far I’m very impressed by the book. There are off course many things that I allready know, but it’s good to have all the little details explained and put together in a matter that makes since. Like the construction of the DOCTYPE, which tags are and aren’t valid, usable, the historical reasons for their alterations and so on. I’ll write a proper review on the book later, but if you are serious about your markup, and want to become POSH like all the cool kids, HTML Mastery will give you a good start.

Safari CSS filter

Styling forms is always an interesting task. Just check out how the different browsers like to display the form elements. Today I was having a little problem with the input element margins in Safari, among others. I was about to ignore the 2 pixels, but decided to give Google a shot, which immediately brought up a post from the CSS hacks series by a busy coder and blogger by the name of BTreeHugger.

Allthough I have Firefox as my main browser, most Mac-users stick to the default Safari, these are the two alternative mentioned, I used the former:

html[xmlns*=""] body:last-child ... { ... }
body:last-child:not(:root:root) ... { ... }