Sunday, September 25, 2005

A Coat Of Paint, Rearranging The Furniture …

If you've been here before, you might notice a slight change to the appearance of this little blog. The colors are different, things have been arranged a little different, and some behind-the-scenes code has been changed.

The hope is that this little blog looks and peforms better. We'll see if that's the case.

Now, I heard someone ask "Why did you make those changes?"

Color Me Blue

I never was completely happy with the green colors. My Big Sister
(who's 5'4") called the color of the sidebars "lime sherbet." She's not
a fan of lime sherbet. And I wasn't happy with the colors either. I
thought I'd give a blue scheme a try.

TypePad Template Changes

A couple of months ago, TypePad (the company that hosts this little
blog) updated their blog templates. My unfamiliarity with them means
that I can't do a very good job when it came to writing Blog Tips about
TypePad when I post those columns over at the Alliance.

Using the new Templates will help me understand better how to offer tips for newer TypePad users.

I've already encountered an peculiarity with the new templates that
caused some display/functionality issues earlier. But I think they are
all better now.

BlogRolling.com

I've been really unhappy with the performance from BlogRolling.com.
Now, I understand what it's like to have server ssues, and I'm not
prepared to blame the folks there for anything. But, the fact remains
that BlogRolling.com goes down from time to time and that will delay
the display of BlogRolls ... and everything on the page that comes
after the BlogRolls.

So, I decided to use TypePad's feature of importing BlogRolls into a
TypeList. My two main BlogRolls (those that link here and those that
don't link here) have been imported. This is good and bad.

It's good, because the BlogRolls will load a lot faster. The data is
stored here on the TypePad server, and it doesn't matter if
BlogRolling.com is up or not.

It's bad because it'll be more difficult to make changes to the
BlogRoll. I plan to continue to use BlogRolling.com, but I'll export
the OPML file for importing into my TypeList. What all that means is
it'll take longer for blogs to be added or removed or changed on my
BlogRoll.

The Couch Goes Under The Window...

Some of the stuff you see in the sidebars has been rearranged. I
tried to balance them out. I didn't succeed. But I'll try little tweaks
here and there to make them even. Or closer to even.

I've removed a couple of items and have added a couple of items. Okay, I added one item: a tip jar.

The items that were removed will probably reappear soon. There were
a couple of issues with display that I need to study a little more
before I put them back. It shouldn't take long. But I shouldn't have
had the issues to start with. So, who knows?

Anything Else?

There is something I'd like from you, Gentle Reader, if I could impose upon you. Feedback.

Tell me what works. Tell me what doesn't work. I'll listen. I might not do what you like, but I'll listen.

I listened when some of you whined about the links opening in a new
window. Remember? I added the ability to choose how most links open.
That option box has moved to the bottom right, but it's still there.
The point is, I'll listen.

So, let me know what works and what doesn't work. And if you find a flaw in the way something works, do let me know.

I'm listening.

20 comments:

  1. I like it! It doesn't make my eyes burn anymore... ;)

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  2. Looks sharp! Nice work.

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  3. It looks great sweetie! And I understand the need for change ... I just went back to my second template I used when putting my blog on WordPress -- it's cleaner and easier to read I think. Same with what you've done here.

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  4. hey I love it , excellent makeover ..

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  5. It loads faster, looks good, and smells less like wet diapers.

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  6. I like the new paint job and rearrangement. A few things:

    Now it seems that inline trackbacks are gone? I also had trouble grabbing your trackback URL this am using IE.

    I've always had trouble signing in with my TypeKey account to comment on your fine posts. I hope this comment now goes up.

    A nice and subtle though functional change. As always, thanks for your linkie luv!

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  7. moehawk:
    Thanks!

    Susie:
    Glad to see it's easier on the eyes.

    Partisan Pundit:
    Thank you!

    Jo:
    Thanks. And, quite honestly, I've always thought your site was clean and neat. Unlike my desk.

    Big Sister:
    I realize you're just saying that so when I make another change down the road, I can't list you as a reason for the change. But thanks.

    gina:
    Thank you.

    Tom:
    Thanks. It's that new Lysol with the Cabin Fresh Scent.

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  8. The MaryHunter:
    You brought up three issues.

    1- Inline TrackBacks. Nope, they aren't gone. They are only available on certain flagged posts (Breakfast, Lunch, etc) and not on others (Headline News, etc). And I improperly flagged this morning's post. It's corrected and Inline TrackBacks show.

    2- IE not able to grab TrackBacks. Well, that is an issue with IE. But, since IE is the majority browser, I must address it. And, on the old look, I had code in place that put the TrackBack in a form field that allowed easy copy/paste. I failed to do that here. That's been corrected.

    3- TypeKey sign-in errors is another IE issue. It was addressed here:
    http://www.basilsblog.com/2005/08/so_whats_this_t.html
    TypeKey is currently optional. That may change again in the future.

    Thanks for pointing them out. If you find anything else, I'll correct it as quickly as possible.

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  9. I'm fairly new to Pgh Blogs, but I have been reading your site. This is much easier to read. Very nice!

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  10. I like the new paint.

    Mainly because I like to huff the paint fumes, but it looks great too.

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  11. Jo Janoski:
    Thanks. I wasn't aware just how difficult the previous color scheme/layout was until the comments I've received this morning.

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  12. phin:
    Thanks. But now I'm worried about someone calling me 'Dutch Boy'

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  13. I also stopped using the Blogroll code, it was driving me crazy. I have a hard enough time getting readers without making them suffer through slow load times.

    I like the colors better.

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  14. Pluto's Dad:
    Thanks. And did you go the TypeList (People List) method or do you just manually maintain them?

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  15. Seems pretty nice. The only suggestion I'd have is the light grey on the yellow is a little washed -- I can see it, but people with color vision problems might not see that text at all.

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  16. Ogre:
    I've made the text in the sidebars darker. Is it better?

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