New blog layout!

By Phil Plait | April 9, 2006 2:54 pm

If you’re reading this, and you’ve been here before, you may notice the layout (called a "theme" in the blogosphere) has changed. This is Step 2 of an as-yet-undetermined-number-of-steps process to redesign the blog and, eventually, the main site. Step 1 was upgrading to the current version of WordPress, the blog software. Step 3 will be… a surprise. I have more coming, too.

Please let me know in the comments what you think, and especially if you find any layout errors or troubles. I have tested this with Firefox and (shudder) IE and found nothing obvious. Also, any suggestions for added features? Is there a menu rollover button under the logo I should add?

This theme is called daisyraegemini, and was written by (seriously) GeeksMakeMeHot, and then redesigned by atthe404.com. I liked the layout, but there were some coding errors, and quite a few things I thought could use improvement for my needs. I am not a CSS kinda guy, though I do have some coding experience, so I was able to puzzle out what I needed.

I’ll probably make some changes to it eventually, but I want to wear this version for a while and see how it fits.’

CATEGORIZED UNDER: About this blog

Comments (109)

  1. Hmmm, the atthe404.com link appears to be dead.

  2. CousinoMacul

    Other than the big ads (but I guess that can’t be helped) at the top of every page, I like it. Also, it would be nice to be able to preview comments before submitting them–particularly since I’m a novice at XHTML.

  3. I miss the navigation at the top – I don’t always get here every day, and I like to get the whole post at once, so I liked the previous and next links.

  4. OK, I fixed the IE blockquote problem. It was another (in a long line) of code errors in the template. I don’t know if it was in the original or in the redone version I grabbed. For you CSS afficianados, it had the command “padding: 15px” instead of “padding-left: 15px”. There were a lot of things like that in the template when I downloaded it, and I fixed most of them. I’m sure more will pop up.

    Karen: hmmm… you’re right. I’ll put that on my list. I assume you mean the “next” and “previous” links when you are on the post page (not the blog main page, but the page that has only a post in it when you click on a post title)?

  5. … and isn’t anyone gonna comment on the image???? :)

  6. Simple Guy

    Looks great!! I like the midnight blue and the logo looks out-of-this world (sorry :-) ). And, it all seems more “polished,” in a good way.

    But, when are we getting a new picture of you BA?!

    p.s. Just one minor suggestion: instead of the stark white, how about something with a little texture, like paper?

    Looking forward to the the new stuff!

  7. First, thanks. Second, I’ve never liked textured backgrounds; they can be distracting, and I always have to worry (seriously) about images and other layout parts clashign with it and making it look bad. I’m already unhappy with the sidebar; when testing this new design it looked cleaner, but now with the chicklets (the little rectangular link thingies) it looks cluttered. Sigh. I’ll have to figure that out too.

    Grrrr. Comment links don’t seem to work either. You can right click on the number on the upper-right-side of any comment, do a “copy link” and then paste it into your own comment to link to a previous one, but it doesn’t go to that comment! This should link to my second comment above. Did it work????

  8. Nope. Nuts. OK, that’s on my list now.

  9. Jamie

    I think it would be better if the ads were in a sidebar, but that’s just me. PS, everything looks fine in Safari.

  10. Karen: hmmm… you’re right. I’ll put that on my list. I assume you mean the “next” and “previous” links when you are on the post page (not the blog main page, but the page that has only a post in it when you click on a post title)?

    Yes, that’s what I meant. It’s not urgent, but they were nice to have.

    (And I like the infinitely regressing pic, too.)

  11. monolithfoo

    The Image… it is awesome! How many iterations? Five? Or more?

    Recursion is everywhere.

  12. DIguana

    The only thing better than recursion is recursion.

  13. CousinoMacul

    Love the telescoping pic (I figure an Astronomer would like that adjective), except that the title of the thread is “New blog layout!” with a lower case “b” on top, but “New Blog layout!” with a capital “B” in all the smaller ones.

    I know! That’s nitpicking. I’ll crawl back into my hole now.

  14. Michelle Rochon

    The overall look is pretty good. I like it. Much better than the WordPress default, that’s for sure.

