About this site's lack of design: Yes, it's supposed to look this way — I'm using a sandbox theme for WordPress (see it on GitHub).

Dan Rubin's SuperfluousBanter

Design, random musings, and the Web. Since 1977

Archive for September, 2003


Monday Updates

Tuesday, September 9th, 2003

OK, so it’s real­ly Tues­day, but since Mon­day has­n’t offi­cial­ly end­ed for me…

The side­bar has now been updat­ed to reflect most of the changes made by the win­ning entries of the Side­bar Redesign Con­test. The new look has checked out in IE 6/Firebird on XP, and IE 5/Safari on OS 9/X, but let me know if you see any oddities.

I’ve also made some changes to the images in the side­bar. All rollovers are now han­dled by CSS (no more JavaScript rollovers!), and I’m also using Pixy’s Fast CSS Rollovers. The book ban­ners at the bot­tom of the side­bar use just one image each (images: DWWS ban­ner, Speed ban­ner), while the Style Switch­er rollovers all use the same source image (view switch­er image). This cuts down on the num­ber of HTTP requests need­ed to load the page (before: 10 images; now: 3), and there is no more delay for the hov­er images to load. Very cool.

In addi­tion to these new items (some oth­er posi­tion­ing has been tweaked in this site’s pri­ma­ry css file, so you may have to reload/clear your cache if things look odd), I thought I’d point out (for those of you who haven’t noticed) the head­er graph­ic on every page of this site. It’s a PNG file, with no col­ors oth­er than white and gray (view image). The col­or is vis­i­ble through the trans­par­ent areas of the image, so the image has to load only once, even when a user switch­es styles. To allow users of IE5.5+/Windows to view this trick, a handy bit of code by Young­Pup tells IE how to prop­er­ly dis­play the trans­par­ent por­tions of the image.

I’ve been han­dling the image this way since the cur­rent site design was launched, but I’ve nev­er thought to say any­thing about it. It’s cool enough that I fig­ured it was about time.

As always, let me know if any­thing does­n’t work as adver­tised, and I’ll get right on fix­ing it.



Sidebar Redesign: Contest Results

Thursday, September 4th, 2003

The results are in for my Side­bar Redesign Con­test.

Although the response was a lit­tle under whelm­ing, I like a lot about each of the three sub­mis­sions (a bonus for each design­er: there are three prizes, so every­one wins :-) and have decid­ed to incor­po­rate parts of each into the side­bar of this site (each win­ner will get a men­tion in the source of the side­bar, and the Grand Prize win­ner will get a link in the sidebar).

With­out fur­ther ado, I proud­ly present:

Each win­ner has been noti­fied via email of the results, along with their Type­Pad 20% Dis­count Codes. I plan to imple­ment the changes through­out this week, and pos­si­bly into the week­end, and will post a short note when the new side­bar is live. My guess is that reg­u­lar read­ers will appre­ci­ate the changes, espe­cial­ly the extra sep­a­ra­tion of the sec­tion head­ings (as seen in two of the entries).

A big thanks to Brad, Kjell and Hadley for enter­ing, and not allow­ing the con­test to slip by unno­ticed. Your entries are ter­rif­ic, and will make this site even bet­ter than before!