Monday, April 17, 2006

Spring blog cleaning and music chart

You might have noticed the new blog design. On Sunday my brother emailed me to let me know that the blog was not rendering properly in IE. For the life of me I couldn't understand why that was happening. It was working fine in Firefox and the co-signer reported that she looked at it less than 2 week's ago in IE and all looked fine. The only thing I had added since then was possible the recently played tracks list in the sidebar and I did embed a video.

The first thing I did was delete the post with the embedded video. It was annoying me, too in that everytime I loaded the page, the video would have to load. But deleting that did not resolve my issue with IE. While poking around the Blogger site for a solution, I finally decided to do something that I've been meaning to do for a while: change the style sheet (or, as Blogger calls them, templates). I was tired of the old one and really wanted to clean things up.

It didn't take long for me to find one that I liked, but getting it to work properly was a bit of a hassle. Blogger instigated a software upgrade at some point. With the new style sheet, a formatting function that was in the Blogger software caused any images aligned left of right were "floating" with the text. Basically, it made things look a little funky. Hey, if you're gonna go funk, then go all the way because just a little funk is nothing but bad disco. After some deletions to try and get it to work and some code review, I finally found the solution by Googling for it. It was an easy change.

Next, in the process of cleaning up, I wanted to change my charts to something more in tune with the new look of the blog. After looking at a lot of different charts, I finally became exasperated and gave up. Many of the charts were too wide. They displayed data like how many times I played tracks by said artist that week or what time I played a particular song. I didn't want that information displayed and I didn't want to widen the page. The old charts I was using didn't display that info, but I didn't like the color choices and how they displayed on the blog. So, until I have more patience, those things are gone. If you're at all interested, here is the chart for the most played musicians from last week.

01) Les Baxter
02) Paul Weller
03) Dusty Springfield
04) Larry Young
05) Eumir Deodato
06) Yellow Magic Orchestra
07) Saskia Laroo
08) Charles Mingus
09) Stan Ridgeway
10) Boards of Canada

What's your verdict on the new design?


Scott said...

I noticed it looked funny in IE, but since I rarely use IE outside of writing my posts and intraweb sites at work I only saw it the one time. Not enough to make me really notice. (I didn't mind the video, but I don't miss the message box to upgrade my media player or flash or whatever every time.)

What I like most with the new format is the better font rendering. My browser seemed to dither the gray on black backround, but the black on white stays crisp. Especially nice with the smaller than standard fonts.

B.D. said...

Thanks. I agree about the fonts. There were times where I'd look at the fonts on the other style sheet and they would look horrid, but I couldn't figure out what to do about that (or at least, didn't want to take too much time doing so). On this style sheet it looks much better.

B.D. said...

One other thing that I had to do to the blog was:

Even after changing the formatting setting for the images, they still didn't align correctly on the page. So, I embedded all of the posts into a table. That meant that all the images appeared next to their own text (and only their own text) properly.