    …Anything is better, though. I admit that. Lots of people don’t change it, so you plain see it everywhere!

  15. Since you asked for feedback. I think the image is very kewl. But in my rss aggregator (sage in firefox, of course) the title shows up as a local link on my hard drive instead of the home page (this has been this way before the template change, but I thought if you were in a fix it mood, this would be the time to bring it up, and thank you). That would be great if it was fixed. I find the blue sidebars a bit jarring to my eye. But, the content is the real thing. and its without parallel :)

  16. Supernova

    Is there any way you can make the ads not the very first thing one sees under the title bar? I find them really distracting; I’d rather have immediate content. :)

  17. MissM, I don’t know what you mean. It comes up as a link like c:/filename.html?

  18. Dan Gerhards

    GOOD: I love the dark blue bar with the Bad Astronomy logo above it–VERY nice! I think all the links in the bar are great. Don’t be tempted to go overboard on the number of links. The comments are nicely separated. I like them better than before. For the most part, the sidebar links look fine. I don’t think the little boxes are a problem.

    BAD: The sidebar is too crowded in several spots with all the pictures and icons. Maybe you could put some of the stuff across the bottom of the screen. Also, the sidebar just stops on the top and bottom. A blue border that matches its edge would help.

    I also don’t like the “COMMENT BY” in the comment boxes. I sometimes scroll up and down to see if there is a comment by someone in particular, and having extra text in the same font as the name makes it hard. AFTER the name would be better (The old one had “…says:” didn’t it? That was fine.)

    Some links turn aqua when you highlight them, and some turn black. I like the aqua, but in any case, they should be the same.

    It’s too narrow. I know it’s sized for an 800×600 screen, but what about those of us with 1600 or more pixels across? CSS can do proportional sizing which would make it look less lonely and squished in the center of my screen.

    ERRORS: There are quite a few errors with the code still. The worst is a tag that says only id=”search”. I imagine it’s supposed to be a div tag. You can get all the errors highlighted and explained with one of several Firefox extensions. I’m using “Html Validator 0.7.9″ which is why I noticed! It just pops up a message in the toolbar that tells you how many errors there are. Clicking on it lets you see them.

    OVERALL: Change is good! I hope you don’t think I’m being too critical. I got the feeling you wanted that kind of feedback. Even if you don’t make any changes it’s still better than before.

  19. Scott

    First impression went something like this:
    1) Wow, nice
    2) Is that the same logo? (after some diliberation, decided it looks better with some color around it).
    3) New blog layout post: Haha! Love the image! (Pretty much skipped over anything it said for now.)
    4) Scrolled down to make sure I haven’t missed anything since last visit (check).
    5) Thinking the blue background (000099) might be a bit harsh/bright.
    5) What does everybody else have to say? (Clicked on comments, read through comments w/o really reading the blog entry on the layout. I have yet to realize I haven’t read it.)
    6) Read through all the current responses. Decided to post my own. In the process of going over my own reaction, I realize that I have yet to even read the blog entry.
    7) Finish my comment and head over to read the blog entry for the post I’m commenting on. (What bad etiquette on my part!)

  20. Luke

    em… I’m using Safari and the Google ads take up a full screen at the top. I have to scroll down to get to the headline of the first post :-( Other than that, the color scheme is nice.

  21. Scott

    Okay, so I goofed and forgot to renumber after 5.

    And my 2¢ is to use #000033 in place of 000099 in the background, but that’s just me. (And yes, I took a look at what it would look like before I said that.) #000066 isn’t bad either.

  22. Melusine

    I agree with others’ comments. I’ll add, imnsho:

    1. The space at the top w/ the ads is too large.
    2. Definitely need the ‘previous entries’ function.
    3. The little squares and the dash-lines on the sidebar are ugly.
    4. The Bad Astronomy logo is a good one–did you try centering it? I think it would look better if you centered it, then put the “Bad Astronomy Blog, The Good, the Bad…” below it in smaller font that’s similar to the logo. (Sort of like what Wolverine does on his blog.) You’ve got at least five different fonts going on; personally I like a little more uniformity. Maybe color the title bar…it can’t hurt to try it.

