Sunday 12 May 2002

AKMA drinks the CSS Kool-Aid

Following either her natural altruistic impulses or the lure of a tenured full professorship (in linguistics) at the University of Blogaria, Dorothea Salo is re-engineering AKMA’s Blogger template:

Your current blog template, AKMA, is set up as one big giganto-table, with several smaller tables inside. This is a time-honored HTML technique which came about in the first place because it was the only way to do anything vaguely resembling a complex liquid layout on the Web.

Unfortunately, this technique suffers from several drawbacks, including lousy accessibility, tag abuse (tables ought to present data that make sense as tables, not be a layout device), and worst of all from your perspective, truly terrible human-readability of the underlying HTML. You played with your template—was it easy? I can’t imagine it was. Following layout-table code gives me headaches.

What Dorothea fails to mention—throughout her admirably lucid explanation of how to convert masses of inefficient table code to five elegant DIV tags—is that she has proffered (and AKMA has perhaps unwittingly imbibed) a chalice filled with CSS Kool-Aid.

While our attention is focused on AKMA, Dorothea should be aware that Mark Pilgrim has his eye on her.

Fortunately AKMA’s inevitable induction into the CSS Fellowship should not pose any threat to his Christian convictions, since the Fraternal Society of CSS Practitioners—like Freemasonry—does not in any way “cross the boundaries of religious belief.”

As if Dorothea’s grasp of the intricacies of CSS positioning was not sufficiently impressive, she commands my deepest respect by mentioning Kinesis keyboards. I’ve used Microsoft Natural Keyboards for the last five years but I’m unhappy with the feel of my current Natural Keyboard Pro. I’ve been on the brink of ordering an IBM 42H1292 keyboard, but I’ll hold off until Dorothea posts a review of her new Kinesis keyboard.

I’m curious about how she decided between the Contoured, Maxim, and Evolution models. I’ll be buying my Kinesis keyboard from DMB Ergonomics too, rather than from the manufacturer who, inexplicably, doesn’t accept credit cards from international customers.



My wife and I have been using Kinesis keyboards for close to 7 years. I have bought all of mine from David Bialick at You won't regret buying your keyboard there.

Not only are they great keyboards for ergonomics, but they're built like a tank. When I got my first one, I couldn't afford to have one at work and one at home (forget getting my employer to buy one) so I carted the keyboard back and forth in my backpack. I'm still using that same keyboard today, nearly 7 years later.

Posted by: Tommy Williams on 13 May 2002 at 09:00 AM

Jonathon, the link to the IBM keyboard is no longer valid. I don't know if its a DNS problem but the domain is no longer visible. Which is strange considering that its the number 1 hit on Google for 42H1292.

In the interests of reader enlightenment may I offer the fourth hit from Google;

Numbers 2 and 3 aren't much cop really.

Posted by: Andy Todd on 13 May 2002 at 10:46 AM

Andy, I'm not sure what's going on here. I checked the link when I published the post and it worked. I've just checked it from another computer and it worked again. So maybe you encountered a momentary glitch.

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 13 May 2002 at 12:39 PM

I'll just weigh in briefly in favor of Kinesis keyboards. Used one very happily for many years, it's not in front of me right now so I can't tell you the model, though from the sound of it they've complexified their lineup since I got mine years ago. One fascinating thing about them is that it takes between a day and a week to get used to the separate wells, but then you can go back and forth between the Kinesis and a regular keyboard without any trouble. And what endless amusement I derived from people who would try to use my computer and give up after about 10 seconds muttering curses at me and my damned keyboard. Great fun!

Posted by: Abie on 13 May 2002 at 05:57 PM

Dorothea has promised a review of her Kinesis Contoured keyboard. I'm looking forward to reading it before I decide on my new Kinesis model.

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 13 May 2002 at 05:57 PM

Is it only me, or do "the Contoured, Maxim, and Evolution models" sound like condom brands?

Posted by: stavrosthewonderchicken on 14 May 2002 at 07:29 PM

As in: do any of them have a ribbed spacebar?

Posted by: Jonathon Delacour on 15 May 2002 at 12:39 AM

This discussion is now closed. My thanks to everyone who contributed.

© Copyright 2002-2003 Jonathon Delacour