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!