Maybe it's time to update this browser...
These pages will look really plain using Navigator 4; not that there's anything wrong that ;-) But just as that line from Seinfeld is old and overworked, so is Navigator 4. This page uses modern CSS (style sheets) to control layout, and Nav4 just isn't up to the task; try one of the more-recent browsers listed at right.
Recent Browsers:
Netscape
Mozilla
Explorer/Win
Explorer/Mac
Konqueror/Linux
OmniWeb/MacOSX
Opera
Safari
If this page has a white background, you should turn on Style Sheets in your browser's preferences. No matter what browser is used, you can view this site without missing any content.


The enilnomi.net web site uses static and CGI-generated html pages, produced by simple tools and perl scripts. The site is hosted by TigerTech, served by Apache.

About Enilnomi—Colophon

This is the basic form I use for documentation projects. It's not really built for Fancy-Dan blog layouts, although adpating to a 3-column layout simply requires adding two new DIVs to the templates.

The current page format is a classic two-column nav || content layout favoring large heads and generous leading. Sans-serif fonts predominate, notably Arial, Verdana, and Comic Sans MS. Heads are styled to give the pages textual color and structure, for easy visual scanning. Text rivers are avoided by using full justification. Off-page links are displayed with a dashed underline; on-page links receive a solid underline.

HTML

The pages here generally don't validate as compliant html 4.01, but the exceptions are minor. (Aww, who am I kidding? To say the HTML is 'sloppy' is to be kind ;-) I'm slowly getting around to using approved entities for typographic symbols, and an occasional piece of XHTML syntax is used even though I rely on the 4.01 Transitional DTD to magically make the wrinkles go away.

I still prefer physical styles such as <i> and <b> and <u> to their logical counterparts (<em>, <strong>, <text-decoration>), but I'm workin' on learnin' to love the logicals. And I'll start caring about niceties such as curly-quotes and guillemots when the rendering engines start caring about kern-pairs. In the meantime, I stay positive by remembering that the layout isn't table-based, and there's no single-pixel .gifs anywhere... ;-)

CGI

Generated pages spring from blosxom and a number of plugins and templates. For those interested, here's a list of the plugins:

Templates are designed to work with a feature of the sort_by_date plugin to provide links for re-sorting entries. Flavour templates include: .html for general views; .slice for category viewing; .loner for individual entries; and .index for index views. For more on blosxom, plugins, and flavours, see this blog entry.

Typography

My background is in editing and laying out dead-tree pages. Whether the page holds poetry, actuarial tables, or newspaper columns, for me it comes down to: a type schema suitable for the aims of the material; positive and negative spacing suitable for the typeface(s); a layout suitable for the spacing. (This means "flow" and "readability," not "new" and "catchy.") For the web, this works out pretty well...it's tough to take advantage of a fine, subtle letterform, but there's enough control to set horizontal and vertical spacing complementary to the gross forms.

I would dearly love to jump on the Lucida bandwagon, except that too many platforms sport only one style (roman) and only two weights (book, bold). Other good print fonts (Helvetica Neue, Optima, Stone, Bodoni, etc.) lack built-in letterspacing suitable for the lo-res world of the web. So, that leaves the "standard" web fonts — times new roman, arial, verdana, georgia, etc. They'll just have to do until multiple masters come with every browser ;-)

CSS

Standards compliance for web pages is a big issue these days. Much of the shouting comes from rather puritanical geeks; calmer voices promote standards to achieve increased ease, efficiency, and accessibility across the WWW. The dream inspiring this pro-standards chatter is the "semantic web" — described simply, a way of contextualizing everything on the Web.

The first step towards compliance is the separation of structure and presentation. Or, more empirically, separating presentation from structure. The idea (and the standard) is that markup should be used solely to provide structure for documents: headings, content, data formats, logical styles, links. Presentation engines then provide layout, emphasis, and media context. The markup part is easy: write as few tags as possible. The presentation part is largely provided by CSS, the Cascading Style Sheet protocols, which are a bit trickier to implement give the state of today's (and yesterday's) browsers. The visual media css should always validate as CSS2.

This site is driven by two style sheets:

main.css (for display)
The "main" sheet does things that older browser – such as Navigator 4 – will simply mangle, and so the main.css file is loaded via @import, which older browsers won't recognize. All of the content will be visible to older browsers, but the layout will vanish. Click here to see the About Enilnomi page without styles in a new window (note the friendly message about updating browsers at the top of the page ;-).
print CSS (for printing)
The printing sheet is qualified by media="print". This sheet removes all the color and non-essential stuff (navigation links, for instance) from the page, leaving a clean efficient document to send to your printer. You get "printer-friendly" output without having to click a "printer-friendly" button — and  I  don't have to create a "printer-friendly" button and whip up two versions of each page ;-)

For the curious, a guide to the current style sheet and markup appears in this blog entry.

Tools