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The Slow Transition to Layout Fascism

Posted 2007-08-08 Tags: None

One of the things that I always find important when designing a website is to get rid of as many of the browser specific presets that each browser has as a default style. Think of the page as a whole as a nation and the tags as the individuals - we really should put the layout of the page as a whole above layout of individuals. And think of yourself as a little tinpot dictator that has complete and utter control over each and every aspect, except if a client tells you to change something.

To tell the truth, I'm finding it hard to stay with this "fascism" analogy. But I think I've made my point.

You can quash all dissension by resetting all those settings that tend to change browser to browser. It really helps keep things uniform between Firefox and (shudder)IE, or Opera and Konqueror. But what does it do? How does it affect your coding?

First up is the padding / margin bomb. One of the things that is almost always difficult to deal with is the default space in and around objects in different browsers. So I would recommend just getting rid of that space:

* { padding:0; margin:0; }

Now there are some things that you will have to take into account. Nothing has a default padding or margin anymore. Absolutely nothing. So you'll have to give some things margins and padding according to how you want them to look. There are a few major players to think about.