Being Ultra Semantic

Annika Backstrom
in misc, on 14 September 2004. It is tagged and #Web.

I started work on Jen's new site tonight. It's a partial redesign of a site I helped her with several months ago; this time around there's a little more time, resources, and design freedom to go around, and I hold high hopes.

My involvement in the first incarnation was limited to the front page. The far right of the clover does some backflips to account for something like nine or twelve possible rollover states, since three links overlap. It was a pain to code, and I loved every minute of it. (Funny how that works.)

The new version is a world apart from the old. Jen has done some great work redoing the clover images and creating a repeating background, which is a great visual improvement right off the bat. Of course, I'm a web geek, so it's the code that really gets my attention. The old page was a modified export from Fireworks MX, so, of course, it's table-based and laden with JavaScript. The new page, on the other hand, is based around an \<h1>, \<ul>, and some very complicated CSS. Yeah, that's right: the clover is now a bulleted list.

The list items are nested inside a relatively positioned \<div>. The links within the list items are absolutly positioned block-level elements, forced to a size and given a background image. This creates the illusion of one seamless clover spanning the page. The rollovers and state changes are all based on link pseudo-classes, no JavaScript required. I have tested this code in every major desktop browser I have access to. Mac/IE5, Firefox 1.0PR, Win/IE6, and Safari 1.2.2 display the clover flawlessly.

This code is cutting-edge. Everything about web design is changing, and it's changing in this direction. What's next for this site? Evaluate the flaws. Where does it break? Who will we exclude? To make the content available is a no-brainer, but this is an artistically-oriented website. What will take precedence? TBD.