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Ed the N00B

NVu question

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(Note, same question posted in a previous thread.)


Hi All.

NVu mentioned in another thread seems awesome! I was looking for a Dreamweaver replacement a while ago but didn't find NVu! I've yet to try it out seriously but just after install it looks great!


One question which maybe someone here can answer:

I used layers a lot in Dreamweaver, but I can't see a way to view different layers within a page in NVu. I realise that layers are kind of a Dreamweaver invention to an extent. They're just <div> tags with a 'Z' value and a bit of Javascript to either show or hide them, but does anyone know if there's a way to edit them in NVu in the same way you can in Dreamweaver (ie. just select which layer to look at and edit it as if it were the main page?)

If not I'm thinking I might have to change the 'visible' attribute of each <div> section in the code in order to ba able to see it in the main window.


Interestingly, NVu has a 'Layer' button which seems to pull the selected element out into a seperate layer, but there is no reference to layers in the help file.

I'll admit I haven't had time to search their forums yet. Maybe the answer is there.


Thanks! :-)

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These "layers" are indeed kind of a hack and you shouldn't really use them.


Instead, you'd be better off learning a bit of CSS and using that. Honestly, it's not that difficult and you'll be glad you did afterwards. With CSS you can do everything you could do with "layers" and more.






Some advanced articles about use of CSS are here: http://www.alistapart.com/topics/css/


These are of particular interest for you:







Of course, you can just copy the code from 1 of these articles if you're in a hurry.


And like you said, I don't know what that Layer button is for, but it might be a good idea to ask on the nvu forum/mailing list/whatever if you insist on using layers.




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Many thanks for those links Darkelve.

I didn't realise that sort of thing was possible with CSS. Those 'Anchor Pseudo-Classes' are quite interesting.


I must admit though that I'm not sure why using CSS for this is better than using a bit of javascript. Isn't it just doing the same thing in a slightly different way?


And I'm not sure I'd call a standard feature of a popular application like Dreamweaver a 'hack'! :P But maybe that's just me! :D


If you're interested, this is one of the uses I've made of layers:

Page on my site

It's a bit more than drop down menus and I'll concede that I've probably over used layers here but I like the way the site loads whole, leading to very snappy response when navigating around the links (which are of course all just showing/hiding layers).


No doubt this is tragically ineffiecient and bad design etc, but I'm still only learning this web stuff! :thumbs:

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Well, you can use Javascript as well of course. The only thing is, you might bump into the problem of browser detection again.


CSS menus really do have a lot of advantages. Javascript does as well.


But if nvu doesn't provide such a tool like Dreamweaver (which is a unique tool for this application, but still somewhat of a hack), I'm afraid you'll have to implement this manually.





Some disadvantages of DHTML are that it is difficult to develop and debug due to varying degrees of support among web browsers of the aforementioned technologies and that the variety of screen sizes means the end look can only be fine-tuned on a limited number browser/screen-size combinations. Development for recent browsers, such as Internet Explorer 5.0+, Netscape 6.0+, and Opera 7.0+, is aided by a shared Document Object Model.


If much of the same can be obtained using CSS, with less of these disadvantages (although Netscape 4 is a disadvantage to CSS by itself - may it die soon) then why NOT use CSS? A CSS solution with cross-browser hacks is still ultimately less 'hacky' then most Javascript/dhtml solutions.

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Yes, that's a good point. Looks like CSS is easier to get things working across different browsers!


Thanks for the tips! :-)


Yes, but be careful to use things in CSS that are supported.


E.g. attribute selectors in CSS3 are the coolest things,

but they work in everything but IE. :wall:


Most things in CSS1 and CSS2 can be

used without trouble though.


Key is to test in different browsers. And don't worry if it

doesn't look 100% pixel-perfect the same across browsers

and platforms and resolutions, and... that is an illusion anyway.

Table-based lay-outs don't look the same either.


That it doesn't look exactly the same doesn't mean it can't look good! B)


Plus CSS is very, very reusable (especially is you use external stylesheets).


E.g. take a look here and compare these 2 websites:





If you compare the code, you'll see it wasn't a lot of effort

changing them!

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so css is great. one really fantastic thing about it is that your presentation should be fairly uniform if you write the .html file right. however i've found that the rendering engines in mozilla (i.e., mozilla browser, firefox) render considerably differently than in ie 6.0. so things don't always look the same between. in a professional application this could be a big deal.


another big thing to think about is to learn enough php and (using mysql databases) write a chunk of code that drastically reduces your coding time. good luck with that, i'm going to learn that one myself.


but css is the way to go.

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