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Old 02-08-2006, 09:51 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Xylescope CSS tool (Mac OS X)

The interesting Mac-only Xylescope from Cultured Code ($20) is a CSS analyzing tool. It works like a web browser, but allows you to view the entire CSS of any site you visit (including, of course, your own, on the server or in a local file).

It also examines and helps unravel DTDs. If you have the relevant PHP modules, the program will interpret PHP scripts using the built-in OS X Apache server.

When you ask it to examine a page, it shows the HTML in a hierarchical view, with IDs and CLASSes noted. Clicking on page elements shows further details.

The program’s Cascade function shows which CSS rules (including ancestors) affect a selected HTML element. It will mark rules that have been overridden or are not actually used on that page (they could be used on another page, of course).

It allows you to edit the CSS and view the result on the page. It will convert pages with markup errors into well-formed X/HTML and preview the result.

It works with both Safari (whose engine it uses to do its work) and Firefox (and perhaps other browsers) — create a “bookmarklet” and when you click on it in one of those browsers, Xylescope will open the page being viewed so you can examine its CSS.

I have only begun to play with this, so cannot say I understand exactly how to use it. But I did decide to take a look at the calendar page at Dennis’s new site and when I used the selection mode to examine the calendar table, I found that it is being pushed to the left by something (see attachment, which shows a grey area where the table was supposed to be). With a little more time, I may learn how to get this software to illuminate the whys and wherefores.

It has some sort of copy protection — it can only be run on the machine it was installed on (but the license says that you can arrange to move it for an unlimited number of times).
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