YAML – Yet Another Multicolumn Layout

What is YAML? YAML is a framework to develop flexible layouts based on (X)HTML and CSS. In my opinion the best features of YAML are that it is flexible and easy accessible and not to forget that it is compatible with many browsers. Furthermore, it gives you maximal freedom concerning design. You can work with ‚any order columns‘ and the stylesheet drafts are very functionally arranged. The separators and backgrounds of columns can be designed without including any graphics. The subtemplates are suited to build multifunctionally applicable, flexible and nested grid modules.

Which browsers are supported? On Windows Internet Explorer 5.0 up to 7.0 is supported, on Linux Konquerer 3.3+, Galeon 1.3+, Epiphany 1.4.8+ and Lynx. Macintosh OS Safari 1.0.3+ and Camino 0.6+. And across operating systems Firefox 1.0+, Mozilla Suite 1.7.1+, SeaMonkey 1.0+, Netscape 8.0+ and Opera 6+ . As you see, quite a lot!

What is meant by: accessibility and web standards? The XHTML code and the stylesheets are of course valid. Many browsers are supported, as you just have read before. YAML abandons layout tables because it arranges its columns arbitraryly to get best performance with screenreaders and search engines. As a result you achieve more flexibility as to the layout and print arrangement and the rendering gets faster.
As to accessibility YAML has a so-called skip-link-navigation which means that screenreaders can get the relevant contents faster.

What’s the principle method of practice? YAML is working with the top-down principle, from the general approach to special solutions. Therefore an across browser, fully functional, modular constructed basic layout is available. The web designer,however, has to modify it and optimize the XHTML and CSS code and needs to remove all elements from the layout which are not necessary.

What layouts can you build with YAML? You can design layouts with one to three columns both with fixed or flexible widths. Or you can just construct flexible grid modules with subtemplates. The column system can get nearly arbitrary expanded so there is the possibility to design grid modules. HOWEVER; YAML is NOT a ready layout which you can take and that’s it: You have to adapt it to your needs and optimize it, that is delete all unnecessary elements otherwise it affects the performance.
The architecture of the XHTML and the CSS structure of the basic modules guaruantees independence from the constitution of later integrated contents. The enclosure of the basic elements in separate div-containers protects the correct positioning of the elements no matter how the later usage of the containers will be.

How much does YAML cost? Well, YAML has been licensed under creative commons attribution 2.0 (CC-A 2.0) since version 2.2 and permits the free use of the framework for non-commercial and commercial use provided the name of the author and a backlink to the project homepage remains in the footer or the imprint. Alternatively, there are also 2 commercial-license models to buy YAML.

What version is YAML? YAML is permanently developed further. Since 2008-05-24 the version 3.0.5 has been available. If you separate your own source code from the basic YAML source code you can easily update to the current version.

Where do you get YAML? You can download YAML at Dirk Jesse´s homepage: http://www.yaml.de.

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