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Weblog Entry

The Price of Fame

May 12, 2003

Hopefully the last I’ll be posting about the Garden for a while; I’d like to go back to regular posting soon. Quickly, now —

MetaFilter and BoingBoing both linked within the past 48 hours. I freaked out, but thanks to a sympathetic host, I was allowed to just bump up my account type as opposed to getting a huge bill at the end of the month. Thanks guys! I’m in good shape.

I’ve had a wonderful offer for free hosting in Florida which I think I may just take over the long term. I’ll have 10GB transfer/month on my current account come June (40GB super–extra–strength account for May, to get through the deluge) but it’s debatable whether or not that will keep the Garden going.

A .zip file of Garden submissions is also in the works, for learning purposes. I debated this initially, since it makes it that much easier to steal the graphics. Remember that while the CSS is free to use given attribution, the graphics belong to their respective owners. I’ll let the copyright owners decide themselves — I don’t see a problem with creating the archive with select designs removed if their owners would rather them not be included.

Payola: Visit BradSoft and buy lots of copies of TopStyle. I have started playing around with my complimentary copy, and it looks rather promising. Let it be noted that while I don’t think it will be necessary to put up a PayPal button on the Garden, I am not remotely opposed to accepting free things. I’ve had a few other offers, which I may just post about when the items show up.

This project has started some great discussion about the role of CSS on the current web. The reaction seems to be 95% in support, 5% still seeing too many problems with the Garden to use CSS in real–world scenarios. Note to the latter: the glass doesn’t have to be half–empty, guys. I made some mistakes, specifically around fonts, but designer error doesn’t mean the technology doesn’t work.

Don’t miss Wicked Grove, RPM and Dead or Alive, the latest three additions.

Oh, and for the record: it’s ‘Shea’, not ‘Shae’.


Reader Comments

Jason says:
May 12, 08h

Dave – I’ve been a regular reader for a couple of weeks now, and I have to say that the garden blew me away. Thank you for showing me (and the world…) how powerful CSS based design can be – and how great it can look!

When I see a site like yours, it gives the vastly under utiltized left-side of my brain a welcome jolt. Better than that, it makes me want to create. And hell, as a fellow Canadian (sorry ‘bout the Canucks by the way – I know how you feel, I’m a Leafs fan…), you’ve even managed to stir my patriotism. So, thanks for the inspiration and keep up the good work :-)

Dave S. says:
May 12, 10h

Thanks, Jason! It’s been great hearing about the inspiration this project has provided, and I hope that doesn’t subside any time soon. It’s been particularly exciting for me to see some of the great submissions that have come in so far. I was worried that there weren’t yet enough people out there capable of both the design and CSS needed to create a really great submission; it’s nice to be proven wrong on that count.

Who says Canada’s just good for hockey, eh?

Leslie says:
May 13, 05h

Hi Dave - found you thru Zeldman - This is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do with a couple of my sites! Thanks for the inspiration - these pages even look terrific in Opera.

Adam says:
May 19, 07h

Hey Dave! The second I entered the css Zen Garden, I was hooked! I have very recently been inspired to expand my knowledge of CSS into the realm of using it for layout, but the Garden was what gave me that final shove. I support the site 100%, and even hope to submit a couple designs in a month or so, once I’ve learned some more.

Thanks so much! :)

BTW, if you’re such a CSS-fanatic, why has mezzoblue not yet made the transfer?

Dave S. says:
May 19, 07h

Hey Adam, good to hear it’s inspiring people to take the plunge. I’m a CSS fanatic? I must have missed that memo…

CSS is one way of doing things. Tables are another. Not every situation will lend itself to a CSS-based design, even right now. It’s about using your head and figuring out which solution is the right one for each project.

As for this site? See the little boilerplate text, bottom right, with the xhtml/mail buttons? No way of putting that there in CSS. Seriously.

That’s all just a fancy way, of course, of saying I haven’t found the time to convert this. But it was why I designed it with gratuitous tabling in the first place. See this older version for a table-free design. I’ll go that direction shortly. Maybe next redesign, maybe sooner.