Summer (Blog) Fashions

How can you tell when I have a lit­tle more time on my hands? A change to the look and feel of this blog is a sure sign. For those who don’t read it via the feed (which means, fam­i­ly and a few oth­ers, rather than oth­er blog­gers), I’ve once again fid­dled with the theme or rather the pages of the blog/web site. There are a few minor glitch­es, but over­all, I’m pleased with this one, and if I don’t screw it up, this design might be in place for a while. The pic­ture of the moun­tains in the head­er is from a recent pic­nic at Locarno Beach.

(Warn­ing, geek­ery to fol­low : ) I’m still a fan of the Geor­gia font for body text, but now I’m mak­ing the more stan­dard font choice of a sans serif (Hel­veti­ca or Ari­al if you don’t have that installed) font for head­ers and nav­i­ga­tion. I’ve decid­ed to take the chance of using the Word­Press ‘wid­get’ tech­nol­o­gy for the side­bar, instead of rely­ing on the the­me’s own PHP code for gen­er­at­ing the cal­en­dar, search box, blogroll and cat­e­go­ry list, which may or may not be a good idea. Already I can see some dis­ad­van­tages to this approach, as the sort order of the blogroll is no longer ran­dom­ized and always appears in alpha­bet­i­cal order. I guess the answer is to use a dif­fer­ent wid­get, but I’m new to this approach. I also can’t fig­ure out how I’ll insert Flickr thumb­nails between wid­gets. I’m think­ing that will need a wid­get of its own. Will have to research further.

At any rate, the advan­tage to exper­i­ment­ing is that you learn more, so I’ll sure­ly be play­ing around a bit more. I’m already a bit more sure of myself on the CSS side of things, so hope­ful­ly there will be few­er lay­out glitches.

Now I just have to fig­ure out how to get the home page list­ed in the page list…

7 Replies to “Summer (Blog) Fashions”

  1. I’m lik­ing it, David!
    Ques­tion: My blog has a mon­ey-relat­ed blogroll. I’d like to have a sec­tion for a local-blog­ger relat­ed blogroll, but clear­ly sep­a­rate from the mon­ey one. i have no.idea how to mess around with the theme. Are there wid­gets or plu­g­ins I could install which would serve that pur­pose, do you know?

  2. Hi Nan­cy,

    I noticed that the ‘Man­age — Links’ sec­tion in Word­Press Man­age­ment UI seems to have dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories for links. It looks like­ly that you could assign the local-blog­ger cat­e­go­ry to one group, and the mon­ey-relat­ed cat­e­go­ry to the oth­er. Then, you could include a link wid­get set to each cat­e­go­ry- which it appears the Wid­gets sec­tion would show if I had anoth­er cat­e­go­ry oth­er than blogroll. I notice that the Links wid­get has no editable pref­er­ence (such as cat­e­go­ry), and once you add one link wid­get, it does­n’t seem to be avail­able for re-use (in oth­er words, one link wid­get per cat­e­go­ry), so using a wid­get-ready theme (like the one I chose this time, which is called ‘Wall­pa­per’, although I spent a lot of time alter­ing it) and using the Wid­gets fea­ture might do the trick for you.

    I tried the wid­gets fea­ture part­ly because Susie Gar­diner used me as a guinea pig for the demo of this fea­ture at the last North­ern Voice, and I fig­ured it might be worth try­ing for once, espe­cial­ly with the more pol­ished Word­Press ver­sion (2.5.1) that I’ve not real­ly tak­en advan­tage of yet.

  3. It’s a good sum­mer look, David. 

    Where is Locarno Beach locat­ed, exact­ly? It has a great view of both the city and the mountains .…

  4. Hi Bob and Raul — Thanks to you both for the thumbs up. 

    Locarno beach is one of the set of 3 (or so), that are on the south shore of Eng­lish Bay, includ­ing Jeri­cho Beach, Locarno, and the Span­ish Bank. If you go all the way around the coast of the land that UBC occu­pies, you even­tu­al­ly get to the Pacif­ic side, and Wreck Beach, (which was known for being a Nude beach, although I’ve nev­er been there to say that for sure). Locarno and Jeri­cho, along with Kit­se­lano Beach to the East, all enjoy a nice view of both the city and the mountains.

    Fact check­er folks — cor­rect me where I’m not quite accu­rate. I’ve some­times seen Span­ish Bank in plur­al, so I’m not sure if there are per­haps oth­er, small­er beach­es to the west as you approach the mouth of Eng­lish Bay.

  5. hmmm, this new blog look seems to be going around … okay, just to be dif­fer­ent, i’m going to say that i liked the old one a bit bet­ter. maybe it’s just the head­er? oh well. i’ll get used to it 🙂

    btw, i’m one of those peo­ple who don’t use feeds/readers all that much. ok, hard­ly at all. once in a while i try to get myself to do it — right now i’m try­ing google read­er — but it just does­n’t do the trick for me. i think i want to … “touch” peo­ple’s blogs 🙂

    glad to hear that you’re feel­ing better!

  6. Hi Isabel­la,

    I’m glad there is at least one local per­son who goes to the actu­al site!

    Don’t wor­ry about the head­er. My plan is to change that, per­haps sea­son­al­ly, per­haps month­ly (like a mag­a­zine). It depends on how much time I have, since it does require some min­i­mal graph­ic edit­ing. What I liked about this first one was mere­ly that the blue seemed to pick up the link colour quite well. I’ll give a night­time False Creek shot a try at some lat­er date.

    There are some advan­tages to this theme. The col­lapsi­ble sec­tions in the side­bar in the pre­vi­ous theme were just too dif­fi­cult to mess with, and I missed being able to put up some Flickr pho­tos. Also, the Archives area was just get­ting too long, and the cal­en­dar takes up far less room. If some­one wants to find some­thing in Feb­ru­ary of 2006, it should­n’t be that much hard­er to find it (Why they would be seek­ing out this, I have no idea). Final­ly, there was a bizarre lim­i­ta­tion that the ‘Home’ link fell under the ‘About’ link on the nav­i­ga­tion, and I could­n’t fig­ure out how to fix that.

    About the only remain­ing issue that I’d like to fix is the ran­dom­iza­tion (rather than alpha­bet­i­cal) blogroll links. The Wid­get that dis­plays them says they are ran­dom­ized, but they clear­ly aren’t. Oth­er­wise, this is get­ting far clos­er to my favourite lay­out so far.

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