What I've Learned (1 of 4)

by Michael Clark
February 15, 2012 10:54 AM

I've officially been back at Freed-Hardeman for a little over 6 months and in that time there have been a few things I've learned.

The first tidbit I'd like to share is in regards to creating an equal two-column layout using CSS only. There are many "tricks" to accomplishing this - tables, javascript, etc., but I've finally stumbled across a pure CSS method. It's detailed fully in this article on A List Apart so I'll give a quick summary for the skimmers at home.

This method involves three divs - a container, a main content area, and a rail (think sidebar). The content and rail divs are nested inside the container div (It may seem weird, but the content div needs to come before the rail div regardless of what side the rail is supposed to display). Here are the important pieces of CSS (you can background colors to differentiate your columns if you'd like):

#container{
  background-color:#fff;
  overflow:hidden;
  width:750px;
}
#content{
  background-color:#fff;
  width:600px;
  border-right:150px solid #000;
  margin-right:-150px;
  float:left;
}
#rail{
  background-color:#000;
  width:150px;
  float:left;
}

Let's break this down into what's going on.

We have a 750px wide container with a 600px content area and a 150px side rail. The content area also gets a right border of 150px the same color as the side rail as well as a -150px margin that allows the rail div to move into it's proper place. The right border makes it appear so that as the content area grows, the side bar appears to fill in beside it (when in reality, it's just the right border). In similar fashion, if the side rail is taller than the content area, the container has the same color as the content area and fills in what's missing.

Better yet, the layout can be modified so that your column can be on the right should you so desire. The article from A List Apart also goes into detail on how to create a three-column equal height layout.

Pretty simple, isn't it?


FHU Mobile for Android

by Andy Maach
February 3, 2012 4:10 PM

Our green robot friend is taking over the world! Okay, that’s slightly dramatic, but Android’s usage share is increasing by the day. According to Google’s Andy Rubin, there are 700,000 Android phones sold per day. Additionally, according to comScore Android currently has a market share of 46.9%, relative to the iPhone’s 27.3%. Without a doubt, Android will be very important to the smartphone landscape for quite some time. Because of this, it is very important for Apps to be present on Android as well as the iPhone.
 
If you are reading this blog, chances are that you are well aware that Freed-Hardeman has its very own App, FHU Mobile. What you may not know is that Android is getting its very own FHU Mobile. This is quite an undertaking. In my past work, friends have asked me to bring Android apps to the iPhone. What most people don’t realize is that Android is very different from iOS (iPhones, iPods, and iPads.)

Imagine you’re given a book with many pictures and such that is designed for a very specific culture and language. Your task is to not only translate this book, but also get new pictures and other resources appropriate for the culture you’re bring it to. For example, if a Chinese book were brought to America, even if you translate the entire thing to very good English, it’s still going to look like a Chinese book. This also holds true for bringing iOS applications to Android.

That said, many things in the iOS app will be changed to “fit in” well with the Android system. Android users may be familiar with sliding tabs. With the Android App, plans are to change the news feed list and the admissions page to use these sliding tabs. Additionally, the tab bar at the bottom is removed. Instead, current plans are for the home page to have a grid of options (consider the Google Plus app or Evernote, for example.) In addition, we expect that several other GUI changes will be present, but those details will be finalized at a later date.

We expect that FHU Mobile for Android to be released sometime late Spring. Until then, here’s a snapshot of the current development!