    I like that there are XHTML guidelines, since I know HTML. I like the choice of blue, too. Why are some links purple and others blue? Then I just clicked on a link in another entry and it’s light blue (ech). More dark blue is good. :-)

    Let me try a tag: Seriously.

  23. Melusine

    The way I did the tag didn’t work–it wiped out a whole sentence. Will HTML work? Let’s see: I couldn’t find the NASA origin of this photo that BMurray posted.

  24. Cindy

    Phil,

    I have to agree with others that the blue is a bit intense. (Then again it’s late and it’s been a long day.) Also the blue borders are on the large size for me.

    And uniformity on links being blue. I didn’t realize at first that the link to the comments was black instead of the usual blue. The default settings was in blue.

  25. OK, the links being different colors is a holdover from an earlier version I was fiddling with. It’s fixed.

    I was wondering if people would like the deep blue. I think it’s cool, but I love vivid, lush colors. I might tone it down. We’ll see.

    Centering the logo and all that is in fact a lot more difficult than you’d expect! The coding on this template was not designed to be fiddlable. Luckily, I’ve spent many thousands of hours in my earlier life deciphering OPC (other people’s code).

    Like I said, I’m not overjoyed with the sidebar either. I’ll keep playing with it.

    The “Comment by” thing… yeah, I agree. However, poking through the software does not reveal an obvious place that is coded! I’ll keep digging.

    About width: I was looking at first for variable width themes, but in the end I don’t like ‘em. I can’t predict what they’ll look like. 600 pixels is still the default width to support older screens. Eventually it’ll get wider.

  26. Evolving Squid

    Interesting layout.

    Maybe it’s because I’m kind of left-handed, but I prefer the sidebar on the left side. Looks good otherwise though.

  27. OK, fixed the comments thing. That was interesting; it was a mishmash of a couple of different commands, which is why I couldn’t find it at first. I also removed THE UPPERCASE TRANSFORMATION, which was irritating.

  28. Oh, and the google ads… well, I’m walking along the edge of the Dark Side with that. Google is fussy about ad publishers (me) talking about the ads, but I’ll just say that the larger size has some benefits for me. I know it’s a little annoying, but you’ll find you scroll down with even noticing after a while. I do on the sites I read with big ads. It irritated me for like a day, then I got used to it.

  29. Sriram

    man i loved the old style…this one sucks!!!!

  30. Sriram, yeah, thanks, that was helpful.

  31. I like it! (Or, at least, nothing pops out screaming, “I’m ugly!” at the moment.)

    I like the rich blue, though maybe one shade lighter might work.

  32. prowler67

    I like it. Thought I stepped into the wrong place when I saw that picture though.

  33. The “Next Page” and “Previous Page” work opposite of what they used to. “Next” takes you back to old posts and “Previous” takes you to the latest posts.
    I’m sure it could be argued that this in a way is correct, but the old way made more sense to me.

    “We fear change”

  34. Ajith

    Agree with Scott on the blue background (000099) being a bit harsh/bright. But no worries since I’m here for the content, which is literally ‘out of this world’.

  35. Simple Guy

    I still like the deep blue. The stark white makes it look stronger though. Maybe change the white to a whiter shade of pale? I understand about the texture. It can be tricky.

    Some websites have the option to allow the user to choose their own preferred colour scheme. Does the new software allow that?

    And, I *totally* didn’t catch the recursive picture. Duh. :-) Very slick BA.

    p.s. Where’s all the ads? Oh, never mind, my Firefox blanks them out. I’d rather just buy your book BA. ;-) Are you planning another one at all?

  36. Phil: I like the new layout and color scheme, particularly how the comments are nicely separated and numbered.

    My only suggestion would be to slightly darken the color displayed when hovering over URLs (#00CCFF). It works up in the header, where the buttons darken the background upon hovering, but the aqua is a little strong against the white background of the body and grey of the sidebar.

    FYI, these can presently be found in your stylesheet under:

    a:hover
    h3 a:hover
    #nav a:hover
    #hnav ul li a:hover

    Just my $0.02 :-)

  37. Melusine asked: Why are some links purple and others blue?

    Visited links are presently set to display as “purple” in the stylesheet. (Which, btw, displays as #800080)

  38. Doh, that uncovered a minor bug (FF & IE): direct links to comments don’t seem to work. For example, if I link to the first comment at top (15136)…

  39. Melusine

    Oh good, Wolverine agrees about the yucky “hover” color.

