www.HellOnEarth.com"contentious content since 1998"

Design Changes in 2.10.00


Due to the nature of my day job, I spend a lot of time fiddling around with these pages and trying out new things, trying to make them work.

Few of the new ideas ever make it past the staging phase: The design is developed over hours, days or weeks, fine-tuned, revised, judged wanting and consequently scrapped.

Most recently, I have been digesting the collected web authoring, design and engineering wisdom of Philip Greenspun, Jutta Degener, Jakob Nielsen, Jorn Barger and others. After a lot of pondering, I reached some conclusions.

  • Since I have a life, I am not ready to go hard-core and become a HTML fascist. I will continue to use the single pixel trick when necessary.
  • In some sections, have abandoned variable-width pages for legibility reasons. If anything is worth printing out, there will be links to a "printer-friendly version" with variable width.
  • Beginning with this incarnation, these pages are maintained with Dreamweaver 2 and some manual tweaking.
  • Cascading Style Sheets are a nice concept, but current implementations are the pits. Thus, <FONT FACE> is back in and CSS are on their way out.
  • Background patterns and Animated GIFs are a nuisance. They distract from what's important: the text and images in the foreground.
  • <META> tags really matter.
  • There will never be "enough bandwidth".


The Health pages have been re-designed with a less horrible background and better navigation (how come nobody ever complained?).

The main site pages (gigo) have been re-designed thoroughly. All other sections have also been re-designed. The Editor Wars have been upgraded with a new lay-out which partially relies on CSS, though.


While Web Theory is nice, putting Theory into Practice is horrible. Be prepared to be thrown from pages designed in Version 1.x into the new 2.x format occasionally -- I hope I caught all the bad ones, but there might be missing ones.

The Bunnies Section has been overhauled as well as the Gallery. The Gray Area and the Gallery have been renamed appropiately: The Gray Area is now Out Of Focus, the Gallery is now called <NOFRAMES>. The Editor Wars have recommenced. The burning bunnies are in development.


After complaints from one single, but vocal person, links do no longer become bold-faced when the mouse cursor hovers over them in Internet Explorer 4.x and above. The a.hover event was changed to a more subtle color change. (v2.00.02)

Cascading Style Sheets are on their way out and so is the whole HTML 4.0 concept, at least for the main sections of this site. Mainly, Netscape's to blame: on one hand, JavaScript continues to be insecure, but when you deactivate JavaScript in Netscape 4.x, this also kills Style Sheet support.

Hence, I am gradually redoing the site in HTML 3.2 - yeargh. The Opinions section (now called "Heresies", keeping in tune with the hellish allegory started with the domain name) was the first to go back to <FONT FACE> tags. The Insanity Section maintains its consistently inconsistent design, partially powered by CSS. (v2.00.04)

The look of the Gallery section (<NOFRAMES>) has been re-done completely. The Heresies section was updated slightly. (v2.00.05)

The front page was re-designed with usability in mind (this is how it looked before). Instead of one graphical highlight, there are now three. I hate the "left-hand navigation bar" on principle, but here it seemed to work. The section links are now available in TRIPLICATE, once in the top region, in the bottom and lastly on the left-hand side. The design should work in any browser. (v2.10.00)