So the CSS Redundnacy Checker has done a fair bit of traffic recently. Wow, etc. I hope it’s turning out to be useful. I’ve committed a few minor fixes, and there could be more improvements to come thanks to some useful feedback. I’ll be getting in touch with people about it over the next few days, I hope.

When I sat down to write the tool, I knew it would only be possible with a decent CSS parser (because you need a proper parser, and can’t do this with regex magic). The two that leaped to mind immediately were Hpricot and jQuery. In the end, I went with the former, because a commandline script seemed a good starting point, and something that could be built open in many ways.

In the comments thread, Tom at WorkingIdea alerted me to his jQuery-powered CSS Redundancy checker. It’s a Greasemonkey script with built-in jQuery that dumps redundant classes either to the Firebug console or to a Javascript console if you don’t have Firebug. Sounds like it might not be quite as fast as the Ruby one – or as flexible – but if you don’t have Ruby installed or just want to run something from your browser, it’s a great idea. And it’s the same principle as my script – harnessing somebody else’s CSS parser in a really simple way.

So now there are two ways into the same usefulness. It only seemed fair to link this up, given what a neat solution it is – and how close I came to doing it myself.

(Incidentally, the reason there’s not an online version of my script is because it is a slow process, and I’d have to write some kind of queueing solution on the frontend, and it could all get messy fast. It’s not for that. Get it yourself, run it locally; there are instructions on setting it up for people who don’t have Ruby in the README).

I’ve just had my first patch accepted on an open source project. Quite chuffed with that! As of this weekend, the Rails calendar_helper plugin is now at version 0.21. My changes are very minimal, and only really to do with the markup.

Firstly, the default table markup’s had an overhaul. The date now goes into a %lt;caption> tag, outside the <thead>, as is appropriate. The <th>‘s in the thead now have scope="col" applied to them, again, as is appropriate.

The only other change is optional. If you pass in an option of :accessible => true, any dates in the grid which fall outside the current month will have <span> class="hidden"> monthName</span> appended to them. It could be reasonably inferred that plain numbers are dates that relate to the caption of the table, but the numbers outside the current month should probably be clarified.

You can come up with your own method of hiding content marked as .hidden; at NPG, we use the following:

.hidden {

but really, use whatever you’re most comfortable with.

You can get the plugin from Geoffrey Grosenbach’s subversion:

via the usual Rails plugin installation method.