Hey, folks. So, I’m off…

Hey, folks. So, I'm off for much of January -- school starts again on the 22nd. Of course, I'll be travelling to the U.K. from the 7th - 16th, but I still had a few projects I wanted to at least get some work done on during this break. (I'm also resting lots, I promise.) One is working on the nonfiction book, of which hopefully there will be more anon. The other is possibly revamping my web pages. Ten years is a long time to go without any changes. :-) Much as I love it, I'm actually a little tired of this shade of blue. Maybe we'll move to a dark red for the next decade?

Now, I have many web pages. And they were done in the most basic sort of way, pretty much hand-coding all the HTML, aside from this journal, which Jed has since revamped to make my life easier. I could just redesign them in that same way, but it'd mean changing every page by hand -- and then, if I wanted to redesign it again, doing all that work again. And again. And so on.

Instead, I'm trying a combination of Dreamweaver (a gift from Jed), and learning CSS. To that end, I spent some time yesterday downloading all my pages to my computer, so I could work on them locally without (hopefully) messing up the live pages. And then I tried to make up a CSS style sheet (which I think I managed to do) and fooled around with it on my home page. My home page now has three columns, one of them fluid, whatever that means. Columns which I'm not sure I need. But anyway. I had various frustrations in that process, but good progress was made. I imagine I'll have more questions about CSS soon, for the tech folks among you. But before any of that, I have a CSS/Dreamweaver question I'll throw out there:

I have, say, several hundred HTML pages. Is there any way to attach the same CSS style sheet to all of them, other than going in and doing it one by one? As far as I know, the method right now, with Dreamweaver, is to open each page, 'attach CSS style sheet', and then save it, close it, and go onto the next page. I can do that if needs must, but was wondering if there's a faster way.

And if I can't do it in Dreamweaver, maybe there's something involving ssh-ing in to the UNIX shell the originals sit in and using grep to somehow make a global change on all the HTML pages? That option worries me, in case I make it all go horribly horribly wrong. But if it's the most efficient path, I imagine I can back-up first, or something. :-)

I throw myself on your collective programming mercies.

P.S.: 9:50 a.m. -- I figured out what fluid means. :-) Useful page. Maybe I want two columns, one fixed, one fluid. Hmm...

2 thoughts on “Hey, folks. So, I’m off…”

  1. Yay CSS!

    Are you using the tutorials in the Getting Started guide? 🙂 (Smiley because I wrote those.)

    Adding stylesheet to all the pages: probably the simplest way is to do a search-and-replace. In the local copy, you can use DW to (for example) replace </head> with

    <link href=”/Assets/CSS/main.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” />

    throughout all the files in the site. There are a couple of tricky bits to doing that search-and-replace, though (for example, you may not want it in all the files in your site). And the CSS itself won’t change the layout of the pages, most likely; you’d still have to add divs and classes and such to each page where you wanted a layout other than the plain basic one. But at least adding the CSS would change the font and colors without having to change anything else.

    Here are some entries of mine that might be of interest:

    flow vs. positioning

    Why CSS? — the discussion there is probably stuff you know by now, but there are several useful links there (including one in a comment).

    CSS and image captions discusses some of the pitfalls of using CSS, due to weak and variable CSS support in various browsers.

    The most important CSS resource to know about, imo, is the css-discuss wiki, featuring a whole bunch of best practices and explanations. It’s not as well laid-out as some of the other CSS pages, nor as thorough an introduction to various topics, but lots of good information.

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Of course I do tutorials. I obedient. (Admittedly, I did the first three or so and then wanted to start messing with *my* pages instead of the sample set. But still. Also, mildly annoying having all the Windows stuff in there — I want a Mac-specific guide. But that’s just me being whiny.)

    No time right now to look through all those links, but the first entry of yours has an outdated link in it, which redirects to a page that does have the article in question, but which sadly now costs $5 to read. 🙁

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