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The Theme has Landed

Posted 2010.11.17 8.37 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Well after a few more days of tinkering, I’m happy to say that the theme is finished!

First, I re-did the header graphics; they were rather hastily-done first time around and there were some minor quirks that were annoying me. The bigger job however was the page navigation buttons.

The style I had used before with drowdowns for secondary and tertiary pages just didn’t fit into the new look and feel. I toyed with a few different concepts but overall I wanted something that would fit with the ‘feel’ of the site, without sacrificing usability or taking up too much screen-space. That is, I already felt the header was as big as it should be, I didn’t want to make it even taller.

Settling on two rows of ‘buttons’ meant a slight compromise – you can’t get from the top level / home page to a tertiary page in one go. I could have added a third row of buttons but I thought that would look a bit too repetative; even the two rows looks a bit wierd I think.

Anyhow, it took a day or so of thinking, to figure out how to get the code to draw the buttons the way I wanted. An unexpected benefit though was I was able to delete another plugin! The old navigation buttons were driven by a plugin, and the new one is driven by some code in the header file. The fewer plugins, the better, I think.

The mobile version is also good to go – for use on phones, pdas et cetera. It’s not perfect but it’s as good as it was on the old theme.

There might still be the occasional tweak or change, but by and large I’m declaring the new theme done and complete.

Cheers!

Edited to add: I just had a look at the site via Internet Exploder on Windows, and… well all I can say is, if you’re still using that browser, you have my sympathies. Did you know, you can get Firefox for free? I’m tempted to add a blurb on the sidebar that says ‘This site looks best when viewed with a modern, standards-compliant browser. So, you know… not IE.

Da New Theme

Posted 2010.11.14 9.28 in Computers/Internet/Technology

So I spent most of the day yesterday making a new theme for my site here. I started from scratch, no nabbing someone else’s theme that was ‘close’ and then modding it.

The goal was: Emphasize the ‘transmissions’ aspect, make it feel more like my posts were actual bulletins, radiograms, missives. Bring in an older ‘feel’, sort of retro vintage. I went with mostly monochrome because I like monochrome. There’s splashes of colour here and there of course. And some whimsey, insofar as there are the occasional elements of randomness.

Have I achieved my goal? No. Not yet, at least. The area that’s lacking the most is the header, which is kind of silly since it’s the bit you see first.

Still, I suppose that is the hardest part for me to get ‘perfect’ so I’ve left it till last and then thus-far only made a half-assed effort. It’s functional, but it’s not what I want.

The old theme hasn’t been removed, so I can fall back on that if the new look is overwhelmingly voted as hated-by-all, ugly-as-sin, or crimes-against-my-eyeballs.

In the mean-time, I’ll keep poking at the header till it looks at least halfway decent.

Cheers!

Update: Ok now I’m happy with the header. Sure, the secondary and tertiary dropdown menus aren’t great, but they only appear when you hover. I’m liking the scope and the screen and the buttons.