Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not much to Gloat about Floats

Well, here comes another of my quick but crazy posts (technical you see :D..). I happened to spend some time yesterday trying to figure out a particular way of rendering a HTML page when I observed that some part of the text was truncated across pages when printed. That was when this post originated. After spending hours on the issue, the samaritan I am, I decided that nobody's time is worth spending on figuring out this issue. Though initially very obscure, the culprit was "Float".

I wouldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams that such an innocuous CSS element could be such a potential blockhead. Now that I had promised to keep my post really short, let me try to put this in the most straight forward terms..

Float : is a CSS property of any object ( that can be set to "left", "right", "inherit" or "none".

Purpose : Initially created for placing text or images within a container. But this usage can even be extended to other container elements like DIV, SPAN etc..

Usages : object {

(DiV1) (span1 style="float:left")




Common Pitfalls:

* The most common mistake that we commit is not providing sufficient place for the element which we are floating. So if we have absolute specifics like width etc., we have to ensure that there is sufficient amount of space for the float to render. If not the browser dutifully renders it at the next line where sufficient space would be available.

* A good thing that you should always do while floating containers is to specify where the next element should render. For example in the above case, we have said what should be done with span but nothing about span2. Hence the browser would again take charge and render it as close as possible to span1, which is again a potential screw up. So having a "clear:right" would have been the ideal thing to do here.

* Contents of float element can overlap, hence all the inline entities should be placed after the floated element.

As a parting note, you might also want to specify the overflow of the container elements to prevent any visual mishaps. Float property has many peculiarities across various browsers and wouldn't be an advisable option to scatter it ruthlessly across pages. Moreover, the issues caused by floats aren't readily debugg'able. Beware guys ! stay limited with the usage of floats..

Friday, December 21, 2007

Remake rules !!

"என்ன கொடுமை சரவனன்ன்..."("What a disaster, Mr.Saravanann..") was all that I could say when we decided to watch the latest flick "Billa". Despite my earlier resolve not to venture into filmdom, I know that I have to commit this cardinal crime at least this once. Quite lamentably, it is once in ages that a tamil movie gets released in hyderabad, thanks to the remakes. Speaking of remakes, let me educate my non-tamil readers that Billa is the remake of the remake of the original, the original being the Big B's "Don". Oh yeah, it also happens that the first Billa was screen-presented by our "SuperStar" Rajinikanth.

As an all time fan, I knew what to expect from our dear "Thala" ("Head") a.k.a "Ultimate Star", as he is known to his dearest fans. There are certain things that has ever been beyond the horizon for our Thala,

* Expression
* Dialogue delivery
* Dance (There are more importnat things in acting, for Gods' sake !!)

But then there are several important traits that our Thala possesses,

* The trademark expression that never ceases to amaze us, his hardcore fans !
* The physique for donning any filmy attire
* Punch (both verbal and physical)
* Three day old stubble

Billa was a fluent portrayal of an anti-hero, with the usual glamor and grandeur that can attributed to the villains of today. The heriones were at their flashy best througout the movie. And dude ! You aren't supposed to expect expressions from the bad guys. They should be STONE COLD !! True to this fact, every character in the movie was at his/her expressionless best. Oh yeah, exceptions are that there can be comedy and song sequences at all inconceivable situations. But then they serve their purposes, they always take you by surprise :). Added to the hilarious chow was the DSP, main character in the plot being subjected to all sort of ludicrousness. Right from the hero to the comedian and a non-absolute kid have a go at the DSP. To be frank, Santhanam screen presence was the only time when the comedy was palatable.

A couple of songs flicked from the old billa were quite nicely remade much to the taste of the audience. Our thala looks ultimately fit throughout the movie. Obviously, he has literally ramp-walked umpteen kilometers in every song in the movie. The action sequences are the highlight of the movie where we have our heroine as a Ninja-girl jumping from the top of the Petronas towers :). Our thala can drive a car in such a splendid fashion that even NFS specialists would bow down in odium. The best part of the movie is the surprise'll be surprised with the lack of surprises in the movie. This would be an eulogy to the old Billa as the director has not tampered with the plot maintaining its sanctity. All things said and done the movie is definitely going to be a box office burner, thanks to us, hardcore thala fans who would devotedly cheer every move made by him. This movie might not make it into the awards ceremony, heck ! who cares.. remake still rules !!

Movie Bottomline : Beware - Thala all the way !