Tattered fly relaunch

Update: Tattered Fly now uses ThickBox instead of the deprecated Lightbox.

Tattered Fly

It is with great pleasure, and a sigh of relief, that I present the newly re-designed version of TatteredFly.com. It is a blog entirely devoted to the topic of fly fishing (seriously) that was recently inducted into the 9rules Network, and is written by my boss Dan Bachman. Despite what you might think, this site was not developed under any sort of coercion (no, really).

While I wish I could take credit for the design, that priviledge goes to my coworker Hugh Griffith, who is the Sr. Interface Designer at Albertsons. I did all the XHTML and CSS along with most of the Textpattern implimentation, which is why I've basically been a ghost online for the past week or so. The previous version had also been designed by Hugh, with the XHTML / CSS and TXP work done by Cody Lindley who has since moved on to run Micron.com. Between his new job and newborn baby, he's short on free time, so I was happy to step in and pinch-hit for the new version of this site.

As far as bells and whistles, there are a few things I want to point out: First, the PNG transparencies throughout the site work in all major browsers. This was an especially big pain to get working in both Internet Explorer 6 and 7. By using the proprietary Microsoft DirectX filter, I got it working in IE6, only to have it break in IE7 since it handles PNG's just like any other decent browser. Essentially, there would be two backgrounds because IE7 still recognizes the filter. So, what I ended up doing was let IE7 also use the filter, and got rid of backgrounds for each div containing a PNG via [if IE] conditionals.

Instead of have multiple sets of conditionals, I simply have one ie_fixes.css file for both browsers, and just use the * html hack to give styles specifically to IE6. So, this is a controlled hacking environment, so to speak. I know that some of you may be wondering why I didn't address the PNG issue with JavaScript. To me, this doesn't seem like a more "pure" way of doing it, and here's why: HTML is for content, CSS for presentation, and JavaScript for behavior. So, whether you use proprietary filters or JavaScript, either way you're mis-using a non-presentational layer to fix what should be CSS.

That brings me to my next feature: Lightbox 2.0. You could say I took the "easy" way out in addressing the PNG issue, but I also didn't want to add any more JavaScript to the mix, since Lightbox already takes 4 files. Obviously, I am aware of Cody's Thickbox solution, since I did the loading animation for it. Reluctantly, I implimented Lightbox because of the ability to group photos by sets, and navigate between them with the keyboard. This was a key feature that Dan wanted for his visitors (maybe in Thickbox 2.0? - pester Cody).

Tattered Fly - lightbox

Since I am picky, I tweaked Lightbox ever so slightly. I added a solid black 1px outline to each image, and also to the Previous / Next tabs. This keeps the white from getting lost when coupled with brighter photos. I also added a grey text background with keyboard instructions: P = Previous | N = Next.

Let me see, what else. Oh yeah - No doubt you will wonder why the navigation bar is two-tiered, when there is really not much to the site. Well, if you peek under the hood, you will see quite a bit commented out in the source code. While the new look and feel is ready, Dan still has a lot planned for other site sections. There will eventually be an interactive map showing off various rivers around Idaho. That part is still being conceptualized by Hugh.

There will also be a community forum so that fishermen can lie to share stories with one another. I had planned on using the Vanilla forum by Lussumo, but when I went to download it I saw that they have taken the site down while they work on their official 1.0 release. I think it will be worth the wait though. I have always liked the way Alex integrated it into the SkillShare area of CSS Beauty, and have been meaning to try it out for awhile now.

I guess that about wraps it up. Go ahead and check out the site, and leave Dan some feedback, so he doesn't feel like he's the only one who cares about fly fishing. Also, bear in mind that he is still converting many old articles over, so if you see anything messed up, tell him about it and don't bother me!