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

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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.

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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!

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