    Still no “Next Page” links? I agree with Thomas–previous entries should be on the left, newer entries on the right.

    Phil, my comments aren’t flippant criticisms; I used to play around with the colors and fonts every week on our little board for three years. People would ***tch and moan about everything, and it’s hard to find something that works best for everyone, but it’s possible. I think this shade of blue against a white background does hurt some people’s eyes, as opposed to if the background were black.

    Look at this picture: here, which I chose for it’s gradation of blue. You can put your hand over it and see the difference against white. Perhaps a deep-space blue, like one of the blues in your logo, would work better than this royal blue (or maybe lighter). I think there should be more blue on the sides too–it’s so narrow that it’s close to negligible. If the blue was darker, I don’t think it would hurt Cindy’s eyes as much.

    Merriam-Webster uses the same blue as yours, but I can’t show you the unabridged version which cuts out all the ads, whiteness, and it has wide blue margins; I think it works there because the white parts are completely filled with words and some beige coloring. Unabridged entry

    I still don’t understand the purple/blue link thing. Also, when I went to look at old entries (eg, the Pinwheel Galaxy) there was alot (=a lot) of white space below each entry. Don’t know what that means. You could “pull out” colors from your logo, too. Thanks, I wouldn’t have stopped reading it if it was coyote-ugly anyway. :-)

  40. David Vanderschel

    I think the label above the RSS feed icon should just say “RSS feed:” or nothing at all. With the word “info” there, you get the impression that clicking that icon will tell you how to do get the feed. In fact, if you click that link, it sends you to a Web site which wants to manage your RSS feeds for you, which is not what I want. (Normally clicking a feed icon just returns the raw XML for the feed, in which case you _know_ that it corresponds to the feed itself.) However, the reference of this icon is still sufficient for subscribing to the feed with a user-local feed aggregator in the same manner as any other RSS feed. Indeed, this would be the expectation in the absence of the word “info”.

    BTW – It would be nice if the comment submission page included a “Preview” button (a feature common with many forums and blogs). I am hesitant to try using any of the tags without being able to check the effects first.

  41. Solice

    Sorry, but I have to say it, this one sucks TERRIBLY! The blue is, like… TERRIBLE :(

    And why do I have to know the reply number/id ? It’s so big!

    Can I pleeease create another design for you ? :’)

  42. HawaiiArmo

    Hmmm, as with any change, it takes some getting used to. I guess over time, we won’t notice the changes, and begin to embrace them. Let’s all not forget the reasons we’re coming to BA’s Blog. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t come here looking for nifty blue colors, or comment numbers, I come here for the content, and the wonderful and insightful information I can gleam from BA.
    I can understand all the useful input with error fixes and all, but in general, I could care less what the blog itself looks like. BA, I appreciate your concern for us the reader, but don’t forget that it’s your blog, and regardless of what the design looks like, aside from a few OCD cases out here, we’ll all get used to it.

  43. The Droste BA picture is pretty cool. Other than that, I have no useful comments. . . I’m too much of a content person to stress over designs, unless the designs are so horribly broken that I can’t get at the content anymore.

  44. Recent Posts! Recent Posts! Otherwise beautiful. I feel like I am on the ocean. :)

  45. Solice

    I’ve made a quick design (sorry that I’ve touched the logo =)

    link 1

    link 2

    =D

  46. Sid

    Melusine -

    The purple links are ones you’ve accessed. The blue are virgins.

    Phil -

    I like the colors and the recursion. Very cool! I also favor having the link numbers present.

    As for errors, the only problems I’ve encountered so far are:

    1. Clicking links to posts does nothing.

    2. The word “comments” at the end of the blog is not in an alternative color, nor is it underlined. Obviously, many of us figured out what to do. However, if someone didn’t, how would you know?

    I use Safari.

