Archive: January, 2006

Cats in York

Some of you already know about the little Cats in York website we set up, others won’t, so here’s a quick intro.

Mad Cat People

Well, I wouldn’t say I’m mad about cats, but Jo and I got fascinated by the cat statuettes around York during the summer when we spotted one of them on a walk. We had recently decided that we were going to be moving away from York, so we thought we’d try to find as many as we could. A few of the photos from our cat hunt ended up on Flickr, but we knew there were more of them.

We couldn’t find much about these critters online, and chatting to the York Reference Library, we found there was interest in them, but there was no collection of information on them. We decided to do a little research and build a website. End result:

Lime Light

We’ve had quite a bit of interest since the site launched mid-December. We’ve had several e-mails about the cats, a couple of mentions in the York Evening Press this month, and even a query about being featured on TV. We don’t actually know if we were on it or not, but if anyone saw the cats featured on Derek Acorah’s Ghost Towns live on LivingTV this weekend, please let me know!

Bug in Internet Explorer

While I think of it, if anyone recognises the bug IE6 has on the site, please let me know. Try resizing the window when you’re on the site – the main content window jumps over, but it jumps back when you roll over a link. I’m sure it’s one I’ve come across with using negative margins in float layouts, but can’t find the fix. Finally tracked this one down as one of those position:relative; fixes.

Update 02.02.2006 21:52

We found out this afternoon that Tom Adams, the architect responsible for many of the cat statuettes featured on the Cats in York website, passed away at the weekend.

Tom was a lovely man, and we were fortunate enough to have gotten to know him a little in recent months. He will be missed. Please do take a look at our tribute to Tom Adams over on the Cats in York website.


Four jobs I’ve had in my life

  • Web Developer/Web Designer/Webmaster
  • Sound Engineer
  • Hospital Porter
  • Electronic Engineer (work experience building power supplies)

Four movies I can watch over and over

  • Back to the Future
  • The Incredibles
  • Wayne’s World
  • Bladerunner

Four places I have lived

  • Barnstaple, Devon
  • Next door in Barnstaple, Devon
  • Just around the corner in Barnstaple, Devon
  • the lovely and historic city of York

Four TV shows I love to watch

This is tough, as we don’t watch any TV anymore.

  • CSI
  • Simpsons
  • Red Dwarf
  • Whose Line Is It Anyway?

Four places I have been on vacation

Most recent first…

  • California, USA
  • Arizona, USA
  • Germany
  • Tenerife

Four websites I visit daily

  • Accessify Forum (shirking but lurking)
  • Flickr
  • Google

Four of my favorite foods

  • Cheese of various varieties, including the cake kind
  • Toad in the Hole
  • Apples ‘n’ cheese
  • Banana Chips

Four places I would rather be right now

  • In bed
  • Back in time
  • Watching a gig
  • Playing a gig

Four bloggers I’m tagging

  • Pete, damn…
  • Zach, damn…
  • Derek, damn…
  • Kate, damn…

FOUC Mac: something to note

A problem with a clients’ site yesterday reminded me something… sometimes it’s not about what’s there, but what’s not there.

Simple, huh?

A client was reporting a problem where their site wasn’t displaying properly in Internet Explorer for Mac – typical! I thought it was probably a CSS problem, or maybe I’d missed a check for IE for Mac in my JavaScript.

I checked the site and it was taking pretty much exactly 3 minutes to load each page. I commented out my main style sheet and the JavaScript file. The problem was still there. Hmm…

I eventually commented out most of the head to find out that the problem was with the blank print style sheet I put in to avoid the flash of unstyled content (FOUC) in IE on Windows, at least, until I got around to doing a print style sheet.

I’m not sure how many times I’ve stumbled across and read Dave Shea’s CSS cribsheet but down there near the bottom is this:

Don’t link to empty style sheets as ‘placeholders’ for future style sheets (like handheld or print media style sheets).
Mac IE5 chokes on the empty style sheet and the page load time increases. Instead, have at least one rule (or perhaps even a comment) in the style sheet so that MacIE doesn’t choke.

Heh – a bug in IE for Mac which does not tolerate an empty style sheet, an empty style sheet being a fix for a bug with IE for Windows. Go figure!

What to do?

Well, that’s easy: follow Dave’s advice. If you’re not ready to write your print style sheet yet, just putting a comment in the file fixes this issue.