I have just twiddled some new tools to help users of Feed2JS to create their customized styles for output created by this service/script. In a total and polite rip off of the css Zen Garden site, I am hoping some designers out there might mess around with the new style tools and submit some new ones to add to our collection.

This was initiated by a number of emails from people asking basic questions like “I love what this does, but how do I get rid of the bullets on the listed items?” and “I cannot get any formatting to show up”. There are major gaps in understanding where to put the style declarations, no surprise, since very few people end up coding style sheets- most are created form them by various web authoring applications. IN this case, you need a wee bit more knowledge, not much, just to know where to put things.

The first thing to do was to provide some more instructions on the two ways of using CSS with the feed- you must either embed the CSS within the file containing the Feed2JS Javascript OR link it to a local CSS file (better for multiple pages on the same site that use feeds). This also includes a quick sketched diagram to show what classes are defined by the output.

But the next phase was modifying the CSS style preview tool so that once you selected from the puny list of styles I tossed together, you can then edit the CSS right in the output page, and then preview your modified changes, allowing some iterative design flow (or how I do things- keep pounding that damn nail until it goes in the wood). Once you have something pretty enough to share, a simple form allows you to send them to us, and then we can add it to our own mini bonsai css garden.

So now that there are some 16,000 cached feeds running from our site, I am hoping a few (hundred? ten? one) of the people out there using it might contribute some new styles.

The post "Feed2JS Style Tools: Bonsai CSS Zen Garden?" was originally scraped from the bottom of the pickel barrel at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2004/07/feed2js-style/) on July 20, 2004.

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