Count the DIV tags!

Working with tableless css can sometimes produce unfortunate results. Especially when working within the confines of a templated cms/blog program such as WordPress. WordPress uses nested code within its comments template that contains a lot of if/else statements that either contain or don’t contain the dreaded <div> tag. The end result can sometimes look like this photo:

 Screenshot 1

Note the alignment of the right side. It ends up beneath the bottom of the left side. In a floated layout , this is caused normally by a missing <div> or </div> tag in the code. To easily identify that this is the problem, view your web page’s source code as seen by your browser. Then perform a search for “div” without the quotes in that code. Each time you see a <div> tag add to your count 1. Each time you see a </div> tag subtract from your count 1. You should never reach a negative number, and by the end of the page you should be at 0. If your web page looks like mine did above, however, you likely will reach a -1 count, and at that point you can at least pin point approximately where in the code you have an issue.

In development of the template coder I hired accidently (it happens) placed within an if statement a <div> tag which had an ending </div> tag outside the if statement. When NO comments were present in the layout, but comments were allowed, the page ended up missing a <div> tag. Using the solution above, I was able to quickly resolve the coding error, and moved the <div> tag back outside of the if statement. The end result was this:

 Screenshot 2


I have run into one instance when the situation had nothing to do with the placement of the <div> tags. On that particular page I was using Microsoft Expressions to create my html template and copied some javascript which used an include into the source code. Microsoft took it upon itself to change the “>”> at the end of the include section of code and changed it to &quot;&gt; .

3 Goals for a Successful Launch

I am listening to a book on cd production of Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin, the bestselling author of The Dip. In the book Seth discusses fourteen trends that no marketer can afford to ignore. During one of those trends he brings up the fact that a business person should seek any 1 of 3 goals when establishing his business:

1. Find a market that hasn’t been found yet.
2. Develop a product that is so compelling that people seek you.
3. String together enough of these markets so that you can make it into a business.

Let’s turn this in the direction of website development. Does your initial website idea come under any of these three items? How can you make yourself stand out from all the other websites if not?

When reviewing the three goals above, I have already accomplished #1 and #3 with specific websites of mine… It’s #2 that I lack success with. And is probably the reason I make a comfortable living while others get rich online. A compelling product online, in the right market, can bring the masses in.

Note to Self… When developing a new site, am I still trying to achieve any 1 of those 3 goals?

Color Pix

I stumbled on a cool tool today, called Color Pix.

Color Pix is a nifty little application that enables you to “grab” colors and coordinates from any pixel on your computer screen. While most image editing programs and some WYSWYG editors have this built in, Color Pix will enable you to select the color without having to open any of those programs. Selecting colors from images is one of my favorite methods of producing a color scheme around an image… a good example of me doing this is with my Oregon Genealogy website. All the colors selected for that color scheme came from the texturized version of the church image found on that page. You can see other examples of me building websites around the colors found in an image at Troup County, Georgia Genealogy and Lawrence County, Mississippi Genealogy.

Building a website around an image is new to me. I hadn’t done it before the past couple of months… I use to find images to go with a website… often more difficult.

The best thing about color pix is it is free! So go enjoy. More information about Color Pix.

Dynamic Web Template Won’t Update!

I love Microsoft Expressions, but every once in a while, I want to beat my computer to a pulp. Why I want to blame the computer for something a program isn’t doing correctly is beyond me, but the irrational side can often take over during frustrating moments! Today’s dilemma comes from the inability to update all pages in a sub-web folder from a dynamic web template (DWT). In actuality, the situation I found myself in was a little different then that… so let me explain using this note to self you exactly what happened, and how if you find yourself in my shoes you can work around the issue.

The initial website was created using FrontPage 2003. When a hard-drive failure occurred on my old computer, I uploaded the full website from the online version. Having upgraded on the new computer to Microsoft Expressions I converted to a Web Folder the existing folder I had just uploaded the site to. At that time, any change to the dynamic web template was reflected on all attached pages to that template. A problem arose only when I needed to make a sub-folder for the site into a sub-web folder. Each of the folders had its own template already… so this should have been a breeze to do. The folders just weren’t setup to be their own web folder. I converted the sub-folder into a web-folder and attempted to update the template. No changes were made to the existing pages. I tried updating ALL pages with the new template, that also failed to change the pages to the new template. Attempting to detach and then attach the template was disastrous, as Microsoft Expressions deleted all of the markup language used to identify a region within the page. I then tried creating a new page and attaching the template to the page and that worked fine. Making an additional change to the DWT resulted in changes to the 1 page considered attached.

The workaround? I found out I was able to select multiple pages and change the selected pages using:

Select the pages you wish to update from the folder list.

Click on Format, then select Dynamic Web Template and click on “Update Selected Page.” Presto… the selected pages are updated. Interestingly, you can select all of the pages using this method and they’ll update, but the option to update all pages failed to work.

Why Am I seeing French Google Ads?

This past weekend when I started accessing the pages of my websites I noticed Google image ads were appearing in French instead of American. Not the text ads, just the image ads. Today when trying to access Google itself, I’m being redirected to the French version of Google, and any attempt to access Google’s tools gives me a French version as well. This problem is isolated to Google.

I checked the IP assigned to my ISP account and noticed that it has been changed. Great! That should make for a lot of changing permissions based on the old IP address! Anyway, a check of the IP at ARIN has my new IP assigned to a blackhole at Internic. That appears to indicate that the IP has been newly assigned to my ISP and Google has it listed as an assigned IP to a French entity (who probably had it before.)

I think if Google wants to use IP identity then that identity should be over-ridden for logged in visitors. I have an account with Google… I always use the English version. That should over-ride any attempt to assign by IP a country of origin. Now I’m faced with trying to access parts of Google in a language I can barely understand…

My thoughts.