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BOOK: ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming Problem Design Solution ISBN: 978-0-7645-8464-0
This is the forum to discuss the Wrox book ASP.NET 2.0 Website Programming: Problem - Design - Solution by Marco Bellinaso; ISBN: 9780764584640
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old March 1st, 2007, 08:49 AM
plb plb is offline
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People seem to have more trouble with the page layout than any other aspect of The Beer House Starter Kit. This is my third and last posting on this topic.

There are at least two sites based on TBH that have abandonned the dynamic page filling design. Those are the Belgian SkiStyle site and the British EcoElectricals site. Both of these sites have an approximately 800 pixel fixed panel for content. Therefore when the user has a screen width of greater than 800 pixels the fixed panel is centered on the background and the content free sides expand. A fixed panel gives the site designer a lot of control over the appearance of the graphic elements.

The SkiStyle site for example is a high style site with a carefully crafted look. However it avoids several goals of TBH site. First of all it does not allow for user choice of styles. My site also disabled this option. I just don't think that multiple user selectable styles is worth the added complexity. Secondly the SkiStyle site with its fixed aspect requires some scrolling. The home page is rather long and narrow. The TBH site changes its aspect ratio dynamically so the screen is always filled. That means that user with a wider screen gets in effect a shorter screen because the central panel where the main content resides expands not the sides where there is no content.

There is no correct answer but some design choices are better than others. For example some primitive web sites require the user to scroll endlessly. Designs with paging are usually considered better. TBH use pages for most of its content but presents its articles in a manner that requires scrolling rather than paging. This is a design choice. You can write a design that uses paging for articles if you think its worth the coding effort. Most good designs are a compromise.

I decided I wanted the center section to expand and contract rather than the sides. That caused some consequences in the header section. First of all the repeating background expands only on the right not the right and the left as it does in a fixed panel design. This means the header will change its aspect ratio on different screen sizes. The designer has to keep this fact in mind. Secondly the header background graphic can't be too wide or centered or the logon box will cover it when the user opens the Explorer bar. Third the logon box is a fixed element on a dynamic expanding and contracting background. It doesn't have to be in the header at all. It could be in either of the two side columns which solves the problem completely. However if you take the Logon box out of the header you have lost screen real estate and having the logon box prominently displayed is appropriate for a membership site.

The page layout of TBH is one of many features that the designer may choose to adopt or reject. Certainly the SkiStyle site looks vastly better than the original but I would not buy a book that showed me how to design a site like SkiStyle because I already know how to do that more or less. TBH presents another set of techniques some of which I like and some of which I don't care for. But I bought the book for just that reason - to be introduced to some, for me, new techniques.

The EcoElectrical site doesn't take advantage of the fixed panel design choice as effectively as the SkiStyle site because the SkiStyle site has 3-dimensional edges with drop shadows. This is something you just can't do with a dynamic header that fills in the right side of the screen with a repeating graphic.

The real design problem with TBH IMO is the menu structure - but that's for another posting.





TBH design

http://weboperahouse.com
  #12 (permalink)  
Old June 11th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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this is mine, now in a test phase:

http://test.webbmodul.se
  #13 (permalink)  
Old June 15th, 2007, 10:42 PM
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Hello all,
here it is www.cspringsboard.com
I am having some problems with the layout on pre IE7 browsers.
please let me know what you think, it is my first so take it easy.
now that I have it almost ready, I don't know what to do with the site.

:)
Thanks
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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Hi MoSprings,

Let's know of nay other issues that you encounter with different browsers - well worth keeping a list on here for others.

re you site - i'd make one tiny suggestion re useability. if you only want to show the menu once, i'd drop the one on the footer in preference to dropping the header menu. having to scroll to the bottom of the page to make a menu selection may put a few peeps off. of course, you could argue that this sort of 'breaking of the rules' might make the site a little more different from the rest.

just my thoughts on 1st glance - so don't take too serioulsy ;)

jimi

http://www.jamestollan.com
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:44 AM
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Hi again, just noticed that the menu on the header does appear on some pages but not on others. this must be the ie6/7 stuff that you were referring to. i'm on ie6 (not ready to move to ie7 quite yet!!), so this could be confined to that version.

i think you'll definetly need to look at the output from both browsers. you'll also prolly want to check it in firefox etc too as i've noticed slight differences in firefox vs ie6, especially with ajax and some minor positional elements.

jimi

http://www.jamestollan.com
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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:44 AM
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Hi Jimibt
The menu on the footer is for people who are reading long articles and/or posts, if they are on the bottom of the page and would like to move to another section of the site they won't have to scroll up to the top of the page for the menu.
The site works fine with Firefox, there was a problem with the Theme selector at the beginning but after adding z-index and position attributes to the css as shown below
#themeselector
{
    <s>margin-left: 885px;
    margin-top: 0px;
    width: 120px;
    height: 80px;
    padding: 2px 2px 2px 2px;
    font-size: 10px;</s>
    z-index: 2;
    position: absolute;
}
Everything worked out fine for Firefox.
The only problem I have now is the issue with IE6 pushing the page layout down, I can't take care of this at this moment because the only computer with IE6 that I have an access to is the one at work and I have been a little busy lately.
Thanks Jimibt I will let you guys know how the IE6 thing goes.

Ciao


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Old June 19th, 2007, 05:50 AM
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The Header Menu not appearing on some pages is part of the IE6 problem Jimibt it is time to kiss IE6 good bye. :D

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Old June 19th, 2007, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by MoSprings
 The Header Menu not appearing on some pages is part of the IE6 problem Jimibt it is time to kiss IE6 good bye. :D
yes, unfortunately, you'll need to convince the other 410M users out there still using IE6 (approx 33% of the estimated 1.13BLN internet users 1st qtr 2007) to jump into IE7.

it is a b*gger having to cope with the different browsers but if history tells us anything, it's that it'll be the same when IE(n) comes out, so todays' issues are still gonna be around for quite a bit. you may want to look up some of the newer IE hacks on google to see if the generics of your problem are documented.

check out the w3 page occassionally to get a feel for the transistion from ie6-ie7 (plus other browser usage)

http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp

see also (internet growth stats):

http://www.internetworldstats.com/emarketing.htm

jimi

http://www.jamestollan.com
  #19 (permalink)  
Old June 20th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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Here is my Beer House based site:
http://www.cei-esas.com.pt
Thank you.
Luis J.


  #20 (permalink)  
Old June 23rd, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Hi,
The IE6 problem is no more, please check it out and let me know what you think www.cspringsboard.com.
LuisJeronimo Your website looks good but unfortunately for me I do not understand the content but it is functioning fine.

Thank you all


 


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