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9.6. Summary

When it comes right down to it, positioning is a very compelling technology. It's also likely to be an exercise in frustration if you're trying to get it to behave consistently in a cross-browser environment. The problem isn't so much that it won't work in some browsers: it's that it will only sort of work in a number of them, such as Navigator 4 and Internet Explorer 4 and 5. It can be great fun to play with positioning, and one day we'll be able to use it in place of tables and frames while dramatically improving accessibility and backward compatibility. As of this writing, though, it remains a great way to create design prototypes, but a tricky thing to use on a public web site.

As it happens, this sentiment may be applied to the majority of CSS2, which is given an overview in the next chapter.


Using the property background-attachment, you can declare the background to be fixed with respect to the viewing area and therefore immune to the effects of scrolling:

BODY {background-image: url(bigyinyang.gif);
background-repeat: no-repeat;
background-position: center;
background-attachment: fixed;}

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have on the Web, as you can see in Figure 7-85:

LI {list-style-position: outside;}
Figure 7-85

Figure 7-85. Placing the bullets outside list items

Should you desire a slightly different appearance, though, you can pull the bullet in toward the content by setting the value to be inside:

LI.first {list-style-position: inside;}

This causes the bullet to be placed "inside" the list

XML documents may be stored in files or databases. When stored in files, XML documents are simply plain text files with tags (and possibly DTDs). It is very easy to save your XML documents to a text file and pass the text file around to other machines, platforms and programs (as long as they can understand the data). In the worst case scenario, XML documents (files) can be viewed in a text editor on just about any platform.

XML documents are also naturally committed to a database (relational or object) or any other kind of XML document store. There are commercial products available which allow you to save XML documents to an XML storage layer (which is not a database per se), like Datachannel's XStore and ODI's eXcelon. These XML store solutions are quite expensive ($10,000 to $20,000 range).

XML documents are also quite naturally retrieved from a persistence layer (databases, file systems, XML stores). This lends XML to be used in real world applications where the information being used by different parts of a system is the most important thing.

XML is platform independent, textual information

use. Most browsers seem to use something in the vicinity of 1.2, but of course that could change with a new browser, or even a new version of an old browser.

4.1.3. Vertical Alignment

The odds are