Monday, 8 December 2008

Home stretch

I've been pouring many hours into building and tuning up my Faces of Climate Science pages. I keep tweaking the perl script to fiddle with the page layout. Today I hit on a great tip: the widely publicized "ALT" tag for HTML IMG entities is only intended for display if the picture is unavailable or the visitor cannot view images. Although MSIE will display the ALT text when the user hovers the mouse over the image, this is not what the official spec calls for; thus, Firefox does not follow Microsoft's lead.

I really wanted to be able to display the authors' names in this "tooltip" way in response to mouse-overs, but I was almost resigned to having to use scripting to get this effect in Firefox. Then today I found a tips page that explains a less-known but official "TITLE" tag, which is supported for both IMG and A entities (links).
I found that if I assign a TITLE= tag to each photo, then Firefox does indeed show that text on mouse-overs. It can be a long text; it will word-wrap if the box reaches about 4" wide. (I could not find a way to embed a line-break in this to control where the text will wrap... that would be handy).

So now, my photo montage page is a bit more useful as a 'book of faces' of the AR4 wg1 team, or of my growing but clearly incomplete longer list of climate scientists.

I've been focusing on the AR4 wg1 list, trying to ensure I've got photos and homepage links for all of them first (so far as these exist online). I've also followed my own links to check people's C.V. to pick up the year they got their PhD (or in rare cases where they don't have one, to note this and instead list their highest degree such as MSc. See my last post on Thomas R. Karl on that.

The other good news is a great document I found today from the Union of Concerned Scientists. It is an urgent appeal for action on greenhouse emission reduction, signed by some 1700 U.S. climate scientists. It breaks out the list by state, and gives institutional affiliations. It fills out the effort with some strong statements from individual signatories.

This should be a good counter to show to anyone still clinging to the sorry spectacle known as the Oregon Petition. Beside the UCS statement (or my photo montage and links to real experts' pages) their lint-filter of veterinarians and the deceased can't hold a candle.

1 comment:

Steve Bloom said...

"lint-filter of veterinarians and the deceased"

Excellent sound bite! I promise to shamelessly plagiarize it.

Thanks also for your project. I'll have a look and let you know what I think.