  47. Melusine

    Sid,

    Thank you for the charming analogy. I did, in fact, figure that out since something that is, well, read previously usually suggests “experience.” The blue is unread–ok, got it. That still leaves that yucky light blue “hover” color in some sort of limbo, doesn’t it? :-)

  48. A gentle blue grey would be more gentle on the eyes than the current blue.

  49. grand_lunar

    Nice look. And interesting pic. How’d you do it?

  50. Geoff

    I tried validating your css but I got this error:
    Target: http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/04/09/new-blog-layout/#comments

    Please, validate your XML document first!

    Line 88

    Column 6

    The element type “p” must be terminated by the matching end-tag “”.

    Also the white color background took forEVER and a day to load. If you could put that at top of your style sheet, it might help. I’m using Firefox.

    Other than that, no problems.

  51. Geoff

    Sorry, that’s [p] tag at the end. The brackets didn’t show.

  52. gopher65

    I like it, except for the ads, which I never like;). But you are correct. I don’t even see ads anymore, and I never click on them (I assume you are getting paid paid per-page-view and not per-click? Even if I read ads I wouldn’t be likely to click on a astrology ad :P ).

  53. monolithfoo

    don’t mind the adds one little bit. btw the adds about the handheld 300mw lasers was rather cool.

  54. Leon

    The new layout looks fine. I especially like that the font for comments has been changed to Times New Roman–something that knows the difference between an I and an l! ;)

    I’m not so sure about this blue margin though–it takes up a lot of space on the sides and makes the comment pages pretty long when there’s a lot of comments. Maybe a narrower left & right margin would be good.

  55. the link in15147 isn’t working. I like the blue a lot and that was the only issue I had. I’d like to go to wordpress with my blogs…but it SCARES me.

  56. Kaptain K

    I’m here for the content, so “style” is not very important to me, as long as I can read it.
    That said, I do find the wide borders to be a little distracting (I’m using 1024×768 resolution). I will admit that wide borders are not nearly annoying as having to scroll side to side, like I had to do when I had a lower rez monitor, so no need to change.

    One question:
    Why do the “comment numbers” start at 15136? Weird! :)

  57. TJ

    Did we lose the previous and next entry links? That’s a shame.

    Is there another way to navigate through the entries without using the Archive?

  58. OK, these are (mostly) workable fixes. I’ll fiddle more later today when I have time. Thanks!

  59. …however, darkening the frame was easy enough to do right away. :)

  60. Irishman

    What? You changed things? What were you thinking?

    Okay, just testing the code. I didn’t particularly like the old style, though I had gotten used to it. I like the break up of the comments, and may find the post numbering useful. The blue is a bit strong.

    We had a presentation at work telling us how to make our presentations better. One of the things emphasized was color choices, and how electronic projection (i.e. screens) is a different format than printed page. Because the light is being projected “through” the image, they emphasized that black text on white background was actually bad. Apparently the white bleeds over the letters. Seriph fonts are worse for that reason (i.e. Times New Roman). We’ve gone to using blue backgrounds with colored text for the Powerpoint slides.

    Just something to consider. I don’t mind the black on white, just the white in contrast to the strong blue is hard to look at.

  61. SFwriter

    AdSubtract solves the ad problem for me. And I have to admit I like Solice’s colour scheme (comment 15202).

    I ran badastronomy.com through the DRWATSON website at http://watson.addy.com/ and it came up with dozens of errors in the HTML coding… My guess is that CSS is only borderline-compatible with HTML and the errors aren’t true errors (and some are trivial like “leading white space in tag “).

    There is one error that stood out though: afficianados! Did you mean aficionados? :mrgreen:

  62. Irishman

    What does this do?

    Test

    What? You changed things? What were you thinking?

    Like this?

  63. Irishman

    In IE, the links to post numbers don’t go to the comment, just to the page.

