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Excuse me, are you lost? Perhaps you would care to visit the site map



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"Everything counts a little more than we think..."

12 November 2004 Friday

Sucky suckerfish

slated in site-building at 5:09 pm

Actually, I think Suckerfish is really quite wonderful. I’m just a bit disappointed and frustrated (the fault’s certainly more mine) that I’ve not been successful in applying it to work for me. Same with the textpattern calendar plugin I’ve been wanting to put back on my site for a while.

I spent a lot of last night trying to get Suckerfish Dropdowns to work on my top navigation.. as I’ve intended to do since the start. thing is, I fully wanted it centered, and I’m happy with the column it’s in being a dynamic width. But the Suckerfish technique seems to depend for its entire existence upon float:left (or :right). And that just kills everything. It’s a deal-breaker. I will give it another try at a later date. I really did spend a whole lot more time on that last night than I should have even bothered to. But I was waiting anyway. There were other things I should have/would have done instead.. I guess I’ll have to hope to do them today instead.

Comments on Sucky suckerfish

  1. I’m not entirely certain on this one just yet. Sort of looking into it because I’d never heard of it before. The original article suggests that it’s possible to use { display: inline; } for the initial top level list. However it then goes on to do the example with floats… don’t know if this helps, but maybe it’s a way to get around the CSS float issue.
    commented Fri 12 Nov 2004, 09:45:27 PM :: link
  2. grrrr! i had a whole looong response and accidentally closed the window before i had posted it.
    the shorter version of it is:

    i think what i’ll end up having to do is pick a fixed width for my #nav (which i currently do not have. i liked it like that) and then put a div around that to make it center (so that it looks as it does now)... and then i think i’ll end up using wilshire’s quikpik admin nav (are you using that) as an example, since it mostly does what i want to do (although i’d like to have menus off to the side a bit, rather than straight down center)..
    i didn’t think to use the quikpik code as an example until today, though…
    and for now i think i’ll leave it be for a bit while the bitterness seeps away (from the hours spent last night without success—though not without learning).. thanks for checking it out, though. are you thinking of implementing it on your site?
    so much else to do with ferrydust… i’m also starting to come across a fair number of ‘minor’ glitches on this site… but i’m not in mind to tackle them quite at the moment… so they’re all being recorded in the admin notepad (thanks to compooter).. and other sites want to be built too!

    (this turned out to be almost verbatim of the orginal post. so shorter it’s not. but i’m still grumpy about losing the first one. grr.) :)
    commented Fri 12 Nov 2004, 10:14:01 PM :: link
  3. I can completely appreciate losing text… though I tend to lose it because I’m used to various editing keys in linux, and if I lose concentration and use those, it usually ends up wiping out the entire article. Fortunately a little right-click and “undo” usually restores my sanity. It’s a bit harder to do this when you whack the entire window.

    Anyhow, I just started using the QuickPick hack, and already really like it. Much faster than the tab method. I like the article and page access as well.

    So, dropdowns. Nope, I’m not going to use them. I’ve done fairly well to keep my site 100% javascript free :-). Not for any particular reason, other than I just really don’t need it and it cuts down on complexity. I don’t have subsections or any significant use of categories. I tend to do everything with main sections and my site has very few hidden nooks and crannies.

    But I couldn’t resist looking into something called Suckerfish so I started poking into it. It’s an interesting technique. It certainly works very prettily and fast in the QuickPick hack. If the only thing you didn’t get to work was having to use float, you might try the display inline method. I think (assuming it works) that would simplify the CSS needed.

    I haven’t put the notepad in either. What I’d really like to do is run a private version of Instiki instead. That’s a wiki-clone based on Ruby (one of my very favorite languages) and is simple, neat, and easy. However SDF doesn’t seem to support Ruby 1.8 or eRuby, so I’m a little bit hosed there. (TextDrive DOES support Ruby and Ruby on Rails, so Instiki would definitely be an option there.) I like all the cross-referencing Wiki goodness that comes with that sort of thing. I even keep a copy running on my home machine and use it instead of any sort of sticky not application or notepad.

    I switched to using the rss_suparchive rather than my little Q&D plugin, as it does everything that one did and more. I even stuck a note on the mdn_section_archive page pointing this out and suggesting the other one. It’s a victim of plugin evolution! ;-)
    commented Fri 12 Nov 2004, 10:45:25 PM :: link
  4. humph! well you can go be a traitor but i’m still using my trusty mdn_section_archive tag. :) well, i am for now. i did look at the updates to rss_suparchive and i’ll probably use it in the near future… but i’m still going to want linkable dates, so i’ll probably do all that at once. as it is now, your plugin has done its job simply and nicely. thank you.

    the quikpik hack is good and i was needing something that could do that for a while now.. although it does have a habit of grabbing my mouse movement like a magnet, and opening things menus when i didn’t intend to.. and then since i move so hastily on computers, i’ll have already clicked and so it starts loading some page or form and…
    well, you get the idea.

    i actually did try display:inline in several ways when doing the suckerfish thing.. float worked…it just thoroughly screwed up how i wanted it displayed… and it’s not that it wasn’t behaving horizontally, as inline had instructed, but it was just either detaching itself from the div around it, that was providing the background and other styling (if i tried doing it without the div, i ran into other problems), or it was just being totally disconnected (this was the biggest problem) from the dropdown piece of the menu, meaning you could never actually select anything on the submenus, because you had to leave the main menu to get to it. badness. i’m sure it was just late and i was stressed and not thinking clearly to see the way through… of course, all this design/html/css stuff is entirely trial and error for me anyway.. so the truth is that i just figure that if i go back to it and keep trying it, evenutally i’ll run into a working solution ;)

    but not today.

    the wiki thing sounds fascinating. i want to play! i don’t know anything about ruby (except that it’s been a happy addition at textdrive).. same with instiki.. do you ever visit the textdrive forum ? even if you’re not textdriven (yet), there may be interesting/relevant discussions there for you.

    p.s. when you post comments on here, do you ever run into a delay when you try to hit up “preview”?
    commented Fri 12 Nov 2004, 11:47:17 PM :: link
  5. Ugh… those are the types of CSS things that drive me crazy. It’s almost always a case of experimentation until something clicks into place and it finally works. Or at least it mostly works and I can fine tune it. Even despite tutorials on positioning and all that stuff, I still get caught by elements collapsing, sliding, detaching, etc.

    Yet another reason I’m reluctant to mess with my site design. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it! :-)

    Wiki’s are a lot of fun. I’m not entirely sure how to get Ruby onto Windows, though I know it can be done. There’s a sandbox you can play in at Instiki. It also uses Textile for most of the formatting so there’s nice synergy there.

    I stopped by Textdrive at one point and poked through the forums, but didn’t stay long. Definitely a nice place to call home.

    I don’t think I’ve noticed anything particularly slow about comment posting, but I’ll write another if I notice this one being slow.
    commented Sat 13 Nov 2004, 02:59:28 AM :: link
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