Asisaid should now render properly on standards non-compliant browsers ( cough Internet Explorer cough) as well as those which obey standards, now. I tested the site against IE 6 on Windows 98, and, as always, continue to test it against Mozilla Firefox 1.x and Apple Safari 2.0. With Firefox now grabbing nearly 10% of the browser market, less than one year after release, I'm a bit more optimistic that Microsoft may soon have to learn to play nice with W3C specifications, but I'm not overly optimistic.
As a side note, I love the new features of Safari 2.0, especially the RSS reader integration. Now, I can keep up with all of my regularly read blogs without having to go to each one just to see if something new has been posted. I added all of the RSS feeds to one bookmark folder on my bookmark bar, and now I can just click that and see all of the feeds aggregated conveniently. I am also appreciating that Apple finally supported embedded PDF's; it is beyond me why Apple opted not to do this with the original Safari, but I am happy to have it finally acting the way it does in other browsers.
…for the lack of posting. Things have been hectic this week, but I'll try to get back to posting something a bit more substantial tomorrow or Saturday (at the latest).
After much consideration, I've decided that blogging is taking way too much of my time. I could be doing far more constructive things with my time than sitting here on a soapbox every few hours and uttering some incoherent statement on something that most of the world doesn't care about. Does that sound bitter? Well, it is. When I started blogging, I never hoped to become like InstaPundit or Andrew Sullivan, but I admit that I was hoping to at least get enough traffic to support Google AdWords on here. Instead, I've just wasted hours for nothing… absolutely nothing.
Farewell. It's been fun (not really). Hopefully the rest of you will wake up and see that you could be doing far more useful things too — like organizing your socks or picking lint off your sofa.
Update (2005.01.02 01:15 CST): Since this post will remain forever in the asisaid archive, I would note to anyone wondering to take a very close look at the date of the post if it doesn't make sense.
I've been playing around today a bit to finish up text processing, and after much hassling, was able to get a module known as “SmartyPants” to work. It adds support for “smart” characters such as “Smart Quotes” (notice that I'm using lots of quotes to show this off) to text. SmartyPants takes the straight quotes that I can type in a standard web browser and converts them to nice smart quotes like you would see in a word processor. It also takes care of Ellipses… Dashes — and so on. Combined with Textile (well, to be clear, I'm using Brad Choate's Text::Textile Perl module that was written for his MT-Textile plugin), I should now have an uber-text-processing™ blogware program.
If you noticed the blog was unavailable for awhile… well, that was because I was lazy. Rather than using my “sandbox site,” I used the main asisaid code base for testing. Sorry about that. I'm going to try to implement BB Code support soon, but I'll try to be good about keeping up the site during that process.
Since the site has been down a lot, let me remind y'all that the latest installment of the CYOA Dakmoore saga has been posted here.
Well, trying to post my CYOA entry tonight I spent two hours instead of five minutes. I spent more time trying to get the stupid thing posted than I did writing it. For some reason, Safari (the web browser) is messing up the way it posts data, so that Unicode stuff was getting completely garbled. It took me a long time to figure out where the problem was originating from and along the way, I ran into numerous bugs impacting Firefox as well. Ack! On the bright side, SAFARI (the CMS) now uses Textile to format the text. Textile seems to be pretty popular for blogware formatting, and since it is licensed under the MIT license and available as a standard issue Perl module, I decided to integrate it into the system. This means you can use Textile commands in the comments too. If it causes anything to look weird, let me know.
Ok, so I thought it would be smart to use CSS on my site and catch up with the times. But now I have a problem. If you look at the CYOA entry, you'll notice that the CYOA graphic is down at almost the bottom of the part of the post visible on the front page, level with the last right hand side div area (obviously, this will correct itself as the CYOA post gets pushed down further on the page). I suspect this is because I used clear: right to make the boxes on the right side stop stacking on top of each other. That seemed well and good, but I'm not very happy about being unable to use align=right or left or any div tags within posts without having them pushed way down on the page.
Anyone out there know how to fix this problem? Perhaps the way to make the content div tag isolate everything inside itself so that those things are “unaware” of the right side bar? I'd be very grateful for suggestions. Tables were so simple…
Well, it dawned on me - stupid me - that I have IE:mac at my disposal. Sure, it isn't the same as IE for Windows, but maybe it wouldn't hurt to try out the site in it… Ouch! It looked horrible. So, I tinkered until I realized that my position: relative settings made IE go crazy in some cases (not all). So, I removed as many as I could without disrupting the design and IE:mac now shows the front page pretty well, save for the missing logo on top (I can't figure out why that doesn't show up). The site continues to load fine for me on my browsers, but if y'all would let me know if I messed up or fixed anything from your perspectives, that'd help. Thanks for being guinea pigs.
