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Wild Life, with extra pretty for your enjoyment

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Chapter one of Wild Life is up for your reading pleasure. New chapters should come every two or three weeks, if all goes well.


One thing that's new with this is some bonus prettiness. As I'm sure anyone who's read my stuff's noticed, the styling I use in the HTML-converted documents is... minimal. (Well, okay, nonexistent) That's been on purpose -- I've enough trouble making sure all the crap that Word stuffs into a document is stripped out, and I've never been good at making things look nice on my own, so I've left it be.


With Wild Life (and hopefully Carpe Diem) getting released, though, it's about time I spiff things up. While completely unstyled HTML is better than a lot of what's out on the Web (I particularly hate the layouts that have small fixed width areas for their content -- you know the ones, where you get fewer words horizontally than a paperback book, but making the window bigger does nothing, and upping the font size just makes it worse, since the text area doesn't get bigger when the font does) but pretty is nice.


So, after much head scratching, a bit 'o cash (I rather like O'Reilly's CSS, The Missing Manual), and some swearing at PHP's completely random naming conventions and deeply sucky documentation, I'm done. Woo!


It's not really flashy -- that requires more art skills than I have -- but I have a layout I like. Sidebar menus, pleasant color scheme, automatic content generation (so I don't have to update old chapters, or re-validate all the pages when I twiddle the sidebar), and a Scrivener HTML stripper to generate the raw data to feed into the system. It's just attached to Wild Life right now, but I'll probably go back and redo Yankee, as well as the shorts. I only hope it looks okay in browsers I don't have. (Safari and Camino both like it, as does IE7, but I'm not sure about IE6. But, then, who is?)


Even better, the layout's all relative sized, so if you're a fan of large browser windows (as I am), or larger text, or both, it scales right.


It may lack Teh Shiny

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Sweet -- something to look forward to every other week. Or so. If all goes well. B)

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And of course it turns out that IE has a busted CSS box model so the spiffy layout (the one that worked nicely on WebKit and Gecko rendering engines) doesn't render quite so well in IE. Bah, computers suck, and so not in a good way. An updated version is off to Joe for fixing whenever he gets a chance.

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