Archive for the HTML category

Slideshowify Gets a Project Homepage, Demos, Documentation

posted by admin in Code, CSS, design, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery

After just sitting there collecting dust for a while, Slideshowify is back and better than ever.

New updates include CSS3 support (provided via @rstacruz‘s excellent jquery.transit.js plugin), animation as well as zooming in both directions and better browser support – it works and looks great on tablets and other touch devices.

In addition, the project now has a legitimate project homepage which provides documentation and a couple of live demos. 

Check it out now at:

The "MS Shell Dlg" Mystery (Solved)

posted by admin in browsers, CSS, design, fonts, HTML

If you haven’t noticed (and are using a PC), the headlines on this blog should now be rendered using the MS Shell Dlg font [I've since changed this and have been experimenting with custom fonts via @font-face, but all information in this post still applies otherwise.] I learned about this font just now after trying to figure out why‘s input fields were rendering using it instead of the fonts specified in the CSS rule. I’m still unsure why the computed style lists MS Shell Dlg as the font since its never explicitly specified nor is the the default, but it is. (If you know why this is, drop a comment below.)

Anyhow, I really like the way this font looks at 20+ pixels and bolded, so its the new style for the (H2) headers. If you’re on a Mac, you should see Helvetica and since that font carries mad clout complaints will be appropriately ignored.

OK, I’m off to read more about this, starting here:

Update #1

Just read it.  A very intriguing quote from that page: “It is not a font but a face name for a nonexistent font.”  What?  Its definitely a font and after testing all of the usual suspects, I’m still unsure which one. Bizarre.

Update #2

I found the answer on this page:  The font that MS Shell Dlg maps to on all versions of Windows since Windows 2000 is “Microsoft Sans Serif”.  But I’m guessing that using MS Shell Dlg in the CSS rule instead makes more sense since it will map properly on other versions of Windows, and since its a shorter rule.  Though, specifying “Microsoft Sans Serif” explicitly, followed by more common fonts would make for a better rule and ensure no further surprises.

All this said, I’m still not sure why’s input fields are rendering in this font.

Update #3

Since writing this post, I’m noticing this font substitution taking place more often.  For example, Twitter‘s login input fields behave the same way, as does the h2 tag on  What all of these have in common is that they specify the first font name in quotes (presumably since it contains multiple words) and it happens to be a font that I don’t have installed.  While quotes should be permitted in such cases and are even encouraged by some, I find that its not necessary and here appears to not have the intended effect.

Links vs. JavaScript Event Handlers

posted by admin in HTML, JavaScript, Uncategorized

Anchor tags are frequently used to do something other than what they were meant for, such as executing some JavaScript code.  I’m talking about cases such as these:

<a href="javascript:doSomething()">Click Here</a>

// or...
<a href="javascript:void(0)" onclick="doSomething()">Click Here</a>

Both of these are bad practice and should be avoided.  The purpose of the anchor tag is to provide a link to a separate page so that the its interpreter (human or program, such as a search crawler) can use the value of its HREF attribute to reach another page (URL).  If what you are putting into the HREF attribute is not a valid URL, you’re very likely using the wrong tag.


Best Cheat Sheets for Web Developers

posted by admin in CSS, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery

A colleague of mine sent out a link to a very resourceful page containing very helpful cheat sheets for web developers.  Get them here:

I haven’t seen the WebAppers site before, but it definitely deserves a bookmark and periodic visits.

Creating Fading Headlines with jQuery in 5 minutes

posted by admin in HTML, JavaScript, jQuery

We see fading headlines on the Apple site as well as lots of news and media websites.  Rather than listing all of headlines in a “stack”, they use much less real estate by having all headlines displayed in a smaller space, with headlines fading in and out over each other.  Whether you like this or not is not the point.  Showing how you can build this quickly, is.

Since I’m a big fan of the jQuery library I decided to see what it would take to build this with the help of this popular JavaScript library.  As expected, it proved to be very simple and I’m posting it here in case someone finds it handy.  It might also serve as a good interview question for candidates who claim to be proficient with JavaScript and jQuery.


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Subchild is a blog about web development. It's author is Aleksandar Kolundzija, himself a web developer for 10++ years, presently a Hacker-in-Residence at betaworks. Prior to betaworks, Alex worked at Google, Meebo, MLB Advanced Media (, Razorfish, and elsewhere.

Some of Alex's side projects include, Slideshowify, LiveXmlEdit, and other blogs like Dopevector and When he's not working on any of those, Alex is probably playing guitar, producing music, mixing records, taking photos, playing with his kid, or watching documentaries about particle physics, the monetary system, etc.

Let him know what's up: ak @