Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Announcing a New Web Site


I invite you to view a new web site ( ).  What made this a particularly challenging project is that it comprises several CD installations at distributed locations. 

The editors are not computer-savvy; they are child-care and child-development specialists. 

The design goals included:

  - creating a web site that provided a consistent look-and-feel

  - functional areas that could be turned on and off for each site (as needed)

  - ability to present information as web pages or as files (eg, PDF)

  - provide a simple tool for the editors that hides the internal mechanisms

  - provide an internal directory structure that maps to the actual web site

While CD v1 certainly had its shortcomings, and, in some cases I used it to generate PHP to do post-processing, it was, in the end, a great tool to use.  This is evidenced by the fact that the users actually like to use it, and can concentrate on the content and do not have to think very much about the tool, itself.  As a developer, this is a very gratifying outcome.

As you look over the site, please understand that we have not announced site publicly, and the editors are still working to complete their initial tasks.  One of these is to remove the test and example pages, which I provided them.

Therefore, you might come across some very odd things.  You might also come across some strange formatting within articles.  This is due to cutting-and-pasting from Word, which is both a blessing and a curse; I am not sure which.

Comments and questions are welcome.

Joel Finkel

Joel Finkel
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

From an accessibility point of view, you shouldn't be using absolute font sizes, all of your images should have ALT text and I think colour-blind people could have problems distinguishing the rollover colours of your buttons.

Other than that, it's a nicely put together site.

John Topley (
Tuesday, June 3, 2003


Thanks for your comments. 

The Alt-text is a user training issue, which I will try to reinforce.

Is the font-size too small?  You will notice that in some articles in which the Word styles supercede my styles, the variable-size fonts can be quite a problem.  This is an issue I have not been able to conquer successfully.

I agree about the colors, but this is what the client wanted.  Fortunately, it is all easily modifed in style sheets.  I plan to revisit this styles in Phase II.

-Joel Finkel

Joel Finkel
Tuesday, June 3, 2003


No the font size isn't too small, it's just that it can't be resized by the user if using Internet Explorer. Opera and Mozilla can override absolute font sizes, so don't have this problem. See:

John Topley (
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

BTW, I do agree that it's a difficult problem!

John Topley (
Tuesday, June 3, 2003


Font styles and font sizes can be ignored independently in Internet Explorer.  Colors can be ignored as well.  A user can apply her/his own style sheet, as well.

This is set via Tools | Internet Options | General | Accessibility.

Thanks for the link.  This looks like very useful material!

Joel Finkel
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

True, Joel F, but its a bit annoying to have to click several times to change font size for a site.  Then go on to another site and reverse that setting.

I'm an advocate of ems myself, but many people like pixels.

Eric Meyer (of CSS fame) wrote an article about setting and id on the html tag of a site like so:

site is

<html id="mysite">

Then anyone who doesn't like something about the style of the site can write their own stylesheet which over-rides just the settings on that site.

Joel Goldstick
Tuesday, June 3, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home