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July 29, 2004

SONOFA...

My new G5 was scheduled to ship tomorrow, July 30th, and I've been waiting with bated breath. In classic Apple fashion, I just received this email:

To Our Valued Apple Customer:

Thank you for ordering the new Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5!

The demand for this item has been incredible. We are shipping them as quickly as possible, but cannot meet the ship date we previously estimated for you. We now expect to ship your Power Mac on or before August 20th.

Please rest assured that we fulfill all orders in the order they are received. If we do not hear from you prior to shipment, we will assume the revised date is acceptable, and will ship your order. We will notify you if there are any changes to the revised ship date.

To check the status of your order, visit http://www.apple.com/orderstatus. When your Power Mac ships, you will receive a Shipment Notification via email explaining how you may track the package.

We appreciate your patience and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this delay has caused you. Thank you for your interest in Apple products!

Sincerely,

The Apple Store Team

Posted by Brian Tully at 05:16 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More current state of navigation

A completely dynamic version that uses an associative array to store link text and URL. Very good for large sites that have a lot of navlinks.

The real time saver is calling the array and link output as includes, i.e., your navigation is contained in one or two include files and can be updated on a global basis (much like stylesheets).

A completely dynamic version that uses an associative array to store link text and URL. Very good for large sites that have a lot of navlinks.

The real time saver is calling the array and link output as includes, i.e., your navigation is contained in one or two include files and can be updated on a global basis (much like stylesheets).

<?php // get current URL $current_URL = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']; // THE FOLLOWING CAN BE PUT IN AN INCLUDE // include('navitems.php'); // array of nav links // syntax: linktext => URL $navitems = array( "home" => "/index.php", "about" => "/about_us/", "products" => "/products/", "support" => "/support/", "contact" => "/contact_us/", "admin" => "/admin/", ); // THE FOLLOWING CAN BE PUT IN AN INCLUDE // include('navoutput.php'); while ( list($id, $directory) = each($navitems) ) { $class = $id . "_class"; if ( eregi($directory, $current_URL)) { $$class = ' class="current"'; } else { $$class = ''; } // style your navigation as you see fit // this is a basic example print ' <a href="'.$directory.'" title="'.$id.'"'.$$class.'>'.$id.'</a><br /> '; } ?>

Posted by Brian Tully at 05:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Current state of navigation

There's been a lot of discussion lately on how to "automagically" highlight the current section/page of your site within your navigation using CSS.

Two excellent resources for this have been detailed at A List Apart and hicksdesign.

I recently attempted this very same functionality for a site i've been redesigning and developed a solution that resembles the one on ALA, which is to say it uses a combination of PHP and CSS.

Originally I set out to implement a flyout menu system that uses only CSS, i.e., no Javascript, and was lucky to find such a thing through Peter Nederlof's whatever:hover method. While it works beautifully in all modern, standards-compliant browsers, in order for it to work in IE (what else is new?) it requires the inclusion of a behavior in the form of an HTML component file (.htc). When i first started the redesign, the navigation was to only have two submenus at most. With two submenus, the flyout menus worked well in both IE and all the (ahem) real browsers. However by the time the site was ready to be launched, the navigation had grown exponentially —— there are one or two sections with up two 4(!) submenus. So while the menu still works reasonably well in the compliant browsers, it becomes an experience of frustration when using IE - especially when using an older, slower PC. Apparently the HTML behavior that allows the flyouts to work bogs down the browser when multiple levels of submenus are used.

So... I expect to be researching another flyout menu function pretty soon and it will most likely be Javascript-based.

But getting back to the highlighting of the current section using PHP and CSS, here's what I built (feel free to use as your own). Comments are always welcome.

There's been a lot of discussion lately on how to "automagically" highlight the current section/page of your site within your navigation using CSS.

Two excellent resources for this have been detailed at A List Apart and hicksdesign.

I recently attempted this very same functionality for a site i've been redesigning and developed a solution that resembles the one on ALA, which is to say it uses a combination of PHP and CSS.

