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Developing That Web Style

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Cascading Style Sheet standards compliance resided at the base of many complaints about Internet Explorer; its developers have made efforts to follow the standards better with IE 7, and for good reason as CSS can make a web developer’s life easier.

While CSS promised control for developers, it also proved a headache for many who watched IE casually break a page designed with CSS into an unreadable mess. Compliance has been much better in alternative browsers like Opera and Firefox, with millions of their users enjoying the fine control a web developer can exert over a site.

Developers who may need a hint as to what to do with the websites they create should find some online resources to be helpful. Numerous talented individuals have built and uploaded designs to share with others.

Although its blog is no longer being updated, users are still active on the forums for Open Source Web Design. The site bears the telltale signs of what many consider staples of the so-called Web 2.0 phenomenon, with plenty of rounded corners and soft colors.

As of this writing the site contained 1,688 free web designs. Each design can be viewed as a preview and downloaded as a template. They range from the stylishly crafted City In Paint to the rectangularly-oriented libra.

London-based web developer Nick Dunn created CSS Galleries to feature some interesting designs from around the web. The sites displayed here make extensive use of stylesheets.

Unlike OSWD, these designs may not be freely available, so CSS Galleries should be looked upon as a reference of how something may be done. One site, CSSMania, has complained to Dunn about including its feed of CSS designs on his CSS Galleries, and forcing him to remove it from the site.

CSSMania made a similar complaint of MostInspired.com, but later rescinded that:

I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, and it turns out that CSSmania agreed, but it is their data and up to them where it should be available.

Yes RSS is about syndicating content, but as the content producer you still have rights as to how that content is being used. Most times RSS is used to keep visitors up-to-date about updates, but as RSS matures other uses are being discovered, and everyone will figure out how to play nice in this new world.


For developers who have co-workers who want to start blogging on the WordPress platform, an assortment of minimalist WordPress themes listed at plaintxt.org demonstrates how less can be much more.

The Hemingway Reloaded and Zen Minimalist themes stand out here as nice examples of what can be accomplished.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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