This weekend has been a rarity. The house to myself for both days. Because it doesn't happen that often I planned stuff to do to make the most of it. I've hardly left the keyboard for the duration. Hurray for girlfriends going away every now and then. Us men need our time alone don't we. My "to do" list is now considerably shorter.

First thing I did was produce a draft version of the article I said I would write within a week, last Tuesday. You have no idea how long it can take to write an in depth article, complete with screen shots. By the time I have finished I'd say it would have taken the best part of a day to complete. Hope you appreciate it ;o)

Next I did something I've been planning for ages now and created my very own internet portal. For well over a year I've had jakehowlett.com redirect to jakehowlett.com/blog/. What I wanted was somewhere to act as a gateway to all the sites I run. Not sure it's a portal per se, but I'm happy now. My next plan is to pull in feeds from some of the sites and have a list of recent entries next to each site. Would that make it a real portal?

Either way, hopefully this site (that took no more than an hour to design) will act as a simple demonstration of how powerful CSS can be. Take a look at the CSS and see how simple it can be to produce a nice looking (well, I think so!) site. Think how you would create this layout without CSS. Imagine what a pain it would be with tables and then marvel at how easy CSS makes it.

In doing all this I've been using TopStyle "in anger". I love this program! Here's a tip. One that I forget about most of the time. You can click on the class attribute of any HTML element and jump to editing that style in the associated CSS file. All you need to do is hold down the ctrl key as you click it:

TopStyle CSS Editor

There's probably a whole article in using TopStyle alone. Maybe that should be my next idea? But for now, I have 4 hours before Karen returns and want to make the most of it. Hopefully I'll get the latest article polished off and be able to make a start on the Rockall Design website....


    • avatar
    • mt69clp
    • Tue 12 Aug 2003 02:51

    what I call a portal...

    I think the portal hype is some years ago, but until now I seldom see a real portal in the internet. Here are my key wishes for a real portal:

    1. It has to be a personal portal, where I can define the content in an order that is useful for my surf behaviour

    2. It has to load fast. The IBM pages (build on WebSphere) are a good example for how slow dynamic web pages can be (especially the PartnerWorld pages). But they have portal character. I just see the links which suit my personal access rights etc.

    3. (I should not have used a numbered list, for now I have no idea what to want next from a portal)

    The Amazon pages are a bit like a portal, they always know what I want to buy next (often before I know)...

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Tue 12 Aug 2003 05:16

    In that sense, I don't suppose it is a portal then ;o(

    But from Dictionary.com {Link}

    "A website considered as an entry point to other websites..."

    From that angle, I'm happy calling it a portal ;o)

    • avatar
    • JM
    • Tue 12 Aug 2003 15:31


    WPS 5.0 seems to have corrected some of the page load speeds found in WPS4.2 (with appropriate hardware of course). I think WPS is something all Domino developers should be taking a long hard look at, it's the core of the new Lotus Workplace brand strategy.

    • avatar
    • moses
    • Thu 30 Dec 2004 08:40


    i am selling cssportal.com...

    intrested? Please E-mail Me


    Happy New Year


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Written by Jake Howlett on Sun 7 Dec 2003

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CodeStore is all about web development. Concentrating on Lotus Domino, ASP.NET, Flex, SharePoint and all things internet.

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