[thelist] was whitespace around form in firefox now OT rant

Tom Dell'Aringa pixelmech at gmail.com
Thu Jul 20 10:52:37 CDT 2006

On 7/20/06, Canfield, Joel <JCanfield at pacadvantage.org> wrote:
> being polite really isn't that difficult. knowledge and experience are
> not a substitute for good manners. good business communication is
> *essential* in convincing those who employ us to support web standards,
> etc.
> I only reply at such length (or, for that matter, at all) because I care
> about this community, and because I missed out on the first two years of
> evolt.org because my first few newbie queries were met with nearly
> vitriolic exclamations of my stupidity. took me that long to bother
> trying again.

I really couldn't agree more with Joel. I've been poking around this list
for 4 years, and it seems this comes up periodically. I really think thelist
is unique in a couple ways: 1) The quality of people here is outstanding and
2) People have historically been really cool.

A great way to ruin a great online community is to allow people to start
dumping on others without consequence or conscience. The "consequence"
should be that when someone does step over a certain gray line, they get
called out for it, and they should be reminded to keep things remain civil.

If you are going to help someone, there's no need to pile an insult on top
of said help. It's just common courtesy, and I think that is all that anyone
expects. You can still be strong in your opinion, philosophy or point making
without being insulting. As has been already stated - e-mail is a difficult
medium for communication because of the lack of visual cues. We all ought to
be extra careful.

One thing I do all the time that helps is to *always* re-read my post
*before* hitting send. You'd be surprised how often you'll realize - because
now you are actually reading it not writing it - that something doesn't
sound so good.

And as also has been said - it doesn't hurt to search the archives first.
Search is your friend, and the archives are a wealth of information. (In
fact yesterday I got an e-mail from someone about a post I made in 2002.)

But we should be encouraging to those who are new - it behooves all of us to
help raise up developers that are good at what they do - it makes the
internets and the tubes much better! ;)

This is a great list - I think the best out there - let's keep it that way!

<tip type="css troubleshooting">
If you are working with a complex stylesheet and a style you are trying to
change is having no effect (and you are sure of the ID/Classname, etc) then
the first place you should look is the specificity of the rule. Most likely,
something more specific is targeting the item you are trying to change.
Therefore you need to find that rule and be *more* specific to effect the

In my mind, when you run into this problem it means you are doing things
right with your CSS because you are handline more in the stylesheet and less
in the markup - and that's the way it should be.


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