John Rainsford

Moving Forward

This article was posted on Monday, 26th July 2010

Welcome to the second version of this blog. I launched the first version at some point in September 2009 and had been updating it sporadically since then. This new site will hopefully be the push to start updating more regularly.

I had hoped to keep updated, not just with content, but also a unique style for each blog post (like Jason Santa Maria's blog or Greg Wood's blog or Dustin Curtis' blog). In theory this was a great idea, but for me, in practice it posed a huge barrier to posting new content. What would happen is that I'd have an idea, then it'd be put on the back-burner until I had time to style it up. It would take me ages to write the piece then I'd start styling it and even going through different iterations was too time consuming.

So I finally decided to create a single design/template system. I had been using Wordpress since the beginning, and although I liked a lot of aspects of Wordpress, the templating system just didn't agree with me- I am well versed in PHP, to the point that I preferred working with my own naming conventions and PHP conventions, so I used my own hand-made CMS, which I use for commercial work over at Pixelcode. This gave me a huge amount of freedom to experiment with different ideas, most of which haven't made their way into the site yet, but are on my list of work to do.

One idea that made it through, which I have been trying to do for years (literally years) is a stylesheet switcher. You'll see above the main page-title, 'Dark Woods Edition' and 'Sunny Days Edition' links, which switch the styles from the default 'Dark Woods' to the 'Sunny Days' stylesheet- which has a higher contrast. It's my own Jakob Nielsen corner.

I authored the HTML in XHTML Strict, more for convenience than anything else. I've started calling div classes after HTML5 tags, and I hope to switch the entire site over to HTML5 soon. I've used a liberal amount of CSS3 throughout the site for transparent effects- I will have to create IE stylesheets too, for my IE visitors.

I haven't enabled comments, as I found they were a bit of a nuisance in Wordpress. I'm in two minds whether or not to implement comments at all. If I did, it'd probably be comments via Facebook or Twitter.
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