We launched a redesigned version of the ORF website a few hours ago; check out what we came up with.
It was certainly time to update our web appearance—even though the old web site was created in 2003, it looked quite ’98-ish, with that huge printer port photo (what?!) in the header. I can’t believe we even sold ORF licenses without those Web 2.0 glass effects so mandatory in 2008 :)
The web content did not change much, except that a few old pages and the Regex Corner has been removed (more about this later).
Anyway, the new website is XHTML 1.0 Strict valid, with pure CSS formatting, optimized for the following browsers: Internet Explorer 6, Internet Explorer 7 and the latest versions of Mozilla Firefox, Opera and Safari (Windows). The design is from a professional web design company and the persons to be blamed for the XHTML/CSS/scripting are Krisztian and me.
Migrating the content took only about 3 weeks (once the basic layout CSS was working), but what 3 weeks these were! If you ever worked with CSS and HTML, you probably know that the various web browsers take great liberty of CSS standards interpretation, which is an excellent source of… fun. The two most bizarre rendering bugs we have seen were produced IE6 and IE7. IE6 just forgot to fully render a menu (a quite standard customized <UL>-<LI> combo), but on every refresh a different part of the menu was rendered. We ended up hiding the menu for IE6 and showing a different <TABLE>-based one. IE7 gave us countless minutes of fun with rendering the PNG arrow icons on the FAQ page correctly, just to show them 90 degrees rotated clockwise on the next page refresh. We could not believe our eyes, then we decided it’s real and replaced the PNG arrow with a JPEG arrow, which did not produce the same issue. Later we switched back to PNG, but now saved with another program (the original was created with Adobe Photoshop CS) which has fixed the issue.
As for the Regex Corner, we decided not to port this section of our website to the new design, because it did not fulfill our hopes. Attracting too little attention, we could not justify the cost of migrating these relatively complex pages. Instead, we created a new newsgroup on our news server, called the ORF Tips and Tricks forum, meant to be an active discussion group of keyword filters, HELO filters and everything useful. We know that not everyone has NNTP access, so this is certainly not an ideal solution. However, we are hoping to launch our news <-> web gateway soon. The code is more or less ready, though testing and applying design will take a few more weeks.