Monday, December 17, 2007

CSS etc..

So I've updated the look of the blog recently. I'm having trouble getting it to look decent.

Basically this whole re-design was prompted by the fact that the previous template didn't grow horizontally with the size of the web browser. On my large monitors with large text it looked completely silly; there was this skinny column of text centered right in the middle of the page. sigh..

Well, what I did was I took a blogger template that actually did change its size depending on the horizontal width of the web browser window and tweak the heck out of it.

Here's the original:

Yeah.. I changed it a bit. I consider it an improvement based just on the fact that there's no freaking orange in it. :-) Orange makes me an sad panda. If I remeber correctly the tangerine iMac was the least popular so it looks like I'm not alone.

One of the things I was unhappy with is there's no way of dividing up the space between two widgets in such a way that one widget takes up a fixed amount of space in pixels and another takes up whatever is left over. Not sure why that is since I seem to remember doing something like that in the old do-everything-with-tables days.. Although I might be confusing HTML table layout with GridBagLayout.

When doing this site redesign I ran into the links-that-don't-look-like-links problem. Essentially the only way you can tell the what is a link on a web page and what isn't is by either mousing over it and noticing your cursor changes or by looking at it and seeing it's a link because it's a different color or because it's underlined. The thing is, the default blogger template don't do this consistently. Links come in at least 3 different colors. Some are underlined and some aren't. In ye olden days this wasn't a problem. Site couldn't over-ride the link color. But now they can and what's worse is CSS actually allows you do have a different linking style for every piece of text and widget on the screen. It's often happened to me that I'll be mousing around a webpage suddenly notice that a piece of text is actually a link. This happened to me on coding horror. If you mouse over a blog posting title it's actually a LINK! It's not underlined and it's not the same color as any other links on the page.

So when I was doing my blog I wanted all the links to be underlined and the same color.. but it looked like crap so I though ok, I'll at least have them all underlined.. I still haven't dug deep enough to figure out how to convert all the sidebar links to be underlined but I'm getting there.

At any rate I still feel fairly bad about having my blog post titles as links but having them white instead of the blue.

I like blue links. It was the default color for all hyperlinks for years.. and red was the default color for previously visited links.. argh.. that reminds me! I have to figure out why previously visited links don't change color.. they should be a shade of red but it's not working.. grumble grumble.... Ok, time to do that.

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