Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crossing Browsers With Rounded Corners

Old post from the beginning of 2010 that I apparently forgot to hit publish on. With any luck the info is still helpful.

The Task
Working on a project that had some fancy rounded corners of several of the div's. The problem was that I had used up all of my background images on other cutsie effects (that is the exasperated developer in me talking). So without an anchor point to place my corner images I decided it was time to revisit the topic of rounded images.

The Problem
Firefox and Webkit both implement CSS3 border-radius. They are golden, however, I still have to address IE and its refusal to make my life easier. I knew I was going to need something more creative. I would prefer a drop-in, script-only solution. I found a few.
Spent a lot of time hoping for this one. The corners rounded sure enough, but I lost all borders. When I was able to "keep" my borders they didn't round. Which seemed a little anticlimactic to have the background image round but not the borders.
Crazy instructions and disclaimers for inadequacy, although it did have the most documentation (more is not always better). I gave up after it repositioned my absolutely positioned internal object.
Came the closest but still repositioned internal objects. Not by much but they moved several pixels to the right and down. This made it inconsistent with the other browsers and would require separate css to compensate.

Conclusion: I decided for my work case that I was just better off creating a custom jquery script that dropped the corner images in if the user is running IE. I love the CSS3 corners that firefox and webkit implement. My solution is not elegant but it keeps excess html out of my layout and these images will cover IE until they get their act together.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Great Dumb-ening

What I am blogging about is in response to this article summarizing a book Eli Pariser called The Filter Bubble.

Is the progressive social and algorithmic filtering of the web reducing your exposure and understanding of what's out there? I have many reservations to the social trend that is set to infiltrate every aspect of the web, but I hadn't given much thought to the way information is already being shaped for me. I have long been aware that Google shapes its search result on every piece of info they can glean from you. It has been increasingly hard for me to know what being #1 in search results actually means. I mean even if you were to do a search in a virgin browser on a machine without wifi or location turned on Google will still try and guess your location based on ip and serve up results that cater to that area. Is it even possible to get at the #1 overall result. The only way I have found is to look up search terms in Google's webmaster tools.

Every search, tweet, blog post (especially in blogger) and who knows how much info gathered from my surfing in Chrome goes to make my web surfing "easier" but also a little less diverse, a little more single minded. And that is what I consider to be the more restrained version of the dumb-ening. I am a little fearful of what would happen when my social graph were let loose on my discovery on the web. Do I need to rethink every "friend", every subsequent graph that I have plugged into? We in a sense would be taking that algorithm and narrowing it down to the few voices that I have linked myself to, moreover reducing it to those voices that I interact the most with.

In both of these scenarios, being more diverse in my searches/friends will probably keep the gates open a little wider, but what will still be a concern is the secret filtering. The silent nudge in the discovery of web data that informs my decisions and understanding of the world. The world that we, not long ago, were made connected to via the web.