  64. weatherc

    Hmmm…

    Honestly, I think that this design is a big step backwards compared to the old one. Here are a few of my thoughts:

    1. The background color is a bit harsh. I think something more neutral would look better. It is also worth noting that on a Macintosh, the colors appear brighter than on a PC, so that blue is REALLY BRIGHT on my monitor. (Yes, I use a Mac. No, I won’t get a PC. If I’m going to have to deal with viruses, spyware, security holes, and editing the registry, I’ll go into IT so that at least I’ll get PAID to deal with that nonsense, because I sure as heck won’t deal with it in my spare time.)
    2. The thick gray border around the content is heavy-handed and unnecessary, and I would get rid of it altogether. The difference in color between the background and the content area provides enough contrast (even if my suggestion #1 is followed). If you absolutely feel you need the border, reduce it to 1 pixel wide.
    3. I agree with an earlier poster that the comment numbers are much larger than they need to be. Making that text 10 to 12 pixels high would be plenty.
    4. The Bad Astronomy logo may be a bit too large for this page; I think it may be better to focus on the fact that this is the blog page, and reduce the size of the Bad Astronomy logo, and increase the size of the “Bad Astronomy Blog” type.
    5. The sidebar doesn’t need the dark blue border on the left side. I would get rid of that, as well.
    6. The little white boxes in the sidebar are also unnecessary, and look too much like checkboxes in a form. I would delete them.

    On a positive note, I like the design treatment of the comments (apart from the comment numbers); the colors are subtle, and the content within the boxes is nicely readable.

  65. Radi

    AARRRRRGGGGHHHHH! I like the new layout, but PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE change the font, BA!

    Times New Roman is about the worst font for the screen, IMO. I’ve found Arial is easiest on the eye.

  66. weatherc

    Well, the background color was changed while I was typing my reply! It’s still a bit too intense a color, but it isn’t as bad as it was before.

  67. There is something about those dark borders that makes it a strain to look at the screen too long.
    It’s almost like those moving dots in the intersection on this picture: http://www.bitoffun.com/images/Bt-points.jpg

  68. Walter Williams

    Two criticisms:

    1) The blue background makes the whole thing look crowded; I’d kill it and the gray border.

    2) I make it a rule to never, never, use serifed fonts. They just don’t look as good. Arial is our friend.

  69. Tara Mobley

    With the blue border being as wide as it is, it does make the blog look a little squished. But I’m sure that once you work out all the bugs and we all get used to it we won’t notice it anymore.

  70. L. Fuller

    In printed text (that is, on paper), sans-serifed fonts are used for headlines and serifed fonts for reading text, since they are easier on the eyes. However, this “rule” is reversed for computer design because of the pixelated nature of the image — Serif for headlines and sans-serif for reading text. Serif text on the screen is more taxing on the eyes. Otherwise, I personally like the other changes.

  71. The Supreme Canuck

    I mentioned this on BAUT, but I figure it might be better to post it here. I’d capitalize all of the instances of the word “the” in the motto, “The Good, the Bad, the Astronomy” or leave only the first “the” capitalized, nothing else at all. It just looks kind of off to me.

    Also, an even darker blue might be better for the borders.

    Right at the bottom, the grey bar makes the linked text difficult to read. Maybe change the colour of the bar.

    The nav bar is kind of weird. A blue border at the top and bottom would probably make it work a bit better.

    Finally, I kind of dislike the buttons as the top. They’d be great if the text stayed the same colour while the background changed, though. Changing both looks wrong.

    Other than that, great job, BA! Very nice indeed.

  72. The Supreme Canuck

    Y’know, actually, now that I think of it, it would look really good if you could somehow extend the nav bar all the way to the bottom of the white space. Might be hard to do, but it would look better.

  73. Scott

    I’m pretty pleased with the way it looks. Most of the functionality I see complaints about I have yet to really need to use. I understand the need to make it work with 800×600 screens. It’s pretty amazing how many times you’ll still get hit with people with 800×600 16 bit resolutions still. Personally, I just refrain from maximizing my browser and, instead, use the space for other things :)

  74. Geoff

    I agree with Walter. Serif fonts, while easier to read in print are harder to read on screen. It’s better to use a sans serif like Arial or verdana for body text. You can use the serif fonts for larger sub-headings and where you don’t have a lot of long text.

  75. The Supreme Canuck

    Hey, at the bottom of an entry on the comments page, it says “TrackBack URI.” Should that be URL, or do I just not know what a URI is?

  76. The Supreme Canuck

    Thank you, thank you. Now aren’t I the fool?