As I mentioned to Kevin in the comments of the last post, the boxes on the right side are suppose to be sticking off a bit for visual interest. Of course, if it just looks bad, let me know.
Finally Moving Ahead for My Blog's Third Year
|2001: Original Site There wasn't a blog here yet, nor much of anything else. I built the site because I thought it was time I had a personal website. For years, I had been building sites for my company and for others, but never one for myself. Thus one Saturday evening, Tim's Site was born. Minimalism was the object — it was going to be a site where I posted stuff, not were I spent lots of time tinkering with the design.
|2001-2002: The Blue and Penguin Theme The site took a turn for the worst in the summer, in my estimation, here when I introduced this interesting combination of my “famous” little rendition of Tux, an ugly blue color and Comic Sans MS for the text. This was a dark day in my web design history. My blog premiered on the site one month before the demise of this design.
|2002-2003: Green the First
Green being my favorite color, it was inevitable that it would show up on my site eventually.
This design was one I worked on over Easter weekend, maintaining the navigation bar of the blue theme, but soothing colors, a more professional feel and no more Comic Sans MS. This design is the foundation of all future iterations of the site until the present one I am introducing today.
|2003: asisaid premiers Sitting one day with a notepad in front of me, I started writing down names I could use for my site. Now that it had become mostly a blog, it seems to deserve a decent name. I picked asisaid while thinking of e-mail debates in which I would often reference back to what I had said by saying “as I said,” since people often don't seem to listen in debate (yes, I love to debate). I could also imagine some nice looking logos for it. The first asisaid design was the same as the 2002-2003 green design, save for the header. I do not have the original asisaid header handy, but the one in the picture was incorporated into the design within about two months.
|2003-2004: Blue Returns, or the Christmas Theme that Stuck This was the last design to grace the late, great Ciaran's Journal blogging tool. It started out with the Christmas theme with a nativity and then gained the green hill when I got attached to the design and wanted to keep it for the rest of the year. The design was the same as the 2002-2003 green design and 2003 asisaid green design, save for the colors, the hill on top, and the purple/blue background behind the blogroll (instead of the previous white background).
|2004-2005: SAFARI Blues After the old blog tool died, I started restoring the site, and came close to making it look the same as the 2003-2004 design. However, I never completely replicated it, leaving out a few things such as the “Recently Said” graphic in favor of a quote du jour (I had started using quotes at the top in October 2004, but had kept the “Recently Said” graphic until I imported the theme into SAFARI.
|2005: Green the Second
This is the present theme. It is the first theme to ditch almost all tables in favor of a CSS layout. The blog entries may violate W3C standards, but the template is verified as XHTML Transitional and CSS 2.0. Not exactly as dramatic as the War of the Roses, but the battle between green and blue continues as green sweeps back into control of the site.
You'll notice it uses similar colors and a similar logo backdrop to the 2003 asisaid design. It's logo background also recalls the November 2002 logo banners of the Sakamuyo log, which I had designed for Kevin. On the other hand, I have aimed to make this theme cleaner, more legible and more user friendly than past designs. I nuked the 2001-style navigation bar that linked to a bunch of outdated pages in favor of a new one, placed a special box just for quotes on the right side, and made a few other tweaks. You'll also notice that I kept the hill scene, but moved it to the bottom of the page.What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
I'll have the new design up tomorrow, I think. I got tied up trying to make it validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional tonight. I have a few bugs that cropped up during that process, but I hope to have everything arranged OK tomorrow. We'll see…
Maybe it's because Christopher and Kevin just switched to spiffy new designs. Maybe it is because I am procrastinating on some work. Maybe it's because it has been years since I did more than a cursory update to my site design (2002, if my memory serves). Whatever the case may be, I feel that it is time for change. I'm going to try to dabble in CSS and see if I can bring my site into the modern age. If my dabbling goes well, things may look different later today, if my dabbling fails, you'll just have to live with this look for awhile longer.
Update (2005.02.19 23:59): It isn't going to go up today, if you didn't already guess that. I'm aiming for tomorrow. All I can say is that I have come to really like doing layouts in CSS today. All of my cratchty complaining about CSS layouts may have been ill advised. You can teach an old web-dev dog new tricks!