The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Styling feeds

Yesterday's entry on profiling brings up a topic I've been thinking of recently. You see, when I post code samples, they're coded up as:

<blockquote class="code">
#include <stdio.h>
#include <stdlib.h>

int main(int argc,char *argv[])
  printf("Hello world\n");

Notice that bit with class="code" there? I use CSS to format the pages here (which allow me flexibility in how things look), and for <BLOCKQUOTE>s marked as such, they get the following bit of CSS associated with them:

  overflow:             auto;
  margin-bottom:        1.5em;

Which in browsers that support CSS, mean that those <BLOCKQUOTE>s, if the content exceeds the calculated width of said <BLOCKQUOTE>, then scroll bars will appear just for said <BLOCKQUOTE> (and not as a page as a whole), thus preserving the layout (and yes, I could do away with the <PRE> tags, there's a reason why I don't—keep reading).

And that's fine if you read my blog at my site.

But if you read it through an aggregator (like, say, at LiveJournal) then all the careful styling I came up with is lost, lost, lost. And there's a good chance that if I post code with some really long lines it'll seriously mess up the layout you use to read my RSS feed (and because the CSS doesn't follow the RSS feed, that's why I still use <PRE> tags when I quote code least the code look really strange).

Now, short of including CSS within the tags themselves (using the STYLE attribute, and I really don't want to do that) I don't know of any way to otherwise influence the layout of my RSS feed. It's not that I'm trying to preserve my “look” in RSS aggregators, but it would be nice if I could give “hints” at least. I mean,


doesn't quite have the same impact as


See? (and yes, I do have a style for the former defined—“hotflamingdeath” if you must know)

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