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As you can see, I'm finally using this page to play around with CSS. I took my motivation from the site of the sister of a friend of mine; although I admire her talent and the honesty of her self-expression, I cringe whenever I look at the layout in anything other than Internet Explorer (which is the platform she tests it on). A few things that a sidebar-graced page should always do, IMNSHO: the content pane should respect the viewers' window's size, and conform to it when it's resized; the content pane should also use the available window space effectively (i.e., fill it), but not spill outside the window border so that it requires scrolling; and it should work in all modern browsers reasonably well, in a variety of screen resolutions and window sizes. (Not everyone browses in a maximised window.) Granted, these things are not very easy to do. I must admit that iframes are a vast improvement over regular frames, but they are also an throwback to the bad old days when page layout and page content weren't separated: they have their own height and size properties, and don't interact well with CSS. Maybe it's just a difference in the bugs in IE and Mozilla's rendering of position: absolute within a fixed-position <div> (or maybe Mozilla and IE's code for determining child-parent relationships is buggered), but it's bloody annoying in either case. I can only hope that CSS compliance continues to increase in both. (Speaking of which, I really need to check to see what this new Style Sheet looks like under IE before I do too much more...) Ugh, it looks terrible in IE 5.0, which is installed by default on my throwaway Windows install on the other computer. I really should upgrade that if I'm going to throw CSS at it regularily...

So I think I've gotten this page to fulfill the criteria I listed above pretty well, at least in browsers that support CSS2 semi-properly. Unfortunately, my solution doesn't apply to her page, since CSS doesn't seem to stick to iframes quite right, yet, and it wouldn't be trivial to change the dynamic-content-at-a-button-click design that she has going in order to use the solution I've applied to this page. Meh.


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