  77. Philip

    Though stylish the dark blue sides are distracting and make reading strenuous. I guess it has something to do with contrast and how perception works neurologically.

    In contrary to other readers, I always find serif fonts
    easier to read, maybe a dot wider.

  78. PK

    Overall: very nice once I got over my fear of change.

    The one thing I would change is to make the contrast between the blue background and the white content area smaller. I think it would be easier on the eye.

    Also, for a less bright (and warmer) dark blue try (my favourite) #004477.

  79. I never post comments to blogs, but I have to complain here. I read the blog during my wait time in court every morning (I’m a lawyer), and on my pocket PC device, the site now appears as dark blue text on a dark blue background. Hate it!

    The old black on white site was much, much better, in my humble opinion. Thanks!

  80. Dan Gerhards

    My guess is that your pocket browser is less able to handle misformed HTML than more powerful browsers. As the page errors get cleaned up, it will probably start to work.

    I get black on dark blue for several seconds before the css finishes loading, too, which is annoying. The white background probably should load much earlier, or, better yet, the dark blue should load later.

  81. Dan Gerhards

    Talk about malformed HTML…

    I cited my own post! Whoops.

  82. BA,
    Yes that’s exactly what I mean
    file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/User/Application%20Data/Mozilla/Firefox/Profiles/jrxb0ahi.default/chrome/sage.html
    Though the text says Bad Astronomy Blog. Thanks for looking and asking!
    I wish I knew what caused this, you aren’t the only one that is that way.
    And I’ve never gotten feedback when I’ve asked before.
    Keep up the good work! :)

  83. Dude

    I preferred the old version. For me, less color makes me focus more on content. However, the content isn’t going to change (or is that the third thing you’re going to change?).

  84. Warning: HTNL geekery.

    I think the malformed HTML stuff is a bit of a crock. I downloaded an HTML validator, and nearly all the “errors” were from having a paragraph tag (<p>) without a closing tag. I know it’s good practice to open and close all tags, but I think it’s a dumb rule to demand a closing tag for something that you only need one of. That includes line breaks, too.

    In other news, I’ll fiddle more with the color, and try to rearrange the loading order. Some of the coments are things that are remarkably difficult to fix. I really want to handle the comment linking, but that may take me a while. A lot of the stuff I think will be hard is easy, and vice-versa.

  85. OK, I changed the background color to something a bit warmer. I think I like this. The tab links uner the banner now have text that stays white during a rollover, but all other links turn red.

    Next: san serif font.

  86. PK

    Yes, this is much warmer and easier on the eye, thanks!

  87. I can’t figure out why the background starts blue then goes to white. That’s a bit annoying, I agree, but rearranging things in the stylesheet doesn’t seem to help. I’ll keep puzzling over it.

  88. Dan Gerhards

    The doctype for this file says XHTML–not HTML. Many of the errors go away if you change the doctype to HTML. That includes most of the missing end tags.

    Still, at least one bad error remains: the <id> tag (right after “Begin search”), which should probably be <div id=…>. It’s causing four errors.

    Also, every comment has the same div id. They should have the same class, but they can’t have the same id. That’s causing one error per comment. <ul> is started twice and ended once right after the “Performancing section” which is causing a couple errors.

    Most of the other errors seem to be minor–under HTML anyway.
    —————–

    Nice work on the latest tweaks.

  89. Heh. When I changed the search “id =” to “div id=” it totally freaked out the page. So I think plain old “id” is correct, or, at least changing it to div is not all I need to do to fix that. That’s a bit beyond my CSS knowledge, but I’m learning!

    Interesting: the “Performancing” problem with the “ul” is not that it has two opening tags, it’s that there was only one closing tag. I added another closing ul tag, and it’s fine now. :-)

  90. The Supreme Canuck

    Er, look at comment 15290. The text seems to run off into the border for me.

    Oh, and it’s looking much, much better, BTW.

  91. Best of all, you now include the full post text in the RSS feed. Thanks! That makes it SO much easier to read your posts offline!

