That's not how u spell cheese, Jack.
It was time for a break.
Ambition struck a couple of days ago. I've been working on a web site project
for a while now, and a recent request for a layout change prompted me to revisit
the idea of abandoning tables and doing a pure CSS-driven layout. Another experience
that sparked my ambition was spotting a flash of unformatted text while browsing
a news story: a signal that even the New York Times, a conservative
corporate behemoth, has decided that the user base has modernized enough
to properly view pages based on pure CSS layout.
So, after several successful
applications of CSS to a variety of small projects, including the construction
of one page using a layout derived from a Zen
Garden design, I figured it couldn't
be too hard to go the full distance. I took a few minutes to sketch out what
I thought I needed to do, then went on to code it...
I ran into problems almost immediately. At first, even widths didn't seem
to work. Two floated elements didn't just float left or right, they seemed
to break out of their containing DIV and float up into DIVs above. Aargh!
I went down several wrong alleys over the course of an hour or so, and I didn't
feel any closer to a solution. I figured dinner and a shot of coffee might
just move me a bit closer to an insight...
Nothing yet. I'll keep hammering on it over the next couple of days, but expediency may
keep me from transitioning this project. At this point, I certainly wouldn't
describe working with CSS as being an intuitive process.
As the first anniversary of Katrina blows through, a variety
of documentaries are airing. While some simply allow you to re-witness
the devastation (as a hapless consumer/spectator), I saw one today that talks
about efforts to bring back the music culture that was rooted in New Orleans
for generations. It also makes the point that you can recreate the trappings of
a place like Bourbon Street anywhere, but culture and community are far
more organic. If you lose the people, you lose those organic elements, and
what is left is merely a shell.
I've never been to the Maple
but I'm sure going to find it the next time I visit. Days after the storm,
Maple Leaf re-opened with generators to power the instruments, and no lights.
It continues to be a home to the New Orleans music community today.
Another music landmark in New Orleans, Tipitina's reopening was a watershed moment, and the Tipitina's
Foundation is helping musicians with housing as well as instruments. Opening
night was a happy surprise for everyone involved. Many had concerns about
turnout, but a capacity crowd packed the place.
I have my doubts about how many people will ultimately return to New Orleans,
and I wonder about her long-term prospects. But I'm certain that more than
any other city (in the world?), a higher proportion of the people living in New Orleans
right now are there because they love the city and have a stake in its survival.