simple design

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A snapshot of Prologue

Here is an early snapshot of the Prologue administration area: http://blocparty.org/prologue.pdf. The layout is done in pure CSS and XHTML, and it validates! It took a good deal of work in order to make sure I didn't use anything that would conflict with IE. However, there is a slight problem with a border in IE5, but I say to hell with bad browsers. The nice thing is I didn't have to mess with the stupid box model hack.

How did I avoid this? On any divs where I had to specify a width (only one I think: the sidebar), I avoided specifying padding or margins. Instead, I used margins on the elements inside, which were just a ul and a h3. I am very proud of this design, and I think that it will be a good design for the administration area. In my opinion it looks best on Mac OS X, but maybe I'm just biased toward the Lucida Grande font.

I keep getting a ton of ideas for Prologue. Some of them are my own creation and others are ones I've seen in other systems:

* XML-RPC backend for support with weblogging software. I know Prologue is not meant as a weblog, but there are many similarities.

* Text Filters: This is from MovableType. I want to support XHTML, Textile, and Markdown. For each article, you should be able to select a filter to use on the text. In addition, you should be able to set a default one. I love that Rails has built-in helpers for Textile and Markdown.

* Built-in CSS support: Stylesheets should be stored separate from the layout. In Prologue, you can store multiple stylesheets and select them on a per-layout and/or per-page basis.

* Multiple Content Types: Each with their own fields and templates. Because of ActiveRecord, all you need to do is add the fields to the database, run script/generate model typename, and then create templates for the form and actual view of the content.

* And more...

I hope all these features and more can come together to create a real kickass CMS.

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