  92. Melusine

    Ok, the muted blue is a bit easier on the eyes, though personally I don’t have a problem with brightness. Too, now that I’ve played around with the “next” and “previous” tags, I can dig that left is forward in time and right is backward. Since I can relate to that symbolism is more ways than one, I can deal with it, but can’t you put those tags on the top as well?

    Also, the ‘The’ is trying to usurp the ‘Y’ in the title bar, and that doesn’t look good (the font for that only, looks a little unsure of itself as well). The large font overall is nice in the early morning, but maybe you can turn it down a notch, so to speak? Contrary to someone’s comment somewhere, I choose to use a 800×600 screen, thankyouverymuch; I would rather scroll than squint, but admittedly this size font is larger than necessary, in my not so humble opinion.

    Otherwise it seems to be moving along quite nicely (with the exception of the squares and dash-lines). There are a few added touches that work well.
    :-)

  93. Melusine

    Oops, I didn’t complete my sentence: There are a few added touches that work well…with my browser. [coffee takes a while to kick in]

  94. gopher65

    awww:(. I don’t like this new font.

  95. SFwriter

    Where the heck are you guys finding the “Next” and Previous” options? I don’t see them ANYwhere in or on the page! I want my N/P clicks back! :-(

  96. Scott McLean

    The colors and contrast are a wonderful improvement, however, the inconsistency of the fonts is a bit distracting. I would recommend clomping around a bit through the stylesheet and editing either the font-family or font elements to show a consistent font set (sans-serif is probably best).

  97. weatherc

    This background color is much more soothing, and it makes a huge difference in the feel of the site.

    I didn’t even notice whether the fonts were serif or sans serif, since I use Firefox. There’s an option in the preferences that allows you to choose what fonts the browser uses, instead of letting web sites do it for you. I have my font set for Helvetica, so I usually don’t know what fonts a site actually uses.

    The rollovers in the top nav bar are much nicer, as well. That aqua color on the gray was hard on the eyes.

  98. I agree with comment #15253. And overall, the theme makes me not want to look at the screen. :(

  99. Will. Mattsson

    I’ve used both Safari and Firefox to look at the blog site, and I don’t see the pix within a pix iteration – except in the “new look” announcement. I’m partial to the color blue, though, so the colors – dark or light – don’t bother my eyes or the look of the site. I can always shrink the screen width to lessen the blue.
    Clicking on the number of the post seems to refer to the post itself, so it doesn’t seem to have a purpose. However, if a post number was able to be linked when used in another post, that would be useful. Serif or sans serif fonts are O.K. with me as well; sometime a font with feet is a welcome change from the often sterile look of “apod” fonts. As long as the font isn’t too diffi-cult to look at, like (Apple) Chancery, or Courier New or Copperplate.
    Anyway, change is fine as long as the content is the same (as has been said before).

  100. I wonder if Phil’s sorry he asked for input. :D

  101. The Supreme Canuck

    Okay, now this is really picking nits…

    The buttons at the top have a blue line (probably 1 pixel in length) running along the bottom, but not the top. You might want to remove that.

    Like I said, tiny, tiny, tiny. But I still noticed it. ;)

  102. Canuck, I noticed that today, actually. That’s one of the weird coding things in this template. As I learn more CSS, I realize I maybe should have started from scratch. ;-)

  103. The Supreme Canuck

    Well, you aren’t doing too badly without having started from nothing. The place is looking darned good. And it’s odd that we’d both pick up on that tiny little line, isn’t it?

  104. HenrikOlsen

    The links to comments don’t work because there’s no tags to refer to.

    I’d suggect modifying the template to have something like:
    Commentor
    says:
    then the links should work.

    As for closing tags, just fix them Not doing so is like saying you don’t need a period after a sentence because you can easily see where the next starts because of the uppercase letter

  105. HenrikOlsen

    Ok, that god badly mangled, I was expecting the software to do the right thing and escape the tags rather than rewrite them insensically.
    New attempt:

    The links to comments don’t work because there’s no <a name=… tags to refer to.

    I’d suggect modifying the template to have something like:
    Commentor &lt>a name=”87645″8>says</a>:
    then the links should work.

  106. HenrikOlsen

    I blame the lack of a preview for this one:(

  107. This is very interesting site…

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