Monday, February 03, 2003

More on the Update: The first thing that you will notice is the colors. They are not random, they are, in fact, a reversion to colors that I used in the pre-blogger days. Long time readers will remember them. I like the blue; I'm not sure how I feel about the green anymore - it may change to white.

Things seem to render reasonably well in the latest versions of Internet Explorer, Netscape/Mozilla, and Opera. I can’t say how it looks in that new browser, Safari, which comes with the latest Macs, since I am Mac-less. I think it looks best in Internet Explorer, since the margin settings are more even, but that's fairly trivial.

The other thing you need to be aware of is fonts. Except for the title, the font used throughout the rest of the page is Trebuchet MS. If you use Windows, you probably have this - I think it installs with Windows. If not, you can get it here. If you don’t have Trebuchet MS, it should appear in plain old Arial, which I'm pretty sure everybody has. I think Trebuchet MS is a little more readable than Arial, but that's mere opinion.

The font for the title is Calisto MT (you can get it here if you don’t have it). If you don’t have Calisto MT, it will use Garamond. If you don’t have Garamond, it will use Georgia. If you don’t have Georgia, it will use Times New Roman. Again, not really a big deal.

The other thing about fonts is the size. I have made just about everything larger than before. This is to enhance readability. As I surfed around looking at other sites, one thing that struck me was how so many bloggers use small fonts, presumably in an effort to decrease the amount of scrolling needed. I got sick of squinting and vowed that I would increase the size of my fonts, scrolling or no. So there.

Also note that each post will have a tiny "permanent link" in the footer. If you wish to link up a specific post, rather than the page itself, just right click and "copy shortcut" (or whatever the non-IE equivalent is). This will always link to that post directly. This is not really new, it was available previously by click on the time posted, but now it's a bit more explicit.

There are even greater changes beneath the surface (and you can skip this paragraph if you have no interest in the technicalities of web page design). There are no TABLES used for formatting and no use of the FONT or BR tags. Everything is handled via Cascading Style Sheets. Conceptually, this implies the separation of structure and content, which in turn implies easier tweaks and updates. In the case of this site, that doesn’t mean much since everything is on a single page, but in the case of a large multi-page site it becomes hugely important. Even though it is not all that important to me, it's a good technology to understanding - so in a way, this was all spurred merely out of intellectual curiosity. (Who says I have too much time on my hands?) Once I get the design settled I'll post a blogger template that others can use an build on. In fact, sharp-eyed web monkeys may realize that this page is based on css/edge by CSS uber-guru Eric Meyer, which I started with and began hacking away at until I got here.

Which leads me to what there is left to change, and this is as much an exercise in reminding myself, as informing you. Some of this may be done by the time you read this. 1) The green background needs to go white (or at least very, very, very light green). That will make things more readable. 2) The section headings in the sidebar need more emphasis maybe some sort of underlining, maybe less spacing between the letters too. 3) The Date in the main portion looks silly and is spaced poorly, and maybe it should be in green. 4) The archive links needn't be spaced so far apart. I like the highlighting of links when you hover over them, but the text should not go black. 5) Many sidebar links don’t have tool tips. 6) The leader of the each post is green. It may look better in maroon.

Any other changes will come from your suggestions - don’t hold back, I can take it.

And then, it's back to the usual content.