.net Escapes

Well, in the last post about .net magazine we made the promise that normal service would be resumed – it now seems that was too hasty and the magazine has escaped the brunt of criticism this month (partially down to the crazy people who worship their invisible friends I suspect but never the less it has escaped).

Now, before accusations of “going soft” get bandied about, I have to highlight that the reason .net gets off “lightly” is the magazine is very bland this month. It is hard to criticise what they say, when they don’t really say anything. The main sections are how to make money from your site (which basically says sell thing well… duh!) and the pro tips which pretty much say “AJAX and Flash are the Future.” Not exactly stuff to get fired up over – even if they do repeat the tired old mantras about how this year is the year flash becomes dominant (now, I wonder if that has ever been said before…)

Zookoda.com ScreenshotThe showcase sites, while looking good in a graphic art magazine, generally show unusable (often incomprehensible) sites whose designs are totally at odds with what is advised in the tutorials etc. No change there then. The focus on “badges” is comical – a whole page about how putting a little “sticker” on your web page is the coolest, best thing in the world. If you don’t know what they mean by “badges,” an example is on the Zookoda.com website – where it says “Yeh. It is free.” Seriously. This gets a whole page with comments about how this particular badge “cuts through the visual clutter and delivers a crucial message.” Amazing, isn’t it?

This theme continues into the bland tutorials which range from extending phpBB to using CSS to get rid of tables (what year is it?). The only bit worthy of a rant is the evidence that there is still abysmal editorial oversight and quality control on their articles.

In the expert advice section, Paul Boag is responding to a writer who wants a print stylesheet to have a page break before or after the div tags so the text remains together. The advice given is:

… two CSS properties will help: “page-break-before” and “page-break-after.” Attach these to your div tags from within your stylesheet and you can control whether a page break is inserted before or after the div. So, for example DIV { page-break-before: always} would add a page break immediately after each div.

I think I can work out what he is trying to say here (the writer had multiple divs, one after each other) but in reality, what he is saying is the opposite of what will happen. CSS is often viewed as a dark art at the best of times. Nonsense doesn’t help.

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Website administrator for the WhyDontYou domain. Have maintained and developled a variety of sites, ranging from simple, plain HTML sites to full blown e-commerce applications. Interested in philosophy, politics and science.