Ionic – CSS multi column framework

Introducing Ionic, a CSS framework put together to specifically handle layouts with more than 2 columns in CSS. The framework, originally written by Jason under the name ‘fluid1’, has been used on our client’s website,, since 2005. The aim of the project was to make it accessible to all the common browsers, whilst keeping the HTML markup as semantic as possible. Currently the script only supports a maximum of 3 columns, but there is no reason why the algorithm

Pure CSS Rollover Map Demo – England Regions

A tutorial for producing these maps will be provided soon. With the help of InkScape and a spreadsheet, they are not quite as fiddly as you would expect. Each map consists of a single image, with all the roll-over images as a part of the main map image. It uses a ‘sprite’ technique to move the roll-over background images into position when the mouse hovers over the [square] regions. Why do it like this? Firstly there is no JavaScript involved.

PHPlist Entity Relationship Diagram (2.10.9)

I’ve started to put together a diagram using the excellent MySQL Workbench (from Sun). The ERD does need splitting up into functional units, but here is what I have done so far: The complete model: phplist-2109.mwb The ERD as a PDF: model2.pdf Hope this is of some help. I will post updates when I get around to them, depending on feedback.

Coffee (part 1)

We at Consilience are privy to some day to day luxuries during our time in the office; my personal favourite are our 10:20 caffe lattes courtesy of Ruth. I find that a good cup of coffee kickstarts the day and helps me out from, what is usually, a very zombie-like state. A morning coffee has become part of my daily routine, whether I am at home, at work, or on the train to university. Recently, I’ve started building up my

Clearing floats

To anyone out there reading up on clearing, this is the best method: It’s totally cross-browser compatible, doesn’t leave any messy markup and leaves the code fully accessible. It does however have 1 flaw… Scroll down to the part about the IE/Mac problem and you’ll see the fix involves adding a display: inline-block to the container block, which is then re-instated to a display: block in the IE stylesheet. The problem is that inline-block also affects all the other

Accessible font sizes

A quick note to developers that are styling elements that use monospace fonts (pre, code, q, etc). Be aware that some browsers, like Safari and Chrome, have their own fixed-width font size preference, which by default is set to 13px. This upsets proceedings when you apply a proportional (% or em) font-size to the body. There are three solutions to counter this problem: Apply font-size to each element separately Remove monospace from the font stack and treat it as a

Consilience Mulled Wine

To get into the Christmas spirit – or perhaps as an excuse to get out the Christmas spirits – we are keeping a pan of hot mulled wine on the go leading up to Christmas. Here is our recipe. If you have any variations on this or any tips on how to improve it further (if perfection can be improved) please add your comments. Ingredients Six cloves Two cinnamon sticks (about 6 inches of stick in total) Quarter of a

Cookie Pass-through (ASP)

As a part of my integration tasks, I had the following sequence of systems to deal with: This is the chain of applications that handle a single-signin for a user. At one end we have the Member Management system, written in ASP Classic, that acts as the main authentication system. For various reasons we had to use that system as the main login system. Once a user logs in, a HTTP request is sent to the Xaraya CMS, along with user

Battery finally died in my calculator

The battery in my trusty Casio fx-570x calculator finally died. I thought it was broken at first, until I remembered it used a battery. The tiny LR14 was the original battery (made in Japan) in the calculator when I bought it. It got me through A-levels and University back in the late 1980s, and has been calculating for me ever since. Except now the blasted battery died. Oh why can’t we rely on electronic gadgets these days? I’ve put a new battery

Transferring files from a failed laptop – puppy power

I was recently tasked with transferring files from a failed laptop. The laptop kind of worked, but some bad sectors had started to appear in a number of vital system files, so it was very unstable. This was an old WIndows 98 system, and I could not simply plug in a USB drive, because there were no Windows 98 drivers around for the external USB drives that I had. In the end the disk had to be removed, and connected