Originally I set out to implement a flyout menu system that uses only CSS, i.e., no Javascript, and was lucky to find such a thing through Peter Nederlof's whatever:hover method. While it works beautifully in all modern, standards-compliant browsers, in order for it to work in IE (what else is new?) it requires the inclusion of a behavior in the form of an HTML component file (.htc). When i first started the redesign, the navigation was to only have two submenus at most. With two submenus, the flyout menus worked well in both IE and all the (ahem) real browsers. However by the time the site was ready to be launched, the navigation had grown exponentially —— there are one or two sections with up two 4(!) submenus. So while the menu still works reasonably well in the compliant browsers, it becomes an experience of frustration when using IE - especially when using an older, slower PC. Apparently the HTML behavior that allows the flyouts to work bogs down the browser when multiple levels of submenus are used.

So... I expect to be researching another flyout menu function pretty soon and it will most likely be Javascript-based.

But getting back to the highlighting of the current section using PHP and CSS, here's what I built (feel free to use as your own). Comments are always welcome.

The example uses 3 menu items (Home, About, Contact). Modify as you see fit.

Here's the PHP part at the top of each page:

<?php $root_path = ""; $current_URL = $_SERVER['REQUEST_URI']; if ( ($current_URL == $root_path . "/") || ($current_URL == $root_path . "/index.php") ) { $home_class = ' class="current"'; } else { $home_class = ''; } if ( eregi("$root_path/about_us/", $current_URL)) { $about_class = ' class="current"'; } else { $about_class = ''; } if ( eregi("$root_path/contact_us/", $current_URL)) { $contact_class = ' class="current"'; } else { $contact_class = ''; } ?>

And now for the HTML part:

<a href="<?php echo "$root_path";?>/index.php"<?php echo "$home_class";?>> Home</a> <a href="<?php echo "$root_path";?>/about_us/index.php"<?php echo "$about_class";?>> About Us</a> <a href="<?php echo "$root_path";?>/contact_us/index.php"<?php echo "$contact_class";?>> Contact Us</a>

And the simplified CSS part that differentiates the links:

a { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; } a.current { color: black; text-decoration: none; }

To see a working (but heavily-modified) example of this approach, click here.

Posted by Brian Tully at 11:54 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

New look

Finally got a chance to fiddle about with Movable Type and creating my very own template. It's not much (yet) but it's a start. I had to go with penguins as an homage to Lyle Lovett's tune "Penguins". Perhaps tomorrow I'll post the lyrics to that great, quirky tune.

In any event, i dig the color scheme — blue-grey/orange/light-grey.

Stay tuned...

Posted by Brian Tully at 01:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 28, 2004

Barack Obama for President?

Wow...

i've never been one for politics, but after experiencing Barack Obama's speech during last night's Democratic National Convention, all i can say is...

WOW.

He is surely destined for greatness. Illinios is lucky to have him.

In case you missed his speech, you can check it out here (RealPlayer required).

To learn more about this great man, check out www.obamaforillinois.com.

Posted by Brian Tully at 04:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hello... is this thing on?

Well... i finally heard back from SixApart regarding the Movable Type license I won as a prize from John Gruber's (Daring Fireball) membership drive. Apparenly my SpamAssassin settings were too aggressive and Anil Dash's response was marked as SPAM.

So like an idiot I bothered Mr. Gruber and told him I'd never heard anything from SixApart. John was gracious enough to do some research on my behalf and that's when we discovered a message sent from Anil Dash to me (John was cc'ed) congratulating me on my good fortune and basically awaiting a response FROM ME so that he could help set me up with a license.

Just downloaded and installed MT 3 on my server and all went surprisingly well considering it's written in Perl. Not one "Internal Server Error" that I so never-want-to-see-again ever since migrating to PHP a few years ago.

Anyways this is my first inane post to see how things work.

More inanity to come...

Posted by Brian Tully at 12:32 AM | Comments (0)