New DNA Update.

So, I think I've seen this trick done before, but now I can't find an example of it. On the calendar pages, there's a little overview calendar grid on the left side, showing you the layout of the month and which days have events. There are actually two of them, one at the top and one at the bottom of the page.

What I'd like to do is have there be only one of them, but have it not scroll with the document: have it always be stuck to the bottom edge of the window, so that it's always visible on the screen. Actually, it would be cool if that was true of the whole left menu column.

But I want the page to be compatible with older browsers too, so on systems that don't support all that new CSS crap, it should look like it does today, with the two separate grids (and it should also do sensible things in browsers that have JavaScript turned off.) In other words, I want something that does non-stupid things in all of Mozilla, Netscape 4, Netscape 3, and MSIE 5.

Is that possible?

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7 Responses:

  1. coldacid says:

    Not unless you like pain, and a lot of it. You'd need to test for browser in JavaScript, do a lot of DOM mucking (turning off the calendars somehow, and creating a new one to float), etc. blah blah blah. At the end you'll have a screen or two of JavaScript that will have to be modified for each new browser.

    On the plus side, for people without new browsers or with JavaScript off, the page is like it is now. For people on the bleeding edge, they get a neat floating calendar near the bottom of the screen.

    I wish I could help you further, but I'm all thumbs with JavaScript.

  2. shayde says:

    These guys have something similar on their page, where the 'view cart' doohickey stays floating on the left side of the frame. I find it amazingly annoying, but I suppose you wouldn't need it quite this animated:

    I tried to do someting like what you're talking about a while ago, but it never really worked. Just design pages better! Yeah!

    (and alas, yes, frames are the answer to this problem)

  3. jwz says:

    Frames suck because they mean tripling the number of .html documents in the calendar tree, ending up with goofy focus/scrolling issues, confusing people when they try to save the page, etc. I do use frames occasionally (like in my bookmarks, and in Gronk) but mostly they just suck.

    I got mail from Adam Langley that explained how to do this with CSS magic, and I got it working, but I think I don't like the result after all. The behavior when the window is small is pretty nasty -- lots of overlapping rectangles, and loss of viewable screen real estate. I hadn't thought about that...

    Check it out:

    Make the window small enough that you have a horizontal scrollbar. That's pretty awful. Frames would have nearly-as-awful behavior (though at least you could shrink the left cell away in that case.)

    Oh well. Nevermind.

  4. waider says:

    If people actually used all that CSS goo (which is kinda like crack; you say, "I'd never want to use something like that" and then you try it and, well, you can't do without it any more), then the web designers would (theoretically) stop using GIFs to lay out text in Just The Right Way and WebCollage would produce a less texty view of the web and, wait, a pig just flew past my window and this is a no-fly zone, dammit.

    I've been told jmatrix can actually crash machines running IE4, and that's just a little bit of javascript frobbing a pair of layers, so I dread to think what'd happen if you actually tried something interesting.