Did Someone Break a Glass?
Posted by Mark Randall, Dec 03, 2009 3:26 pm
You may have been wondering where the semi-transparent glass effect has disappeared to that we previously used on Virtual Beginnings.
We created this effect by overlaying one of two tiling semitransparent PNG images as the background to the main content area depending on if the network had either the halo or shadow theme visual theme.
This is quite an advanced feature and has only become available in browsers over the past few years, especially in Internet Explorer which has only recently supported native PNG transparency.
Although we expect that everyone will have upgraded beyond IE6 - and see the effect - there is a problem that on heavily loaded page this can negatively effect performance.
We have spent a while experimenting with other ways of producing this effect, such as the server-side pre-rendering of tinted backgrounds but concluded that the best way, for now at least, is to have either a solid black or solid white background for network pages.
This also opens up a lot of performance benefits in terms of file sizes.